As an author/publisher, nobody tells you anything. Well, people tell you all kinds of things, but not necessarily what you want or need to know ahead of time. You don’t have an agent or publisher or mentor to guide you through things, point things out, and (hopefully) point you in the right direction while steering you around common pitfalls. I can search all day and night, pester friends until they are not friends any more, read books, download books, click through on links, and come up blank far more often than not. But then every now and again, you find something useful, like:
You can pop in a name and author, and it’ll not only tell you where it’s at, but it will tell you what Amazon is using for the top “pairing,” and track it’s sales rank with a graph.
But also there are little things, like finding out that Amazon’s sales reports are by country, and there isn’t any “consolidated” sales report for total copies sold until the following month, after everything has settled, question-free refunds are past, etc., etc. So when I click the “current sales” report, it’s for the US only. Then I have to check Australia (5 copies sold), Canada (1), France (2), Germany (1), UK (8), and a half-dozen other nations (with none). Oddly, European nations have a much higher refund rate than the US. In Germany, 2 of the 3 copies sold were returned, for example. So when I glance and it says 700 copies sold, that’s US only. I’ve got another dozen or more overseas. I don’t mind the overseas sales, mind you, it’s just annoying to have to go digging for them.
For other writers who want a data-point, I’m getting slightly under a 2% refund rate, but considering I wrote in an unusual format I think that is not something I’ll loose sleep over. I’ve read the “average” is between 1/2% and 6%, with some romance writers report much higher, even into the 50% range. So 2% I’m fine with.
Add to that, that there are about another 10% “borrowing” it. Right now, 29 borrowed compared to 319 sold for the month. Amazon pays a smidgen royalty for those Prime members that borrow books for a week. Not sure what it will actually work out to.