Amazon's new addiction

I know we all have a sore spot for Amazon, but you have to admit they do some pretty groovy things too - especially for authors. Do you know about Author Central? It's a tool where authors can link their books to themselves, set up a profile AUTHOR PAGE (click here for mine), check book sales based on BookScan (although not comprehensive, the alternative is Bowker, which is a very expensive service available only to publishers), etc.
     It's a cool tool, and I've known many authors over the years who get positively obsessed about checking the rankings of their books. I'm at 5,362 today! And some-such. (In the top 100 is worth celebrating.) Some authors (I've heard, I don't know anybody personally who has done this) even tell family members to buy their books all at the same time to push their rankings higher - if only for a moment. It's a full-fledged addiction.
     Well, Amazon has come up with a new tool which is sure to be the new addiction. It's called Author Rank and it shares an author's ranking based on the sales of ALL of their books. When the announcement came in via email, it said that I was at 10,564. I think that's pretty good, although I have no idea what the pool is.
     While I think this is a great feature, this could be a very unhealthy thing - to be able to grade one's popularity by the hour, by the minute! But I'm also certain it will be a big success. Gads!

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