An Octogenarian Author’s Moment of Glory


By Peggy Strait

What does an octogenarian author do when there is nothing to do?  Check her Amazon Best Sellers Rank, of course!

This was not always the routine.  It began only a few days ago.  My friend Joe, also an octogenarian author, called me on the phone.  “Peggy,” he said, “Can you do me a favor and write a review of my book on Amazon?”

“Of course,” I said.

Not having written a review on Amazon before, I went to the page that advertised Joe’s book to look for instruction.  As I searched for the information, I came across the following line.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank 6,875,110

“O my gosh,” I thought, “There are 6,875,109 books carried by Amazon that are selling better than my friend’s book!”

Although I had not known before that Amazon provided this information on their books, I immediately became anxious about where my book may fall in this public ranking of an author’s worth.

I clicked on the web page for my book.    There it was.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank 4,375,623

This was truly depressing.  There were 4,375,622 books ahead of mine in Amazon’s best sellers rank for books. I was mortified.  My shame was there for the whole world to see.

I checked the rank for another friend’s book.  Poor Betsy, she came in at 10, 203,144!  I won’t tell her what I saw.

A few days went by.  I adjusted to the failure of my book.  It was scant comfort that my book was millions of rank numbers better than my friends’ books.

Then, curiosity got the better of me again. I couldn’t resist checking to see if there had been any change in my status.

I clicked onto Amazon’s webpage for my book and read.

 Amazon Best Sellers Rank 365, 325  

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Like a marathon runner trailing 4,375,622 behind the lead, I had sprinted forward, passing more than 4 million books and was now a viable contender in the race to be an author of some note.

The next day, I discovered that Amazon also provided a best sellers rank for their books on Kindle.  I checked on mine and read.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank 120, 221

Of the zillions of books sold by Amazon, mine was now number 120,221.

It was truly an octogenarian author’s moment of glory!

At age 80, I don’t need to be number 1.  I am deliriously happy to be number 120,221.

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2 thoughts on “An Octogenarian Author’s Moment of Glory

  1. Still funny, 3rd time hearing or seeing this. Interesting how every single thing is ranked; it’s a race…into the millions. On the other hand those of us who don’t have a book on Amazon or Kindle aren’t even IN the race. Keep running; you’re nearing the finish line. I’m cheering you on.

  2. nancyeder says:

    Still hilarious even after hearing you read it! Funnier still to actually SEE the numbers written out. As you inch up in popularity by leaps and bounds, I hope you never stop writing your humorous and touching stories. Keep us informed of your ‘numbers.’ Your book may gain in value! Hooray, Peggy!

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