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Yesterday, while checking for new books on my chosen speciality, I made an astounding discovery: if you use Amazon.co.uk and enter the search term “money laundering”, one of my books is listed first.  First!  It has been selling well recently, and someone has very kindly given it a five-star review, but Amazon’s rankings are a complete mystery to me.

My curiosity piqued, I started to use other search terms and categories, to see if either “Fatal Forgery” (16 reviews, most of them five-star) or “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” (one five-star review) could be made to appear on top-level pages.  (And I don’t mean by searching on the specific title!  I mean perhaps using “Regency crime” or “Regency police” or “police history” or “historical crime police”, which should pick up the key words I put with each listing – you’re allowed up to seven per book.)  But no, nothing yet – although “historical crime police” does put “Canary” on the second page of listings.  I guess it comes higher than the better-reviewed “Fatal Forgery” because it is more recent…?

So then I turned to the specific book listings to see how each is doing within the categories to which I assigned them on publication (e.g. fiction/historical, and fiction/crime).  But this information is not available: all Amazon will tell me is how each book is doing among all books.  So “Fatal Forgery” is currently Amazon’s 187,746th best-selling book, while “Canary” is miles ahead at 166,752th.  (And in case you’re wondering, as indeed was I, the best-selling book on Amazon as I write this is “The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 9)”.)  And to really put me in my place, the third best-selling one hasn’t even been published yet: “Girl Online” by “YouTube phenomenon Zoe Sugg” isn’t due out for another fortnight, and it’s already 166,749 places ahead of my best effort!  Ho hum.  All I can do is soldier on, and this afternoon’s task is to start work on “Plank 3”.  Of which, more later.