Holidailies 21: Some background information to researcing the top 100 New Adult novels

So, a lot of people seemed to have liked the first post I wrote about this research, with only some preliminary results. For this post I want to give some background to the Amazon rankings and some of the boundaries I dealt with both with data I could get and my way of writing down the research.


Amazon Rankings

I’ve had a couple of people ask me if shorter or longer works sold best in the New Adult category. Apart from not being able to tell them directly since I didn’t have a way to “weight” better selling books over lower selling books in the top 100 I do want to make one point (which I made before, but I don’t think a lot of people realise the consequences of it).

The #1 in New Adult ranks #21 in the over all Kindle store and the #100 ranks just over #1000 in the over all kindle store.

This is SIGNIFICANT! It means that out of ALL the genres there are the top 1000 ranking in the kindle store there are 100 New Adult books. That is a LOT.

Here are some other over all rankings for other popular genres, counted by their #100. (I’m only going 2 “deep”, which means that they are only 2 sub-categories down from the main Kindle store. New Adult is ranked under Romance -> New Adult, so I’m only going that deep with other genres too.)

#100 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Mystery = #1206

#100 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Crime Fiction = #5052

#100 Mystery, Thriller & Suspense -> Thrillers = #767

#100 Gay & Lesbian -> Fiction = #9005

#100 Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fantasy = #1388

#100 Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Science Fiction = #2098

#100 Teen & Young Adult -> Romance = #3225

#100 Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy = #2112

And here are some other Romance categories, for comparison:

#100 Romance -> Fantasy = #4590

#100 Romance -> Paranormal = #2170

#100 Romance -> Mystery & Suspense = #2122

#100 Romance -> Holidays = #3072

As you can see, New Adult having 100 books in the top 1,000 in the Kindle store is HUGE! (As of writing this, the #100 for New adult is actually #981 in the Kindle store.) Paranormal Romance used to be the biggest selling genre until a couple of months ago, it seems to have been overtaken by New Adult these days.


Okay, so what do these rankings mean? Well, simply put, it means that the books that are better ranked (nearing the #1) sell more books and those below it sell less books. That is what it means. Taking a closer look at them you can even predict how many copies books sell when they’re at a certain ranking, this is no precise calculation but is a guess of the estimate. Theresa Ragan wrote a blog post about it and I will be using that data to explain more.

So, #1 in New Adult is ranked #21 in the over all store, and the #100 is ranked #1017. (All the books in between are almost equally ranked over the other places in between. I found that you can most of the time multiply the New Adult ranking by 10 to get to the over all store ranking.)

According to Theresa’s article this means that the #1 sells about 2,000 copies a day, yes, that reads 2k copies A DAY! The #100 will sell about 100 copies a day. That is still a lot.


I personally think selling 100 + copies a day (for only 1 book) is quite a lot. And I think that when it comes to length, you can push out more shorter works than longer works. If you look at the graph in the first article you’ll see that there are multiple lengths that are used a lot, and all of them sell at least 100 copies a day.


Break down of genre

This is something that I was asked quite a lot. Could I break down the NA list to other romance genres too? And, in a way, I could, but not with the data I’ve collected at this moment. Because some books have 6 categories and others have only 2 it is really hard for me to create a simple way to collect this data in the setup I was using.

I am really curious about it and I (or someone else) could include this in a next version of the research. But at the moment I can’t tell you. I can tell you that I’ve seen a lot of different books come by as I was looking at them, but no more than that.


Chapters and wordcount

This was something I was very curious about but that in the end wasn’t as exact as I would have liked.

Page counts can differ so much depending on book size and formatting that calculations on that front were inexact. Add to that that some books have a lot of front and back matter and some have barely any at all. And of the 94 (100-the 6 box sets) only 74 had real page counts, the other 20 were calculated by Amazon depending on the file size.

I would have loved to know the actual wordcounts for these books, as that will give a more exact calculation.


I had a similar problem with trying to find the # of chapters there was in a book. Only 60 books had a TOC at the start of the book, which meant that of 34 books I couldn’t find the amount of chapters they had. That is a significant amount when you compare it to the amount of books that do have a TOC. Quite a few books will have one, though only in the back of the book (which is useless if you can only see the from 10% of a book).

These are two things that I would have liked to have been able to find more easily.


Other things I would’ve liked to research

So, after I’ve looked through some data and talked to some people about this I started thinking about things I would like to know about these best selling stories that I haven’t found/looked at yet.

I might one day look at these too, but anyone might use this list when they do their own research, feel free.

– Sub-genres (as I talked about above)

– Past or Present tense, this in combination with 1st or 3rd person POV.

– Single or double narrators, and possibly how this is divided over them.

– Amount of books from author on the list and in total, including how long they’ve been writing New Adult.

– Types of covers (Classify a few types of covers and then count how many of each)



My research isn’t perfect, and that is to be expected of something that I came up with and decided to do in under a day. What I did was only a first trial run of data. You could even compare the Amazon to other stores or other Amazon countries, the possibilities are endless.




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