Deciphering Deseret Book’s Bestseller List

DB picked up my book about a month ago. The first time I found it on the DB bestseller list 2 weeks ago, it was #137. Last weekend it was at #89 and today it was at #39. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. I’m not sure how else to track sales. Which brings me to a question: On the DB Bestseller list, do you know how many books have to sell for a book to move up 1 place, 10 places, 100 places?

Deseret Book recently made some changes to their website, making it a little more difficult to determine what place your book is in on the list. You have to hand count it. But the ranking of your book on the list still works in the same way.

The DB list tracks sales in relationship to the other books. If Book A sells two copies, and Book B only sells one copy, then Book A is first on the list and Book B is second on the list.

Go to the site and select the category your book is listed in. (Some books are listed in multiple categories.) There’s a light blue bar across the top of the list of books and on the right hand side you can tell it how to sort the books. Default is by Popularity. That’s what you want. Then count down to your book to determine what spot on the list it’s in.

There’s no way to find out exactly how many copies of your book have sold, only how it sold in relation to other books in the same category. There’s also no way to find out how many more copies those books above you on the list are selling. The difference between first place and second place could be one copy or 100 copies.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

8 thoughts on “Deciphering Deseret Book’s Bestseller List”

  1. Isn’t this also only a relative sales volume of books sold at DB retails stores. It doesn’t track other compeititor store sales like seagull. How often does the tracking list update? I was told once a week. Once every three days. Every evening. Do you know the answer to that?


  2. I’ve also heard (from another DB author) that the website bestseller list only goes by online sales.

  3. I was wondering if the sales reset at certain periods of time or are new books competing against the overall book sales from older books? I’ve often wondered why books from four or five years ago (or more) are listed higher than newer books that are selling really well.

  4. LDSP, I think they’ve updated the site since you checked it. It looks like it has numbers for all categories. You don’t have to hand count.

  5. I was told the the list is a running three month total. If that is still (or ever was) the case, then each evening when the list updates, it drops the sales from 90 days ago and adds the sales from that day. Is that right?


  6. I just had a look at the Deserret Book website, and why is there an Emily Brightwell mystery in the top 15 “LDS Mystery-Suspense” list? I don’t remember ever hearing that she is LDS, nor does her website mention anything about her religion. And if she is LDS, then why aren’t the Anne Perry books listed here as well, instead of solely in the “Mystery-Suspense” category?

    In fact, why are there only 15 books in that category anyway? Surely there are more than that in the LDS market!

    Weird. Really weird. When it comes to things moving in mysterious ways, Deseret Book really takes the cake!

  7. I wonder if they’ve changes the category thing. I haven’t checked it in awhile, but some time ago I was told that my books could only be in one category–historical OR romance OR general. A change to allow multiple categories would be welcome.

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