Moon Canadian Rockies spent most of this past summer ranked as the bestselling Canadian guidebook at Amazon.com. It’s been consistently ranked as one of the top sellers in this category for many years, but this is the first summer season I have seen a correlation between the ranking and sales – not surprising since it is estimated that Amazon accounts for around 40% of all retail book sales in the United States. Success on Amazon is often a snowball effect, as the more popular books pop up in ads and “related books” throughout the site and beyond. It is also probable that higher sales are related to the demise of Frommer’s and stronger U.S. dollar, the latter making travel to Canada more appealing for visitors from U.S.
Regardless of any of the above, working for a publisher that pays royalties on every book sold (a method of payment that publishers like Lonely Planet phased out a decade or more ago), means that we as authors have extra incentive to ensure that our books are the very best they can be.