Amazon Bestseller Status: What is it? 

Have you ever wondered what it means to be an Amazon Bestselling Author? What does it mean to reach Amazon Bestselling Status?

I often find this question in my inbox or in my Facebook comment section. I’ll admit, when I first started getting these questions, I was shocked. I had no idea so many authors were never taught how the Amazon bestseller status works.

If that’s you, then you’ve opened the right blog post — here you’ll find your Amazon bestseller crash course.

Here’s how it works:

As of right now, Amazon is divided into a series of Categories.

(Think about how many different products Amazon offers. Could you imagine if they didn’t have categories? It would be a madhouse!)

In each Amazon category is a Bestseller List. And each item within each Amazon category is assigned a Bestseller Rank.

Let’s unpack each of these in more detail so you can discover what it means to be an Amazon Bestselling Author.


The best way to think about Amazon categories is like a set of Russian Tea Dolls.

These dolls are famous for their unique packaging. In each set is one big doll. When you open that doll, you’ll find a similar, smaller doll inside of it. Inside that doll, is an even smaller doll, and so on until you end up with five wooden dolls ranging from largest to smallest.

Just as the Russian tea dolls originate from one large doll, and get smaller and smaller as you make your way through the set, so do all Amazon categories branch off from a selection of large and broad product categories.

Here’s an example of how this may look for a children’s picture book:

Books > Children’s Books > Children’s Books on Growing Up & Facts of Life > Children’s Books on Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Children’s Books on Friendship, Social Skills & School Life for Boys & Men.

You’ll notice that as you move down the list of categories, they gradually become more and more specific/niche.

But guess what most people don’t know … 

Each of these categories has their own bestseller list.


For every Amazon category, there’s a bestseller list. In these lists, you’ll find the top 100 bestselling products in that specific category.

Here’s a screenshot one of our Publishing Mastermind authors took while her book climbed the bestseller list in her category:

It’s important to note that a book can be in more than one category up to a total of 10 categories.

In other words, you can shoot for bestseller status in multiple lists. But it will all depend on your book’s bestseller rank.


Once your book makes its first sale, it will be assigned one bestseller rank for every category it’s in.

Here’s an example of that same author’s bestseller ranks on her launch day:

In order to be considered an Amazon bestseller, your book needs to be in the top 100 in any category.

As you can see above, it’s possible for your children’s book to reach bestseller status in multiple categories.

And if you achieve a bestseller ranking of 1, you’ll see this little orange tag pop up on your product page:

Your book’s bestseller rank is based on a variety of factors including your day-of and historical sales.

Now that you know what Amazon bestseller status is, you’re likely wondering…

HOW do you get it?

I’m going to tackle that question in my next blog post. 

(I know — cliffhanger, right?)

Every author that has published through the Publishing Mastermind so far has made bestseller status. Click HERE to join the Publishing Mastermind waitlist and I’ll notify you when the program opens up again.

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