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As if intending to bring back the emotional scars of not being popular in high school, Amazon has rolled out a beta version of something called Amazon Author Rank. If you are not an Amazon bestseller, you are not going to be in the top. Go on, sit over at the loser table.
There are two sides to the Amazon Author Rank. One is the public-facing one, where the 100 top-selling authors appear. The other is for authors’ eyes only — Amazon provides authors with the ability to see their own sales data in a portal called Author Central. Now the Author Rank has been added to it.
Authors have been crying out in pain on Twitter ever since.
“Thank you, Amazon, for introducing ‘Amazon Author Rank’. What a depressing start to the morning that was,” tweeted award-winning horror writer Michael Marshall Smith.
Young adult author Maureen Johnson wrote, “‘Are you an author? Check out your Amazon Author Rank at Amazon Author Central’ Or stick your hand into this woodchipper! CHOOSE NOW.”
“Breaking: Amazon proposes digital author rank displays be implanted in foreheads. Lower-rankers have to call high-rankers ‘sir,’ or ‘ma’am,'” wrote Myke Cole, author military fantasies published by Penguin.
Novelist and screenwriter Chuck Wendig joked, “My Amazon Author Rank today is: ‘Trembling Wombat.'”