I'm excited. The SOA Compass book that I worked with a team of four other authors finally when to four digits and then even below 2000: i.e., 1979. I think that means that it was (for a moment) the 1979th from the top selling book on Amazon.
If you consider that most of the very top books are fiction bestsellers like The DaVinci Code and the Harry Potter books, and most computer books are way below them, that's not too bad for something that has barely been out for less than a month (and did not have the kind of promotion that those books did).
In books on Computers and the Internet on Amazon it currently shows as #87.
On Barnes & Nobles it did even better: for a day it was in the top 5 best-selling books on Computers and the Internet (right next to Ray Kurzweil's book on the coming of the Singularity). It has a smaller audience than something like John Batelle's book on how Google transformed our culture.
What I find interesting is how I've become a Ranking watcher. :o)
While Amazon or B&N certainly doesn't reflect the entire book industry, it nevertheless gives a significant snapshot and rankings that they have show the relative social interest in the topic (in a captialistic sense).
People use such rankings all the time and often they are self-reinforcing. E.g., go to any bookstore and look for the shelf on the current bestsellers. The best tend to stay higher up because they are visible to more and more people. Of course, it's not all marketing; the item still has to have its own intrinsic value. But, given sufficient top-selling position tends to keep it at the top and if it's there long enough, secondary items tend to pop-up around it.
There's no better example than the Apple iPod. It wasn't the first and certainly not the last MP3 player out there but once it reached the top, it started spurring a big industry all around it for accessories, even designer names.
PS: If you're hoping for an iPod for the holidays or before the years end, for to DevX and look for the developerWorks competition on the right hand side to try to win the latest 30GB iPod)
Our book will probably never reach that because the general public isn't the audience. However, any top-selling computer author can tell you that all of a sudden, speaking opportunities start popping up, and consulting gigs, etc. (My former life from magazine work).
Thus, having a ranking system can lead to a great deal of stuff which is why it surprises me that people are sometimes stumped at the thought of having a ranking of people in any large social community.
It doesn't surprise me that me that people can get nervous about something like that because of potential for abuse of such a system (Just imagine how many people try to boost their eBay rankings). So you have to think it out properly.
something to ponder...
Our SOA book made it to Amazon rank below 2000