Just… whoa. I probably shouldn’t be so obsessed with my e-book’s ratings, but there’s something incredibly gratifying in watching the popularity of your creation surge.

The sales numbers started going up faster than ever, so I checked the Amazon page and I liked what I saw: Atheism-101 is currently rated #7,683 among all e-books on Amazon. Seeing as there are over 750,000 of them, I’m in the top 1%! (And there was much rejoicing.) Furthermore, my book is currently the 6th most popular e-book on atheism – at least according to this here list. It could be just a fluke – and it probably is – but at least for the time being, I’m more popular than Richard Dawkins and Stephen Batchelor (his atheist perspective on Buddhism is fascinating – read his books!). The only big-name author ahead of me in the ratings is Christopher Hitchens.

I like to think that complex events can be analyzed or at least broken down into smaller, more manageable parts. Why did my book sales surge? Most likely because of the increased search engine exposure caused by the book’s upload to SmashWords. Why did my book beat most of the competition? I like to think that it’s the combination of a low price and the simplicity of its content. The price is a big factor: when there are so many cheap independent books available on Kindle, the $9.99 price tag might as well be $1,000,000. The lower you price your book, the more sales you’ll likely get. It seems obvious, but apparently greed can cloud one’s judgement. It certainly clouded mine: the first edition of Atheism-101 had the “high” price $4.99. The content aspect is important, too: unlike my fellow authors, I didn’t dissect the Bible or attack organized religion. I merely put together a simple FAQ guide. In fact, I’m still surprised nobody else had done that before me.

I like to think that those two reasons are responsible for my book’s success, but I could be absolutely wrong. Maybe it really is just a fluke. Maybe in a week or so the sales will drop historically low levels. Or maybe, as more and more people are buying Kindles, this is just the beginning of my book’s journey to the bestseller status. Who knows. One thing is certain, however: I’ll always be able to brag that once upon a time I was more popular than Richard Dawkins himself. *g*