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photograph from a performance of The Sales Rank Also Rises photograph from a performance of The Sales Rank Also Rises

The Sales Rank Also Rises

It's not easy being an author (or spouse) in the age of Amazon.com.

10 minutes | 1F/1M/1MF

  • Produced by the Washington DC Source Festival
  • Produced by the Oregon Contemporary Theatre
  • Finalist: DISQUIET Short Play Contest

Synopsis

Ed is self-published and his mood is falling in sync with his book's Amazon sales ranking. Meanwhile, his wife Cathy is about to be professionally published and, in desperation, secretly buys a few of Ed's books to boost his sales rank and mood. It works and Cathy quickly accumulates massive quantities of Ed's book. When her book publishes she learns that her mood is also linked to her book's sad sales ranking. Until, suddenly, the book ranking spikes with a surprise ending.

Artist's Statement

To be an author in the age of Amazon.com is to know one's sales rank. To be unhealthily obsessed with this number. Now we know not only that we're not popular but exactly how unpopular. Changes in technology reflect changes in society, in which we measure everything—miles walked, calories burned, number of friends, likes, retweets. In a world in which everything is measured, how do we look beyond numbers to what matters most?