Amazon Product Advertising API and Kindle Edition Books

Update: January 23, 2010 8:00am MDT
NovelRank now offers Kindle book tracking again!

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As of 11pm EDT on August 13th, 2009, some problems have been creeping up in the interactions with the Amazon API. NovelRank uses the API to gather Sales Rank data about paperbacks, hardcovers, and kindle edition books. First the problem was 1 book (the first one ever added), then an hour later 2… 24 hours later, all Kindle Edition books tracked by NovelRank are not returning any SalesRank numbers.

There is an erroneous error being returned by Amazon:

Originally I suspected a bug, but as the day has moved on, it looks like a deliberate move by Amazon to no longer make Kindle book information (SalesRank specifically) available. I’ve posted in their forums and will continue to try and get some word from Amazon on the status. It would be unfortunate if this was blocked, since many authors don’t have direct access to the sales numbers provided by Amazon for Kindle books unless they are self-published and added it themselves rather than their publisher.

Hopefully more info will come soon. Till then, current Sales Rank for Kindle Edition books will be shown as 0. I’ll keep trying; let’s hope it works out for the better.

Update: August 19, 2009 2:16pm MDT
It seems Kindle Edition books are also not being returned via the API ‘ItemLookup’ either. Kindle Edition books are being completely blocked. Tested with an ASIN based ItemLookup. No response or word from Amazon on the forums at all.

Update: September 30, 2009 7:29pm MDT
Aaron Shepard over at SalesRankExpress has called it quits on Amazon Kindle books through the API, and has proposed a theory as to why on on his blogin the Sept. 20th post. He’s also updated it with the same update I’m about to give: Amazon, without explanation, has confirmed this to be permanent. For now, Kindle Edition books will no longer be added to NovelRank and hopefully in the next few months, I’ll write all new code to add Kindle Edition books as well as scrape for SalesRank. This will take a notable amount of work, so it will be pushed off till the future. Sorry folks, this is frustrating for me as well as an author of a paperback and Kindle book.

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    2 thoughts on “Amazon Product Advertising API and Kindle Edition Books

    1. mlurig Post author

      When doing a query for SalesRank, it’s still giving the error (I keep asking with 1 kindle book so the error shows up hourly in my logs). When doing an ItemLookup, looks like they are not available either. I’ll update the post.

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