Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Add your Author or Book Blog to Amazon Kindle Marketplace

Did you know that besides books, magazines, and newspapers, the Amazon Kindle can also subscribe to blogs? From some of the most popular blogs on the web to smaller websites, you can have the content delivered directly to your Kindle. More importantly, for NovelRank authors, you can have your book or author blog available for your fans and readers, direct to their Kindle!

Yes, Amazon charges a small monthly fee ($1.99) to the Kindle user to subscribe to your blog, but 70% of the revenue is shared directly to the blog’s creator (that’s you). So, besides providing a service to your fans, you also are generating a little more revenue for all that brilliant blog content! Excited? Time to learn more.

It’s really easy actually. Head to the Kindle Publishing for blogs page. You can’t simply use your Amazon account, and will have to create a new account. You can use the same email address as your Amazon account, but you will need a different password (I don’t know why, it just does). Once your account is created and you confirm your email address by clicking the link that is sent to your email inbox, you will be logged into your new account!

Click the ‘Your Blogs’ link in the top-right and add a blog. You will need the RSS feed to your blog, fill out some info, and provide some screenshots, but the entire process should take less than 15 minutes. Once your blog is added, it takes less than 24 hours before it is added to Amazon, and less than 72 hours before it is available in searches on Then, tell people!

If you want to see an example, or you are a Kindle user and want to do a 14-day sample, you can get the NovelRank blog on the Kindle! I wish I could make it free or $0.99, but Amazon is currently setting the prices.

NovelRank’s ‘Inactive’ Status and How to Activate a Book Again

Ever gone to look at your book’s listing and seen the status as inactive? You’ll find it as a hyperlink on both the book’s details page as well as on a user page. This seems to confuse a lot of people, so I wanted to explain it in a post, in the hopes that those looking for answers will find this post.

How does a book become inactive?

There are two ways a book becomes inactive. The first one is the most common, completely automated, and Amazon’s fault. Basically, out of the thousands of requests NovelRank makes to Amazon each hour for sales rank data, sometimes Amazon fails to return a sales rank for a book, and does not display an error message, just a ‘blank’ for the sales rank. Other times, it will report an error that the book is no longer accessible through Amazon’s API. While sometimes this is absolutely true (and thus would happen every hour), there are many times everything is fine again the next hour.
When this happens, NovelRank increases the inactive counter for that book (unique for each domain) by one. When the inactive counter reaches three, the book shows up as inactive on NovelRank.

The second way that a book becomes inactive is that nobody has looked at that book in 3 months. That means that nobody is viewing it via an RSS feed, the book’s details page, a user page, a sales rank widget, or through a mobile application for a total of 3 months. At that time, NovelRank inactivates it. If it is still inactive after 6 total months of being ignored, it may be removed from the system to make space for other books.
To give you an idea of how user’s access their book’s information, here are the statistics for how a book was last viewed for books viewed in the last 3 months:

Total     Method
16315 Details page ( or
3161 User Pages (
1384 Added for tracking but never viewed elsewhere
1148 RSS feeds
46 Embedded using the sales rank widget

How do I reactivate a book?

It’s really easy, and it even happens to my book (it happens about once a year)! As you can see from the images above, I’ve circled in red the link that is present when a book is inactive. Simply click that link, which will bring you to the sales rank tracking page, with your book’s ASIN already present in the box. Simply click the track button (check ‘additional domains’ if necessary), and the system will reactivate your book and check to see if it is available on any new domains!

Do you find NovelRank useful? Consider making a donation to support this free website.

RSS Feeds Posted to your Facebook Pages Automatically

RSS Graffiti Logo
I recently discovered one of the best facebook apps: RSS Graffiti. Why? RSS Graffiti will automatically check an RSS feed and post any new articles to either your facebook wall or the wall of a page you control. Reread that last bit one more time: “Wall of a page you control.”

Like most authors, you should be maintaining an author or book blog as well as have a presence on Facebook or Twitter, so you can engage your fans and keep them abreast of future releases, special offers, sneak peaks, ARC offers, etc. Here is the annoying part: That’s a lot of updating! Much like NovelRank offers an easy way to track your sales rank and reduce your time commitment (so you can, you know, write), RSS Graffiti will take a post you make within your blog and link to it automatically. Every blog offers an RSS feed of your recent posts, and that feed is the key to this entire thing.

A Few Easy Steps

First, install the RSS Graffiti app inside of Facebook. Second, find the RSS feed for your blog’s recent posts. If using WordPress, you will find the link usually at the bottom. Now it’s time for the magic!

Inside the Facebook app, select the Fan page on the left side you wish to configure (it will have a gray circle next to it when it is not installed on that page):

Follow the prompts to get RSS Graffiti added to the Fan Page. After it is enabled, you will have the ability to add a new feed (the below image is with a feed already added):

When you click to add a feed, you will be presented with the configuration options. This is where you paste in your RSS Feed URL from your blog:

While there are multiple tabs with other options, the Basics tab contains the highest priority items. The only other recommendation I will make is to, under the Schedule tab, set the Update Frequency to ‘Four Times A Day’ if you update your blog only once a day or less frequently. Like with anything, play with the app a bit to make sure it does everything you want. It’s very well documented, so since you probably are not afraid of words, read about all the options. In the end, the goal is to simply post to your blog and let RSS Graffiti do the rest of the work for you!

Bonus Tip

If you have an installed version of WordPress for your blog, then there is a WordPress plugin that you should already have installed: Tweetable. It will automatically post your new blog posts to your twitter account. That means software is doing all your social media marketing for you after you write a new blog post!

How to Annoy your Friends

You know that NovelRank offers a sales RSS feed for every book, right? You could post those with RSS Graffiti to your facebook wall to announce your sales, but frankly… if you sell more than 5 books a month, you may annoy everyone. You’ve been warned.

Book Sales Worldwide Shown on User Pages

If you use the User Accounts feature to view multiple books on one page, you are limited to a single location at a time (,, etc.). However, based on user feedback, you can now get sales rank, book sales worldwide for the current month and for the entire year by hovering your mouse over any book in your list:
User Page Qtip All Domains

There is a half-second delay before the pop-up appears to ensure it doesn’t happen accidentally. It will also disappear when you leave that current book’s row, automatically. This request was one of the top request on the user page feedback survey, found on the left side of your user page. If you haven’t filled it out or if you have and you want to change your answers, you are more than welcome to do so.

As a space consideration, book sales in the table only show the current month. Like this feature? Consider donating to support the 2010 donation drive.