50 Best Book Covers of 2014

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom RachmanThe Design Observer Group chooses the top 50 book covers each year, and 2014 was no exception. However, I wanted to put the covers to a vote by NovelRank users: authors, publishers, and book lovers. Out of the 50 book covers, ~40 were available on Amazon and were used for this experiment. There were at least 75 votes cast for each cover to generate the results, but first some qualifiers.

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Sales Rank Checking Scripts Updated for v4

This is just a quick update to let you know that the background checks that power the hourly data collection for NovelRank have been completely rewritten. While they have had improvements and tweaks over the last 6 years, this new design is leaps and bounds better since being rewritten.


  • Each domain runs its own independent script. Previously, only Amazon.com and Amazon.de were independent. This means no more books on say, Amazon.fr, that are active but don’t have a new sales rank for days or weeks due to script inefficiency.
  • More books checked per hour. When NovelRank started, Amazon restricted API requests to a certain number per hour. Thus, NovelRank’s scripts were designed around that. Now, they are throttled based on API calls/second. Thus, the new scripts can slow down when Amazon asks, but otherwise make better use of every second in every hour to get sales rank data.
  • PRO user books every hour, on the hour. Previously, NovelRank put PRO books first as promised, however it would then run the rest of the books which sometimes took more than 1 hour to complete. It would not check PRO books again until that was done, so PRO books would be first, but still may miss an hour of sales rank data. Now, as soon as it is a new hour, PRO books are processed, pausing any current processing, ensuring hourly sales rank data at a consistent time of the hour, each hour.

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The New NovelRank is Here: Version 4

After a few months of working on it, you’ve probably already noticed that NovelRank has had a major overhaul. It features a completely responsive design, meaning it works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. 90% of the existing features were in the same place and at the same links, so transitioning involved very little relearning how to do things on the site.

Some users have already chimed in, like Jules Wake via Twitter:

Well look at you @novelrank don’t you look all new & gorgeous.

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Custom Search: New Feature for Firefox Users

firefox custom searchFor those of you using Firefox (or the 64-bit version, Waterfox), you are use to seeing the search box on the top-right of the browser. You may also have been aware of the ability to add custom searches to the box, for instance being able to search Wikipedia directly from that box. Well, now you can add NovelRank Search to that part of the browser.

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