Sales Rank Check Frequency Changes – Growing Pains

Starting today, a new structure has been put in place to ensure the longevity and speed of NovelRank continuing through year two and beyond. This is based on the frequency that NovelRank will check the sales rank for a particular book on a particular domain (.com, .de,, etc.). I thought long and hard about this, especially as an author who sells from 1 to 10 books a month in some cases, and I think this will be valuable and fair to everyone.

Here is the breakdown:

  • If a book has been sold in the last 7 days on a specific domain, it will continue to have its salesrank checked hourly.
  • If a book has been sold in the last 14 days (but not the last 7), the checks will occur every 4 hours.
  • If a book has been sold in the last month (but not the last 14 days) on a specific domain, the checks will occur every 8 hours.
  • If a book has not been sold in the last month on a specific domain, the check will occur once per day.

It’s important to note that as soon as a sale is made, the clock is reset and the book goes back to hourly salesrank checks! It is also domain specific, so in the case of some books (see my PHP book for example), it will check .com hourly, but .fr and .ca would be daily, thus it will vary between domains even within the same book, as many books are popular only in specific regions.

But WHY?

Two big reasons:

  • Less frequent checks allow the system overall to be faster at loading pages and data (more improvements coming soon on this)
  • More capacity for NovelRank to support tracking a larger number of books and benefiting more authors going forward. Amazon has limits on the amount of data you can request per second, so there is a raw limit to what NovelRank can provide due to these restrictions by Amazon.

I want NovelRank to always be useful, fast, and benefit as many authors as possible, and this is just the first step in continuing to uphold these goals. This slow down for books that are not actively selling but actively being tracked will be gradual and be in full effect by April 6, 2011.

What about new books?

When a book is first added to NovelRank for salesrank tracking, its last sale date is set to the day the book was added, so it will immediately be treated to hourly sales rank checks for at least the next 7 days (more if it continues to sell books!).

Final Word

When I use the term books here, I am referring to any paperback, comic, hardcover, kindle, etc. format that is tracked on NovelRank. For simplicity I just refer to everything allowed on NovelRank for tracking as books. The FAQ has also been updated to reflect this change. Photo courtesy of digitalmums.

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    5 thoughts on “Sales Rank Check Frequency Changes – Growing Pains

    1. admin Post author

      You can enter your ASIN or Amazon link on the track page again and NovelRank will rescan to see if the book is available at any domains that were not previously added.

    2. Carol Davis Luce

      Mario, I was wondering why three of my five novels being tracked do not have the UK Amazon stats along with the US stats? The ones not showing UK rankings are:
      Night Prey
      Night Passage
      Skin Deep

      Carol Davis Luce

    3. Mark Williams

      Mario, I emailed you with our March sales figures (Sugar & Spice – Saffina Desforges) as per request from earlier discussion. Not sure if they got through to you?

      You have us down as approx 1000 sales across AmUs and AmUK last month.

      We actually sold a fraction under 15000.

      You have us at about 100 sales so far this month. Actual sales this month are already approaching 3000.

      Happy to provide verification and more detailed break down if that will help.

      We are launching a second title on Kindle in the next week or so, which will provide additional tracking information for comparison.



    4. admin Post author

      Hey Mark,
      NovelRank makes it very clear that they are sales estimates, and the FAQ states that they are dramatically underestimated for books that sell more than 100 copies a month.
      NovelRank watches SALES RANK fluctuations, and thus at very good rankings, it is very hard to determine a sale (it’s a very big guess to say how many books must be sold in an hour to maintain say a rank of 100).
      I’m sorry that people don’t read, and I’ll see if there is anything else I can do to make it clearer when this threshold is passed.

    5. Mark Williams

      Utterly bewildered by novelrank.

      We’ve been accused of giving out false figures for ours sales after novelrank apparently informed the public we had sold just 299 copies of our e-book on Amazon UK in March (this as of March 15).

      Given our book is in the top five in the Kindle store and sells more than that every day this has led to all manner of problems.

      Apparently you even quoted the number one ranking title on Am UK as having sold just over 300 this month.

      What is going on?

      Mark Williams, co-author Sugar & Spice by Saffina Desforges,

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