Tag Archives: Amazon.com

Credit Marcelino Rapayla Jr CC:A

Improved Sales Rank Check Speed for Amazon.com

This is just a quick post that helps out the majority of users of NovelRank. I was able to request an increase to my API calls/hour with Amazon.com, meaning that within 1 hour I can make 10,800 API calls rather than 3,600 API calls. This means that (especially for books that have sold a copy in the last few days), sales rank data is being collected 100% faster than 3 months ago (~19/day vs ~9/day). That means that sales estimates will be more accurate moving forward (still underestimated for bestsellers) since the sales rank data it is based on will be more reliably captured.

One final note, some are turned off by the 100 book limit for user accounts, even for PRO accounts. The above is the reason this exists, because the more books in the system by a few individuals, the larger the slowdown they can have for everyone’s experience. NovelRank has always been about helping out the little guy authors, and that won’t change even if it means leaving money on the table.

As a reminder, PRO customers always get sales rank checks 23 of the 24 hours each day, among many other benefits.

Image credit: CC-A Marcelino Rapayla Jr.

Amazon Book Sales Statistics for 2012 – Time-Based

These statistics are provided as-is and are based on NovelRank’s sales estimates. Any inaccuracies are universally applied and should not affect the overall trends in the data. However, it is limited by the total books in NovelRank’s database, and thus is automatically biased.

TL;DR Grain of salt.

The very first chart was similar in shape across all domains, thus only one was included. All other charts are also summaries of only 2012 data and is shown for the top 3 Amazon domains tracked on NovelRank. Compared to the previous statistics post, these statistics are much less conclusive. For that reason, I encourage you to draw your own conclusions and post them in the comments below.
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Amazon Paperback Sales Rank in December

Noticed by myself as well as Aaron Shepard from SalesRankExpress, starting around December 7th Amazon (at least on Amazon.com) has only rarely adjusted sales rank to reflect actual sales for paperback books. This also includes assigning sales rank to books who have their first sale. From personal experience, there was a 48 hour delay (usually 3 hours) to get a new sales rank assigned to a paperback book after it’s first sale.

I put out a complaint post on the facebook wall and a few others seemed to share the sentiment, so I think this is universal. My only guess is that since December is so busy for not only Amazon’s primary business of selling products, but also for all of the cloud services they run, they decided that they would relegate sales rank adjustments to the back of the line as far as computing resources.

What does this mean for you?
It means that during December, the accuracy of NovelRank for paperbacks is going to be severely limited. Let’s hope that my assumptions are right, and that in January, everything will return to normal. It does not seem to be affecting sales rank for Kindle Edition titles, but who knows what will happen as we get closer to Christmas Day.

Enjoy the season!

Maybe this or this short story will make you feel better (girls and guys, respectively).

Author Central and NovelRank Sales Rank Tracking Comparison

On December 10th, Amazon announced a new set of features available for free through Author Central: BookScan sales and historical sales rank data. Naturally, since at first glance these seem to be a similar feature set to what NovelRank offers, I took a look (along with thousands of other authors). After careful analysis, I decided to write this post and help inform current and future NovelRank users about the key differences and benefits. I’ve always said, if there is a 10,000 lb elephant in the room, put the spotlight on it.

First, a few quick links. If you want to read some FAQs about Author Central Sales Info, login to your Author Central Account, or learn more about BookScan, then take a look and then come back here. Otherwise, let me refresh your mind on a few key points.

BookScan data represents Nielsen tracking of 75% of book sales through retail and online providers, as identified through the Amazon provided graphic to the right. Strangely, Amazon is not supplying their actual sales data to their suppliers (i.e. authors), but rather a 3rd party’s data. Granted, it offers a broader scope, but Amazon still is not providing actual data (like it does with Kindle sales for self-publishers through the digital text platform). BookScan data does not track Kindle sales, and thus authors cannot get this data through Author Central.

The sales rank tracking provided is a daily history of sales rank, collected at 11am PST (7am GMT). It goes back as far as October of 2009 or when you joined Author Central, if that date is after October of 2009. This matches NovelRank’s oldest tracking, as it launched in Oct 2009 as well. However, within 24 hours, Sales Rank can fluctuate dramatically providing valuable hourly sales data analysis.

None-the-less, I think there is some great information here, but I’m still happy to have NovelRank. Below is a breakdown of the strengths of each of these services.

Author Central Strengths

  • BookScan data includes retail sailes
  • Geographical data offers touring authors useful data
  • Sales Rank history is available without prior request (as long as you had an Author Central account)
  • 100% reliable sales rank collection from the source

Author Central Weaknesses

  • No sales data for Kindle ebooks
  • Sales data only available for the most recent 4 weeks
  • Only available for Amazon.com (no international support yet)
  • Limited to your own books (no competitor or research tracking)
  • Sales Rank recorded only once per day
  • Data updated weekly (not real-time)

NovelRank Strengths

  • Hourly Sales Rank tracking
  • Support for Amazon UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan
  • Ability to track books by others; for competitor or book development research
  • Support for Kindle books on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
  • Historical sales estimates available beyond recent weeks
  • Downloadable sales and Sales Rank history (CSV)
  • RSS feeds, widgets, and other integrations

NovelRank Weaknesses

  • Sales estimates are not 100% accurate
  • Sales estimates are based on only Amazon sales
  • No geographical sales data
  • Sales Rank data only available from when tracking was initiated

I’m excited for the benefits to authors that Amazon is providing, but I’m still thrilled to be offering this free service, NovelRank, to authors and publishers across the world with more specific needs. If you continue to enjoy this service, remember to consider a donation to support it.