Tag Archives: charts

NovelRank Version 3 – Faster Everything

trees in the light

I’m guessing many of you were starting to get annoyed by Server Overloaded, Try Again in a Few Minutes messages, especially late at night. You probably weren’t a fan of waiting 60+ seconds for salesrank data to generate in charts.

These things bothered me too. Thus, I took time aside and have completely rewritten the backend database of NovelRank, which I’m now calling NovelRank version 3 (v3 for short). On the front end, there are no differences, but the experience of using the site is dramatically improved. It’s been a plan for months, and the four phases of transition started one week ago, finishing up late Saturday (Oct 19, 2013) night. I’m really proud and satisfied with the results.

Here’s a full list of everything that has been improved dramatically:

  • Charts (Type: SalesRank)
  • Stats (PRO Users now get to update this instantly)
  • API (NovelRank iPhone app and PRO WebApp)
  • CSV exports (SalesRank)
  • SalesRankExpress rank history charts

Since it was completed, there have been zero users receiving the Server Overloaded message. I’m proud of that.

I hope you continue to enjoy and use NovelRank worldwide. As a reminder, it’s built by one guy, me, and your support through PRO sign-ups and donations are the only income I have.

New PRO Features: Reviews and Charts

NovelRank PRO Feature - Review Count

I’m happy to announce the features for NovelRank Pro are growing! Most importantly, Pro users will now see the number of reviews for their books (total) for each domain, right on the book’s detail page. This is checked nightly to see if new ones have appeared. The process uses Amazon’s API, but is resource intensive, thus it is restricted to PRO accounts only (it could not be supported site-wide due to changes by Amazon 18 months ago).

The second feature is minor, but while non-Pro books will default to Sales and Last 30 days as options in the chart, Pro users will have their last used options saved (via browser cookie) so they can easily use them across any of their books (e.g. SalesRank and Today). It saves a few clicks and thus your time, which is one of the core tenets of NovelRank Pro.

So if you’ve been holding back, now is a great time to get NovelRank Pro!

UPDATE 2013-04-05 03:01:00
The review count now shows in BOLD RED if it has changed since the last time you viewed that book’s detail page. Once viewed it ‘resets’ to normal after an hour. This should help you identify if it has changed so you don’t need to remember all your review counts.

System Tweaks: Abuse Prevention

Recently there has been a large amount of requests on the system that are either by an automated system or one or two overzealous individuals. Specifically involving requests for charts and exports (CSV) of information. After a few days of research and data collection, an automated system has been created to help ensure that this does not become a detriment for all NovelRank users.

Image courtesy of RowdyKittens on FlickrHere’s the info you need to know.

If the database is currently overloaded by too many requests or is working very hard on a current requests (in regards to time), you may receive an error page when attempting to export CSV data. Simply retry your request a few seconds later (in most cases). In the case of charts, a message will be displayed in the chart area notifying of the server overload.

All of these abuses are NOT from user accounts, but individual book pages (details page). Thus, I’ve only implemented these methods to address the problem areas. I reserve the right to, in the future, implement the same measures for user comparison charts and user CSV exports.

I hope this results in a continued fast NovelRank experience for everyone.

Image courtesy of RowdyKittens on Flickr

SalesRank Comparison Charts for Multiple Books

User Book Comparison Charts
Yes, you read that right. If you’ve setup a user account and visit your user page, you will now find, at the bottom, a new form for selecting up to 3 books from your user page for comparison. The chart provided will display the salesrank over the past 30 days for all of the books you selected. This allows you to compare how certain titles are doing against each other in the last 30 days.

Oh, did you notice something else?
The chart is using Google’s charting API, which means that it is created completely in JavaScript by your web browser. That also means that it is visible even if you are using a device that does not support Adobe Flash, such as an Apple iPad. The downside to this new chart tool is that it does not allow for fullscreen mode and takes longer to display. On average, it will take 1 second to load the chart for each book selected (1 second for 1 book, 2 seconds for 2 books, etc).

Finally, the new chart is timezone aware, much like the RSS feeds on your user page. This allows you to get a more accurate picture of things if you are not located in the Pacific Timezone.

This is the first of two planned major improvements coming for NovelRank, and if you have any feedback on this new charting feature, positive or negative, leave it in the comments below.