Tag Archives: inactive

NovelRank Feature Upgrades for the End of 2010

Christmas Candles 2010

To wrap up 2010, I’ve made some new improvements to NovelRank, so I thought I should give the community an update. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday break and that your sales, especially for e-books, have been huge after Christmas Day!


Here’s the list:

  • The facebook ‘like’ and twitter ‘tweet’ buttons have been updated for the book details pages, and when tracking a new book
  • When a book is reactivated from its inactive status, it will now take 3 times longer before it may become inactive again, to reduce the amount of false positives
  • Kindle book sales estimates are more accurate when sales rank drops below 6000
  • Sales estimates updated retroactively for those books affected by the above change **
  • When a book has more domains added for tracking, user pages that track that book will automatically be updated with the new domain info
  • More capacity available for tracking Amazon.de books in the future

If you received a new Kindle or Nook this holiday, consider picking up a copy of my newest e-book, 50 Conversation Starters for the Modern Age, for $2.99 and strike up a conversation with a stranger this season! You can even blog about it. :)

Happy New Year!

* Update 1:13pm PST (9:13pm GMT)

The initial round of ‘sales estimate’ updates were skewed very high. The formula has been fixed and reapplied.

* Update 3:18pm PST

Did a bit more tweaking based on feedback, trying to never overestimate. Done for real this time!

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 (novelrank.com/asin/ or novelrank.com/title/)
3161 User Pages (novelrank.com/user/)
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!

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