Launch… Sort of

NovelRank has been over 140 hours of my time over the last 3 months, and as of last weekend, it has been soft launched to the public with the addition of the TRACK page: The ability to add a book to NovelRank for tracking of your book’s Amazon Sales Rank. You do have to know your Amazon link (or ASIN), but it does the rest from there, automatically adding the book (if it is available and reporting a Sales Rank) for Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.ca. It even has custom error generation and of course logging so I can track down any obscure problems (like the valid book format of ‘Imitation Leather’).

Now, this isn’t a search on Amazon, so it can’t find your book for you, then allow you to add it. I don’t expect that will be difficult to create (I know it won’t), but it hasn’t been written yet. That addition will happen before the end of the year, but the more critical ability (adding the book itself) took precedent. Secondarily, Amazon.ca tracking has been disabled until a rewrite of the code that connects to Amazon’s Product Advertising API and gets the Sales Rank data. I hope to accomplish that this weekend and start tracking Amazon.ca again.

Finally, while the Sales estimator has been doing some great work for books with a Sales Rank above 1000, it severely underestimates books that dip below this threshold. With some feedback from Peter Seibel, author of the very popular “Coders At Work“, I look to be improving this accuracy in the near future (maybe this weekend, we’ll see). Secondarily, much of the logic was built around Amazon.com results. Turns out that the less popular .co.uk and .ca can sometimes overestimate sales by 1 book. Luckily, that’s a quick fix and will be rectified along with the other improvements. So if your book is selling like hotcakes: 1) Be happy, you’re doing a lot better than most of us, 2) The numbers will be better soon.

Once the above two items (Sales and Amazon.ca Sales Rank) are resolved, this first edition of NovelRank will be officially launched. It’s okay, you can tell your friends on Facebook or Twitter, I don’t mind. :)

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3 thoughts on “Launch… Sort of

  1. mlurig Post author

    Update: The official launch and new code will now clear out the cached version after new ranks have been retrieved from Amazon (this includes rss feeds, widget, charts, details pages, etc).

  2. mlurig Post author

    Here are the logs (In PDT):
    10-15-09 14:12:26 | RANK processed 236/236 with 10(13) sold in 23.50/24.37 seconds (12.31 secs waiting)!
    10-15-09 14:10:50 | RANK processed 450/450 with 20(22) sold in 47.38/48.67 seconds (24.57 secs waiting)!

    So all 736 books currently tracked were updated, with 30 books selling 35 copies. This is the Amazon.com logs. So has updated. However, NovelRank has a 1 hour cache, thus if a page has been accessed in the last hour, the cache is served up (independent of the hourly rank updates). That’s likely what you’re not seeing. FYI, some hours, Amazon.com does NOT update the hourly rank, so it is possible.

  3. randall

    It doesn’t seem to be pulling current data from amazon.com right now. 4.13 pm CST, 10/15/2009.

    Just thought you’d want to know.

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