The last week with Amazon Kindle Edition books has been… interesting.
First and foremost, many books were placed on Amazon’s Kindle Store by publishers through MobiPocket instead of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP, formerly Digital Text Platform or DTP). Amazon has migrated these books to KDP, and in the process, those books were issued a new ASIN number, the unique number assigned to all products on Amazon.
What does this mean for you, the author? Your book may need to be added to tracking again using the new ASIN just as you did in the past. It is a mess created by Amazon not using the same ASIN, but alas, we move on.
Now for the good news!
For a while, some Kindle books that were not added to the Kindle Store through Amazon’s KDP suffered a penalty when it came to tracking: They were not accessible through the Amazon API, which is what allows NovelRank, SalesRankExpress, and other websites from accessing information about the book, including sales rank. For every other website, this is the end of the story. However, a few months ago I added code to NovelRank that worked around this limitation with Amazon.com and tracked the book’s sales rank anyway.
Well, that new code was added before Kindle books were added to Amazon.co.uk, and thus it only supported Amazon.com. Today, that is no longer the case. You can now track these Amazon.co.uk books on NovelRank. Be advised, this is about 5% as efficient a process as using Amazon’s API, but I feel it is a good idea that NovelRank continues to offer solutions for authors where other websites and publishers cannot provide the information. That’s why it exists after all.
With the August 5th announcement from Amazon that Kindle Edition ebooks will be now be available on Amazon.co.uk, NovelRank has been updated to support this new feature! You can now track your Kindle book sales on Amazon.co.uk by going to the book tracking page on NovelRank and adding your URL.
Don’t worry, if NovelRank is already tracking your Kindle Edition book, just grab the Amazon URL again or the book’s ASIN (highlighted below) and enter it into the tracking page. The system will search for a sales rank on Amazon.co.uk and add it if it is available.
Note: In most cases, your kindle book has not yet sold a copy, so no sales rank is present and NovelRank will not start tracking. As soon as you have a sales rank (a single sale will do it) on Amazon.co.uk, it can be added to NovelRank using the method above.
<Cheesy Slogan>NovelRank: Faster Than Your Readers</Cheesy Slogan>
A quick update for those not following NovelRank on Twitter or Facebook (where I toss out real-time information about updates to the site):
- The new book sales number estimates for Kindle Edition books were applied retroactively, adjusting the sales for all Kindle books tracked since the beginning. In most cases, this saw an increase in sales, but in a few cases, there was a decrease. This was based on the new more accurate formula.
- Some tweaks to properly displaying non-US characters were put in place. There are still some imperfections, but this affected the User Pages as well as book Details pages.
- Book Sales Numbers displayed in charts on the book Details pages are now using a 3d column bar chart. You can left-click on the chart and rotate it along the x an y axis now as well. This should give the graphs a little more ‘punch’. Previously, they were flat columns.
Once last announcement… well, preemptively. I intend to do a few more tweaks in June to NovelRank before I work on new features. However, the goal is to replicate NovelRank two more times to serve the DVD and music communities. Much like NovelRank focuses on tracking books, there will be two new sites, one tracking Sales Rank for DVDs and one for music. Stay tuned for announcements when they go online, as a few people have asked if NovelRank could track DVDs (the answer is still no, but there will be a place to do that soon, with all the same power).
Mario, Creator of NovelRank, a community supported website
Thanks to author feedback from authors with access to Amazon DTP (Digital Text Platform) and thus real-time sales numbers for Kindle books, I was finally able to add more accurate sales estimates for Kindle Books. This includes tracking up to three sales per hour. For Kindle books selling as frequently as 7 books per day, the accuracy is up to 95% for sales estimates. For Kindle ebooks selling 30 or less per month, accuracy should be closer to 98%.
There is still room for improvement, but previously NovelRank’s accuracy was at 78% for books selling 3 or more per day or more specifically, multi-sale hours. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to retroactively run sales history through the new formulas, so the accuracy is improved as of today moving forward. In all cases, including the future, NovelRank is underestimated book sales estimates on Kindle Edition books. I feel this is a better route that overestimating sales by 5%. Better safe than sorry.
Thanks again for the great feedback from authors to improve the accuracy of NovelRank book sales estimates on Amazon Kindle books.
Update: May 30, 2010 2:01am MDT
The new formula has been retroactively applied to all Kindle books tracked prior to 5/1/2010. You may notice slightly different sales numbers for your Kindle Edition books than you did previously.