Monday, 27 September 2010

Authors, please don't use this!

Once you have a book published, it's very tempting (if extremely tedious) to keep checking the sales rank on Amazon. Sales rank is a single number that (in theory) ranks your book for number of sales against all other books on the site. So it can go from 1 ('You may soon be a millionaire') to n million ('Don't give up your day job.') You can't read too much into this figure, but clearly every time it bobs down to a significantly lower value, you have made a sale.

It really is quite possible to drive yourself mad, checking these numbers. But now there's a website to help drive you even further towards being a raving wreck. Novel Rank monitors the page rank of your book, and converts its movement into sales numbers. It's a little bit fiddly to set up. You have to draw a book to its attention by putting in the Amazon URL for it. You can then pull up a page for that book whenever you like, showing rank, sales and sales history since you added it on Amazon.com/co.uk/.ca (optionally you can add in the non-English language Amazons).

Alternatively, if you have several books published, you can pull them together on a single page if you set up an account (it's free and trivial to do). You only see the results on your account page for one Amazon at a time and there's no graph, but if you let your mouse hover over a book it pops up the rank and sales numbers on the other Amazons.

It's truly wondrous/horrifying (depending on how well your book is selling). Just don't say I didn't warn you. Visit this site and you might never be able to stop going back.


Thanks (I think) to Jessica Ruston for bringing this site to my attention.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Brian. Or perhaps "no thanks"? I'm not going to be able to resist this but I think it's going to drive me mad.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad NovelRank could provide some relief (or madness). I'm sorry you found it fiddly to setup, but overall I appreciate the review.

    Cheers,
    Mario

    Creator, NovelRank

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it will Sue - but you will find it addictive.

    Thanks for the comment, Mario. Authors do genuinely consider this sort of thing dangerously addictive.

    I say fiddly to set up because of having to go back and forth to Amazon to add a number of books, then having to search for your page. It would be easier if you could put in an ISBN or book/author name, rather than the URL. But generally I did think it was very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can imagine how addictive it can be. I've no novels in print yet but at one point I became addicted to checking out my blog statistics.

    ReplyDelete