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 (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.


  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.


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


    Creator, NovelRank

  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.

  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.