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scope
06-07-2011, 02:28 AM
On June 1, after discovering the "Novel Rank" site on Amazon I entered one of my old, out of print books. Each day since, the site shows me that Amazon has sold one book daily, except for one day on which they sold two books. Does anyone know if this is bad, good, or normal? It's no big deal, but I am curious have accurate their site is.

brainstorm77
06-07-2011, 03:24 AM
When matching my sales statements to what's reported for the same period on Novel Ranking, it has yet to be accurate.

Other authors have told me the same thing.

The Grump
06-09-2011, 06:21 AM
Don't know if it belongs here, but I have a related question.

Is there any way for someone to find the sales stats for a book someone else published?

James D. Macdonald
06-09-2011, 06:58 AM
If you have a Bookscan account you can find the Bookscan number for any book, regardless of who published it.

Remember, though, that that number reflects at best 60% of the market.

wizard tim
06-10-2011, 12:56 AM
A buddy told me that my Amazon ranking had improved, so he figured I must have sold some books. I got excited and went online and checked, but I hadn't. Somehow my numbers changed without any related sales, so I don't know about the accuracy of the ranking system.

Sheryl Nantus
06-10-2011, 01:15 AM
A buddy told me that my Amazon ranking had improved, so he figured I must have sold some books. I got excited and went online and checked, but I hadn't. Somehow my numbers changed without any related sales, so I don't know about the accuracy of the ranking system.

The numbers can bounce around without a single sale - it depends on the other books in your catagory and all that.

I'm not sure what rankings really mean other than a fine way to keep authors rushing to check 'em out.

:D

areteus
06-10-2011, 01:45 AM
Could it not be based on reviews or number of people clicking on your entry but not necessarily buying? I know Amazon logs all that info so this could be one way they use it?

Becky Black
06-10-2011, 10:58 PM
Novel Rank isn't actually an Amazon site or um, thingy, though. It uses the ranking data from Amazon sites to make a best guess about sales, no doubt using some arcane algorithm. I have my novel set up and was a bit obsessed with checking it for a while, bit the novelty wore off. (Novelty? See what I did there? ;)) I'm waiting to see Amazon sales in my royalty statements to check how accurate Novel Rank is.

Jess Haines
06-10-2011, 11:54 PM
Use your Amazon author dashboard, not the book's sales rank, to track your sales.

scope
06-11-2011, 02:34 AM
This NovelRank really bugs me. I have purposley been following one of my used, out of print books for the last month. Out of print for about 25 years. According to NovelRank the book has sold 10-12 copies each week. Obviosly that would be 520-624 yearly. I have no idea if that's bad, good, average for a book that's used and out of print? Truly, I'm just curious. Anyone have any ideas?

colealpaugh
06-12-2011, 11:28 PM
Could it not be based on reviews or number of people clicking on your entry but not necessarily buying? I know Amazon logs all that info so this could be one way they use it?

Nah, reviews and clicks aren't counted.

It's been my experience that NovelRank is more accurate than I've read other people reporting. It lags about an hour behind Amazon's fairly real-time rank on your book's page, so if you have a decent batch of sales, NovelRank may not show your absolute lowest rank.

The only inaccuracy I've noticed is multiple sales reporting. While you get accurate figures (albeit incomplete) from BookScan on your author's page, Amazon ranking and the information available to NovelRank have not reflected multiple sales in a single order. I know of several book clubs that placed orders for my book, with each showing up as a single book sold. I'm guessing it's Amazon's way of keeping authors from manipulating their sales rank.

Scope, one sale a day would put your book at a rank of around 50,000. Two a day would easily keep it in the 30k range. But if you go two days between sales, it'll steadily climb up to 200k. One sale will then drop it right back down close to 50k again.

NovelRank does give you updated sales numbers (again, accuracy seems to be in the eye of the beholder), while the BookScan numbers on the author page is weekly -- although it does include 70 or so percent of all retail sales.

My two cents is that Amazon did a great thing by sharing BookScan numbers. Some agents feared it would drive authors crazy, but I figure they'd be crazy anyway. And I'm all for having as much information as possible.

brainstorm77
06-12-2011, 11:32 PM
Speaking for myself, when I compare my actual sales to what Novel Ranking reports, they are way off. They under report everytime by quite a substantial number.

I've been told by many other authors that the more you sell, the bigger that divide becomes.

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 12:02 AM
I've been told by many other authors that the more you sell, the bigger that divide becomes.

Ha, and I've heard it suggested -- by agents -- that some of the claimed inaccuracies have been ego related. IDK, it's simple accounting, not rocket science. I suppose cancelled orders could screw up numbers, but I don't see why Amazon hasn't nailed it down better than something vaguely accurate.

It's a fairly unique industry that sales numbers are so personal and carefully protected. I have a friend who sells Toyotas. His manager puts everyone's sales numbers up on a board in gigantic red marker. We writers are some fragile-ass mo-fos...

veinglory
06-13-2011, 12:04 AM
Novel Rank is not accurate, and it leans towards over-estimates. Do not go getting suspicious of your publisher based on Novel Rank estimates.

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 12:18 AM
Novel Rank is not accurate, and it leans towards over-estimates. Do not go getting suspicious of your publisher based on Novel Rank estimates.

Just my experience, but I've never experienced a sale reported by NovelRank that didn't follow a sale on Amazon. Again, I'm only speaking for myself and what I've seen of my own numbers. I'd be curious to check out any sites or blogs that have tracked NovelRank's inaccuracies.

scope
06-13-2011, 12:21 AM
Scope, one sale a day would put your book at a rank of around 50,000. Two a day would easily keep it in the 30k range. But if you go two days between sales, it'll steadily climb up to 200k. One sale will then drop it right back down close to 50k again.


Sounds absolutely right. Following this book for now 5 weeks I have seen sales ranks from roughly 4,000 to 250,000. Most have been between 25,000 and 100,000.

veinglory
06-13-2011, 12:22 AM
I have experienced many false positive with Novel rank, up to one in 5 false positives, which is why I stopped following it. I have also seen emails to author loop where publisher express a desire not to be harassed on this issue any more.

One sale takes you to about 50,000 but so for low selling books it will be about right. It may also be very close for extremely high selling books in the top 1000. But in between it seems to fall down.

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 12:39 AM
I have experienced many false positive with Novel rank, up to one in 5 false positives, which is why I stopped following it. I have also seen emails to author loop where publisher express a desire not to be harassed on this issue any more.


Wouldn't it be a dead giveaway when someone's Amazon rank wasn't dropping to coincide with NovelRank sales being posted? Publishers getting harassed over over a third party reporting site? Too funny.

veinglory
06-13-2011, 12:46 AM
The whole point is that when sales blur together rather than being distinct ticks the estimate becomes off.

And I doubt many businesses find being accused of fraud funny.

brainstorm77
06-13-2011, 12:51 AM
Ha, and I've heard it suggested -- by agents -- that some of the claimed inaccuracies have been ego related. IDK, it's simple accounting, not rocket science. I suppose cancelled orders could screw up numbers, but I don't see why Amazon hasn't nailed it down better than something vaguely accurate.

It's a fairly unique industry that sales numbers are so personal and carefully protected. I have a friend who sells Toyotas. His manager puts everyone's sales numbers up on a board in gigantic red marker. We writers are some fragile-ass mo-fos...

Why would any agent say that?

It is simple accounting. When placed next to my publishers statement from what Amazon sends them in regards to my sales, it's always more than what Novel Ranking reports.

If someone chooses not to believe that, and thinks my ego is inflated. That's their problem.

Do I think I should share sales specifics with the world? No. That would be like me sharing how much I make a year at nursing, and that's none of anyone else's business.

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 12:54 AM
And I doubt many businesses find being accused of fraud funny.

Uh, authors using a sketchy third party site to accuse their own publisher of fraud is hilarious...to me. And I'm certain of it. We must have a different sense of humor. But that's okay, right?

veinglory
06-13-2011, 12:56 AM
Like many things it probably gets less funny with repetition.

brainstorm77
06-13-2011, 12:56 AM
Uh, authors using a sketchy third party site to accuse their own publisher of fraud is hilarious...to me. And I'm certain of it. We must have a different sense of humor. But that's okay, right?

It is hilarious. But some do follow Novel Ranking thinking that those numbers are spot on. I mentioned it in an authors group not long ago. MANY replied stating they thought that site was accurate, while others thought Amazon ran it.

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 01:10 AM
Do I think I should share sales specifics with the world? No. That would be like me sharing how much I make a year at nursing, and that's none of anyone else's business.

I don't disagree that it's your own business...of course it is. However, a high school guidance counselor can tell a kid how much a nurse makes in any particular region of the US. I wonder what they tell kids a writer makes?

colealpaugh
06-13-2011, 01:14 AM
Like many things it probably gets less funny with repetition.

Someone's in a crappy mood. Not sayin' it's you. Just someone.

I'm gonna go walk my dog.

brainstorm77
06-13-2011, 01:14 AM
I don't disagree that it's your own business...of course it is. However, a high school guidance counselor can tell a kid how much a nurse makes in any particular region of the US. I wonder what they tell kids a writer makes?

Since what a writer makes varies greatly...My guess is that it's a question that's impossible to answer.

Oh, as for a nurse, their income will also vary with experience, where they work, what they specialize in(if anything), and so on...


Xondra(not in a crappy mood)

ETA: I have shared sales info with other authors in private(friends), and I have no issue with sending it to VG's site. Other than that, it's not happening.

scope
06-26-2011, 01:46 AM
Re NovelRank and the out of print book (1968-2003) I've been following for about 2-3 months now, the book was a big time seller in the US and was also translated into about 40 languages and sold abroad. Today's NovelRank shows sales rank and book sales for the US, Canada, and UK editions only. But that's okay, since the availability of used/out of print foreign copies is probably little. My looking at the NovelRank site daily shows that about 10-15 US copies are sold each week, and that the sales rank seems to be affected by about 50,000 anytime a book is sold-or not. Over the 2-3 months the rank has been as low as 6,000 and as high as 250,000. Most interesting are the charts for UK sales rank. They have consistently shown a rank over 1 million, except for yesterday when 1 UK version book was sold and this 1 sale drove the NovelRank sale rank down to 150,000. I guess some arthimetical formula way beyond my undestanding is applicable for this huge drop, but I don't know what it is and frankly don't care. Just wanted to keep you abreast.

Becky Black
06-26-2011, 10:30 AM
I think another danger of it is that it can make you very Amazon centred, as if Amazon is the only place that matters and depending on your book that might not be the case My royalty statements have shown me that I've sold way more books on sites like Fictionwise and AllRomanceEBooks than on Amazon. So I've started to try to break out of the "Amazon is the centre of the universe" mentality.