There’s nothing like a free promotion on the Nook blog to make an author (more) obsessive about tracking sales stats. Sure, Amazon’s Author Central is there to provide a limited version of Bookscan, as well sales ranks for your books on Amazon. but what if you and your publisher are promoting a FREE ebook sale across multiple vendors and you as the author want some indication of how sales are doing across platforms, both physical book and ebook with real-time stats? Especially when the pre-quel to the free ebook ends up on the BN bestseller list.
The sad truth is, there isn’t one way for you to do that. So what’s an author to do? The answer, I think, is to diversify by using multiple tools to give you several snapshots that you can put together for a better view of how your promotion is going.
There are several sales tracking tools that authors can use to track sales, both free and paid. I’ve listed some that I use now or may use in the future. I’ve left of Amazon’s Author Central and Bookscan. If you haven’t signed up for Author Central, you should do that now. It does far more for you as an author than track sales. Books can is too expensive for most authors to bother with.
For easier reference, I’ve indicated if a book tracking service is free (F), paid(P), or both(F/P); if it tracks Amazon (A), Barnes & Noble (BN), other Other retailers (O)
- Books & Writers: (P) (A/BN): “Books & Writers provides a service that tracks book and other items’ rankings on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (bn.com). The Rank Monitoring Service allows you to receive hourly, daily, or weekly email updates of Amazon.com and bn.com rankings and view charts tracking a book’s ranking over those intervals.” (I haven’t used this service yet.)
- eBook Tracker: (F)(A): This is a free “tool that provides both real-time and historical Amazon sales rank and pricing data for Kindle books.” I use this free service. Sign-up is easy, as is adding books. It allows you to see how your Kindle sales are going on a single, easy to read page.
- Metric Junkie: (F)(A): This free service tracks Amazon Sales Rank for books, CDs, DVDs, MP3s and Kindle, and displays it in a charts and graphs. (I haven’t used this service yet, but the sample graphs look interesting.)
- NovelRank: (F)(A): I’ve used NovelRank for years. It’s easy to sign up and track many books on your own page. One caveat is that it’s accuracy varies, especially if you sell a lot of books.
- Rankforest: (F/P)(A): This service lets you “monitor market performance and Amazon sales trends and view historical data, export, read reviews, set up alerts, compare multiple titles.” (I haven’t used this service yet.)
- Sales Rank Express:(F)(A):This service lets you check Amazon rales rank in all countries. I’ve used this service many times. It gives excellent information beyond sales rank numbers, including which books books your books are being paired with.
Have a tracking service that you’ve used and recommend? Please feel free to share with us in the comments section.