Thursday, October 7, 2010

NovelRank – Tracking your ranking and sales numbers over time

I just discovered the NovelRank website. It provides free Amazon Sales Rank tracking of book sales on Amazon, including Kindle Edition e-books and printed editions.
It’s a very cool FREE service. You can review sales rank and sales numbers for various time spans (up to the whole year) and in different domains (uk, us, ca).
Disclaimer: Book sales estimates are still estimates, and for books selling a low volume ( less than 100 copies a month for instance ) the estimates are most likely accurate within 1%. In the end, it is all based on sales rank changes rather than sales numbers, and NovelRank should not be used to dispute hard sales figures from publishers or Amazon.
Anyway, here are my charts for Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds since yesterday (each dot in the graph is an hour):

Not much data yet, I know. But, with just 3 book sales on Wednesday, I got down to a Amazon Kindle Sales Ranking of #8,627 (out of over 700,000 ebooks).
Wow! That means that 98.8% of Amazon ebooks sell less than 3 copies a day, on average. Or, about 692,000 sell around 1,000 books a year or less. Maybe. Extrapolating out a year from a few days data probably isn’t too wise.
Another interesting feature of NovelRank is that you can see data for ANY book (as long as someone has entered the book into the NovelRank system). So, I can review the rankings and sales numbers for the best-sellers! Let’s do that.
The first one I checked was Karen McQuestion’s A Scattered Life, currently at #16.

So, Karen McQuestion’s success seems to indicate that you need to sell around 10 copies a day to break the top 20 in rankings (or thereabouts). Again, the book sales numbers are estimates.
I wanted to see the rankings for a title that’s been in the top lists for a longer length of time. I found Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone, currently #22, and in the top 100 for 318 days! Good job, Abe!

Very nice numbers there. But, it looks like Abe had double Karen’s sales in September (600 over 320), but she got to #9 while he got to #12. Obviously, the idiosyncrasies of daily and hourly sales spurts causes fluctuations that cannot be explained by only looking at monthly numbers.
NovelRank also provides you with a Widget to put in your web page to show the up-to-date sales rank of your ebook.
You can also download the data to an Excel spreadsheet for your number crunching delight.
I heartily suggest that you use NovelRank if you are publishing on Amazon if you want to monitor your rankings over time.


  1. Thanks for this link! I will definitely check it out. I can see the danger already though, that I will spend a lot more time than I should comparing my sales to other writers and getting depressed about it. ;p

  2. I just found out that the book sales numbers on novelrank are suspect. The rankings are accurate, as they get them from Amazon, but the book sales numbers are calculated. Many authors who track with novelrank find that the book numbers to not match up. Therefore, I'd advise not using novelrank for the book numbers.

  3. I love that I can see how other authors are doing, and hate that other authors can see how I'm doing. :P

  4. Thanks for the link! Have to say, I like this tool... Useful little gadget for tracking your efforts.