Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Numbers Game

By now most authors have heard of NovelRank. It's a pretty cool, if not completely accurate, tool for gauging your sales or determining whether specific promo events resulted in sales spikes. It's generally held that NovelRank won't show you sales you haven't made, but it won't show all sales you have made, either. Personally, that's close enough for me. I view the extras I didn't know about as a bonus. ;)

This is the official blurb from their site:

NovelRank - Amazon Sales Rank TrackerNovelRank is a completely free website for authors to track their Amazon Sales Rank on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Amazon.cn (China),Amazon.it (Italy), and Amazon.es (Spain). NovelRank is the best free resource for self-promoting authors to track their print and ebook sales and Sales Rank on Amazon with charting, RSS feeds, and real-time data.
Another service I noticed a couple of weeks ago is called RankForest. It appears to do the same thing. This is the blurb from their site:
Amazon sales rank tracking. See charts of your sales rank performance, compare your books to similar books, view the current sales rank of items that were purchased by people that also bought your item, export rankings, get a widget, stay current with RSS or email alerts.
The only real difference being this:
 In addition to tracking sales rank data from Amazon.com, rankings are also collected from secondary sources such as Amazon.co.uk and Barnes and Noble, where applicable. See the effect of marketing efforts across these channels.
Well, and you pay for RankForest while NovelRank is free. Of course, you can track one book free with RankForest, but that won't do you much good. While I wonder if the cost means the numbers are more accurate, I'm not willing to invest to find out if that's the case. For me, it would be interesting to see those B&N numbers, but 90% of my income is pure Amazon. So...curiosity at a cost isn't in my budget.

How about y'all? Do you watch the ranks and check your numbers? Would you pay for a more accurate service or is a free service will ballpark estimates close enough for you?

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