Tutorial: NovelRank

Do you often wonder how many books you are actually selling? Of course, you’ll get your report from Amazon each month and maybe even a report from your publisher once a year or quarter, but what if you could find out how many sales you were making on a daily basis, or even on an hourly basis? Even better, what if you could spy on your rivals and see how their books are selling? Well, gather round everyone, you can!

Now, don’t spread this about, but I am going to give away a secret I have hung onto all year. It’s allowed me to check out other authors’ books and compare my sales then go off and cry in a dark room. I discovered a site that can tell you what sales you have made. It’s called NovelRank. Here’s all you need to know.

Go to www.novelrank.com. Your screen should look like this:
Click onto that large blue box that says Track Your Book and you’ll get the next screen:

Enter the book you want to track into the top box marked with a red arrow and press Track book, highlighted here in yellow:

You might then get a screen like the one below showing all the versions of your book:

If you do, click on the version you wish to track, whether that is paperback or Kindle and you’ll get a wonderful chart telling you when and where you made book sales. The figures are fairly accurate but information isn’t immediately uploaded from Amazon so there is a delay of a few hours.

If you scroll down that page you will notice a chart. Click on the update button highlighted below:

You’ll now get a pretty chart displaying sales information in a graph. Press the bottom left hand button, highlighted in the next picture, you’ll open a large screen which will show you number of sales you made on various Amazon sites on all of the days for the period of a month, year, three months or a week.

Before you get too excited, the chances are that your book isn’t already being tracked and you will have to add it. You’ll then get sales data from the time you have added it. Find your book on Amazon and copy the URL. Paste it into the top tracking box as I have below.

Now click on to the track book button.

Your book has been added. Click on the word details after Book added. Your chart will come up but note it has no sales yet. It can only start collecting information from the day it is added so come back in a few days to see how your book sales are doing.

If you have multiple books and don’t feel like tracking each one separately, you can sign up for a free Novelrank account by going here and jumping through the usual social networking sign-up hoops. You can always view any single book’s statistics or trigger Sales Rank tracking simply by interacting with NovelRank. An ‘account’ allows you to track multiple books and compare results.

So, you now have the means to track your book and see how many sales you are making without waiting for reports or badgering your publisher. Don’t punish yourself by tracking Fifty Shades of Grey. It’ll make only make you depressed, like me!

Author: Carol Wyer

Carol E Wyer is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and an award-winning and best-selling author of humorous novels including MINI SKIRTS AND LAUGHTER LINES, SURFING IN STILETTOS, and HOW NOT TO MURDER YOUR GRUMPY. Carol has been featured on NBC News, BBC Radio, and in The Huffington Post. For more about Carol, go to her website or her Amazon author page.

34 thoughts on “Tutorial: NovelRank”

  1. Something I learned from Novel Rank is how few books you need to sell to go up the rankings. If you sell two or three books you shoot up – briefly – before coming down again. An indie writer friend asks people NOT to buy her book until the virtual launch party so they all buy at more less the same time and whoosh up the rnakings she flies.

    1. You are absolutely right Mary. Ref the virtual party. I tried similar tactic for my first novel but because the stats are changed every hour you need people to buy it at the same time to get right up there!

  2. NovelRank is useful, but its sales reports are woefully inaccurate if you’re selling more than a few books a day. Last November, when my book was selling ~140-150 per day, NovelRank reported it was selling 8-10. I’ve yet to figure that one out.

    To be fair, they do state up front that sales are underestimated. You just have to realize that sales are *grossly* underestimated. To the point of being nearly useless.

    Sales rank, on the other, is accurately reported. Their software updates it at irregular intervals, which means it can miss a peak if it neglects to update for 8 or 10 hours — which it will do, and did a few times, for my novel (which peaked in the top 500 in the Kindle store).

    For keeping track of general trends, NovelRank does very well.

    1. I agree. It certainly is limited Christie, and when I checked out books by major names it gave me approximate sales too.
      For the average humble author like me, who doesn’t make a lot of sales a month it works fine, but thank you for your comment. It is definitely worth noting that you won’t get accurate numbers at all on lots of sales.
      Congratulations on your success too. I dream of getting into the top 500.

    2. I agree, Christie. I actually contacted the site owner after I discovered someone had submitted one of my books for tracking, telling him that my sales were over EIGHTY times the figure he had. His response:

      “The book was added on June 13, so it is only counting 1/2 the month. However, 8x’s more is notable, and I can see why… the current sales rank is 16, so congratulations! I have not received enough data from authors like you to be more accurate for books with a sales rank so low. Currently, books that average less than 4000 in sales rank are all treated the same.”

      Not 8x – it was 80x!

      1. I am flummoxed. I didn’t realise it wouldn’t put up freebies. More investigation is required, I think. I’ll get back to you on that. I promise it isn’t me tracking your book 🙂

      2. They’re pulling up only for UK and DE where they occasionally get “paid” for. Strange. If anyone figures out how this works with freebies, or if it can at all, please let me know!

    1. It doesn’t seem to track freebies. In fact, if you’re on KDP Select and schedule a couple of free days, your paid book will go inactive, and NovelRank will stop tracking it until you reactivate.

    2. Mario here, creator of NovelRank.
      Amazon doesn’t offer a salesrank through their API (how NovelRank gets the data) when your book is free. Thus, it won’t track or will go inactive (as mentioned in another reply). So, I’d love to, but Amazon doesn’t allow it. 🙂

  3. Nice overview Carol,

    I was into this a while back but I realized that it was grossly underestimating the sales. In fact, I had completely forgotten about this until you reminded me. I looked up my book and I hadn’t logged in for 394 days!!!!!

    It is a cool tool and should be looked at as such. Thanks for bringing it back to the forefront.

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