Last week, on a publisher’s list, someone wrote in asking about NovelRank.com. He wanted to know if their numbers only came from Amazon, or if they counted third party sellers as well. He said NovelRank was reporting more sales than his printer. That was not at all surprising!
This was my response –
According to their website:
“NovelRank is the best free resource for authors to track the sales rank of their print and ebooks on Amazon with charting, sales estimates…”
Notice, it says “sales ESTIMATES.” It also says “sales rank.” It does not say “sales.”
But, even Amazon’s sales numbers are not reliable. If Amazon’s data is incorrect, that means NovelRank’s is incorrect. It appears they are simply pulling and re-displaying Amazon’s info. in different ways.
No company, site or database knows/has accurate numbers for all sales of all books. Why? Because there are far too many publishers and booksellers, and no firm has everyone’s data. For example, Amazon’s sales numbers come from BookScan. At BookLocker, we sell thousands of books each year directly to customers yet BookScan does not have our sales data. And, if they did ask for our sales information, we wouldn’t give it to them anyway. Our sales data for each book is proprietary to each author. There are other reasons for not publicly disclosing financial information to third-party firms, including competitive and, for some, even a variety of legal reasons. For example, shareholders may not permit disclosure of certain financial details about a firm. So, BookScan doesn’t have info. from every publisher. Not even close. There are other publishers who don’t disclose sales data to anyone other than their authors and/or shareholders, too.
NovelRank is using Amazon’s “sales rank,” which is why their site admits they only provide “estimates.” Never use Amazon’s sales rank of your book to estimate your sales. You’ll be woefully disappointed if you do. Amazon adds and removes books daily. Their sales rankings were never meant to estimate sales. They were designed as a tool for book buying customers, to show which books are the most popular on any given day. There are far too many factors at play. And, with all the other errors appearing on Amazon’s site, we really don’t trust their rankings anyway.
See more here:
There are countless complaints online about publishers not paying authors what they think they’re due but, if those authors are using sites like NovelRank and Amazon to estimate sales, they aren’t getting accurate information before making false accusations against their publisher.
There are really only two ways to accurately count sales of your book(s):
1. Find out how many copies of your book have been printed. Of course, that’s assuming your publisher and/or printer is honest. If that’s not the case, you’re out of luck.
2. Print and distribute every single copy yourself. Unfortunately, that option is extremely time-consuming and expensive, making it unreasonable.
(There’s a link in this article that provides additional info. on Amazon’s sales rankings.)
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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