There Are Really Only 2 Ways To Accurately Estimate Your Book Sales By Angela Hoy

There Are Really Only 2 Ways To Accurately Estimate Your Book Sales By Angela Hoy

Last week, on a publisher’s list, someone wrote in asking about 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:

Is Amazon REALLY Giving Authors Accurate Sales Numbers?? Read This!

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.


How to Test Your POD Publisher’s Sales Reports

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 Are Really Only 2 Ways To Accurately Estimate Your Book Sales

Amazon’s Perpetual Book Listing Errors!

Amazon’s “In Stock” And “Ships In 2-3 Weeks” Verbiage Is Not Always True!

BookScan vs. NovelRank vs. Others – Where Can I Find Real-time Sales Data For My Book?!

(There’s a link in this article that provides additional info. on Amazon’s sales rankings.)

My Amazon Ranking Shot Up For One Day! So, Why Didn’t I Get Paid For That Sale?

Author Admits Manipulating Amazon’s Ranking/Review System

From the Author Who Admitted Manipulating Amazon’s Ranking/Review System

Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - 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. - "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.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

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3 Responses to "There Are Really Only 2 Ways To Accurately Estimate Your Book Sales By Angela Hoy"

  1. Teresa Sadowski  March 5, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Now I’m very curious. How do we find out how many copies of our book has been printed?

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  March 5, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Ask your publisher for a report on that. If they refuse to get that info. for you (or if they say they don’t have it and/or can’t get it), I strongly recommend you move to another publisher. provides that info. to authors on request. It takes a few days to get the report on an individual titles from the printer but we’re happy to do this for our authors. 🙂

  2. pamelaallegretto  March 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Interesting and informative! Thank you!