Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jolted: Measuring Success using Amazon, NovelRank, and Bookscan

If you're an author you've probably checked your Amazon rankings once or twice. Or every three seconds. And, perhaps you've stared at the rankings like you're trying to read your future in pig entrails. The great thing about the "modern" era is now there are even more ways to track things. Most of the time they're just charts that you stare at and learn nothing (and perhaps a little depressing) but I was recently able to track a "success" story to do with the my novel Jolted.

On May 17th or so the novel was chosen for  2011-2012 Florida Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award master list. This was great news. But because Amazon recently allowed authors (through their Author Central program) to see their Bookscan details, I was able to track the actual sales of the book from that day forward (I'm only concentrating on the paperback):
As you can see from the map, the darker the colour, the more sales. So obviously sales of the paperback had really taken off in Florida (and in one tiny corner of Louisiana...for some reason). The chart below shows the sudden increase in sales in bookstores in the U.S.:

For those of us who are chart obsessed (and really who isn't) Amazon also provides another chart to stare at (for hours at a time sometimes). This chart shows the uptick in sales through Amazon. So obviously the sales in the "ground" stores were also being reflected at the "virtual" store that is Amazon.

The final chart that I'll inundate you with is from Novelrank which also tracks sales on Amazon. It essentially gives you the same information, but with a slightly different appearance. Novelrank also can keep track of the # of copies sold per month (though this is a guesstimate on their part).

Perhaps I should end this with a chart of my geekiness (no, I better not...that would be jumping the shark). The sales in this time period might only amount to a thousand copies (so I won't go out and buy a new car), but I do find it interesting that I now have the ability to track all of this information. I won't know the actual sales until I get my royalty statements about six months from now. How to use the information is perhaps the tougher part of this exercise. It's not like I can fly down to Florida (or Louisiana) and start pitching my book (though I am beginning to get requests for Skype visits in Florida). Right now I'm filing it under the title: Interesting to know.

Plus, Jolted has been out for nearly 4 years now. It's nice to see it suddenly get zapped back to life (sorry, I couldn't resist).



The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Thanks for the graphs and the information, Arthur. Congratulations on the jolt in sales.
(couldn't resist that one either)

Unknown said...

Shocking, isn't it?

simonbob13 said...

Very punny.

simonbob13 said...

Very punny.