Author Book Sales
In addition, please read "Inside
Amazon Sales Rank" and "making a
Tracking your actual book sales
There are very few ways for authors and publishers to track
"real" sales of books. There is the super-expensive A. C.
reports that show actual sales but only the very largest
companies can afford this expensive service. We also
cannot estimate the "real" sales of a book from the qualities
that are shipped to the stores. Remember, all "sales to
stores" are made with full rights of return, and they could all
Many authors want to know how well that their book is selling
and have a tool to analyze the sales of competing titles.
Unfortunately, this is not easy to do. Rampant gets reports
about the number of books shipped out of the warehouse to
bookstores, but some of these (20% - 30%) will be returned to
Also, if you see “returns” on a royalty statement, it DOES NOT
mean that people purchased, hated you book, and retuned your
book to the store. Rather, it just means that your book was
shipped to a bookstore where it was not purchased promptly and
it was returned to the warehouse for re-distribution.
In sum, Rampant TechPress periodically gets warehouse ship-out
data, but all books are sent to the bookstores with full
right-of return, so warehouse shipments do NOT accurately track
sales velocity. It may up to year before we know how many books
“walked out the door” of the bookstores.
This is also an issue when trying to track sales of competing
titles. We do not have access to the sales of competitors books
(unless they ship 3rd class mail, where we can get a US Post
office report), so we need at tool to estimate actual sales.
So, how do we track “real” sales? I use Amazon, snap-scan (www.snap-scan.com)
and Junglescan (www.junglescan.com).
The Amazon Sales Rank (ASR) is the only “free” way to judge
the true sales velocity for your book.