Amazon's Christmas Gift to the Obsessive-Compulsive Writer

In case you missed the exciting news last week, amazon is now allowing authors to view their weekly BookScan numbers. It’s 1 part: “We’ll make you even more obsessed with sales so that you’ll make us even more money” to 1 part: “Here. This will help you, the writer, know exactly how many people aren’t buying your book.” It’s win-win.

In seriousness, though, it’s actually kind of awesome.

Some details are here, but the upshot is that you set up an “Author Central” account on amazon (which you can also use to link to your blogs, post a picture, and whatnot) and viola! Weekly sales figures that are supposed to represent ~3/4 of US sales (though I’ve found it close to 2/3), as well as a handy map showing where you’re cleaning up. For the record, we seem to have done really well in DC this holiday season.

Oh, and for what it’s worth I have no idea what security they have in place to prevent you from pretending you’re Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin (in order to see their sales figure), except for the presumption of human dignity.

If you want to compare the official BookScan numbers to your amazon sales, might I recommend this handy discussion of what your amazon sales rank means (along with some earlier iterations).

Sales updates are Thursday evenings so why not check right now?


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