When I only had one book on one platform like KDP, using a book sales tracker service was unnecessary.
However, when I started having multiple books on multiple platforms like KDP, D2D, Createspace, Kobo, iBooks, etc…it would seriously take a lot of time to check each platform’s sales and ensure things were tracking.
And let’s face it, as self-publishing entrepreneurs – affectionately known as Kindlepreneurs – it’s important to track things like daily sales because this is your income lifeblood. But to do that daily eats up too much time.
On average it takes me 15 minutes to adequately review all sales platforms and look for trends in my different markets. If done every day, that would equate to 92 hours a year wasted…eek!
That’s way too much.
Luckily, there are some services that help alleviate this. Not only do they present your book’s sale information in a much better layout, they’ll make it seamless for you to keep a thumb on your sales pulse and allow you to focus on more important things….like writing your next book.
In the article, you’ll learn:
- What book sales reporting services can do
- List of book sales tracking services
- My favorite service and how to set it up
And yes, there is one that is superior to the others and one of my all time favorite services out there.
What Can A Book Sales Tracker Do For you
Let’s face it…KDP’s book sales page is a nightmare. It’s difficult to understand and they really don’t make it easy for you to collect long-term information.
Can any of you tell me exactly how much money you’ve made this year total in self-publishing? I can in two seconds, thanks to these services.
Basically, book sales tracking services collects your books sales information and present it in a much more meaningful way.
Different Types of Book Sales Trackers
There are a couple of services out there with different functionality and different reach. Below are a couple, what they do, and whether or not I liked them.
Book Report: Book report is a simple chrome plugin that presents your KDP information in a much better manner. However, it only gives your KDP information and requires you to log into KDP in order to get your data – which defeats the point of saving you time. Furthermore, it costs $10/month and does not work for any other platform.
Tracker Box: Unlike Book Report, Tracker Box is a one time fee of $59.95 and covers multiple platform sales and not just KDP. However, the biggest drawback to this is that it only works for PC – sorry Mac lovers – and is not proactive in getting you the information – I'll explain later.
Author Earnings Dashboard: Like Book Report, this only works for KDP. It now works for both PC and Mac, but only serves as a means in which to understand your KDP numbers. The pricing is a “pay what you think” style but ultimately offers nothing else for the multi-platform self-publisher.
BookTrakr – My favorite and I’ll explain below.
BookTrakr Review – My Favorite
BookTrakr is a brand new service (well technically it was in beta for 2 years, but just finally hit the market publicly) that not only presents your book’s sales in an orderly and easily understandable manner, it also covers multiple platforms on a daily basis to include:
- Amazon KDP
- Google Play
Imagine how much time it would take to manually check each of those stores each day!
And the best part is, they even send you a daily email letting you know exactly how much money you made that day and from all the different platforms.
Plus, their dashboard is really easy to use and can give you some excellent and quick looks at key aspects to your sales, trends and even status of reviews.
Luckily, BookTrakr isn’t expensive!
For $5 per month, you'll receive daily emails about that day's book sales on all platforms and have access to their easy to use dashboard and graphs.
For $10 per month, you get the above and an update every time a new review is posted, tracking of rankings, and the ability to mark events in your graphs/analytics.
Personally, I only do the $5 per month.
How To Set Up Book Trakr
Now, let’s take a quick look at how you can set it up.
Step 1 – Basic Profile Info
After agreeing to the standard terms and conditions screen (which we all read carefully, right guys?) you will make it to the first section of your sign up – your profile.
Unlike many profile signup screens, this one is fairly easy on you.
You just have to enter:
- Your full name
- A name to be known by
- The currency
- Timezone you wish to work with
That’s it! You’re one click of that attractively blue ‘continue’ button away from the next stage of the process.
Step 2 – BookTrakr Store Settings
This is where you can add all of the separate platforms on which your ebooks and books are sold.
You simply have to:
- Click setup
- Add your login and user information for each store
- Then click ‘fetch book data’ to continue.
BookTrakr does the hard work and automatically fetches all of your data from the various stores you have informed it about.
However, for it to do this, you'll be giving BookTrakr access to your accounts to include passwords. Let that be a disclaimer – but also understand, how else are they going to access your accounts and inform you of your sales? I personally accepted the risk and connected all of my book accounts to it and have had no problem so far.
But just something to keep in mind.
As you can see, it is easy to enter your username and password for each ebook and book sales platform you wish to use with BookTrakr.
You need to know the postal code and telephone number you have associated with your Amazon Associate account – be sure to have these available at the time of signing up.
Step 3 – Data Fetch
As you can see from this screen, there is a chance that the initial process of fetching data can take several hours.
There is no need to wait and simply stare at the screen – BookTrakr emails you when the process is complete.
Once BookTrakr has fetched your data, you can ‘activate’ certain books.
This simply means that BookTrakr knows which of your titles you wish to track. Perhaps some are older or less relevant to your current efforts – if so, no worries. BookTrakr will simply ignore these titles and not keep you updated on how they are doing.
Problems with BookTrakr
BookTrakr is brand new to the public…however, I had the distinct pleasure of being a part of their beta testing. Since then, they’ve worked out a lot of the kinks, but they still have issues – not Jar Jar Binks level issues…but issues.
For one thing, it sends me two emails a day. Now, this isn’t their fault. The issue lies in that the different platforms have different reporting times. I’ve sent in my request that they give you an option of just one email a day – but haven't heard anything back yet.
Just recently, BookTrakr emailed the users letting them know that a couple of the platforms had changed something in their backend causing lower book sales to be reported…I was relieved when I found this out because I was seeing a significant drop in my books sales and was like “Woo, what’s going on!?!”
So, understand that there may be some slight ‘off moments’ from time to time.
And finally, I’m not a fan of their customer support…or the lack there of. As of right now you have to contact their customer support via Twitter which isn’t the most straightforward process. But, if you ask me, who uses Twitter as a first point of contact for customer service anyway?
I did end up ninja'ing a email at one point and did get in contact their their owner….but yeesh.
Ebook Tracker Recommendation – BookTrakr
As you can see, despite its quirks and foibles, BookTrakr is a great solution for busy authors.
The goal of all efficient business processes is automation – and BookTrakr can make the entire process of collecting sales data across multiple platforms and seeing how a book’s performance changes over time, real easy.
Getting that daily email and seeing how things are going means you never hide away from your books real performance – you always know the way things are, and can take action if needed to try and increase a book’s performance.
Ultimately, BookTrakr has saved me a lot of time and kept me in the loop of all sales on a daily basis.