A lot of indie authors struggle with data. For those who aren't used to tracking things like page reads, borrows, sales, and marketing efforts, it can be pretty overwhelming. Especially if you're a “wide” author with books selling on multiple platforms.
Luckily, you don't have to spend precious time every day jumping around to the various dashboards and trying to keep the numbers straight in your head—or in a spreadsheet. This is where ScribeCount comes in. This tool aggregates your sales data and presents it to you in one handy place. And it also does much more. Read on for a rundown in this ScribeCount review.
The Bottom Line: If you're a wide author, I highly recommend ScribeCount as a place to keep track of your sales from multiple platforms. It’s not perfect, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Even if you're not a wide author but want a central hub to keep track of marketing efforts and monthly earnings, this tool is one you should definitely check out!
- What it is and how it works
- Cost and features
- Who should use ScribeCount
- What I like and don't like
Table of contents
- What is ScribeCount?
- How Much Does ScribeCount Cost?
- ScribeCount Features Rundown
- ScribeCount Pros
- ScribeCount Cons
- ScribeCount Review: Conclusion
What is ScribeCount?
ScribeCount was founded in 2018 by Randall Wood and Suresh K Venkatapathi. If you’ve heard of ScribeCount before, you’ve probably heard through Philippa Werner, the public face of the company. Randall Wood is a writer, and he set out to make something that indie authors would love. In short, he wanted to create “the author's best friend.”
While I think this tool is certainly useful, I'll let you decide if it will end up being your best friend or not. (If you like the numbers side of self-publishing, I'm betting it will.)
It’s a relatively new tool, and some features are currently in beta, but even as-is, ScribeCount is a tool I’m sure many authors will love.
How ScribeCount Works
To use ScribeCount, you need to sign up for an account (there is a free trial—more on that below). Once you’re signed up, you just need to install the browser extension. Currently, they have extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. At the time of this writing, they're working on one for Safari.
Once you're signed up, you can select which platforms you want to link with your account. The tool currently supports the following platforms:
- Amazon KDP
- Barnes & Noble
- Google Books
- Apple Books
And they're at work on partnering with Findaway Voices, as well.
Using a new tab, you sign into whichever platforms you want to pull data from and then let ScribeCount do its thing. It can take a few minutes for the tool to pull the data, and you’ll need to retrieve an authentication key if you want to connect your BookFunnel account.
How Much Does ScribeCount Cost?
Now for the big question of cost. They use a three-tier system. And while they're not the cheapest in terms of pricing, they are fairly competitive. Here's the rundown:
- $9.99 per month for authors earning less than $1,000 a month.
- $19.99 per month for authors earning more than $1,000 a month
- $185 a year when paid yearly instead of monthly. This comes out to 15% off the $19.99 monthly price.
The nice thing is, no matter which tier you're at, you get access to all the features. They don't hold any back for the $9.99-a-month tier
Is There a Free Trial?
If you're familiar with Book Report, you know that authors making less than $1,000 a month use the tool for free. And while ScribeCount doesn't have this option, they do offer a 14-day free trial. You don't have to put a credit card on file or anything—you just sign up and link whichever accounts you like.
If you like it better than Book Report (or whatever system you have in place) after 14 days, then you pay to keep using it.
ScribeCount Features Rundown
ScribeCount has a lot of features, and they're working on bringing more to the table. But for this article, I'll go over the major ones that I find the most useful. Let's dive in.
All Markets at a Glance
By far the most useful feature for any wide author is the ScribeCount dashboard. It aggregates your data from multiple platforms and presents it in a color-coded “Sunburst Chart.”
When you set up your account, you simply connect the tool with each platform you're selling books on to see your royalties all in one place. You can also connect or disconnect other platforms later.
So if you're selling through Amazon KDP, the Google Play store, and Apple Books, you'll see the aggregate data at a glance in the dashboard. But there are other useful features on the dashboard, including simple graphs on:
- Amazon and Wide Sales
- Kindle Unlimited vs Sales
- Free vs Paid Units
- Formats Percentage
It also populates the data in a spreadsheet, which you can easily export. Of course, you can choose certain parameters by which to view the data. You can choose a set date range (the default is the current month), but you can also view by platform, marketplace (US, UK, Canada, etc.), book, and date. You can also view graphs of your sales by top books, units sold, and free units claimed.
And all this in one place!
Next up on the toolbar is the bookshelf. This tool allows you to manage your books from one central location. While you can't do things like change the price of your books from here, you can see all the prices of your various formats at a glance. You can also see which books are enrolled in KDP Select, view the rankings for each one, and look at your reviews.
This keeps you from having to jump around on Amazon (or whichever platform) to ensure everything is as it should be with each individual book and format.
Currently in beta, ScribeCount's ad tracker allows you to sign in to your Amazon Ads and Facebook Ads accounts so you can check out your data from the tool. While I didn't actually use this function (I prefer checking the individual accounts as part of my overall ad-checking process), I can see how it would be good for some authors.
You can check by source (Amazon or Facebook), dates, accounts, books, and campaigns. While you may not be able to see all your ad data through ScribeCount, you can see quite a lot of it—certainly enough to see whether you need to make any tweaks in the ad platforms themselves.
ScribeCount is also working on bringing marketing data from other sources, such as:
- Hello Books
Next up is the scheduler. This is just a calendar where you can schedule all your book-related tasks. You have several options for viewing the calendar (maybe too many), but the main factor here is, again, having it in the same place as everything else.
There's a lot to do as an indie author, and any time you save can be used for writing the next book, working on the next book launch, managing your mailing list, or any of a dozen other things we indies do on a regular basis.
While ScribeCount auto-populates your income from whichever sources you choose to connect, you can use the Other Income tool to record royalties from other sources. You can add the data manually or import it in spreadsheet form.
Finally, in the Payments section, you can see previous and pending payments from the various retailers you have connected. This allows you to see at a glance what you've earned without signing into those various retailers or going to your bank account to dig up the information.
There's a lot to like about ScribeCount, but here are some of the things I like best.
Although this plug-in software program presents you with a TON of data, it does it in such a way that's not totally overwhelming (although it can be a little overwhelming, especially for new authors). Still, this is no easy feat. You don't feel like you're bombarded every time you sign in.
So even if you don't love the numbers side of your author career (yet), you can still manage this tool easily until you do learn to love the data!
Tracks From Almost All Major Platforms
If you're a wide author, I can't see any other sales tracking tool being as useful as ScribeCount. The number of platforms they can pull data from is amazing. And they're constantly working to bring you more. For this reason alone, the tool has the potential to save wide authors a lot of time—certainly well worth the relatively low cost.
Sort Your Data Your Way
ScribeCount seems to have thought of almost everything when it comes to sorting your data. You can check things by platform, geographical area, marketplace, books, series, date, custom tags, and many more.
This allows you to really drill down and look at your data any way you want. This is essential for seeing if your marketing efforts, social media activity, and even your mailing list campaigns are working as well as you want them to.
Daily Summary Email
ScribeCount sends you a daily summary email of the previous day’s sales. This is a nice feature, allowing some of your data to come to you. They also include the enrollment status of any books you have in Kindle Unlimited, along with how many days are remaining in the 90-day KDP Select window.
If any of your books have had a price change in the last 24 hours, they tell you in the email. Additionally, they show how many pre-orders have been placed for the previous day (if any). You have the option to turn these emails off if you don’t want them.
Although I'm definitely in favor of this tool, there are a couple of cons I found while using the software.
No Free Version
Although you can try this tool free for 14 days, there is no free version. So even if you're making only a couple of hundred dollars a month in royalties, you'll have to pay $9.99 per month after the free trial. I would like to see them do something like Book Report, where they allow you to use it for free under a certain threshold.
So Many Features
While it's nice to have so many features, it can also be a hazard if you're not careful. Playing around in ScribeCount could become a time suck, almost like social media or watching YouTube videos. It may seem like you're working in the tool, when in reality you're just killing time.
If you like data, then this certainly is a risk. Then again, discipline is part of having a successful author career!
ScribeCount Review: Conclusion
There's no shortage of tasks that require an indie author's attention. Whether it be mastering the writing craft, picking a new Amazon category for your novel or nonfiction book, or creating new ad images for your next Facebook campaign, there's always something important to do.
And among the most important things is analyzing your data to ensure you're on the right track. Unfortunately, for many authors, this requires jumping around to different platforms to access the data. But with ScribeCount, you can access it all in one place (or at least most of it). This can be a huge timesaver, letting you focus on other important matters, like taking your author career to the next level!