I Can Haz Bookscan?

I'm obsessed with numbers. Obsessed. I used to call this automated toll-free number Ingram had that reported how many of your books had shipped. (Not only that, you could also put in the ISBNs of other books for comparison!) When they discontinued the number, I was left with Amazon, which represents such a tiny fraction of the books sold.

Right now, I'm lucky. One of my publishers does quarterly royalty statements (practically unheard of) and one of my editors has sent me several notes to let me know how many copies of one book have shipped to date.

But that's shipped, not sold.

And then there's Bookscan, which supposedly tracks 75% of sales (no Wal-Mart, though, and I don't think any library sales). But these are real sales, not books shipped to bookstores (which can and so return to the publisher for credit). I even emailed Bookscan to ask about purchasing the right to see one ISBN, which supposedly cost $85. They never replied.

Amazon's Author Central now allows authors to see their own Nielsen Bookscan weekly data for the last four weeks. For free!

You can read the LA Times article here.. I'm just glad it's only updating weekly. Because that Ingram number was like crack cocaine.



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Your calls to Ingram may be the reason they discontinued the toll-free number! ;-)

I think this is pretty cool, and hope one day it applies to me. First I have to finish something.