Friday, August 24, 2007

Neurotic authors: Feed your Amazon ranking habit

Much as bloggers spend much of their free time peeking at their site stats, authors sneak peeks at sales rankings. But it's cumbersome to go to Amazon over and over, and then scroll down the page to find the number—especially if you're tracking more than one book title.

There used to be a web site that tracked these numbers for you. It was originally called Amazonscan, and then (presumably due to a cease-and-desist letter) changed its name to Junglescan. Then it died out, whether due to lack of interest or legal action (I don't think Amazon liked the idea that people would take info. from their site without requiring users to visit the site in person).

Now, with Amazon trying to leverage its programming guts to financial advantage (they have all sorts of programming/application stuff available to web developers, and are also selling online storage for mere pennies), they have apparently given the OK to the team of folks that's running to resurrect the Junglescan idea.

This means that neurotic authors can now set up a list of all of their titles, and check in on the Amazon rankings every day. (Or several times a day.)

You can also look at a historical chart of the book's rankings:

(Guess which day was the Newbery announcement?)

Anyhow, I just think it's neat. Fellow authors, welcome to your new nightmare. Get checking those titles.

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