We're trying out RankTracer, a service for tracking Amazon rankings and estimating sales. You can follow a book's progress on the website and via weekly and monthly reports for $2 per month. It's a US-based site, but you can track sales on Amazon.co.uk. For example, today I can see that The Burglar's Dog has sold an estimated 4 copies in the last 24 hours, and 33 in the last week. This is obviously useful to any author or publisher who habitually checks their Amazon rankings once or twice a day. Most interesting is RankTracer's provision of estimated sales figures. I've seen various investigations into how Amazon's sales rankings correlate to sales figures (like this one), but most have been based on the US site, which obviously sells a lot more books than the UK site. Because of the way books are sold - via wholesalers, then via retailers, and then with the deadly spectre of returns hanging over everything - it can often be months before publishers (and authors) can have accurate sales figures to hand. So anything that can give a barometer of how a book is selling has to be useful.
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