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Tag Archives: Nielsen BookScan

7 Tips to Follow Your PRINT Book Sales

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Amazon gives authors detailed information on Author Central how you can follow your print book sales – or if you can receive any information at all about the sales of your paperback or hardcover book. Not easy to follow up your actual print book sales numbers.

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1. When Will You Get Sales Numbers:
Should you be a lucky bestseller author, you can follow your numbers hourly: The Amazon Bestsellers Rank History graph is updated every hour in Author Central and on your books’ detail pages on Amazon.com.
Each Friday, 12:00am Pacific Time/ 3am Eastern Time, new sales numbers for print books by Nielsen BookScan data appear.

–  Sales by Geography BookScan divides the continental US into geographic areas, known as Designated Market Areas (DMAs), by       ZIP codes
–  Sales by Week

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2. Will You Receive Sales Numbers?
Amazon’s sales tab lets you see how your print books were selling in the U.S. A. during the last 4 weeks. Your PRINT book sales figures are provided by Nielsen BookScan and include ca. 3/4 of the retail print book sales in the U.S., including – most – of Amazon print sales.

Sales Numbers DO NOT INCLUDE for example:

– Books published through CreateSpace
– All Sales to Libraries
– Purchases by wholesalers
– Sales of used books
– Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sales
– Pre-orders—orders for a book before the book is released

And Amazon warns: “If a disproportionate number of your books are sold by stores that do not report to Nielsen, your sales information may underestimate your total sales. If your book is registered with Ingram (largest whole sale company), you will see sales info. If your book is Print-on-Demand, (such as CreateSpace, LS Spark, Lulu or BookBaby) your publishing company may not report ISBNs to Ingram and you may not see any sales information.”

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3. Amazon Explains How They Get the Numbers
Author Central obtains sales data from Nielsen BookScan. To be reported, a book’s seller must participate in Nielsen BookScan and the book must appear in BookScan’s bibliography. This bibliography is generated from a number of third party sources including the Ingram Book Company. CreateSpace books may be eligible for the Bookstores & Online Retailers outlet of the “Expanded Distribution Channel”, which includes enrolment with the Ingram Book Company. Contact CreateSpace to learn more about the “Expanded Distribution Channel”.
Nielsen “estimates” they report “approximately” 75% of print book sales in the US retail market, depending on which retailers participate in Nielsen (pretty costly!). Additionally, different reporting time periods result in different reports data between Author Central and your publisher or distributor.

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4. How to Use the Sales Info Tab
The Sales Info tab in Author Central helps you identify sales TRENDS. The information shown on this tab is provided by Nielsen BookScan, and is not meant to replace reports you receive from your publisher. If you have more than one book in your bibliography, the Sales Info tab defaults to an All Books view, which displays the total number of copies of your entire bibliography sold. To see copies sold for an individual book, click the orange triangle next to the All Books heading and select an individual book. BookScan “Highlights” tell you how many copies sold in the most recent week. Sales by Geography and Sales by Week tell you how many copies sold in the time period selected.

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5. Amazon Bestseller Rank History
Amazon: “Our Bestsellers Rank History page shows the bestseller rank summary of all your books. Selecting an individual book shows a chart of your book’s Amazon Bestsellers Rank over time. Sales ranks are updated every hour of every day around-the-clock. Bestsellers Rank does not include sales from any of our International websites”. Only the US Bestsellers are displayed. Bestsellers Rank shows how well books in the catalog are selling – relative to other books in the catalog.

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6. Foreign Sales Data
Currently, Author Central provides Nielsen BookScan sales data about their U.S. sales only, to you, the Author Central member .

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7. Kindle Books NOT Included in BookScan
Members of the Kindle Direct Publishing program have access to reporting data, which is updated weekly. You can view your sales reports there.

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Is Your Book Successful Selling?
There are more ways to measure if you are right on track to Bestsellerdom – worldwide – using Aaron Shepard’s Sales Rank Express.  Here are even more numbers about book sales and author earnings in general – also not about your own book: The 7K ReportThe other question is “How much money do I earn with my book”? Read this humorous article by Patrick Wensink on Salon.com.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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How Newspapers / Magazines Deceive Readers

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A Joke? Statistics about the numbers of e-Books versus print books – taken from companies that sell only print books? Yes, that’s right – or have you ever purchased an e-book at WalMart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target or K-Mart? How can statistics be true if one (large) part of the measurement is not taken?

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BookStore

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Flawed Survey, Sloppy Research, No Fact-Checking…
“Print Books Still Outselling e-Books” or “Print Books Outsold Ebooks In First Half Of 2014” are the big headlines these days at newspapers and magazines, from PublishersWeekly to GoodeReader and Huffington Post.
“According to Nielsen’s survey, e-books constituted only 23 percent of unit sales for the first six months of the year, while hardcovers made up 25 percent and paperback 42 percent of sales.”

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What’s NOT Included in these Articles:

  • The fact that NielsenScan covers a maximum of 75% of the US and UK book market
  • NielsenScan does NOT count e-books at all! How can they compare print vs e-books?
  • From which book retailers and which publishers – trade and / or independent publishers?
  • Does it include used book sales or only new books? Just launched books or back lists? Book retailers usually stock only new books…
  • In which countries are these stats taken – probably it means just the USA.   But after all we are on the world-wide web, right?  And in countries who are avid e-book readers, the picture looks completely different, e.g. the Netherlands, who has more e-book readers than the UK, or Germany.
  • According to Nielsen: “Library, professional, corporate, premium, export, and some specialty retail sales are not included in the BookScan physical panel.
  • NielsenScan does NOT report any Print-on-Demand books including CreateSpace!
  • Amazon reminds authors:
    “Note about Amazon print sales: Sales reported depends on which retailers selling your book and participate in Nielsen BookScan, and whether your book is registered with one of the companies from which Nielsen derives its list of reported ASINs. If your book is registered with the Ingram Company, for example, you will see sales info. If your book is Print on Demand, your publishing company may not report ISBNs to Ingram and you may not see sales information. If a disproportionate number of your books are sold by stores that do not report to Nielsen, your sales information may underestimate your total sales.”
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    These are the Facts:
  • Millions of independent published books, Print-on-Demand books and e-books as well as retailers are NOT included at all in Nielsen’s statistics
  • How wrong Nielsen’s numbers are, can be found in several articles, one of these on Forbes, where authors proofed their royalty statements, that have completely different book sales numbers.
  • NielsenScan covers only major book chains and mass markets, such as WalMart, Costco, Sam’s, Target or K-Mart in the United States and Great Britain. Presently they try to target the Australian market.
  • Amazon cautions: Most Amazon print sales are included in the sales figures; however, Kindle or other e-Book sales are NOT included because those figures are NOT reported by Nielsen BookScan.

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A Harvard University Article Explains:
“Prior to BookScan, the only source for market data for some individual titles were Best Seller lists, compiled by publications such as the New York Times that survey selections of book stores from which they generate estimates of rankings. However, these published lists don’t indicate how many copies of a book have sold or the relative sales among books on the lists.”
“Since 2009, BookScan does supply weekly “book charts” to the Wall Street Journal, but they are just best seller lists. The bottom line is, only book publishers have comprehensive sales data, and they don’t usually make it public. Strange as it may seem, we know of no reliable, publicly-available way to get comprehensive statistics for book sales at this time. Nielsen BookScan, which reports point-of-sale data, but even that claims to represent only 75% of all retail sales!”
“If you are looking for current sales figures, you can use Amazon.com to get a general idea, although it relies on very recent numbers, so the figures are not really accurate. The “Author Central” feature on Amazon.com does provide BookScan data to current authors only.”

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How Bestsellers Are “Made” by NielsenScan

“Bestseller doesn’t necessarly mean it is a terrific book, worth to read. It rather shows a 2-3 week old sales statistic of books that sold well in chain bookstores and at independent booksellers, who are connected in a certain country (e.g. USA or UK) to Nielsen BookScan which currently covers approximately 75% of retail sales.”

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To Compare e-Book Sales with Print Sales
Paper books and e-books will co-exist peacefully.  Most book lovers read their favoured titles not only in print, but as well in e-book format.  A comparison of e-book sales with print sales will NEVER show the real numbers!  Good only for a catchy headline, but it lacks the journalistic facts: who, when, where, what, why and how.
If Nielsen wants to deliver serious stats, they would have to be done world-wide, at all book retail outlets and all publishers – small, big, trade or independent.  So, if someone is stating statistics they need to be explained: from which country and which retailers those “statistics” are rendered and that they not show the real picture – especially when they are taken from retailers who DO NOT sell e-books at all.  It’s like comparing apples and pears, don’t take them seriously!

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BookBoon Offers Everyone to Participate in a Survey:
“In June 2014 we started a new eBook survey to get an idea of the latest trends. Please help us by answering our 11 questions (takes maximum 2 minutes). At the end of the survey you can see the preliminary results. Click here to start the survey.”

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Dark Side of Bestseller Lists

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… or how newspapers don’t tell the whole truth – and not only newspapers, but also book statistic firms, wealthy writers and certain big publishers. Have you ever wondered how some books could reach bestseller status? And how could this be, so short after they are on the market?

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BookScan or BookScam?
But first a statement: Bestseller doesn’t mean it is a terrific book, worth to read. It rather shows a 2-3 week old sales statistic of books that sold well in chain bookstores and at  independent booksellers, who are connected in a certain country (e.g. USA or UK) to Nielsen BookScan.  Sales of online retailers and book departments at big box stores, such as WalMart, Cosco, or Sam’s are not counted – neither are digital books or audio books, which are neglected by Nielsen BookScan as if they are not existing at all! Seems their book statistic methods are thirty years old and/or they have too tight connections to the big five publishers…
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Jeffrey Trachtenberg from the Wall Street Journal wrote an investigative story: “The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike”: How are some authors landing on the Best-Seller lists? They are buying their way!
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He described books that “hit The Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling business titles upon its debut. The following week, sales of the books, written by first-time authors, plunged 99% and fell off the list. A week after selling enough copies to make it onto the Journal’s business best-seller list, more hardcover copies of the book were returned than sold, says book-sales tracker Nielsen BookScan.”

However it was enough to allow authors to put a label on his book: “Best-Seller”. Good for his reputation and a doorway to get speaking and consulting engagements.
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How could these authors reach Best-Seller status?
Well, there are (very expensive) Marketing firms who charge the author ten-thousands of dollars, not only for their services, but to actually BUY their books during a certain week. They advertise this with: “We create campaigns that reach a specific goal”, “On the bestsellers list,” or “100,000 copies sold”…
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Nielsen BookScan who delivers the data of sold books to large newspapers, such as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, denies any manipulations and says it prevent its sales data from being manipulated. However the way their stats works and the way the newspapers report it, opens doors wide open to manipulations: it includes quantities bought by corporations or associations either for re-sale or free distribution, and quantities purchased by their authors, regardless of whether the writers intend to re-sell the books, give them away, or use them.

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Even so-called reputable, traditional publishers are involved into this kind of scam.
Read the whole story by Karen Ballum: “How Much Would You Pay to Be a Bestselling Author?” an eye-opener, I promise you!

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