Tracking Online Book Sales
I am writing this article on book sales as a follow-on from my piece yesterday entitled ‘Selling Books Online’. If you are going to be spending your precious life promoting your books, or anything else for that matter, it’s only sensible to want to know which activities are producing book and ebook sales and which are more like flogging a dead horse.
This form of analytics is called sales tracking, or that’s what I call it anyway, and I doubt that many people would not understand what the phrase means in relation to book sales data.
The easiest way of tracking sales is to use a different URL in every item of promotion you use, then you can count the number of clicks that each URL receives and this should give you a good indication as to which item of advertising found the most responsive audience.
However, rather than make up a dozen mirror images of your sales page and track them through your host’s log files, if you have access to them, that is, it is far easier to use a click tracking service. There are many of these, but the one that I find the easiest to set up, alter, and check, is SmartURL
I’ll give you an example of book sales tracking. Today, the 9th of February, I am promoting a series of my books called ‘The Misconception’ and I will be doing that, in this case, on a web page that I am going to call BP.
So, the first thing to do is copy the URL of the target page, and ‘Create a SmartUR’. If you are lucky or imaginative you will find a tag that is relevant to the task in hand. In this case I was able to call my target page ‘mybooks’ which you can see below.
The Misconception – a series of 21 novellas on the #psychic development of Megan, a #teenage girl http://smarturl.it/mybooks?IQid=BP9-2
You can stop there if that’s enough ratings information for you, but you can take it much further. The ?IQid= allows you to add other variables. So, in this real example, I have added the variables BP (for blog post) and the date.
Any clicks on the above SmartURL will take you to my page, but a counter will be incremented to tell me how many clicks came from my blog post today. Ideally, I would change the 9-2 every day for a week or two, and this will then tell me how many people clicked through from this post and which days were the busiest, and when interest waned
Can you see how that might be useful market data when trying to decide the best day to do your promotion and where?
However, we can take it a stage further again by using Authorrise. Authorrise compares Twitter reads and plots them against rises in a book’s Amazon sales rank.
You can reach Authorrise here: http://smarturl.it/booktracker?IQid=BP9-2
You can see the same tracking technique above to tell me how many readers clicked through. So, now you can estimate which posts on Twitter produced success and know where and when those posts were made.
Is those valuable book sales figures or what?
Not only that, but both of these two online marketing tools offers tons more than I just explained AND they are free tracking software, as I write.
Go and experiment with these online marketing tools and make my URL tracker counters spin 🙂
by +Owen Jones