As of today Amazon is letting authors enrolled in their “Author Central” program (e.g. FiledBy for Amazon) access a small window of Nielsen BookScan sales data for their own books. Needless to say, the offer is a major inducement for authors not already enrolled to sign up for the Author Central. The program shows the most recent four weeks of sales as tracked by Nielsen, on a week-by-week basis. It also provides geographical breakdowns, showing the same limited data set according to local DMA markets. They provide a nice visual national mapping of the data that Nielsen itself provides to customers only as a set of numbers.
It does not provide any other Nielsen BookScan information (historical sales; year-to-date or lifetime sales totals; breakdowns by sales segment, etc.), and results are posted on a delayed timetable compared to the availability of the information to trade subscribers, posting at 3:00 Eastern time on Fridays. There is a prominent contact form to request more data from Nielsen for a fee. And Amazon is not providing authors any data on the site’s own book, or ebook, sales.
There is reaction aplenty online, of course. We learned about the news from the press release just like the rest of the world–and though it’s admittedly self-serving, one can see how this initiative might further increase interest among agents for the Nielsen Publishers Marketplace BookScan service that we announced less than a month ago. Our premium service allows agents unlimited searches of the BookScan database, shows complete data sets (including lifetime and year-to-date sales), and is updated every Wednesday, as soon as the new week’s data is available.
We also provide a complete package of BookScan’s more than 70 weekly bestseller lists, along with our own “book tracker” feature to automatically follow sales results for up to 10 ISBNs with a single click.
We know that many agents have always wanted and needed access to the same data that publishers rely on. Now that authors will have ready access of their own to just glimpses of this data, we’re even more pleased that we were able to make a full-service offering available to interested agents. For a full description of our new service, visit here.
Amazon description page