Some of you will have noticed KDP’s switch to a new interface:
The new dashboard offers several advantages over the old one. The tabbed browsing allows you to access historical data. It also breaks down royalties and sales by marketplace, author, title, and format.
The Real Change
The real change, however, lies behind the scenes — and it’s not a good one: Amazon has now integrated script-blocking on the Reports page. I recently advocated using the free Book Report bookmarklet to make sense of Amazon’s insufficient data. Well, Book Report (and any similar tool, like John Logsdon’s ReaderLinks, currently in its beta stage) will no longer work on the Report page.
BookReport is currently getting around this by making a new version of their tool that works from you starting from the KDP Bookshelf page. This is a quick hack, but Liam is presumably working on a full integration since the current Report API (the code behind the scenes) is not the same as the old one. He’ll have to port to the new one eventually.
There’s a problem with that, though. As John points out, if Amazon is blocking the Report link, they may also block on all other places. Which means that any fixes by Book Report may only be temporary — and this is a fight that Amazon is eventually going to win. Machete, the tool I advocated for making sense of AMS results, may be next for all we know.
So why would Amazon do this? One possible reason is that they don’t want all the extra traffic that is hitting them all day. Imagine 100,000 authors pulling their data 10 times a day each. That’s one million extra calls to Amazon’s server. Why allow that traffic when they don’t need to? A simple security block and they’re done.
I promise to keep you abreast of any developments and thank John for explaining all this in simple enough terms for us all to understand 🙂
Well, phooey. the good with the bad. I love BookReport. so does every author I know. Lovely if Amazon would buy the product from it’s owner and allow us to use it. Won’t happen…I wish I knew who was running things at amazon…Bezos name is at the ehlm, but he just folded Whole Foods inot amazon and when I saw him on Charlie Rose, Bezos was talking about putting people into space. Joy riding maybe. Geez.
My feelings exactly. I still don’t get why Amazon can’t at least give us a KENP sum for the specific period we’re checking out. I have to download the Excel and do it manually now. Sigh…
Thanks for explaining the new changes to Amazon’s KDP reports.
A pleasure. I suspect most people haven’t realized yet that Book Report and other similar services won’t work with the new tool.
I noticed the new layout but haven’t explored. Looks like it’s time to head over and check it out further. Thanks for the info.
It’s better than the old one, but worse than Book Report’s. Sigh…
I wonder if they ever ask authors what is and would be helpful. 🙂
Thanks once again Nicholas for keeping us abreast of new Amazon manipulations. I must go check out my dashboard! 🙂
I wonder if you’ve got the new one 🙂
Oh yes I did! 🙂
It seems pointless for Amazon to dick with everyone like this and I had just assumed it was because they are gits but the bandwidth argument does make sense. I use Booktrakr. They tried a fix but Amazon just started blocking them in a different way, by changing authors’ passwords.
Booktrakr said this, ‘A few days ago, we decided to switch tools to something which more closely mimics a real person. We rewrote about half of the report fetcher to use the new tool, and in testing on individual users, it worked perfectly. But when we tried to deploy it on Friday morning, we discovered that Amazon started rejecting valid logins after processing only a few users. In some cases, users later told us that Amazon reset their passwords against their will.’
‘We are still trying to find ways around these blocks, but we have also begun work so that our customers can upload their own KDP spreadsheets and have them integrated into their BookTrakr data. We will still automatically fetch data from your other stores and present unified, cross-store charts; we’ll just need your help to include Amazon in that data. We estimate this feature will be available in a few days; we don’t think Amazon will be able to block this approach, at least.’
Amazon still comes over as the spoiled child throwing its bricks out of the pram or the bully riding roughshod over everyone but at least there could be a rationale behind what they are doing. They might have said though.
Sigh… Almost everyone is going the spreadsheet way now. Makes sense, but it’s still a pain compared to the simple “point and click” way. Then again, I guess that’s the whole point for Amazon; to make it harder for authors to click every 5′ to see if they’ve made another sale.
Thanks for keeping us abreast of things. I think I’m going to like this new version.
It’s nicer, for sure. I still like Book Report better, though, as it gives us an estimate of KENP as well as actual sales.
Thanks for the information, Nicholas. —- Suzanne
I hope you find it useful 🙂
I just think it’s kinda ugly. Figures it’s worse.
Yep, way worse: we can’t use Book Report 🙁
They just can’t make a change without causing trouble.