Are you a publisher, bookseller, or maybe an author? If so, you may have found it rather troublesome to get some real statistical data when it comes to books and you may want to keep an eye on a new service, TitleZ. TitleZ is a new company by The Planning Shop that provides statistical data about books using by using Amazon’s API (with permission). The service is currently in free beta (won’t be free for long) and lets you monitor book trends, sale rankings, and other insightful data which can be very helpful for authors, publishers, or even editors. TitleZ eliminates the frustration of searching through pages and pages of Amazon rankings just to help find competitive book titles and puts an end to the day to day only rank positions of titles. Back in 2004, TitleZ began recording top selling titles, with Amazon’s permission, and grabs statistics every day using it to build a very powerful tool.

TitleZ main functionality exist in a section dedicated to the research of top selling books on Amazon. Getting stated is as simple as typing in a keyword to return a list of books. In my case, I searched using the term, “Ajax.” I was presented with a list of books, sorted by current sales rank, along with some basic information like the title, author, publisher, price, and more importantly, its current rank. I looked for a book that I owned and found the book, Ajax in Action. I personally found the book to be an excellent read and noticed that I am not alone because it was ranked 181 at the top of the list. Now that I found a book of interest, I clicked on the arrow to the left which will drop down and show me more statistics about the book. This is where things get more interesting and a lot more useful – also information beyond what Amazon provides. You can see the books best or worst sales rank, averages (7 day, 30 day, 90 day, and Lifetime), and also a very nice line graph. The line graph plots rankings for everyday so you can get an easy to see visual on the progress of the book and when hovering over a point, it will show you the date, time, and rank of the book at that point.

Lets say your an author or a publisher. What could you do to make it easier for you to track only books that you want to track? Next to each book that TitleZ tracks, you will see a button that says, “Save.” This will save the book a place it in your own personalized page, “My TitleZ.” This way, you can easily view only the statistics for books that you need to track. I can find this very useful for publishers so they can track all the books under their name and I also find it useful for authors so they can easily see how well their books are selling. I also want to note that you may come across some books that are not showing statistics because TitleZ has not began recording ranks for the book. If this is the case, TitleZ allows you to easily start tracking the information by simply clicking on the “Start Tracking” button.

TitleZ also provides a nice comparison feature that lets you pull up multiple books and compare their statistics side by side. In the results page after making a search, I selected 5 books that I wanted to compare. All books are then placed side by side showing all the information on the main results page along with colors assigned to them. Then below the books will be a bar graph that shows the monthly sales rank averages for each book. Each book has its own bar that is in the color that the book was associated with. The comparison page is great, but the month labels at the bottom of the graph needs some work because they overlap eachother. The comparison page is also great because it gives you a figure on how well your book is doing compared to your competition.

I know that when the time comes that I publish my own book (right!), I know that I will definitely remember to checkout TitleZ because the information provided seems to be very helpful. It is very beneficial and has a ton of uses for publishers, authors, editors, agents, marketers, and so on. As I have said, TitleZ is currently in beta and is free for the beta testing period only and expect to pay for the statistics once it’s released.

If you have written a book before, let me know how useful TitleZ has been for you and how valuable you find the statistics to be. I am interested in hearing from actual authors and/or publishers.

View TitleZ – Book Trends for Publishers (via ComputerZen.com).


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