Friday, June 20, 2014

Understanding the New Kindle Dashboard

I have to say I'm loving Kindle's new dashboard feature. It gives me a wonderful snapshot of how my books are selling. However, there are a few idiosyncrasies. So, here's a short tutorial about this new feature.

When you first log in you get this screen:

This will show your sales, borrowed books and free books. The red line represents sales. The blue line is books borrowed through the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If all you got was this, it would be great, but you have a great deal of control, for instance, you can choose a preset time frame by clicking on this button:

The system defaults to the last 30 days, but you can set it to month to date, week to date, or last 90 days. You can also set a specific time range by clicking on the boxes next to that button and choosing a date range.

Likewise  you can check the performance of a specific book. For instance, I had let some people talk me into raising the price on one of my books from 99 cents to $2.99 so I could make more profit. Sometimes a single picture says it all. Here's a 90 day snap shot, can you tell when I returned my pricing to 99 cents?

Hmm… I wonder about Those "profits" in that big empty middle section.

This is great for measuring the effectiveness of a promotion as well.
You can also check royalties. Right under the chart, you have your royalties reported out by market place here:

And by clicking the yellow button you can generate an up to date spread sheet with the sales for each book.

There are a few idiosyncrasies, though. The graph can sometimes be a little bit ahead of or behind the itemized month to date figures you find by clicking that link in "Reports." Also the royalties do not reflect your earnings on borrowed books, which averages out to about $2.00 per borrow, but varies slightly from month to month.

Also, you might think you lost some royalties if you are not careful. When you open the page, it defaults, as we said before, to the last 30 days. However, that means if you open it on June 30 you get June 1-30. On July 1 you get June 2-July 1. Some people forgetting that wonder why their royalties may have dropped. Well, any royalties on June 1 are no longer reflected. So unless your royalties have gone up on July 1, the number could go down. It is best for you to always set your date range to the specific range you want a report on.

So, that's the new dashboard. I hope this will help you understand it.

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