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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now with 3 books and a 4th one coming out in just less than 2 months, I'm finally bringing in a bit of sales. My only problem, I have no idea to keep track of them.

I feel like I need some sort of 3D mechanic to keep track of both money and sales from each book and from all the retailers... And I'm sort of lost.

How do you guys keep track of it all?
 

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I don't understand your question.
Do you sell through many outlets and want to consolidate the information?
Using a spreadsheet seems pretty straight forward.
You can download the one amazon prepares for you and work from there.
 

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Yes, I use a spreadsheet for mine. You can find a couple templates for self-publishers through google to get you started.

It's tedious, especially when I have to figure in all the different royalties for different regions and formats, but it beats guess work any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, my problem is that I sell through multiple places (kobo, Amazon, Smashwords, CS), have multiple books and want to know both the money I make but also the sales I have for each book.

With a simple excel sheet this would mean that I would have to fill out my sales for a book on the page where I track sales per month per book, where I keep track of overall sales per month per vendor and overall sales per book over all vendors. It would mean a LOT of work.

My boyfriend came up with the idea of using MySQL, though that hasn't got an interface so I was wondering if someone had a better idea ;)
 

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Hildred said:
...but it beats guess work any day.
I read this as "I guess it beats work any day" ...

I too love to procrastinate.

And read incorrectly.

As a note, my suggestion, FWIW, get a google doc (now found on google drive) going and keep things up to date on a monthly basis. Any sooner and your data gets weird. Any later and you start to get snowed under with the updates for the past quarter, etc.

I used to track things quarterly for a day job and found that the switch to monthly made things a lot easier, even though we didn't need the numbers that often. With the way most outlets report, seeing numbers every month is pretty easy.

Best of luck, and hooray for needing to track some sales! :)
 

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Once you get a tracking page set up for one book, you can copy it over for the others, so it gets a little easier once you have the initial setup done. I funnel the monthly pages into a totals page, and you can set that up as well to import the data automatically. Then you only have the once a year task of adding the new year's columns into your totals, and adding a new page when you have a new book.

If you're not used to spreadsheets, it can be daunting. But most of the work is up-front. Maintenance isn't too bad. Your other option is to pay someone to do it for you, but accountants are pricey.
 

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vrabinec said:
You are awsome. No, no sarcasm this time. Sincerely, thanx. 8) 8)
Don't thank me! The developer is an occasional KBer and he is AWESOME at providing support for the program. It's well worth the $60. Unfortunately, it's Windows-only, but Mac users still have the better version of Scrivener, so it evens out.
 

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What can this do that makes it worth the money?

Maybe I should qualify that.

At what point does something like this become useful enough above the ability to import data to your own spreadsheet (which is free) due to the functions it gives you access to?

What things does it do that make you think "this is actually useful to me making more money in the future" as opposed to "I can look at my numbers in a different way, shiny!" . . .

I'm all for tools that are awesome. I buy all the tools I can to help me out. I'm just wondering what specific things this tool does that makes it awesome.
 

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Yeah, I assume you get notification from these sites when someone buys one of your books, so creating an excell spread sheet or something like that, can't be all that difficult. It's not as fancy as that link, but if I'm coughing up $60, I have to give the wife a good reason.
 

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vrabinec said:
$60?!?!? I thought it was free. Never mind. ;D
Gosh, I hate paying people for their hard work and time. No way a useful tool for my business is worth as much as an XBox game! PAH!

Mathew Reuther said:
What can this do that makes it worth the money?

Maybe I should qualify that.

At what point does something like this become useful enough above the ability to import data to your own spreadsheet (which is free) due to the functions it gives you access to?

What things does it do that make you think "this is actually useful to me making more money in the future" as opposed to "I can look at my numbers in a different way, shiny!" . . .

I'm all for tools that are awesome. I buy all the tools I can to help me out. I'm just wondering what specific things this tool does that makes it awesome.
Right now, I manage about fifty books by five or six different authors/pseudonyms, across many, many vendors. This time next year, I will probably have quite a bit more than that. This saves me a lot of time that could be spent writing the next book that will help fill my tower with gold bullion instead of fiddling with spreadsheets. I can't swim in a tower NOT filled with gold bullion. I hope you understand.
 

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smreine said:
Gosh, I hate paying people for their hard work and time. No way a useful tool for my business is worth as much as an XBox game! PAH!
Scrivener is $40 and I use it all day long. I suspect it's more complex than TrackerBox. I will admit I'd pay more for it than I have, but I would balk at much past 60.

Sales reports I don't need to hover over. I should NOT hover over. (You can go bliiiiind.)

Right now, I manage about fifty books by five or six different authors/pseudonyms, across many, many vendors. This time next year, I will probably have quite a bit more than that. This saves me a lot of time that could be spent writing the next book that will help fill my tower with gold bullion instead of fiddling with spreadsheets. I can't swim in a tower NOT filled with gold bullion. I hope you understand.
I'll have 34 products with different versions (kindle, epub, paper) across (many) different vendors by the end of the year. By your reckoning this would then be a vastly useful product simply because of the sheer volume of products involved?

As for the swimming, it is very difficult to not do it in this manner, of course. Everyone knows silver is inferior to gold.

(I'll check with my spreadsheet guru and find out if it's worth $60 to not have to deal with the sales reports. She's said multiple times "no problem" when I mention tracking. Buying software to replace her serves to anger her and make her get stabbity.)
 

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smreine said:
Gosh, I hate paying people for their hard work and time.
You, too?! I thought it was just me. Anyway, I don't have a bazillion books out like you do, so the $60 isn't worth it to me right now. I would buy it if it was cheaper, though.
 

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vrabinec said:
You, too?! I thought it was just me. Anyway, I don't have a bazillion books out like you do, so the $60 isn't worth it to me right now. I would buy it if it was cheaper, though.
Hence my question about "at which point does it start to make real sense" . . .

That's a vague thing to ask, I realize. Different for everyone, I suppose. Damn my eyes.

:)
 

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vrabinec said:
You, too?! I thought it was just me. Anyway, I don't have a bazillion books out like you do, so the $60 isn't worth it to me right now. I would buy it if it was cheaper, though.
Yeah, I'm not sure it's super useful for people who don't do the publishery thing. Just thought I'd offer it as an option to OP.

Mathew Reuther said:
Hence my question about "at which point does it start to make real sense" . . .

That's a vague thing to ask, I realize. Different for everyone, I suppose. d*mn my eyes.

:)
At the point where my writing time becomes worth about $100 an hour, counting only the first month of a book's life, and I want this data with as little labor as possible on my part.
 

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smreine said:
Yeah, I'm not sure it's super useful for people who don't do the publishery thing. Just thought I'd offer it as an option to OP.

At the point where my writing time becomes worth about $100 an hour, counting only the first month of a book's life, and I want this data with as little labor as possible on my part.
Seems reasonable if something is selling for $100/hour that dropping $60 on it (and thus a little more than half an hour of your own work) becomes negligible, yeah. Unless your slave err minion err partner is not doing something and you need busy work for them. :)

I suspect it may turn out to be worth it for me in the end given the number of products, if not the volume of sales.
 
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