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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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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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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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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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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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Mark Fassett said:
DriveThruFiction.com is another ebook store. Easy to get set up and all, but you have to make your ePub, mobi and pdf files yourself. They don't sell a lot for me, and I haven't heard of anyone selling a lot through them, but they exist and since I sold books there, I added the ability to import them.

The biggest reason that TrackerBox is $60 is that you get it once, and you don't have to pay for it again, yet I have to update it every time one of the vendors modifies their reports (which happens a few times a year). I'd rather write books than support software, so it has to pay for my time. I DO support it, though, usually turning around new/changed reports in a couple days or less.
Always the difficulty in software that will require updates. The choice between low cost of entry with updates/subscriptions, or the fixed higher cost. No right or wrong, just what's going to make people buy.

$60 once or $20 up front and $10-1$5 a year with a $40 add-on available at any time to go permanent. I can say that a lower up front with a "pay again next year" would make me a buyer for sure for at least a year sometime within the next six months, at which point you probably have me hooked for the additional $40 upgrade if I do at all well within the following year, and $10-$15 if I am still in the game. (Which I personally will be, but I'm talking in generalish.)

I'm just saying that $60 is more than I've sold for, and I'm putting out products 4 and 5 tomorrow, and am on a half dozen outlets at present. Arguably the software is ideal in the long run for someone who does have a large line. But the cost of entry being what it is is putting me off. (And I'm obviously not the only one.)

Certainly the case can be made that if you can get three times as many people buying for a third of the price you're (almost, given merchant fees) doing just as well, while generating not a significantly higher number of change requests (most people will see something they need and report it, but it will be the same things) and if you're getting people in for that lower price they'll stay if the product is good. (And it looks like it is.)

I'll add new vendors on request, too, if you can provide me with a couple of their reports.
I have no idea if any of the people who use your software use Ganxy, but I do know that they plan to be getting serious with sales data in the near future, so they might be worth keeping an eye on.

And, you actually get more than a month to try it out. It's got a 45 day trial, and you can dump all of your reports into it (even ones from Amazon in 2009) to see where you're at.
It was not obvious to me until after the install that this was the case. No big loss for me, it just means that by the time I do have meaningful data (later this year) I won't have this machine to trial it on. (I can use my laptop or the other desktop.) You might want to make it obvious that this is the case, however, as someone just looking might not need it for realsies within the 45 day time period.

But hey, in any case Mark, it's awesome that you have taken the time to work something like this up. Obviously it helps you, but you didn't have to share, and you have. So whatever the price, and whoever that attracts, you're at least being helpful to the general community by providing such a specialized tool.
 

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DavidRM said:
I use TrackerBox to import all of the various monthly reports, then use one of the TB reports to spit out data that I pull into my own spreadsheet. Because I'm silly that way. :)
I can see the value in this, don't worry, you're not talking crazy. ;)
 

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Courtney Milan said:
That's really not smarts. I'm just dumb enough to be able to repeatedly apply my head to a brick wall until the wall falls down. :)
Can we call you perseverent then? :)
 

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Mark Fassett said:
I'll add them as soon as I can have some actual sales reports in hand. I'll either have to contact them directly, or have one of my customers (or future customers) supply me with the reports. I'd prefer to see actual reports, because often what the developer intends doesn't actually make it into the final output.
Seems reasonable, though they're very responsive from everything I've heard, so if you do want to get in touch with them I'm willing to bet they'll hook you up with anything you might need in terms of reports. And the system was developed because of a KB author (Aaron Pogue?) in the first place, so I'm sure he has reports.
 

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Clare K. R. Miller said:
Okay, since the developer is obviously listening, I would like to register my desire for a Mac version of this software :D

I know, I know... it's a whole order of magnitude (or two) more complicated than adding support for a new retailer. But this sounds incredibly useful, and I'd like to be able to use it!
In the interim you might investigate ways to run Windows software on your Mac. (It's easier than running Mac software on Windows, and I do that in order to access the iBookstore.)
 
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