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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
smreine said:
Thanks, though $60 is very much out of my budget right now, but it does look really awesome.

I found a free SQL front end that easily deals with queries and stuff, but it needs a database and I don't have one. I can make one, no problem, I've done that before myself, but I'll need to find the time to create one.
 

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I use Quickbooks because I always have and I can get all sorts of data out of it (plus I pay other authors and have to keep my books STRAIGHT.)

But the $60 Trackerbox is sweet. It's big function is you can just dump all the various forms in there exactly as they come and it aligns them all very nicely so you don't have Most Awesome Book Volume 1 from Amazon on a different line from Most Awesome Book: Vol 1 from BN.

I find some of the forms to be virtually unreadable and iTunes' tossing in all the foreign monies makes me cry.

Also--you can try the software for a month and decide if it's worth it to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
JRHenderson said:
It's up to you Kia, but isn't a MySQL database a rather complex way to track some sales numbers? :-\

Wouldn't an OpenOffice/LibreOffice spreadsheet be much easier for entering data and quickly generating sales graphs? ???
The problem with a spreadsheet is that I'll have to fill out a lot of data multiple times to get all the different things I'm interested in. SQL would allow me to run specific queries over data I want with only a minimal of extra work when I fill in the data in the first place.
 

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TexasGirl said:
I use Quickbooks because I always have and I can get all sorts of data out of it (plus I pay other authors and have to keep my books STRAIGHT.)

But the $60 Trackerbox is sweet. It's big function is you can just dump all the various forms in there exactly as they come and it aligns them all very nicely so you don't have Most Awesome Book Volume 1 from Amazon on a different line from Most Awesome Book: Vol 1 from BN.

I find some of the forms to be virtually unreadable and iTunes' tossing in all the foreign monies makes me cry.

Also--you can try the software for a month and decide if it's worth it to you.
Wait -- it does it all for you? You just dump the form in there and it does the data entry for you? OMG, sign me up. WELL worth the $60!
 

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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.
Yup. I decided several months ago that my time was better spent writing than tracking down every single book/sale. I record the deposits to my checking account into a spreadsheet for monthly sales. I check my Amazon US sales each morning. I don't worry so much about the rest.

p.s. if Apple starts paying me tons I might worry about tracking them. So far, not there.
 

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smreine said:
Actually, when I last checked Story Box Software (Nov 2012) it didn't have ibookstore capability, which nixed it for me. Now that it handles all the outlets where I sell... I might have to rethink.

From TrackerBox...
Import sales reports from without having to manipulate them in a spreadsheet
Amazon KDP
PubIt
Kobo Writing Life
Apple iBookStore
Smashwords
CreateSpace
All Romance eBooks
DriveThruFiction.com


Does anyone know what DriveThruFiction is?
 

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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.

I'll add new vendors on request, too, if you can provide me with a couple of their reports.

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.




 

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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.

I'll add new vendors on request, too, if you can provide me with a couple of their reports.

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.
Sold. Even though my writing time comes out to being worth about $4.26 / hour.
 

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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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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. :)
 

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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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I actually have already written an SQL database that tracks sales via a PHP engine. All I have to do is upload the royalty reports that I get from various vendors and it automatically figures out how many copies of each book that I sold. I can't use something like TrackerBox because (a) Mac, and (b) I need to be able to run a handful of other queries.

I've been meaning to post about it and release a GPL'd copy for anyone who wants it, but in order to do that I also wanted to give some rudimentary explanations of what I'm doing, and so haven't gotten around to it.

You can't run this unless you have space with an SQL server and you can run PHP, but if anyone wants the code sans explanation, PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you a tarball of the current release.
 

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Hey Mark, more screenshots would be great. I TOTALLY think $60 is worth it.... but I guess I'm not sure what it does still. When it tracks, do you see daily? Just monthly? What of my info am I giving you?

Like this: Group and sort reports by any column -- I don't know what that means bc I don't know what the columns are. OR maybe I missed something on there?

I'm not your customer right now, but I will be in 6 months. And, as a visual person, more explinations would be great.
I wish had a "free for a week" thing to play with it. As a non-tech person, I'm always more comfortable if I get to "touch" something before buying it. I'm afraid I'm making assumptions of what this does.
 

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I wish there was something like TrackerBox for Mac. I'd gladly pay 60$ for this. For now, I sort of use a spreadsheet. I hate using spreadsheets though because it takes up too much time to create, which means I also only get bare minimum of totals.
 

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Hugh Howey said:
You are wicked smart.
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. :)
 

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Caitie Quinn said:
Hey Mark, more screenshots would be great. I TOTALLY think $60 is worth it.... but I guess I'm not sure what it does still. When it tracks, do you see daily? Just monthly? What of my info am I giving you?

Like this: Group and sort reports by any column -- I don't know what that means bc I don't know what the columns are. OR maybe I missed something on there?

I'm not your customer right now, but I will be in 6 months. And, as a visual person, more explinations would be great.
I wish had a "free for a week" thing to play with it. As a non-tech person, I'm always more comfortable if I get to "touch" something before buying it. I'm afraid I'm making assumptions of what this does.
You can download it for a free trial period of 45 days (which I did last fall, played around, and decided I didn't want it, since it didn't have iBookstore. Now that it does, I'm thinking this is totally the way to go!).

 

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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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Caitie Quinn said:
Hey Mark, more screenshots would be great. I TOTALLY think $60 is worth it.... but I guess I'm not sure what it does still. When it tracks, do you see daily? Just monthly? What of my info am I giving you?

Like this: Group and sort reports by any column -- I don't know what that means bc I don't know what the columns are. OR maybe I missed something on there?

I'm not your customer right now, but I will be in 6 months. And, as a visual person, more explinations would be great.
I wish had a "free for a week" thing to play with it. As a non-tech person, I'm always more comfortable if I get to "touch" something before buying it. I'm afraid I'm making assumptions of what this does.
Basically, you import your monthly reports (not daily) from the supported vendors, and it combines them in a database. You can then view several different reports, like Net Sales by title, or by month, etc... In those reports, you get a chart, but you also get a grid (like excel) with the data, and you can take each column in that grid and sort by them, or group by them so that you can adjust the view to see things pretty much however you wish. You can refine the reports by Date, title, vendor, author (if you're using pen names), formats, and currency.

I get how you want to "touch" it before buying, that's why there's a 45 day free trial. I'd just wait until you have some data to put into it before you run it for the first time.

Hope that helps.
 
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