Amazon Sales Rank Tools
Robert G. Brown
Duke University Physics Department
Durham, NC 27708-0305
Copyright Robert G. Brown, 2013
An Amazon Sales Rank Tools
Robert G. Brown (rgb)
This is a distribution site for a simple, perl based toolset for
tracking Amazon Sales Rank for initially books only -- the current key
item indicator is the book's ISBN number -- but eventually this will be
broadened to other kinds of content sold via Amazon.
The tool's operation is quite simple. Unpack the tarball into a
suitable directory. Make sure that you've installed its dependencies:
perl, gd and gd-devel, perl-GD and perl-GDGraph.noarch and elinks.
Enter the directory and enter:
amazon_sales_rank -i ISBN
on the command line (inside, say, an xterm). You will need internet
access on the system
It should connect to amazon, download and parse your book's page, and
extract its sales rank. It will write this out into a table and begin
to generate a png image of its graph as a function of sample time.
Leave the tool running. Every hour it will reconnect with Amazon and
update the sales rank (Amazon updates sales ranks only once an hour so
there is no point in sampling any more often).
That's all there is to it! You can view the sales rank png with any
graphical viewer, e.g. gthumb, xv, or you can edit the
amazon_sales_rank.html file provided to make it point to the path of the
png and open this page in your favorite browser. It will then
automagically update every hour to show you the entire graph to
date. The raw data is collected in the amazon_sales_rank_table.isbn
file that appears in the working directory, and this can be imported to
a spreadsheet or other tools for further processing. This table is
preloaded should you need to stop the tool and restart it -- you don't
lose the points you already have if you must shut the tool down for a
This is a VERY PRELIMINARY release of the tool. It does the very
minimum needed to track ASR for your book and display it as a reasonably
formatted graph and save it in a reasonably formatted table. Future
releases will be a bit slicker, and will probably automate things a lot
more. Right now it is recommended that only linux-savvy people attempt
to use it, but come back in a few months and you should find a drop in,
plug-and play tool that installs in the actual operating system and that
runs automatically to generate reports in much the same way that
webalize does now.
Submit bug reports, feature requests etc. to
rgb at phy dot duke dot edu
Also, consider visiting the site of my book: The Book of
Lilith. If you honor me and the work put into developing this tool
by electing to purchase a copy, I think you'll be glad you did!