There’s little doubt that Amazon has been the driving force behind the digital publishing revolution, including its impact on self-publishing. The once-daunting process of being an author meant navigating some treacherous waters on both the creative side and the business side of things. But with the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, authors have enjoyed a fairly straightforward publishing process.
New changes to the KDP dashboard were just launched in the past week, and they’ve already had a big impact on how authors are able to call up pertinent information. One of the chief differences is now all sales across every Amazon market are the default setting. You can still select a country from the dropdown menu if you want to isolate one market, but this replaces the need to select every single market individually in order to check sales.
Another sure-to-be-popular setting is the Historical tab, which shows you all of your sales from the date you first published the book, no matter how long that is. That information used to be available to authors but only as a downloaded Excel file. Now, it’s visual right on the screen in real-time, and compiled sales, free KDP Select downloads, and page reads if the book is in Kindle Unlimited.
This type of information is critical to authors as it helps not only show a return on their effort, but also helps them chart out which promotional strategies have been working for them. It would be nice to see book ranking listed as one of the data points on a graph, along with how it fluctuated over time, as that would also help authors understand the correlation between downloads and their promo efforts.
Ironically, the dashboard update came about around the time that a small press romance publisher was arrested for fudging her clients’ sales figures and shortchanging them on their royalties. This dashboard isn’t typically available to authors who sign their rights over to a publisher or another third-party distributor, as the entity that uploaded the manuscript to KDP controls the account.