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Amazon Gives Authors Free Access to Nielsen BookScan’s Sales Data

Today Amazon announced that writers with an Author Central account can now have free access to Nielsen BookScan’s weekly geographic sales figures for their print books.

On Twitter, this dramatic news has spawned hundreds of comments from agents, editors, and authors–the responses ranged from joy to distress. Read a few of our favorites below.

Amazon vice president Russ Grandinetti had this statement: “Authors are an important community for us … We’re really happy to make it easy and free for them to see geographical BookScan data updated weekly, as well as historical Amazon bestsellers rank, for their books.  We hope this creates an improved feedback loop for authors and enables them to develop more effective methods for reaching the widest possible audience.”

Agent Ginger Clark wrote: “Authors: I’ll be the 1st to say ‘knowledge is power.’ But Bookscan numbers do not tell the whole story and need context.”

YA author Christine Johnson wrote: “Amazon gives authors access to Bookscan numbers. In other news, thousands of authors go on automatic suicide watch.”

Agent Elana Roth wrote: “Basically, authors, we’re terrified that giving you BookScan is going to make us crazier than we already are.”

Author and agent Jason Pinter wrote: “Just checked my Bookscan rankings on Amazon. Let’s just say I’m pretty popular in Green Bay. What’s up cheesehead readers???”

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