On the Kindle Store, understanding reader behaviour can be really difficult. We don’t get a lot of information about what readers are seeing when they decide to buy our books (or not!), and so it’s hard to know when we’re making good decisions about our blurbs, covers and branding.
One of the most valuable sources of information for a book can be what else Amazon is recommending alongside it. To help us understand this, I’ve made a Chrome extension which downloads the ‘Also Bought’, ‘Also Viewed’ and ‘Also Read’ lists on a book’s details page.
It’s still in beta, so please be warned that it may not work all the time – but if you’d like to try it, you can get it from the Chrome Web Store here:
‘Also Bought’, ‘Also Read’, and ‘Also Viewed’ lists can be hard to interpret, and they don’t necessarily mean that readers buy your books by clicking on those links. Written Word Media has a good summary of what Also Boughts mean, and what you can learn from them here. Basically, though, it’s reasonable to conclude that they represent titles which Amazon believes are in some way similar to your titles – either as a result of similarities in the book data, or in what readers do somewhere on the web when they’ve looked at your book.
You can use Also Boughts to find complementary titles to your own, and also to find books for AMS or Facebook advertising. To do that, though, you need to make a list of them, and that’s why I made this extension. When the extension is loaded, you should see a button with a download icon appear next to the Also Bought, Also Viewed and Also Read sections in a Kindle Store book details page. Different pages may have one or more of these at different times and in different places, so if you don’t see them, try another book, or the same book at another time.
To use the extension, click the button. You should see each page in the carousel load in turn, and when the end is reached, you should get a popup to download the file, or see the file automatically downloaded (depending on your browser settings). Book information is in a tab-delimited text file you can open in any spreadsheet program (Excel, OpenOffice, Google Sheets, and includes the following:
Number of Reviews
URL to book details page
Note: working out the series name isn’t always easy. We can handle most common formats like ‘Book Title (Series Name Book )’, but I have learned that there’s a much bigger range of formats out there than I realised. If the series name can’t be identified, then it just throws up its hands and dumps the whole thing into the Title field, which you can search on anyway, so I don’t think it’s a massive issue.
Book formats are always changing, and so this extension might break if it encounters a new one it can’t handle. If this happens, please drop me an email at <[email protected]> with the details of the book on which it happened, and I’ll do what I can to resolve it.
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