My BookCore Review
I’m not exclusive with Amazon, and so I’ve been looking for a way to track all my sales on the various platforms for, I don’t know, 4 years? So when I heard about BookCore, I knew I needed to try it out, and honestly I’m very glad I did. I’m going to give the honest pros and cons here, this is not a paid ad or any type of sponsored post, just my pure honest opinion. OK, let’s dive in.
So what is BookCore? BookCore is a way to track, monitor and analyze your sales on multiple booksellers at once. You give them limited access to your account, and they show you your data. Pretty straightforward, and when you think about logging into Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Smashwords, etc and then adding together the sales data to get some sort of final figure you can imagine the kind of effort this services saves. Not just that but more importantly it gives you a better display of all aggregated data, so you can actually gain more insight into your sales than you would of been able to otherwise. Google Play’s default sales display, for example, is nonexistent and unless you’re going to build a custom display for the raw excel data they give you, you’re probably not going to draw any meaningful conclusions about what sells best on Google Play. So it’s not just the time saved, it’s also better data, because data that can’t be understood is worse than useless.
What kind of coverage does BookCore provide?
BookCore will automatically import sales data from Amazon KDP, Google Play, iBooks and Smashwords all at once, and you only ever need to grant them access once, for the data to automatically import from that point forward.
Does BookCore require your login, and is it safe?
No, BookCore doesn’t require any of your logins. You grant access to KDP via a Chrome extension, and you’re not required to give them your password. You grant access to iBooks and Google Play via creating a user in your account for BookCore with whatever limited permissions are needed, and as for Smashwords I don’t use them so I can’t comment on the process, but I asked the owner and he said that for all storefronts, the goal is to never have to require a users password, and they only ask for passwords when on-boarding a new store, kind of like a beta access. They used to require a password for Google Play, etc, but they don’t anymore. I would never use any service that required me to give them my login details! As for whether BookCore is safe, I guess it’s as safe as any small business online. That is to say, don’t give them any information that could be extremely damaging such as your passwords. The owners are public, Petr Hrachovec and his cousin Vaclav Hrachovec, so at least they’re not anonymous owners. Usually it’s a good sign when the website owner wants to attach their real identity to the project, and for what it’s worth the guy seems nice when I’ve asked him questions.
Is BookCore Free or Paid?
It’s free and paid, but its free version does not feel limited or cramped in any way. I’m using it right now, and it’s great. I am planning on upgrading purely because I really enjoy the product, and I know that my hundreds of books would be using some serious server resources, but I would strongly recommend this even for someone who doesn’t ever want to upgrade. Virtually every free is available for free at least at the moment, the only features that you need to pay for are review monitoring (you get an email whenever there’s a new Amazon review on your book/s). As for whether it will continue to be free in the future, I don’t know. It’s in Beta, but it’s been in Beta for like a year apparently.
What are the data displays like?
Pretty good. The data displays aren’t too complicated, just all the useful information you need at a glance. The dashboard shows your top 5 books, and revenue, units, free units & KENPC for yesterday, this month so far, and last month total. I like how if you click the “this month so far” figure, it will compare it to the same time period for last month. So if it’s the 13th and you click it, it will compare it to the 1st-13th of last month, and give you a percentage increase or decrease. That’s just the dashboard, then there is a books section that lists all of your books, and I mean ALL of your books (some of these books have been deleted for 3 years and they still get the URL somehow) although one small issue is that it doesn’t seem to grab all the covers, only about half my books have their covers displayed there which is kind of annoying but not a big deal. Then there’s the actual data display part, and some of the options are shown in the screenshot above. I can’t show the data displays themselves for privacy reasons, but they are clean and concise.
How often does the sales data update?
This is my only real issue with BookCore, but it’s one that the devs are saying they will fix. There’s no way to manually update the data, so you’re forced to wait about 10 hours for it to update all the linked storefront data. 99% of people won’t need instant data, but some people like myself are habitual refreshers and enjoy checking a few times a day. I think they should switch to either every hour updates, or they should update automatically when someone logs in, or keep it as is but allow one manual update per day for when you just really want to see how sales were over the past few hours.
Any other cool features besides data display and review notifications?
Wow, you’re picky aren’t you? Well, I guess there is also the ability to export all your data in CSV format, which is great so you can do your own data visualizations or analysis without having to merge together totally separate spreadsheets that have wildly different structures. The team is also REALLY active – I mean they update about once a week or so, and they’re planning on adding tons of cool new features. All in all, I give them a thumbs up.
Do you recommend BookCore?
Yes, I really do. I will update this article straight away if there’s any changes, but as it stands, I use this company myself and can really recommend them.
Only service of its type
No password required, mostly trustless
Great data visualizations
Can download all data
Option to be alerted on new Kindle reviews
Free & cheap options
Displays all books with editable book page, so it's also a book management system
Still in Beta, has been for a year
Doesn't import all book covers
Only updates a few times a day (team is working on fixing)
Some features aren't intuitive, better documentation needed