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Some of you will have noticed KDP’s switch to a new interface:

KDP Report | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

The new dashboard offers several advantages over the old one. The tabbed browsing allows you to access historical data. It also breaks down royalties and sales by marketplace, author, title, and format.

The Real Change

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image: dailyfinance.com

The real change, however, lies behind the scenes — and it’s not a good one: Amazon has now integrated script-blocking on the Reports page. I recently advocated using the free Book Report bookmarklet to make sense of Amazon’s insufficient data. Well, Book Report (and any similar tool, like John Logsdon’s ReaderLinks, currently in its beta stage) will no longer work on the Report page.

BookReport is currently getting around this by making a new version of their tool that works from you starting from the KDP Bookshelf page. This is a quick hack, but Liam is presumably working on a full integration since the current Report API (the code behind the scenes) is not the same as the old one. He’ll have to port to the new one eventually.

There’s a problem with that, though. As John points out, if Amazon is blocking the Report link, they may also block on all other places. Which means that any fixes by Book Report may only be temporary — and this is a fight that Amazon is eventually going to win. Machete, the tool I advocated for making sense of AMS results, may be next for all we know.

So why would Amazon do this? One possible reason is that they don’t want all the extra traffic that is hitting them all day. Imagine 100,000 authors pulling their data 10 times a day each. That’s one million extra calls to Amazon’s server. Why allow that traffic when they don’t need to? A simple security block and they’re done.

I promise to keep you abreast of any developments and thank John for explaining all this in simple enough terms for us all to understand 🙂

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