Monitoring Ebook Sales Part 2

On the 4th January, 2013, in my blog on Monitoring Ebook Sales,  I discussed what I have developed so far in a program I am writing to import my Smashwords and Amazon reports into a database, then searching and displaying the results.

Since then, I have made a few small changes, but like the final results.


I kept the Import section the same, because it is easy to locate the .csv files and also view what files have already been imported.

I altered the Search Criteria slightly.

I make the one button load the search results into both the Data (detail) and Totals (sum of sales per book) tabs, and the graph automatically updates.

I made the Open Excel Pivot Table button code locate Excel on the PC, open it, import the detailed data, and generate the pivot table.

I also allowed the pivot table to show details by Author, so decided not to add the Author search criteria to the program.

So, when I select the year “2011” in the Year Drop Down List and click the Display Results button, the results load into the Data tab, displaying the data sorted by Title. Each column can be widened or made smaller, for easier reading, but the window can not be maximised, at this stage. I also chose the year 2011 because the data is old and I did not have lots of sales, so the displayed graphs are not too tight, making them easier to see.


I click on the Totals Tab and view the sum of sales for each title. This view is sorted by Month and Year.


I then click on the Graph and the bars of sales are sorted by Month and Year.


Next, I click Open Excel Pivot Table, and the program opens Excel and displays the Pivot Table Sheet.


If I click on the Data Sheet, it will display the same search data results as in the program.


When I click on the Chart1 Sheet I can view the sales. I can also alter the graph by selecting a single title, month, author, or distributor.

I can also hover the mouse inside each bar, and each colour, depicting a distributor, will display the total sales for that distributor for that title.


Each area has advantages and disadvantages.

The Excel generated Pivot Table and Chart have more options of viewing the data, but I like the visual graph in the eBook Royalties program. I can see at a glance, which months are better selling months, and which months are flat with almost no sales.

I can see that the eBook Royalties program graph will become too small to read the details when I get more sales, such as 2012, and, I hope in 2013, so the Excel Pivot Table and Chart will be better to view larger amounts of data.

Still, the advantages of the program are to extract the data from the distributor reports,  store in a database, and from there manipulate the data with the program, or Excel, or even in Access.

Now that the program is working as I wanted it to, I get to test the program to try and break it!

While I use it, I may find better ways to handle the display fields, or better ways to sort the titles, or, someone else may come up with an idea I could code into the program.

I also have to write a help file for the program in case any other authors show an interest in obtaining a copy.

If you are interested in testing the program, and have at least Microsoft Windows XP operating system, and Excel 2003 installed, then let me know in the comments or email me, and I will email you back to discuss installing the executable file.

Now back to writing and learning how to publish my stories.



4 comments so far

  1. Angela on

    Hey, Diane. Sounds like you’re very busy. And wow! What an excellent program you’ve created. Hope things are going well in the creating and pubbing of your stories, too.

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks. I don’t think I am busy, because I love programming. And writing, and creating art. 🙂
      Writing has slowed down while I am doing the covers and interior courses, but will pick up again in March.

  2. E.K. Carmel on

    Thanks for this info. It’s helpful to know and I’m going to bookmark it for future reference. Good luck with your covers and interiors!

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks. 🙂 I am having fun learning the publishing side of creating the covers and interiors.

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