This is a distribution site for a simple, perl based toolset for tracking Amazon Sales Rank for initially books only -- the current key item indicator is the book's ISBN number -- but eventually this will be broadened to other kinds of content sold via Amazon.
The tool's operation is quite simple. Unpack the tarball into a suitable directory. Make sure that you've installed its dependencies: perl, gd and gd-devel, perl-GD and perl-GDGraph.noarch and elinks. Enter the directory and enter:
on the command line (inside, say, an xterm). You will need internet access on the system
It should connect to amazon, download and parse your book's page, and extract its sales rank. It will write this out into a table and begin to generate a png image of its graph as a function of sample time. Leave the tool running. Every hour it will reconnect with Amazon and update the sales rank (Amazon updates sales ranks only once an hour so there is no point in sampling any more often).
That's all there is to it! You can view the sales rank png with any graphical viewer, e.g. gthumb, xv, or you can edit the amazon_sales_rank.html file provided to make it point to the path of the png and open this page in your favorite browser. It will then automagically update every hour to show you the entire graph to date. The raw data is collected in the amazon_sales_rank_table.isbn file that appears in the working directory, and this can be imported to a spreadsheet or other tools for further processing. This table is preloaded should you need to stop the tool and restart it -- you don't lose the points you already have if you must shut the tool down for a time.
This is a VERY PRELIMINARY release of the tool. It does the very minimum needed to track ASR for your book and display it as a reasonably formatted graph and save it in a reasonably formatted table. Future releases will be a bit slicker, and will probably automate things a lot more. Right now it is recommended that only linux-savvy people attempt to use it, but come back in a few months and you should find a drop in, plug-and play tool that installs in the actual operating system and that runs automatically to generate reports in much the same way that webalize does now.
Submit bug reports, feature requests etc. torgb at phy dot duke dot edu
Also, consider visiting the site of my book: The Book of Lilith. If you honor me and the work put into developing this tool by electing to purchase a copy, I think you'll be glad you did!