Self-published authors whose works are distributed via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform may have noticed a couple of beauty-wise changes to their author dashboards. A new report dashboard, currently in beta, gives the muddled old dashboard a much-needed facelift.

However, other than being more eye-catching and appealing, not much has changed about the sales report. The book covers are prominent and clickable, which is nice, and authors are able to select all or any of their books to see how the sales are going in only those titles. The various markets are also clickable, although why an author really needs help focusing on how sales are going in only one country might be lost on most indie authors.

One exciting feature, though, is the ability to toggle on and off the various author names. That means an author who writes in multiple genres and under different pen names can track their sales more easily for just that name.

One of the issues that has frustrated authors–at least those who’ve made mention on it in Kindle board forum posts–is that an author’s top ten books get the beauty treatment, while their other titles are lumped together under “Other.” Presumably that changes routinely should an “Other” book suddenly fare better in terms of sales, but that would mean replacing a title that had previously been ranked on the author’s dashboard.

Overall, the responses from authors who commented seem to be positive. The dashboard is more up-to-date in terms of a professional look and feel, and seems to give authors an increased measure of manipulation power for uncovering key sales figures. More prolific authors may be slower to appreciate these mostly-cosmetic changes, though, since they will have additional work trying to sort through the lump-sum Other list to see how their backlist titles are doing. For some authors, that list can be quite extensive, which would only compound the business side of being an author.

…this is from GoodReader – read more