FAQs for Contributing Retailers

Q. How does SalesData work, in a nutshell?

A. Retailers like you report their book sales on a weekly basis from their POS system. SalesData accepts reporting from all popular bookstore POS systems and we can have you set up to report in minutes with no additional effort. Sales are then aggregated in SalesData and matched with bibliographic data that enables the creation of reports showing bestselling titles and other sales trends on a national level.

Q. What do I get out of contributing my sales data?

A. In addition to supporting authors and publishers by having your sales contribute to media bestseller lists and other useful reporting features, you also get access to SalesData's suite of tools designed to help you sell more books (as long as you're submitting data for two or more books). For example, you can grow your sales with gap analysis reports that quickly find titles and sales you may be missing out on. 

Q. What POS systems does SalesData support?

A. We support all popular bookstore POS systems, including Bookmanager, Wordstock, and Shopify. (See more about Shopify below.) If you use a different POS, you can contact retailers@booknetcanada.ca to discuss options. The full list of supported POS systems is below:

  • Bookmanager
  • Nebraska
  • Lightspeed
  • Ratex
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • Vigie 3000/Vilivre
  • Wordstock

Q. What kind of information do you need to get from my sales reports?

A. You should expect to include the following columns in your weekly sales reports, which should be submitted in CSV format ("YYYMMDD_Retailer_Name.csv"):

  • ISBN
  • Volume Sold
  • On Hand
  • On Order
  • Number of Stores Selling
  • Actual Selling Price

Q. Do I have to submit data every week?

A. Yes. In order for SalesData to function properly, we require that all participating retailers submit their sales every week by Monday. "One-off" reporting engagements are not feasible and these sales will not be counted towards media bestseller lists.

Q. What happens to my data once I submit it?

A. We process all sales data at a high level. Your sales will be aggregated and shared in SalesData's All Market View, and will only be visible on a store-level basis with other users you approve. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and you can be assured that if and when you approve a market view of your data, it will only be used internally by that account and will not be disclosed to any third parties.

Q. Once I sign up, can I submit all my historical data too?

A. No. Weekly sales reports will be processed and aggregated in the system starting from when a retailer is added to the reporting panel. Historical data cannot be processed retroactively.

Q. Can I use Shopify to report my book sales to SalesData?

A. Yes! The Shopify POS supports online as well as physical store sales. (If you're a publisher using Shopify to track sales, it's worth noting that sales will only be included in media bestseller lists when they are direct-to-consumer sales and reported at the transaction level by you and not an intermediary; if you're partnering with a retailer to sell books, they should be reporting their sales directly to SalesData themselves.)

Q. How do I use Shopify to submit my sales?

A. The system has a set of APIs that we can use to easily receive and ingest data directly from your account every week without needing any manual input from your end. All you have to do is grant us access to your API.

Q. Okay, how do I give you access to my API?

A. Follow these steps to provide us with API access:

  1. Use these instructions to set up a private app credential in Shopify. 
  2. Under Permissions, make the following changes:
    1. Set Inventory to Read Only.
    2. Set Orders, Transactions, and Fulfillments to Read Only.
    3. Set Products, Variants, and Collections to Read Only.
    4. The other fields can be left set to No Access.
  3. Go to Settings > Authentication and provide us with the following information for the private app credential you just made:
    1. API key
    2. Password
    3. Shared secret
    4. URL format
    5. Example URL

Q. How often will you retrieve my sales files?

A. Once you're set up, we will start fetching data every Monday at 2 a.m. ET.

Got any further questions? Let us know at retailers@booknetcanada.ca.