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Created 11 October 2005
WHOA is the Writer's Homepage for Obsessing about Amazon.
My wife wrote a book, and we wanted to know how it was doing on Amazon. Reloading the Amazon page and scrolling down to the sales rank was a pain. If we wanted to look up other books (by friends, for example) we had to load their pages, and scroll down to their sales ranks.
So I created WHOA, the Writer's Homepage for Obsessing about Amazon. It displays statistics for a number of books simultaneously.
Although it's called a "Writer's Homepage", it's handy for anyone who want to track a number of books. Publishers can see how their books are doing (recent Shambhala promotions), Political junkies can track trends (Franken vs Limbaugh and O'Reilly smackdown). Harry Potter fans can wonder why book #1 is more popular than books 2, 3, and 4 (Harry Potter hardcovers). You can create any book list you want, and share the URL with like-minded others.
When you first launch WHOA, it displays a handful of books, but you can customize it to display whatever books you like:
The books are listed in sales rank order, so the best-selling book in your list is first. A handful of different statistics are presented:
WHOA uses Amazon Web Services to pull information from Amazon. The raw XML returned is transformed with an XSLT stylesheet into the beautiful and useful page you see. A little bit of PHP code glues it all together.
If you really want to dig in, here's the code: whoa-1.0.zip.