Author Topic: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select  (Read 1036 times)  

Offline Bob Stewart

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Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« on: March 18, 2017, 02:26:12 PM »
In another thread, someone suggested the odds of getting a Bookbub were ten times better if your book is wide vs in Select. I just looked over all the recent offers and the ratio does seem to be about 10 to 1, or worse. Less than 10% of the offers are for books in Select and they are almost all free offers.

(This surprised me because I've applied for at least a half dozen times for Bookbubs since January 2016 and been accepted twice. At least half my submissions were for books wide, but the only two accepted were for books in Select. Before then, I'd had a number of books wide accepted.)

I'd been thinking that readers would become less wedded to a particular store as the various apps for iPad/Android etc., became more user friendly.

But maybe this has to do with Bookbub's own interests. Could it be they can still do well off of referral fees to the other stores, even as Amazon has made it harder for the email lists?

If that is the case, doesn't it mean Amazon's more stringent requirements for referrals are having a perverse effect?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 06:54:31 AM by Bob Stewart »

Offline WriterSongwriter

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 03:10:57 PM »
If that is the case, doesn't it mean Amazon's more stringent requirements for referrals are having a perverse effect?
If there is a war going on between Amazon and BookBub, then it's a mutual war. BookBub is trying to steer its subscribers to the other stores and Amazon is trying to diminish BookBub's reach by offering a competitor, AMS ads.

Offline Bob Stewart

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 06:53:35 AM »
If there is a war going on between Amazon and BookBub, then it's a mutual war. BookBub is trying to steer its subscribers to the other stores and Amazon is trying to diminish BookBub's reach by offering a competitor, AMS ads.

I certainly don't think there's a war on between them. I was just wondering if Amazon's policies might make Bookbub, and other lists, disfavor books in Select?

From a reader's point of view, I wonder how much it matters where a book is sold? Anyone with an iPad/Android phone or tablet can easily read a Kindle book. The only people locked into a competitor are the users of Nooks and Kobo ereaders, and they must be a pretty small minority now.

I've had about eight BookBubs over the last four years, some for books wide and some for books at Select. It's not scientific, as they weren't always the same book, and Bookbub's list size has grown, but it seems to me, books in Select get about the same number of total downloads as books that are wide.

So that makes me wonder if it isn't so much the readers' interests that prompt Bookbub to favor books that are wide by 10:1, but their own business interests.


Offline AnnaB

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 07:56:08 AM »
Anyone with an iPad/Android phone or tablet can easily read a Kindle book. The only people locked into a competitor are the users of Nooks and Kobo ereaders, and they must be a pretty small minority now.
Incorrect, there are apps just like the Kindle app, at least for Android (which I do have and do use to shop around), and presumably for iOS as well. Not sure about desktop versions though.

Offline Jo Black

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 08:12:18 AM »
just because there is a kindle app available diesnt mean users want to shop at amazon. Take apple for example. almost everyone with an ithing will have an itunes account for music, apps and films. You need an itunes account in order to download the kindle app whereas the ibooks app now ships installed. Why go through the extra step of registering for amazon kindle if the books you want are a one click purchase on ibooks? i sell a lot of books to countries that dont have a dedicated amazon store, the advantage is i get full 70 percent royalties not 35 if they bought on amazon.com. A lot of casual readers use tablets and phones now which favors apple and google. Over the past 12 months i've seen sales on apple & google overtake amazon.com - maybe bookbub are seeing the growing market share and don't want to lose that potential readership to another promoter?

Nothing stands still in technology, kindle had the early ebook adopters sewn up but when you look at the volume of tablet sales vs ereaders it's not hard to see that for casual readers the inbuilt google play and ibook stores are a simpler proposition than downloading the kindle app when they already have an account for other content. Given that most casual readers will be driven by where they can get bestsellers first and foremost, unless they are prime subscribers there is no benefit to buying books on kindle vs ibooks/play. I don't think it is about conflict with Amazon, bookbub is run by data scientist types - if they see a market opportunity they will exploit it.






Offline WasAnn

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 08:14:41 AM »
It's business and it's smart. It's also not a cohesive yes or no. When discussing BBub now, it's more useful to discuss each genre as a different thing. BB Contemp Romance is not the same thing as BB SciFi. They are each handled very differently.

I concluded a few months of detailed research on this recently and while I haven't finished parsing out all the data, it's pretty clear that each genre has it's own formula now with them.

Here are a few things:

One of the big downsides to running a freebie in select now is that reads are not showing up the same way they did before. The upsides to running a freebie in select have always been page reads and follow on book sales. Those upsides are slightly less now in *some* genres, which means that selecting a KDP-S book is less likely for those.

They are clearly pushing their base wide. Their advertising is definitely geared toward getting readers from all the various vendors lately. So, they are more likely to keep those wide readers engaged and on the list by offering them more wide offerings.

Not all genre are in this position. There is obvious and heavy pressure on some genre to keep featuring KDP-S books. Of the 12 genre I tracked, two really stand out: Contemp Romance and New Adult Romance. Paranormal Romance is a close third. Hence, you're more likely to get a KDP-S book featured in one of those versus one of the genre that is tilted heavily toward TradPub or wide indies. Where does this pressure come from? I'm going to guess that Bub still has a large number of Romance consuming KU members on their lists and they need to keep them satisfied as well.


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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 08:28:52 AM »
The obvious solution would be for Amazon to buy Bookbub. (Yes, I'm kidding--though there was a time when the idea of Amazon buying Goodreads would have seemed ridiculous, too.)

In many international markets Amazon isn't the dominant player, but its US market ebook share seems to continue growing. The estimate being bandied about five years ago was 60%, and the most recent Author Earning Report says 80%. Yes, some individual authors do really well wide, maybe even better than on Amazon, but that isn't the general trend. Amazon is also taking a bigger chunk of paperback sales. I doubt that US Bookbub decisions are driven by market share as much as by referral fees. That probably makes a considerable difference.

For me it doesn't much matter, because my experiments in going wide have never produced enough sales to even come close to offsetting the KU losses. It just isn't worth taking a huge hit on the off-chance that I'd get a Bookbub. As Juliet said of marriage near the beginning of R & J, "It is an honor I dream not of."

Of course, for an author who is doing well wide, having an easier time getting a Bookbub would be a really nice bonus.


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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 09:59:54 AM »
I got a book bub for a thriller that's only on Amazon. I subscribe to BB--only thrillers, bestsellers and supernatural suspense--and I often see only Amazon books featured. Not today, though:) That chances are 1 to ten seems a little exaggerated. Where does this stat even come from?

Offline Bob Stewart

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 10:16:12 AM »
I got a book bub for a thriller that's only on Amazon. I subscribe to BB--only thrillers, bestsellers and supernatural suspense--and I often see only Amazon books featured. Not today, though:) That chances are 1 to ten seems a little exaggerated. Where does this stat even come from?

Julia, someone here just mentioned it as a vague estimate. There are often Amazon-only books, it's the ratio I was looking at. I went to their site and looked at all current deals, I think this included books from prior days' emails that were still active. I would guess only about 10% were Amazon-only, maybe a little more, but certainly less than 15%. This was all categories. Of course, we don't know what the percentage of submissions are Amazon-only, but it seems hard to believe it's anything like that low a percentage.

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 11:03:11 AM »
Julia, someone here just mentioned it as a vague estimate. There are often Amazon-only books, it's the ratio I was looking at. I went to their site and looked at all current deals, I think this included books from prior days' emails that were still active. I would guess only about 10% were Amazon-only, maybe a little more, but certainly less than 15%. This was all categories. Of course, we don't know what the percentage of submissions are Amazon-only, but it seems hard to believe it's anything like that low a percentage.
Got it, Bob. Thanks!

Offline caarsen

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 05:45:59 PM »
I can't give any stats - only anecdotal advice. I had my entire series wide with my first in series permafree. I'd been trying for 16 months to get a Bookbub, thinking having all my books wide would make the difference. I finally gave up, pulled my books back into Select and then, because why not?, I applied for a Bookbub for my second-in-series for .99. I got a Bookbub. One month after I gave up on wide.
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Offline WasAnn

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 07:18:42 PM »
I got a book bub for a thriller that's only on Amazon. I subscribe to BB--only thrillers, bestsellers and supernatural suspense--and I often see only Amazon books featured. Not today, though:) That chances are 1 to ten seems a little exaggerated. Where does this stat even come from?

Each of the genre are different in BBub. As stated above, when talking about the Bub, it's more useful to give stats based on genre. Some are still weighted more evenly with KDP-S due to list pressure containing KU readers.

Offline Matt.Banks

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 07:19:19 PM »

One of the big downsides to running a freebie in select now is that reads are not showing up the same way they did before. The upsides to running a freebie in select have always been page reads and follow on book sales. Those upsides are slightly less now in *some* genres, which means that selecting a KDP-S book is less likely for those.

What does this mean exactly? I remember reading a couple of months ago that reads were not being counted if people read in Page Flip, but I've not read anything that would suggest there is an issue with page reads, am I missing something?

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 12:54:03 AM »
I may be missing something here, but why would KU readers want to join Bookbub in the first place unless it was to read authors outside of the program?

I mean, I thought the whole point of Bookbub for readers was access to cheap and free books. If you're in Select, you can borrow all the books in the program for your subscription anyway.

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 02:26:26 AM »
I may be missing something here, but why would KU readers want to join Bookbub in the first place unless it was to read authors outside of the program?

I mean, I thought the whole point of Bookbub for readers was access to cheap and free books. If you're in Select, you can borrow all the books in the program for your subscription anyway.

Maybe KU readers aren't generally Bookbub readers, but I doubt that matters to Bookbub. I'm sure the important question for them is how many of their readers will not or cannot buy on Amazon. Probably, as people have said above, the answer to that varies by genre.

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 02:45:59 AM »
Maybe KU readers aren't generally Bookbub readers, but I doubt that matters to Bookbub. I'm sure the important question for them is how many of their readers will not or cannot buy on Amazon. Probably, as people have said above, the answer to that varies by genre.

Oh I agree, I doubt Bookbub care!

It just seems to me that Bookbub is mostly about going after sales. You may get an increase in page reads from the resulting bump in ranking/visibility, but I'd be surprised if many KU readers are looking to Bookbub for recommendations on what to borrow through KU.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 03:37:39 AM »
I may be missing something here, but why would KU readers want to join Bookbub in the first place unless it was to read authors outside of the program?

I mean, I thought the whole point of Bookbub for readers was access to cheap and free books. If you're in Select, you can borrow all the books in the program for your subscription anyway.

Good point.

Maybe BookBub aren't preferring wide books. Perhaps there aren't as many books in certain genres in KU, so BookBub end up choosing more that just happen to be wide.

I now know that being in KU wasn't as good for us as being wide. On average we did get around 250k page reads a month, but we're selling more and making better profit now we're out of KU. It's showing us that KU didn't work as well for us as being wide does. I suspect we're not the only authors in our genre who are working this out and less are in KU.

Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 02:15:42 PM »
If there is a war going on between Amazon and BookBub, then it's a mutual war. BookBub is trying to steer its subscribers to the other stores and Amazon is trying to diminish BookBub's reach by offering a competitor, AMS ads.

I think it's less a case of BookBub trying to steer subscribers to other stores, and more a case of trying to gain subscribers who already shop at other other stores.
     

Offline hunterone

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 03:20:01 PM »
In another thread, someone suggested the odds of getting a Bookbub were ten times better if your book is wide vs in Select. I just looked over all the recent offers and the ratio does seem to be about 10 to 1, or worse. Less than 10% of the offers are for books in Select and they are almost all free offers.

(This surprised me because I've applied for at least a half dozen times for Bookbubs since January 2016 and been accepted twice. At least half my submissions were for books wide, but the only two accepted were for books in Select. Before then, I'd had a number of books wide accepted.)

I'd been thinking that readers would become less wedded to a particular store as the various apps for iPad/Android etc., became more user friendly.

But maybe this has to do with Bookbub's own interests. Could it be they can still do well off of referral fees to the other stores, even as Amazon has made it harder for the email lists?

If that is the case, doesn't it mean Amazon's more stringent requirements for referrals are having a perverse effect?

Man every time i apply they turn me down. Fed up with them.  lol

And my books have really professional covers (expensive ) and tons of great reviews.

However they are all in kindle unlimited.

Offline harken

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 05:16:21 PM »
From my reading of the Amazon Associates agreement and my personal experience with them, Amazon doesn't pay referral fees for KU page reads. Thus, KDP Select books offer less value to BB because a significant portion of their Amazon referrals offer no additional compensation. This value differential between Amazon exclusive and wide books is offset by the aforementioned Amazon market share creep. I suspect BB will be accepting more KDP Select books in the future as Amazon continues to gain share, but BB will raise their prices to offset sales lost to KU page reads.

Why would KU readers look at BB? I guess because there are many wide books, and readers are looking for a good story above all. I'd be surprised if KU readers only read KU books. Plus, KDP Select books don't always stay in KU, so a reader may be interested in a story but lack the time to read before it disappears from KU. Permanent access for $0.99 or whatever starts to look attractive.

[Edit: Embarrassing typos.]
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:50:53 PM by harken »

Offline WasAnn

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 06:09:42 PM »
Also, remember that KU isn't necessarily a permanent status for a reader. They may get a six month or a year membership of that, but not renew. And I'm going to guess that a good many folks who are getting Bub emails don't quit just because they get a KU membership. Discovery is as much a reader problem as an author problem and Bub points out books.

Some of the genre, specifically CR and NAR with PR as a close third, show significant presence for KU books. I only tracked 12 genre, so it's not all-inclusive. They wouldn't keep including them (given the lack of aff fees) if there wasn't list pressure to keep offering KU books.

Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: Bookbub, wide vs. KDP Select
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2017, 06:16:24 PM »
...Some of the genre, specifically CR and NAR with PR as a close third, show significant presence for KU books. I only tracked 12 genre, so it's not all-inclusive. They wouldn't keep including them (given the lack of aff fees) if there wasn't list pressure to keep offering KU books.

I've been following a few genres and I've noticed that the Horror genre has a higher acceptance rate for books in Select than say Fantasy and/or Science Fiction.  I can't speak much for the other genres but this has been notable to me over the past year that I've been monitoring these genres.