Author Topic: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists  (Read 2686 times)  

Offline EvanPickering

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So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« on: April 19, 2017, 08:48:49 PM »
Alright, I've found my caps lock button and turned it off. (for now)

Now that I just booked my first bookbub, I'm trying to decide if I should try to hit a bestseller list for USA today or NY Times.

So, for those of you who have done it, or tried it, is it worth the investment? I know this may be hard to quantify, but was it worth the extra expenditures in promos just to get that stamp of approval?

I suppose its a pretty great blurb headliner for your book.

So again I turn to you, my comrades, for advice and opinion. This is my first Boobkbub deal. Do I go for a list or just see what I can do with the featured deal by itself?

Thank you, kind citizens of Kboardia.
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Offline farrago

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 10:12:51 PM »
Alright, I've found my caps lock button and turned it off. (for now)

Now that I just booked my first bookbub, I'm trying to decide if I should try to hit a bestseller list for USA today or NY Times.

So, for those of you who have done it, or tried it, is it worth the investment? I know this may be hard to quantify, but was it worth the extra expenditures in promos just to get that stamp of approval?

I suppose its a pretty great blurb headliner for your book.

So again I turn to you, my comrades, for advice and opinion. This is my first Boobkbub deal. Do I go for a list or just see what I can do with the featured deal by itself?

FYI: To make USA Today list you need to sell not less than 20K priced units within 5 days. And then your unit may be at the bottom of the list. That's all I know from experience.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 10:24:01 PM »
Can you make a list if you're in KU? I could be wrong, but I think you have to have sales reporting from more than one retailer.

Congrats on the Bookbub!

ETA: Sorry, just saw in your other thread that you went wide recently. Both your books are showing as in KU, for me.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 10:26:29 PM by Becca Mills »




Offline Out_there

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 10:59:27 PM »
I think it is too late for the NYTs. They don't do self-published e-books anymore.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,247112.msg3440817.html#msg3440817

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 12:00:47 AM »
NYT list isn't really possible anymore for indies.

USA Today still is, for now. You'll need likely somewhere around 7k sales this time of year between Monday and Sunday of the week you are making the run, and they can't all come from Amazon. B&N won't report unless you have at least 500 sales there but there seems to be no threshold at Kobo or iTunes/iBooks and they both report. Still, without 500+ sales at B&N, it'll be hard to hit probably.

Good luck.

Offline ALWMOE

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 12:19:45 AM »
I think it is too late for the NYTs. They don't do self-published e-books anymore.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,247112.msg3440817.html#msg3440817

Yeah, everyone knows we Indies are just stumblebums and don't publish real books. Plus, we wouldn't sell more than a few if we did.


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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 05:07:22 AM »
You can't make the USA Today List without being on Nook.

If you're advertising a single title, stay in KU and don't bother with the list. Frankly, speaking as someone who made the list, it's really hard. Most people don't, even with a box set and a BookBub.

Don't cry about it. You'll make so much more money with a KU BookBub just on the page reads.


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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 05:23:42 AM »
You can't make the USA Today List without being on Nook.

If you're advertising a single title, stay in KU and don't bother with the list. Frankly, speaking as someone who made the list, it's really hard. Most people don't, even with a box set and a BookBub.

Don't cry about it. You'll make so much more money with a KU BookBub just on the page reads.

We made the USA Today List last month with a US only BookBub and we're only on Amazon and iBooks. I didn't even know we'd made it until an agent told us. To be honest, I don't know anything about the list, or if it's really such a big deal. It got us in contact with an agent so I guess it was worthwhile.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 06:56:51 AM »
We made the USA Today List last month with a US only BookBub and we're only on Amazon and iBooks. I didn't even know we'd made it until an agent told us. To be honest, I don't know anything about the list, or if it's really such a big deal. It got us in contact with an agent so I guess it was worthwhile.
Sounds as if it might be worthwhile, but it also sounds like a long shot for most people, even with a Bookbub. I've seen lots of people report their stats, and some appear to be in the zone on Amazon. It's that 500 outside of Amazon that looks tough to make. Bookbub seems to produce a fair number of sales in other venues, but I haven't seen too many people report 500 or more in a week, even with a Bookbub.


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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 07:56:28 AM »
There's some miss information here.
To make the USA Today, you'll need at least 5500 sales and that's for the very bottom of the list. You'll also need at least one other retailer that you sell over 500 copies with or they won't report it.
It doesn't matter if it's Nook, iBooks, or Kobo, you need to sell at least 500 at one of them.
For the NYT list, it is still possible to make the list with only ebooks, but you'll need to sell at least 20,000 copies and that's only for the chance making the very very bottom of the list, so, yeah. Good luck with that one.
USA Today is still realistically possible but still hard as hell to get thanks to the retailers who aren't Amazon.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 08:09:41 AM »
Sounds as if it might be worthwhile, but it also sounds like a long shot for most people, even with a Bookbub. I've seen lots of people report their stats, and some appear to be in the zone on Amazon. It's that 500 outside of Amazon that looks tough to make. Bookbub seems to produce a fair number of sales in other venues, but I haven't seen too many people report 500 or more in a week, even with a Bookbub.

To be fair to BookBub, we've sold over 500 twice this year on iBooks thanks to their promotions. Once was with international only and again with a US only. So, I guess it can be done, but I can't speak to how often it happens.

Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 08:20:38 AM »
There's some miss information here.

No, she got married. ;)

Offline CLStone

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 09:10:10 AM »
So everyone's filled in 'how to get on the list' but not a lot of peeps are sharing if it is 'worth it'.

As an author who has been on both, and I normally get the USA Today list with most of my new releases, I can say...it doesn't really affect sales numbers. Like not directly. I don't know what people would call worth it, but I don't think I've ever had a sudden influx of sales just because I hit the list. And I think that's what people sort of hope when hitting the list. That somehow it means an influx of natural readers just because you've got NYT Bestselling somewhere.

Like, I don't think anyone scouts the bestseller lists for something new to read. It is what book industry people may scout and see who made the list.

What does change a bit is only in how you kind of promote yourself, and what others perceive as an accomplishment. It's total BS because you can sort of hack and buy your way into lists if you really wanted, and most people realize it if you're in the business. Most people who are authentically in the book publishing industry know this, so it isn't like you suddenly get offers from trade publishers or movie deals just because you've gotten the title. Maybe if your book stays on the list for a couple of weeks. Or you hit it regularly, agents or someone like that might poke around and see if you'd want to work with them. (Have had agents poking around, but they always want you to write something new to sell to trade.)

I've had fellow authors who got on both lists, some through those book bundles in the day, and it hasn't done much for their careers. They bought the book on sale, but they didn't follow through with buying other books. They struggle just as much as anyone else to make a decent living at it. There are authors here who have never made the lists and do spectacularly.

Honestly, I've stopped trying to organize myself completely to hit a list. I try to make more decisions on visibility for new readers, and generating more income, not getting a title. This doesn't always coincide.

Readers are more important. Visibility is more important.

Readers don't care about the label for the most part. They'll pick up your book if it looks good and the blurb makes it sound like something they want to dive into. Whether you're flashing NYT or USA Today doesn't really matter, or it may a little bit. There's an expectation that your book is more professional, even if you are labeled as indie. And if it isn't edited, there's a slew of 'bad editing' reviews that can show up.

If you think you have a reasonable chance at hitting it, try it. Do it the once. Get the label. Utilize that for marketing for whatever it is worth. Just don't expect a life change. :)

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 09:33:26 AM »
So everyone's filled in 'how to get on the list' but not a lot of peeps are sharing if it is 'worth it'.

Can't say it set my world on fire, but it's better than a kick in the head.  :D

What wrong with an agent asking for a new manuscript rather than an existing book?

Offline CLStone

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 10:17:04 AM »
What wrong with an agent asking for a new manuscript rather than an existing book?

Nothing, really. :) When I was first approached because of USA Today things and bestseller-ness, it honestly felt like an ambulance chaser deal. She really hadn't read the books, she just wanted to sell something off of my current success. When I researched her, it seemed she signed with similar authors who shot up the lists and was coaxing them to writing something new to sell.

My schedule at the time didn't allow for me to write anything really new, as I was neck deep in sequels for the current indie stuff. It really felt weird to be writing for someone that really didn't believe in *your work*, just in your sales numbers.

And I get it. I really do. I understand why they want something new, and I get that this is the business model they are working from. At the time, I couldn't see writing something outside of my series for a couple of years so I politely declined.

Since then, I've emailed with a few agents at this point, ones that have contacted me and ones I've contacted with a few questions. Just me personally, I haven't really found one that 'matches' with me and where I'm going with stuff. Not saying I wouldn't, I just haven't found one that clicked and asking them to just do like audiobook deals or foreign market stuff... A LOT of agents don't like to pick up authors with just this in mind. Their big money is in selling that new book, so unless you're ready with something mass market acceptable, they are really leery of picking up new authors.

I've been doing the dealmaking with publishers on my own now and utilizing a contracts lawyer to ensure everything is how I want it. While I'd love to work with someone who wanted to team up to save some time and handle a few things, I don't really have the 'fear' of working without one to feel I've gotten the best deal possible. And right now, presenting something new to a trade publisher is more along the lines of treating it like a chance at better visibility in some areas, like getting paid to market myself using their stuff, rather than expecting the money to be the best.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2017, 10:40:31 AM »
Nothing, really. :) When I was first approached because of USA Today things and bestseller-ness, it honestly felt like an ambulance chaser deal. She really hadn't read the books, she just wanted to sell something off of my current success. When I researched her, it seemed she signed with similar authors who shot up the lists and was coaxing them to writing something new to sell.

My schedule at the time didn't allow for me to write anything really new, as I was neck deep in sequels for the current indie stuff. It really felt weird to be writing for someone that really didn't believe in *your work*, just in your sales numbers.

And I get it. I really do. I understand why they want something new, and I get that this is the business model they are working from. At the time, I couldn't see writing something outside of my series for a couple of years so I politely declined.

Since then, I've emailed with a few agents at this point, ones that have contacted me and ones I've contacted with a few questions. Just me personally, I haven't really found one that 'matches' with me and where I'm going with stuff. Not saying I wouldn't, I just haven't found one that clicked and asking them to just do like audiobook deals or foreign market stuff... A LOT of agents don't like to pick up authors with just this in mind. Their big money is in selling that new book, so unless you're ready with something mass market acceptable, they are really leery of picking up new authors.

I've been doing the dealmaking with publishers on my own now and utilizing a contracts lawyer to ensure everything is how I want it. While I'd love to work with someone who wanted to team up to save some time and handle a few things, I don't really have the 'fear' of working without one to feel I've gotten the best deal possible. And right now, presenting something new to a trade publisher is more along the lines of treating it like a chance at better visibility in some areas, like getting paid to market myself using their stuff, rather than expecting the money to be the best.

Thanks for the balanced explanation.

I'm just finishing up another series so I am in a position to write something new. I've asked a friend of mine who's been an editor for 30 odd years to work on it along with beta readers and so on. I can't see a loss position doing it to be honest. If anything, I'm using this as an opportunity to work with an editor who I wouldn't have asked otherwise. I had to nag him into accepting any fee at all, even then he said whatever I was ok to pay.

I never considered agents and trad publishers, never thought I'd get that far. From what I gather, all I'll do is send him a manuscript and he'll yay or nay. Yay means he'll see if he can find a publisher, in which case I can leave it with him. Nay means it comes back to me so we can publish it.

As for the finer points of negotiation, I figure we can sort that out if/when we get there. It's just a bunch of straightforward options, and commonsense will both guide and prevail.

So, I can't see much of a problem here. We've had a few approaches by agents and publishers in the past, but I've ignored them. I almost sidestepped this one thinking it wasn't real. I'm glad the agent wrote back and we talked or I might have missed out on an interesting discussion, one I never expected to have.

But, there is a lot between here and being trad published, so I figure I'll just take one step at time and see how we get on.

As for USA Today. I'm not sure it means much other than a marketing tag and being just a little bit more visible in the industry, even if only fleetingly. If I had of blinked I would have missed it!  :P

Offline CLStone

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2017, 11:11:42 AM »
Exactly, sometimes you'll hit the right person in the industry you want to work with and take a chance with and sometimes you just don't connect. Doesn't make them a bad agent/editor/publisher or whatever, it just didn't fit.

I think we all pretty much know we'll never see the same dollars through a trade that we would see doing it indie for the same *number* of sales (mileage will vary), but I'd be willing to work with a publisher for that mutually beneficial arrangement. There's the chance of more visibility in areas you couldn't reach before and 'less work' for that effort, and publishers get to earn part of the royalties for the few years it stays with them. And if I write a book they don't really want, I publish it myself and make more money. :D

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2017, 11:20:59 AM »
Exactly, sometimes you'll hit the right person in the industry you want to work with and take a chance with and sometimes you just don't connect. Doesn't make them a bad agent/editor/publisher or whatever, it just didn't fit.

I think we all pretty much know we'll never see the same dollars through a trade that we would see doing it indie for the same *number* of sales (mileage will vary), but I'd be willing to work with a publisher for that mutually beneficial arrangement. There's the chance of more visibility in areas you couldn't reach before and 'less work' for that effort, and publishers get to earn part of the royalties for the few years it stays with them. And if I write a book they don't really want, I publish it myself and make more money. :D

When it comes to trad publishers I'm more curious than anything else. I just want to see what happens if we get a book published that way. The agent we're talking to works with the big houses so I'm not holding my breath, but it'd be an interesting ride if he got us a deal.

Then we'll know if it does increase visibility, give us access to a wider audience, and all of the other good stuff. Even if it doesn't it's still worth the trip just to learn. But, as you say, indie publishing is fine too. I mean, it's hard work, but what isn't? I find writing a funny sort of hard work. I edited for 14 hours straight yesterday and barely noticed myself doing it. You're either into or you're not. If you are then the hard work is neither here nor there because you barely notice you're doing it.

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2017, 11:33:22 AM »
NYT list isn't really possible anymore for indies.

USA Today still is, for now. You'll need likely somewhere around 7k sales this time of year between Monday and Sunday of the week you are making the run, and they can't all come from Amazon. B&N won't report unless you have at least 500 sales there but there seems to be no threshold at Kobo or iTunes/iBooks and they both report. Still, without 500+ sales at B&N, it'll be hard to hit probably.

Good luck.

Pretty much nails the requirements. As noted, the time of year matters for the threshold you will have to beat.
Just getting a Bookbub usually isn't enough. You will probably need to do some pretty serious promotion during your BB week.

Is it worth it?
There are two measurements of that. One is the feeling you get from being on "a list." That one is up for debate. Some people claim it is meaningless, others see it as a badge of legitimacy. If it is one of your goals as a writer, then go for it!

The other reason is pure business. A bestseller badge is one more form of social proof. BB says they see a definite increase in clicks on books from bestselling authors vs. those that don't mention it. (They run split tests, and have a huge sample size to work with.) They also take it into account when choosing books to feature. Will you see a difference in your overall income after you hit a list? Probably not. But it might make people more receptive to your ads and future BB deals. So it certainly can't hurt!

Good luck!

Offline Crystal_

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2017, 12:37:23 PM »
I just hit USA Today and WSJ with a bundle. Was it worth it? Definitely not, given the stress involved and the way it destroyed one of my friendships. But I don't feel strongly about having letters. My only motive was easier access to BookBubs. I may include the title on future book covers or in blurbs (i.e. From USA Today Bestselling Author...), but it's not a big part of my strategy.

Will the letters make you happy? Maybe.

Will they make you money? Probably not, but they certainly won't hurt.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »
There's some miss information here.
To make the USA Today, you'll need at least 5500 sales and that's for the very bottom of the list. You'll also need at least one other retailer that you sell over 500 copies with or they won't report it.
It doesn't matter if it's Nook, iBooks, or Kobo, you need to sell at least 500 at one of them.
For the NYT list, it is still possible to make the list with only ebooks, but you'll need to sell at least 20,000 copies and that's only for the chance making the very very bottom of the list, so, yeah. Good luck with that one.
USA Today is still realistically possible but still hard as hell to get thanks to the retailers who aren't Amazon.

This entirely depends on time of year for the USAT list. I've missed it with 8k sales, with 12k sales, and with 6k sales before. I hit it with 7k or so sales. All different times of year. This time of year is probably not too competitive, but you could always check with someone who hit last week to see where they fell and what their numbers were if you know anyone (that's the best way to know what ballpark you need). 5500 sales is borderline and many times of year wouldn't even come close.

The NYT ebook list is gone. No more. Ain't gonna happen. It's just the combined list now, and they heavily weight paperback sales and bookstores reporting. They also curate that list, it isn't actually entirely based on sales. I've known people who had more than enough sales to get onto it who were blocked from it (probably because they don't want a bunch of ebook only bundle stuff on there or a glut of SF or whatever, most likely).  Aiming for NYT these days is likely futile and not worth it unless you really think you'll hit tens of thousands of sales and not be curated off the list mysteriously.

Also, the USAT list has 150 slots. The NYT combined list has 15. There's a reason one is easier (though not easy) to hit than the other.

If your book is in KU, it won't make any lists. But you'll likely make more money from increased reads etc. :)

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2017, 02:05:57 PM »
This entirely depends on time of year for the USAT list. I've missed it with 8k sales, with 12k sales, and with 6k sales before. I hit it with 7k or so sales. All different times of year. This time of year is probably not too competitive, but you could always check with someone who hit last week to see where they fell and what their numbers were if you know anyone (that's the best way to know what ballpark you need). 5500 sales is borderline and many times of year wouldn't even come close.

The NYT ebook list is gone. No more. Ain't gonna happen. It's just the combined list now, and they heavily weight paperback sales and bookstores reporting. They also curate that list, it isn't actually entirely based on sales. I've known people who had more than enough sales to get onto it who were blocked from it (probably because they don't want a bunch of ebook only bundle stuff on there or a glut of SF or whatever, most likely).  Aiming for NYT these days is likely futile and not worth it unless you really think you'll hit tens of thousands of sales and not be curated off the list mysteriously.

Also, the USAT list has 150 slots. The NYT combined list has 15. There's a reason one is easier (though not easy) to hit than the other.

If your book is in KU, it won't make any lists. But you'll likely make more money from increased reads etc. :)
True about the time of the year, summer is the best time so if he tries for it now, 6k should be enough. (I know a person who made it with 5.5k sales a few weeks ago, so that's where my statistic comes from.) Fall and Winter is a harder time to hit it.
For the NYT times I know a few people who made it with 21k sales, ebook only, a majority of the sales from Amazon, the rest were from ibook and Nook, so the new list isn't as curated as people claim.
Not worth for aiming for it though unless you were planning on not making back the thousands and thousands of marketing dollars to make it.

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2017, 05:43:30 PM »
I'll stack revenue against letters any day. It's totally lost its meaning in the last few years. If it's something you can throw money at to buy, but doesn't gain back the investment, it's a poor investment, nothing but a vanity thing. Today's readers (of which I am one) tend to gloss over the monikers, doubting that it's a good indication of the book's true entertainment value.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2017, 06:28:07 PM »
Why do people think you have to pay to get on these list? I mean, sure, you probably had a BookBub, but they tend to pay for themselves. Outside of that, what else do you have to pay? If you sell enough books via the BookBub ad to land on the list then you certainly made money even at 99c and 35% royalty. The BookBub's I've have broken even within 2 - 4 hours of going live. The ROI was a no brainer. Making a list was a bonus.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2017, 06:46:42 PM »
Why do people think you have to pay to get on these list?

There are some book promoters charging $2,000 buy in per author, for 20 authors to be in boxed sets (40k+ per boxed set) that are pretty much guaranteed to hit the USA. Used to be NYT as well, but I'm not sure if that's still happening with the changes. They get the numbers by either using the buy in to simply pay people to buy the set (eg: show your receipt for the 99 cent set and I'll send you $3-5) or thousands of copies are gifted to make the numbers. For some who really want the letters, and simply don't have the readers to do it on their own, they consider it 2k well spent to call themselves a USA/NYT bestseller for ever after. If you're a small time author with a small following and books with 6-figure ranks, then you practically have zero chance of hitting the lists on your own, these sets offer a chance that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

It depends on what your publishing goals are, some want the letters at any price, some would rather have a larger reader base.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 06:48:24 PM by AliceW »

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2017, 06:48:24 PM »
There are some book promoters charging $2,000 buy in per author, for 20 authors to be in boxed sets (40k+ per boxed set) that are pretty much guaranteed to hit the USA. Used to be NYT as well, but I'm not sure if that's still happening with the changes. They get the numbers by either using the buy in to simply pay people to buy the set (eg: show your receipt for the 99 cent set and I'll send you $3-5) or thousands of copies are gifted to make the numbers. For some who really want the letters, and simply don't have the readers to do it on their own, they consider it 2k well spent to call themselves a USA/NYT bestseller for ever after. It depends on what your publishing goals are, some want the letters at any price, some would rather have a larger reader base.
Who would charge 2000$ to make the USA Today list?

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2017, 06:52:42 PM »
Why do people think you have to pay to get on these list? I mean, sure, you probably had a BookBub, but they tend to pay for themselves. Outside of that, what else do you have to pay? If you sell enough books via the BookBub ad to land on the list then you certainly made money even at 99c and 35% royalty. The BookBub's I've have broken even within 2 - 4 hours of going live. The ROI was a no brainer. Making a list was a bonus.

It's rare for a title to make the USA Today Bestseller list with only a Bookbub.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2017, 06:57:23 PM »
It's rare for a title to make the USA Today Bestseller list with only a Bookbub.
And with the effectiveness of promo sites decreasing over the last few years, it's still rare when people stack ads.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2017, 07:15:46 PM »
So, for those of you who have done it, or tried it, is it worth the investment? I know this may be hard to quantify, but was it worth the extra expenditures in promos just to get that stamp of approval?

It was worth the extra expenditure for me to make the USA Today list because with a BB and ad stacking it was a positive ROI. It was also one of my bucket list items as a writer, so I can cross that one off and move on to the next one.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2017, 10:10:05 PM »
There are some book promoters charging $2,000 buy in per author, for 20 authors to be in boxed sets (40k+ per boxed set) that are pretty much guaranteed to hit the USA. Used to be NYT as well, but I'm not sure if that's still happening with the changes. They get the numbers by either using the buy in to simply pay people to buy the set (eg: show your receipt for the 99 cent set and I'll send you $3-5) or thousands of copies are gifted to make the numbers. For some who really want the letters, and simply don't have the readers to do it on their own, they consider it 2k well spent to call themselves a USA/NYT bestseller for ever after. If you're a small time author with a small following and books with 6-figure ranks, then you practically have zero chance of hitting the lists on your own, these sets offer a chance that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

It depends on what your publishing goals are, some want the letters at any price, some would rather have a larger reader base.

Oh, ok, thanks for explanation. I didn't know anyone could do that. What's the point?  As a reader, I don't know what any of the stickers mean on books, whether it's a best seller list, a nomination or an award.  That's a lot of money to spend on something that probably few people outside of the industry care about.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2017, 10:17:19 PM »
It's rare for a title to make the USA Today Bestseller list with only a Bookbub.

I didn't know that. I wonder how many people get on it without a discount promotion. It's one thing to get there with a BookBub and another to sell that volume organically. Does that ever happen or is that the domain of the trad pubbed books?

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 10:22:40 PM »
Oh, ok, thanks for explanation. I didn't know anyone could do that. What's the point?  As a reader, I don't know what any of the stickers mean on books, whether it's a best seller list, a nomination or an award.  That's a lot of money to spend on something that probably few people outside of the industry care about.

But it means something within the industry - to advertisers (supposedly it helps land Bookbub spots) to other authors, agents, and publishers. As I said, totally depends on your business goals. To some, paying 2k is a small price for a label they can use for ever and that some use as a measure of success. Others would rather have the readers. For the organiser, 40k per boxed set is sweet money if you're doing one of those a month!

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 11:12:12 PM »
I've heard that when you apply to Bookbub they look up your  claim of hitting a list these days, and if you hit via a multi-author bundle, they don't take it into consideration or list it as a thing in your blurb if they do take your book.  However, I haven't heard that confirmed, but given the number of multi-author bundles I know hit lists using very scammy tactics, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the bigger sites have figured that out and are taking steps to minimize the impact of it.

Generally if you want to hit as a single book or a single-author omnibus etc, you need to stack ads around your Bookbub and probably do FB ads or the like to target those non-Amazon buyers. Or have a huge audience (I know some people who hit it upon release because of their mailing lists etc, no Bookbub at all).

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2017, 11:44:31 PM »
I've heard that when you apply to Bookbub they look up your  claim of hitting a list these days, and if you hit via a multi-author bundle, they don't take it into consideration or list it as a thing in your blurb if they do take your book.  However, I haven't heard that confirmed, but given the number of multi-author bundles I know hit lists using very scammy tactics, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the bigger sites have figured that out and are taking steps to minimize the impact of it.
Never heard of that rumor before, I highly doubt bookbub is doing that.
They did split test showing that the letters improve click rate. I doubt they have time to scour a list for every book of every author that has claimed to be on the list.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 11:50:47 PM by JalexM »

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 12:02:56 AM »
...but given the number of multi-author bundles I know hit lists using very scammy tactics, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the bigger sites have figured that out and are taking steps to minimize the impact of it...

I heard a rumour that the scammy tactics used by some boxed sets was behind the recent changes to the NYT list. If so, I wonder if USA Today will follow and likewise remove mutli-author bundles?

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2017, 12:06:14 AM »
I heard a rumour that the scammy tactics used by some boxed sets was behind the recent changes to the NYT list. If so, I wonder if USA Today will follow and likewise remove mutli-author bundles?
Yet a box set recently made the NYT list after the change...so obviously that wasn't the reason for the change.
I didn't know this thread was about that though.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:08:16 AM by JalexM »

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2017, 01:31:29 AM »
Never heard of that rumor before, I highly doubt bookbub is doing that.
They did split test showing that the letters improve click rate. I doubt they have time to scour a list for every book of every author that has claimed to be on the list.

I absolutely bet they check to see if you've been on the list if you claim that in your notes while submitting. I know I would double-check (it takes a minute at most to do) if someone claimed that and I was running the biggest promo site out there. One wrong listing that someone gets mad about and that's bad press you don't want.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2017, 01:38:42 AM »
Never heard of that rumor before, I highly doubt bookbub is doing that.
They did split test showing that the letters improve click rate. I doubt they have time to scour a list for every book of every author that has claimed to be on the list.
It's very possible they do. They employ more than fifty people. Hitting USAT is a big deal, and they probably want to make sure their authors made it with a standalone book or single-author boxset. Personally - and I know some people disagree with this sentiment - I don't think claiming USAT status from a multi-author boxset is fair. It follows the letter of the rules but not the spirit. IMHO.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2017, 01:41:25 AM »
I absolutely bet they check to see if you've been on the list if you claim that in your notes while submitting. I know I would double-check (it takes a minute at most to do) if someone claimed that and I was running the biggest promo site out there. One wrong listing that someone gets mad about and that's bad press you don't want.
It seems like most of my statements in this thread are being looked over.
I highly doubt they are doing the things with multi author sets like you claim.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2017, 04:33:18 AM »
I've heard that when you apply to Bookbub they look up your  claim of hitting a list these days, and if you hit via a multi-author bundle, they don't take it into consideration or list it as a thing in your blurb if they do take your book.

Thank god.

On another note, "1/20th of a USA Today Bestseller" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but at least it's truth in advertising. :)

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2017, 06:18:05 AM »
It's totally lost its meaning in the last few years.

My guess is that is how it seems to you because the last few years is how long you've been in the writing game.
The NYT list has always been curated, and always been possible to buy your way onto. The only difference is now you are looking at it as an author, and the veil of mystery has been lifted.
PLENTY of readers still place stock in it. You are more likely to get a Bookbub if you have it, and people are more likely to click on your ads if you mention it. I've read research that says hitting the NYT list can boost a first-time author's book sales by over 50%. I'm not sure how well that still holds up, but I'd hardly say that it's totally meaningless.

You're probably right about it not being a sound investment for most writers if you look at it strictly from ROI on one book. But I know some nonfiction authors who make most of their money from courses and speaking gigs that are thrilled to have those letters. It is a mark of legitimacy to the average reader, who knows nothing about what is involved behind the scenes.

Speaking from personal experience, when people find out I am a full-time writer, they usually don't take it very seriously. Even when I tell them I make more now than at my old job, they still think it is a hobby for some reason. But when I mention I've been on the USA Today bestseller list a half-dozen times, they immediately change their tune.

You know that list doesn't mean much. I know that list doesn't mean much. But to the VAST majority of readers out there, it means a lot.

Also, there are a bunch of people on these forums that think it means something. People are constantly organizing promotions around list runs. Many writers have hitting a list as one of their writing goals. People on this thread have mentioned it as a bucket list item. To dismiss those goals as meaningless isn't exactly the most encouraging thing in the world.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 06:28:22 AM by Steve Voelker »

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2017, 06:26:15 AM »
It seems like most of my statements in this thread are being looked over.
I highly doubt they are doing the things with multi author sets like you claim.

Why would they NOT check the credentials of every submission? They have a lot riding on their reputation with their readers.

As far as the multi-author box set thing goes, it seems to be the general consensus among the authors that I know.
The ones that have only hit with multi-author sets never get it mentioned in their Bookbub blurbs. The ones who have hit with their own titles do. I don't see how that would happen if BB didn't check.

Offline CLStone

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2017, 06:50:03 AM »

Speaking from personal experience, when people find out I am a full-time writer, they usually don't take it very seriously. Even when I tell them I make more now than at my old job, they still think it is a hobby for some reason. But when I mention I've been on the USA Today bestseller list a half-dozen times, they immediately change their tune.


This is one big reason to say it is worth it. :) But just to say for my old job I worked from home, and people believed I got paid in play money until I mentioned I worked for Microsoft. Sometimes you have to throw out a name to get people to understand you're srius buzns.

Having USA Today only loses the 'starry-eyed' feeling of accomplishment when my books get there naturally via release week at full price, and then at one point you do a book bundle and get on the same list just on sales. I did a bundle once and managed to get that NYT bestselling status via a bundle, but I stopped doing it after. I didn't like the feel of doing it that way with a sale with multiple authors. Not when I got USA Today several times naturally from just a readership base launch.

In a way, this is why when I hit a list naturally, I show the readers and I go, "Hey! See this? Look what you all did! Congrats!" I put the 'reward' on them. Because they are the ones that really do it. Not me manipulating things. (Only slightly via planning by releasing on certain days of the week, etc.)

Not saying authors shouldn't do try to get any of the letters via BookBub in any way. Use the letters to help you launch your business and get advertising. Do it while you still can before they change rules for USA Today next. But just to be clear it isn't insta-mega fame thing. Look at it as more of a tool you can then use to help with a few other things...but also not essential for success, either.

But once you've got it, use it and do more strategic things that mean more readers and more money. :) Like for me, now that I've got letters if you were to ask me if I'd rather hit a list or Amazon #1 for a week...that's hard to say but I think I'd pick Amazon.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2017, 09:05:42 AM »
It was worth the extra expenditure for me to make the USA Today list because with a BB and ad stacking it was a positive ROI. It was also one of my bucket list items as a writer, so I can cross that one off and move on to the next one.

That's refreshing! Thank you for posting it.

My own list is the Wall Street Journal's, which appears every Saturday, and which is provided by Bookscan. I have been following it since February 2016. Here is the quick synopsis:

Of two lists, each with 10 books showing, non-fiction almost never has a self-published title. The most significant exception was Donna Mabry's "Maude," a sweet memoir of her grandmother (I think -- maybe a grand-aunt, something like that). It was on the list for multiple weeks -- months, I think, but it was already there when I started taking score -- and remains the only title to accomplish that. I emailed and asked her how she had built the book, and she explained that she really didn't know; it was her daughter who'd formatted it!

On the fiction list, which I gather is what interests most of you here, there is almost always a self-pubbed book on the list, and sometimes two, so the average is certainly one a week or perhaps a bit higher. The book is always midly or explicitly naughty, and very often there's an eff-bomb on the first "page" if not in the first paragraph. The authors all have female or androgynous names, and the books all seem to be targeted at a female audience. All or almost all are available in paperback (though the paperback understandably doesn't sell nearly as well), and all or almost all are available on Barnes & Noble etc. Finally, all or almost all (the notable exception is Donna Mabry) were professionally edited, formatted, and cover-designed.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2017, 09:18:58 AM »
That's refreshing! Thank you for posting it.

My own list is the Wall Street Journal's, which appears every Saturday, and which is provided by Bookscan. I have been following it since February 2016. Here is the quick synopsis:

Of two lists, each with 10 books showing, non-fiction almost never has a self-published title. The most significant exception was Donna Mabry's "Maude," a sweet memoir of her grandmother (I think -- maybe a grand-aunt, something like that). It was on the list for multiple weeks -- months, I think, but it was already there when I started taking score -- and remains the only title to accomplish that. I emailed and asked her how she had built the book, and she explained that she really didn't know; it was her daughter who'd formatted it!

On the fiction list, which I gather is what interests most of you here, there is almost always a self-pubbed book on the list, and sometimes two, so the average is certainly one a week or perhaps a bit higher. The book is always midly or explicitly naughty, and very often there's an eff-bomb on the first "page" if not in the first paragraph. The authors all have female or androgynous names, and the books all seem to be targeted at a female audience. All or almost all are available in paperback (though the paperback understandably doesn't sell nearly as well), and all or almost all are available on Barnes & Noble etc. Finally, all or almost all (the notable exception is Donna Mabry) were professionally edited, formatted, and cover-designed.
I never heard of the WSJ list, maybe because you have to pay to view their articles now. It must be as hard to get on as the NYT list.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2017, 10:24:51 AM »

On the fiction list, which I gather is what interests most of you here, there is almost always a self-pubbed book on the list, and sometimes two, so the average is certainly one a week or perhaps a bit higher. The book is always midly or explicitly naughty, and very often there's an eff-bomb on the first "page" if not in the first paragraph. The authors all have female or androgynous names, and the books all seem to be targeted at a female audience. All or almost all are available in paperback (though the paperback understandably doesn't sell nearly as well), and all or almost all are available on Barnes & Noble etc. Finally, all or almost all (the notable exception is Donna Mabry) were professionally edited, formatted, and cover-designed.

I'm of the opinion those aren't targeted at women. WSJ has more male readers than female. This is how WSJ sneak in male entertainment
for "respectable" men. I haven't looked at a print copy for years but before the internet, they used to always have lingerie sales ads splashed all over the pages. It's a kind of nod and wink. My girlfriends and I always knew what those ads were really for. I mean, if you're a woman looking to buy bras, is the WSJ thing medium you'd go to?  ::) No. That'd be the Victoria Secret catalogue (when they used to do mail marketing.)

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2017, 10:45:09 AM »
Why would they NOT check the credentials of every submission? They have a lot riding on their reputation with their readers.

My thoughts exactly.
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Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2017, 04:41:58 PM »
My guess is that is how it seems to you because the last few years is how long you've been in the writing game.

No, I said as a READER, it means far less today than it once did. James Patterson releases a new book and it's on the list for weeks and months on end. You look at the book on Amazon several months after it was a NYT BS, and it's still ranked in the top 500. Once upon a time, the books listed in the NYT were by and large, well-written, and they got there though primarily organic sales, not advertising gimmicks. If I see an author claiming BS status and their book is ranked in zip code digits or worse, that NYT BS moniker means nothing to me as a reader. Success is tied to ongoing sales, not a flash in the pan.

True, as a writer, I know how that author got the BS title and it's not because their book is best seller material. I'll come very close to earning half a million this year. How many of those who get their "letters" this year will be able to say that? I have no desire to see any of my books in the Times, WSJ, or USAT. It means absolutely nothing to me and never has.

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2017, 06:04:32 PM »
No, I said as a READER, it means far less today than it once did. James Patterson releases a new book and it's on the list for weeks and months on end. You look at the book on Amazon several months after it was a NYT BS, and it's still ranked in the top 500. Once upon a time, the books listed in the NYT were by and large, well-written, and they got there though primarily organic sales, not advertising gimmicks. If I see an author claiming BS status and their book is ranked in zip code digits or worse, that NYT BS moniker means nothing to me as a reader. Success is tied to ongoing sales, not a flash in the pan.

True, as a writer, I know how that author got the BS title and it's not because their book is best seller material. I'll come very close to earning half a million this year. How many of those who get their "letters" this year will be able to say that? I have no desire to see any of my books in the Times, WSJ, or USAT. It means absolutely nothing to me and never has.

But you are not representative of all of readership ;) I think it's important to remember that, no matter who you are.

Sometimes the letters matter. They can help with things like getting a Bookbub if you got them outside of a multi-author bundle, for example. Trad publishers sometimes base their offers on if your last book hit a major list. Some readers basically browse those lists and use them as recommendation lists to figure out there next read (one of my sisters does that, for example).

Will hitting a list make or break your career? Probably not. Is it nice if you can do it? Sure. It definitely won't hurt you.  Is it worth throwing a lot of money and energy into? It depends, just like most marketing decisions in this biz. It just depends.

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2017, 11:40:16 PM »
Hmmm... this has been an interesting discussion and I appreciate everyone's viewpoints on it.

After some consideration, I've decided that while I am going to try to stack some promos, my goal will firstly be ROI and generally increased visibility and long-term sales. I'm not going to go ballistic booking inefficient promos just to hope to land enough numbers to hit the list.

I'll round up as many good promos pre-bookbub as I can and do that, and let the chips fall into the guacamole where they may. :D

If I hit it, sweet. It'd be pretty damn nice to have as validation and for promotional purposes. If I don't, who cares, I'm just psyched to see the results of the bookbub  ;D

Thanks all,
Evan

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2017, 12:17:08 AM »
Hmmm... this has been an interesting discussion and I appreciate everyone's viewpoints on it.

After some consideration, I've decided that while I am going to try to stack some promos, my goal will firstly be ROI and generally increased visibility and long-term sales. I'm not going to go ballistic booking inefficient promos just to hope to land enough numbers to hit the list.

I'll round up as many good promos pre-bookbub as I can and do that, and let the chips fall into the guacamole where they may. :D

If I hit it, sweet. It'd be pretty damn nice to have as validation and for promotional purposes. If I don't, who cares, I'm just psyched to see the results of the bookbub  ;D

Thanks all,
Evan

Is Hood in KU? That's the book that is running, yes? If it is in KU, no list is possible, so don't worry about it...

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2017, 08:39:56 AM »
Is Hood in KU? That's the book that is running, yes? If it is in KU, no list is possible, so don't worry about it...

No, I went wide but for some reason It's still showing KU stuff on the front page. IDK if I should contact them about it or just let it work itself out lol.

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Offline RubyMadden

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2017, 09:21:45 AM »
So everyone's filled in 'how to get on the list' but not a lot of peeps are sharing if it is 'worth it'.

As an author who has been on both, and I normally get the USA Today list with most of my new releases, I can say...it doesn't really affect sales numbers. Like not directly. I don't know what people would call worth it, but I don't think I've ever had a sudden influx of sales just because I hit the list. And I think that's what people sort of hope when hitting the list. That somehow it means an influx of natural readers just because you've got NYT Bestselling somewhere.

Like, I don't think anyone scouts the bestseller lists for something new to read. It is what book industry people may scout and see who made the list.

What does change a bit is only in how you kind of promote yourself, and what others perceive as an accomplishment. It's total BS because you can sort of hack and buy your way into lists if you really wanted, and most people realize it if you're in the business. Most people who are authentically in the book publishing industry know this, so it isn't like you suddenly get offers from trade publishers or movie deals just because you've gotten the title. Maybe if your book stays on the list for a couple of weeks. Or you hit it regularly, agents or someone like that might poke around and see if you'd want to work with them. (Have had agents poking around, but they always want you to write something new to sell to trade.)

I've had fellow authors who got on both lists, some through those book bundles in the day, and it hasn't done much for their careers. They bought the book on sale, but they didn't follow through with buying other books. They struggle just as much as anyone else to make a decent living at it. There are authors here who have never made the lists and do spectacularly.

Honestly, I've stopped trying to organize myself completely to hit a list. I try to make more decisions on visibility for new readers, and generating more income, not getting a title. This doesn't always coincide.

Readers are more important. Visibility is more important.

Readers don't care about the label for the most part. They'll pick up your book if it looks good and the blurb makes it sound like something they want to dive into. Whether you're flashing NYT or USA Today doesn't really matter, or it may a little bit. There's an expectation that your book is more professional, even if you are labeled as indie. And if it isn't edited, there's a slew of 'bad editing' reviews that can show up.

If you think you have a reasonable chance at hitting it, try it. Do it the once. Get the label. Utilize that for marketing for whatever it is worth. Just don't expect a life change. :)

This. Completely agree. It takes tens of thousands in a one week period of time to hit USA Today. That mark varies based on the time of year your title is selling. And as for whether it makes an impact on future sales or not, I've never had a reader say, "I noticed you are a USA Today Bestselling Author, and that's why I bought your book."

So, if you're in to acquiring letters - then it will likely be long and frustrating to get there. But if you're motivation is to reach more readers, it takes a well-planned marketing approached and/or KU approach. If you go the KU route, you will not ever be on any list since there has to be sales at other retailers (B&N nook being the most important 2nd to Amazon).

I also think that the FREE approach is saturated too with everyone doing co-author free promotions via INSTAFREEBIE, Perma-Free, Book Funnel, etc.
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Offline RubyMadden

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2017, 09:26:07 AM »
Can you make a list if you're in KU? I could be wrong, but I think you have to have sales reporting from more than one retailer.

Congrats on the Bookbub!

ETA: Sorry, just saw in your other thread that you went wide recently. Both your books are showing as in KU, for me.

No, you need to have the title available at other retailers (B&N nook, primarily - unless you're doing great at iBooks or PLAY). That being said, I've seen others sell/promote intensely WIDE for a PRE-ORDER (like 2-3 months in advance with advertising budgets in the $thousands). Leave the title WIDE the first week or two it releases, hit a list (typically USA Today) and then yank it from other retailers and make it Amazon only and cash in on the KU pages.
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Offline RubyMadden

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2017, 09:35:30 AM »
Exactly, sometimes you'll hit the right person in the industry you want to work with and take a chance with and sometimes you just don't connect. Doesn't make them a bad agent/editor/publisher or whatever, it just didn't fit.

I think we all pretty much know we'll never see the same dollars through a trade that we would see doing it indie for the same *number* of sales (mileage will vary), but I'd be willing to work with a publisher for that mutually beneficial arrangement. There's the chance of more visibility in areas you couldn't reach before and 'less work' for that effort, and publishers get to earn part of the royalties for the few years it stays with them. And if I write a book they don't really want, I publish it myself and make more money. :D

Yup. Most indie authors I know who got an agent and/or trad publishing agreement have since sought ways to get out of those contracts. Some buy their way out, others have negotiated somehow. They've recognized that their stories might be more readily available (think Target, WalMart, etc.) but they don't ever balance out with the income they had hoped for. Not to mention, it can be six months to a year before you even get paid for those types of agreements. So, it's a long-range plan and in the meantime, you still have to be writing indie to pay the bills.
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Offline RubyMadden

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2017, 09:38:06 AM »
Why do people think you have to pay to get on these list? I mean, sure, you probably had a BookBub, but they tend to pay for themselves. Outside of that, what else do you have to pay? If you sell enough books via the BookBub ad to land on the list then you certainly made money even at 99c and 35% royalty. The BookBub's I've have broken even within 2 - 4 hours of going live. The ROI was a no brainer. Making a list was a bonus.

Advertising & marketing. In the thousands.
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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2017, 12:06:37 PM »
Advertising & marketing. In the thousands.

That's not totally true... I hit the list with a Bookbub, a few stacked ads at other places on top of it, and a couple FB ads to support. Total budget was about $1100 (including Bookbub, which was a chunk of that).

It all depends on a ton of factors like genre, reach, timing etc.  It's not super simple to do or a matter of "do X and Y and Z and you'll hit"...

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2017, 01:43:16 PM »
But you are not representative of all of readership ;) I think it's important to remember that, no matter who you are.

Exactly.

And once you have been in the writing business for a while, you can't really be just a reader anymore. It's not like you can un-know all the stuff you learned from years of publishing and hanging out in places like this. And that knowledge is going to color your views. So as much as I value the opinions of many of the people on these boards, this is the last place I would come to get the opinions of readers. The posters here might be voracious readers, but most are ALSO writers, with an inside knowledge of the publishing process. That is not true of your typical reader.

Also, it is fine for anyone to feel any way they want about the lists. You are entitled to your opinion. Several people have posted actual data that shows how hitting one of the lists can be helpful. And some people have expressed an interest in hitting a list just for the thrill. Those are also valid.

No reason to tear down someone else's dreams just because you don't share them.

I say if you think hitting a list would be cool, then go for it! And good luck!

Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2017, 07:40:08 PM »
No reason to tear down someone else's dreams just because you don't share them.

Offering alternate viewpoints on a particular dream or goal isn't synonymous with tearing it down. Tearing it down is a matter of intent and attitude and I haven't seen anyone in this thread take such a negative approach.

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2017, 09:06:54 AM »
Offering alternate viewpoints on a particular dream or goal isn't synonymous with tearing it down. Tearing it down is a matter of intent and attitude and I haven't seen anyone in this thread take such a negative approach.

Author A - I want to be on a list.

Author B - That's cool. Lists can be helpful for marketing, and it is pretty neat to say you hit one. Here are some tips.

Author C - Lists are BS and completely meaningless, and the people on them don't deserve to be there because their books aren't as good as mine.

Author A - Um, thanks?


I'm just saying I think we could be a little more supportive of people who don't choose to do things the same way we do. Being an indie is tough enough as it is! :)

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2017, 09:47:51 AM »
No, I went wide but for some reason It's still showing KU stuff on the front page. IDK if I should contact them about it or just let it work itself out lol.

I see that your book is still showing KU, even though you're wide. You might want to double check that your KU auto-renewal button wasn't accidentally clicked. I know it's happened to folks before. If not, you might want to shoot KDP an email or something to clarify.

Good luck on your Bookbub & list run!

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Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2017, 12:21:24 PM »
Author A - I want to be on a list.

Well, in this thread, the OP was seeking opinions on whether or not it was worth it to pursue such a goal. In this case it'd probably be more like:

Author A - I might want to be on this list, is it worth it to try?

Your point definitely applies, though, to people seeking input wherein they've already clearly expressed they're going to go for the gold. ;)

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: So.. about those USAT/NYT lists
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2017, 05:20:01 PM »
I see that your book is still showing KU, even though you're wide. You might want to double check that your KU auto-renewal button wasn't accidentally clicked. I know it's happened to folks before. If not, you might want to shoot KDP an email or something to clarify.

Good luck on your Bookbub & list run!

Thanks Allyson, I've been keeping an eye on it, and it's not auto-renewed! Idk what's going on. I suppose I'll contact KDP but I'm a little wary after hearing some weird reactions they have to authors self-reporting issues. At the very least I can just get clarification I suppose.

Re: the discussion of "worth it" for the lists...
I appreciate everyone's different input. I want to hear both the positive sides and the negative sides! I agree though that everyone is free to go about it however they want and there's probably no "right" answer.

After some deliberation I think I'm going to stack some promos but I'm not going to spend a ton on inefficient promos just to try and force the list. I'll be reasonable but still load up some promos and hope I catch some fire :D

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