Author Topic: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]  (Read 2930 times)  

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2018, 07:09:57 PM »
Of my non-KU books, about 1/3 of my sales come from Google Play, slightly less than 1/3 from Amazon, and the rest is split between Apple/B&N/Kobo. I make enough for gas money on Smashwords and Createspace, and essentially nothing on Scribd or the other smaller sites. I rarely even bother uploading to those anymore. Usually my B&N:iTunes:Kobo sales run about 4:2:1.

I have no clue on how to move any kind of serious numbers on Kobo these days. When they first started Writing Life I was clearing 4 figures a month with them and sales were neck and neck with Google Play. Now I'm making a fraction of that and the numbers slip a little every month. Their in-house promos might help, but I have yet to hear anyone claim to have moved any real volume that way. Usually it's low double digits, which while better than nothing is nowhere close to the kind of volume I know from experience that it's possible to achieve there. The other stores have their little quirks, but on Kobo it's very hard not to be invisible.

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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2018, 07:17:18 PM »
 
Quote
have yet to hear anyone claim to have moved any real volume that way

$1400 last month. Unless that's not "real volume".

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2018, 07:22:23 PM »

$1400 last month. Unless that's not "real volume".
No, that's definitely real volume on Kobo. But you're the *only* person I've heard that from. I don't suppose you'd care to share your secret formula...  ;D

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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2018, 07:25:49 PM »
No, that's definitely real volume on Kobo. But you're the *only* person I've heard that from. I don't suppose you'd care to share your secret formula...  ;D

Nope, there are others, but they don't come to KB because it's all KU KU KU KU so it can feel hostile at times. But I do know of others.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2018, 07:31:26 PM »
Nope, there are others, but they don't come to KB because it's all KU KU KU KU so it can feel hostile at times. But I do know of others.
Well, that would explain it. I know that it's possible, but I have no clue how you're doing it. You have my admiration, though. I'd give an arm - well, a couple of toes - to hit those kinds of numbers again there.

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Offline CJArcher

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2018, 07:44:23 PM »
Nope, there are others, but they don't come to KB because it's all KU KU KU KU so it can feel hostile at times. But I do know of others.

Just over $6k is about to land in my bank account from Kobo. It's my equal smallest retailer (with Google Play) by a long shot but I'll take it. My income has slowly increased at Kobo over the years, but it takes time. There's no secret sauce, just keep plugging away and sometimes something sticks, just like sometimes a book sticks at Amazon, iBooks etc. I don't know why. I find their inhouse promos help books that are already doing well there which makes sense - the more popular the book is, the more visible it will be in their emails or promo pages because the kobo folks already know it's a safe bet. Bookbubs help too.

Good luck with the your wide journey, Pauline.
 
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Offline kw3000

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2018, 08:06:34 PM »
No, that's definitely real volume on Kobo. But you're the *only* person I've heard that from. I don't suppose you'd care to share your secret formula...  ;D

To succeed with Kobo all of your books have to be aboot Canadian stuff. So, write novels with lots of maple syrup, polar bears, hockey and self-righteousness, eh?  8)

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Re: Going wide - the first month
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2018, 10:45:06 PM »
So here are the numbers on my one and only release since the 28th of January. I suspect I'm a bit of an outlier here as things seem to have picked up pretty quickly for me, but I'd like my wide percentage to be higher.

The breakdown is:

Amazon:
220 sales
77.2% of total

iBooks:
37 sales
13% of total

Kobo:
17 sales
6% of total

Nook:
9 sales
3.2 of total

Google:
2 sales
0.7% of total

I've also built a mailing list of 800 odd in this time on Instafreebie, not sure how long I'll continue this...

Online PaulineMRoss

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2018, 04:11:07 PM »
Here's an update on my experiment in going wide. I took my 9-book fantasy series wide in mid-January, so here's how it's gone in the first two months:

The revenue from KU has all but dropped away to nothing now, so daily revenue hit rock bottom levels of around $13 per day in late February, six weeks after going wide (it was $21/day at the previous low point). However, I had an ENT on the permafree first in series on 4th March, and since then sales have picked up noticeably at all retailers, and revenue has inched upwards to $16 per day. Still no Bookbub on this series, sadly.

Sales to date in 2 months: Kobo 7; D2D (Apple/B&N) 12; GooglePlay 0; Amazon: 223 (still around 4/day, as before)

I have promotions coming up in April with RobinReads and BookBarbarian, and I still have two more books to upload wide, after which I shall start another round of Bookbub submissions. One can but hope.

So far, it hasn't been as disastrous as I'd feared, but it hasn't done as well as I'd hoped, either. The permafree first in series is definitely working - I've had several days when I've sold one of every other book in the series to someone who obviously read book 1, and that's lovely to see. Of course, if sales were higher I wouldn't see that at all, so there's that.
 

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Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2018, 04:52:14 PM »
@pauline, thanks for the update. If you sell 224 on Amazon, then you should be doing better on the other platforms. It sounds like a visibility problem to me. Im using FB click ads that target specific platforms and only include the link for that platform. It does work, but I wasnt happy with the cost for Kobo (it came out at breakeven). My next step is to try the BookBub CPC ads, but I need to get three more books out for the series I intend to use for the trial. iBooks and Nook are doing very well for me, so theyre fine. The ones Im still trying to get moving are Kobo and Scribd. Google is always a bit patchy for me, but I dont think its a visibly problem its had two BookBubs and still doesnt perform that well so Im not pushing it for now.

Maybe trying some ads that target specific platforms. Its definitely worked for me.

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2018, 12:40:27 AM »
Maybe trying some ads that target specific platforms. Its definitely worked for me.

Yes, that's a good idea, although I find FB ads just eat money. I dabbled with FB ads when the first in series went permafree, but they just ate money, so I more or less abandoned it. I'll have another look at it. Thanks.
 

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2018, 01:30:55 AM »
Yes, that's a good idea, although I find FB ads just eat money. I dabbled with FB ads when the first in series went permafree, but they just ate money, so I more or less abandoned it. I'll have another look at it. Thanks.

I found when I narrowed ads down to a specific platform, like say kobo, the clicks were a lot cheaper. For a major push I set up a different ad for every other site except Amazon, which I relied on the eshot type promoters to cover and they did. That worked well because the specific ads targeting iBooks and nook and the others were cheaper than they would have been had I been targeting Amazon. The trick is to make the ad exclusive to the platform so it doesnt pick up just any old account with ebooks/subjects as an interest.

Im still playing around with the various ways to mix it up. Another cheap trick I learned was using twitter. Ive never found it great for selling on Amazon, but the hashtags for the other platforms arent as heavily used. I got some activity from that, admittedly probably not a huge amount, but free is free, eh.

A big upside of the other platforms is the ad space is definitely cheaper. From what Ive read BookBub CPC ads are as well. The other thing Im finding is there is less compete on those sites so, once you get the ball rolling, it rolls for longer and without any targeted marketing. My FB ads are now moving to driving the brand and not a specific site, which means theyll direct the buyer to my website with all the links. Ill only use targeted ads for specific marketing drives, like a new release, discount or to lift presence on a specific platform.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 01:33:58 AM by TwistedTales »

Online PaulineMRoss

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2018, 03:45:39 AM »
I found when I narrowed ads down to a specific platform, like say kobo, the clicks were a lot cheaper. {Snip}

Wow, some good advice there - thanks. I'll give it a go.
 

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Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline Lydniz

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2018, 03:49:04 AM »
Wow, some good advice there - thanks. I'll give it a go.

I've done this. It works quite well but I found I got quite a few comments along the lines of "Why isn't this available on Amazon?" if I directed an ad to eg Kobo or iBooks.

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2018, 03:53:03 AM »
I've done this. It works quite well but I found I got quite a few comments along the lines of "Why isn't this available on Amazon?" if I directed an ad to eg Kobo or iBooks.

LOL! You just can't win, can you?
 

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2018, 04:14:40 AM »
I've done this. It works quite well but I found I got quite a few comments along the lines of "Why isn't this available on Amazon?" if I directed an ad to eg Kobo or iBooks.

I get around that by stating somewhere in the text  available on iBooks, nook, ....

That said, FB see any engagement as good and it helps give your ads and ad account a higher rating, which makes the clicks cheaper, so its a win-win either way.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST TWO MONTHS]
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2018, 04:19:36 AM »
Wow, some good advice there - thanks. I'll give it a go.

Best of luck with it. There are a lot more ways to play out the marketing once youre wide. You just need to get creative, which technically is the one thing we writers are supposed to be good at.  :P

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2018, 03:53:45 AM »
A three-month update:

So KU revenue is just about gone now - I've made $5 this month lol. I've had 68K pages read credited since I went wide, so not insignificant. I've now had promotions on the first-in-series permafree at Kobo, FreeBooksy, ENT, RobinReads and BookBarbarian, with another possible Kobo promotion later this month. Total free downloads: 5K. Still no joy with Bookbub, sadly. :-(

Sales to date after 3 months: Kobo: 18; Apple: 5; B&N: 9; Amazon 284

Wide + Amazon income from sales is holding steady at about $16 per day, and the monthly average is now at or above the income from sales on last year's low months, those without a new release or a major promotional push. However, sales income wide doesn't come close to replacing the KU income yet, even allowing for the steady decline I would have seen since the last new release in December. And I've spent $850 on promotions of one sort or another, including as-much-as-you-can-spend FB ads. I've reduced all that to one low-cost AMS ad, but I'm a long way from breaking even. That's OK, I'm playing a long game. I plan to stay wide at least until the end of the year, barring seismic shifts in KU-dom.

After this month, I may try setting the permafree to $2.99 for a while (the others are $4.99) and seeing what some more focused ads can do. I'm also reading through Patty Jansen's Unboxed books for ideas that don't make my head explode.
 

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Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline geraldmkilby

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2018, 04:59:27 AM »
I only have one book wide, just to test the waters, the rest are in KU. That said, I think any author looking to make a long-term living out of writing needs to consider going wide at some point, and not have all eggs in one basket, so to speak, particularly with all the shenanigans with KU recently. So I keep my ear out for any 'wide' marketing tips.

Here are a few marketing snippets I've picked up along the way. I've not tried any of these so bear that in mind. BookBub's preference for wide books means that their reader base is also wide. So using BookBub's ad platform might be a better spend than FB. (Not the featured deal). I heard this from Adam Croft on Mark Dawson's Ads for authors, and to me, it makes marketing sense. That said I haven't tried it.
I also heard on Joanna Penn's podcast that boxsets do very well on kobo, I think it's the one with Toby Neal.

Like I said, I haven't tried any of these.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2018, 06:02:16 AM »
Thanks for the update, Pauline. FWIW, and please feel free to ignore me, but Id look at a few tactics to get you in motion.

Your covers are beautiful, but might not draw the eye. Rather than change the covers, because they are visually stunning in detail, I would use a different set of images for my ad cards.

FB has its place and it works for what Im doing right now, but in your situation Id be looking at BookBub CPC ads. Theyre good for discounted books and their readers are on multi platforms, plus the clicks are quite cheap for the other platforms compared to Amazon. I plan to use BookBub CPC for my next discount run.

Bundling works well for wide and you dont have to list the bundle on Amazon (that avoids cannibalizing sales of your Amazon singles with a discounted set). If it were me, I would set up a three book bundle on all sites other than Amazon, set pricing at 99c, tell everyone itll be that price for say ten days, run various ads. In terms of the ad images, I would use something other than the covers.

Something like that should get you started on the other platforms. You can worry about Amazon later once you have some movement on the other platforms. If youve used a box set thats only available on the other platforms, then you dont have to consider anything about Amazon for the campaign. You can even consider taking down the box set later if you dont want to make it available all the time. It can be the marketing set you use to get your name out there, rather than something thats part of your regular catalog, sort of like a special edition.

Anyway, just some ideas and, given you plan to stay out for a year, might as well give a good shot.






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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2018, 07:23:40 AM »
Here are a few marketing snippets I've picked up along the way.

Anyway, just some ideas and, given you plan to stay out for a year, might as well give a good shot.

Thank you both for the helpful tips. Yes, I plan to try Bookbub ads, but my brain is already overloaded dealing with AMS ads and FB ads, and preventing my head from exploding is a major consideration.  :D I've already discovered from FB ads that non-cover images are more effective, though. I use either FB's own stock image selection, or a very cut down portion of the cover. I already have a box set, but I hadn't (yet) thought about a promotion campaign for it. Lots of things still to try.
 

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline Ros_Jackson

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 07:39:13 AM »
I found when I narrowed ads down to a specific platform, like say kobo, the clicks were a lot cheaper.

I found the exact opposite - specifically with Kobo as a keyword. I thought it was perhaps because Kobo readers are less price sensitive, and therefore better off and more expensive to target for anything. I wonder whose results are the anomaly?

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 08:37:33 AM »
I found the exact opposite - specifically with Kobo as a keyword. I thought it was perhaps because Kobo readers are less price sensitive, and therefore better off and more expensive to target for anything. I wonder whose results are the anomaly?

Id have to check the numbers, but if memory serves I pay around 25 - 30 per click for a mixed platform ad on FB that includes Amazon and half that for kobo only, so to me thats a cheaper. However, my conversion was poor, so I quit that tactic while I try and sort out why. Not sure if its ad copy, market, targeting for the kobo audience or what. Itll take a few attempts to keep testing. Its the nature of being wide. No one can tell you exactly whatll work for you so you have to test it for yourself.

Offline Secret Pen Pal

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2018, 01:33:47 PM »
Thanks for your report. I'm always glad to see threads on going wide. It's been a slow build, but my earnings are growing. Releases help, but it seems random. One release will trigger a few sales on other books on a couple of other stores, another will do nothing.

It's my favorite strategy. Get the next book out.

FWIW, it took me months to make more than $120 in a single month on the other stores combined. This year, after a long lull following the move off Pronoun, my sales on iBooks and B&N improved organically. I sell a few books a month on Kobo, but it's disappointing. I haven't done any ad campaigns. I have good sell through on a series with a perma-free. Bundles move, and standalones are weakest. It's tiny and slow growth compared to Amazon, and thanks to everyone who has shared their progress, I know it will be worth it.

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Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST THREE MONTHS]
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2018, 01:35:38 PM »
It's tiny and slow growth compared to Amazon, and thanks to everyone who has shared their progress, I know it will be worth it.

Thanks for the encouraging words.
 

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...