Author Topic: Further pondering of the results of going wide  (Read 7639 times)  

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2018, 10:24:00 AM »
I don't think I've ever sold a single copy of anything on Kobo, even my most non-U.S.-centric book. It's a dead zone for me.

The other stores at least responded to a BB CPC ad with a few sales, but not Kobo.




While the one place I have seen at least a few sales is Kobo, particularly in Canada.

I never expected going wide to be quick or easy, but I must admit that I expected after six months to have started seeing more results than this. Financially, it is kicking my ass hard. That trilogy has always been a steady income producer. Unlike some genres, a good HF novel can sell steadily for decades.

I feel committed to keeping that trilogy wide for the rest of the year, if nothing else so people who downloaded the free first novel can buy the rest. Jerking them now would not be nice. And I think I will go ahead and put Freedom's Sword wide. Often people do like to see a number of novels from an author. It seems to give more confidence.

I realise that immediate results aren't the only thing to consider. Perhaps Amazon is a bit of an anomaly in so much of the results being immediate, so I'll try being patient.  ;)

ETA: And whoever pointed out that the novel isn't exactly 'light reading' was right. People might wait until they are in the mood.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 10:34:28 AM by JRTomlin »

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Online C. Gockel

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4565
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2018, 12:18:28 PM »
It's so weird how somethings do great right out the gate wide. My Archangel series started selling the day I put it out there without advertising or anything. I was shocked ... and my income for the series doubled overnight. Then I got a BookBub.

I just released Soul Marked "into the wide" and got ... crickets. Since it's tied to my I Bring the Fire series I'm sure the sales will come ... eventually. And it wasn't doing so well in Kindle Unlimited either, so I didn't lose much. Still, it's disappointing. My big hope is that I might get a BookBub on it in a few months time. It has great reviews and being wide does help generate BookBubs.


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Offline Secret Pen Pal

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
  • This is going to be fun.
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2018, 03:22:39 AM »
Going wide with another novel is a good move. Releasing regularly improves discoverability. It took me well over a year to gain a bit of traction wide, though that's without BBs or ad campaigns. I've done it for the security of multiple income sources. I prefer being wide for fairness to readers in a much wider range of countries, as well. I knew going in that it's a long road.

Offline Lady Vine

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
  • Eye right books. Eye like two reed. Bye my books.
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2018, 05:37:53 AM »
I'm going to be that guy.

Honestly, I think your results are typical, JR. Wide is brutal, especially to those going into it now. There's still a major discoverability issue on the other platforms, and no amount of Bookbubs will fix that. Have you seen the iBooks and Kobo stores? Categories are extremely limited, and the bestseller lists don't work. In Apple's case, that whole store is run on emotion and personal taste.

Most will have a tough time out there and will be forced back into KU, thereby illustrating that exclusivity is less a choice than a necessity, if they intend to make money.

That said, your books, as someone else said, are more likely than most to appeal to a wide audience. If you're not on there already, I would seriously consider contacting Google Play and getting an invitation. There's a healthy international audience just waiting for your type of books. It's going to take patience. Wide readers don't discover books the way Amazon readers do. There are far more barriers. But once they know you're there, you'll start to see consistent sales without the need to release new material at the speed of sound.

Offline valeriec80

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3695
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • V. J. Chambers, author
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2018, 08:21:01 AM »
I too have had zero luck taking newer stuff wide. All my old stuff is already wide, since it was published before KU and my initial experimentation with it didn't work for that stuff. It's all old and off market, and it never did well anyway, anywhere.

My big plan with my UF was to launch in KU, wait until sales died down, go wide, get Bookbubs, have stable backlist income, launch front list in KU and live happily ever after.

But Bookbub doesn't like UF (WHERE IS THE UF CATEGORY, BOOKBUB?) and will never take it, and bookbub is not what it used to be, anyway, and every time I go wide, I lose the income I'm getting on whatever series in KU, and so... well, anyway, thus far, it hasn't worked so well. But I really want to be wide with backlist. Really, really, really. Grr.

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2018, 11:38:58 AM »
I'm going to be that guy.

Honestly, I think your results are typical, JR. Wide is brutal, especially to those going into it now. There's still a major discoverability issue on the other platforms, and no amount of Bookbubs will fix that. Have you seen the iBooks and Kobo stores? Categories are extremely limited, and the bestseller lists don't work. In Apple's case, that whole store is run on emotion and personal taste.

Most will have a tough time out there and will be forced back into KU, thereby illustrating that exclusivity is less a choice than a necessity, if they intend to make money.

That said, your books, as someone else said, are more likely than most to appeal to a wide audience. If you're not on there already, I would seriously consider contacting Google Play and getting an invitation. There's a healthy international audience just waiting for your type of books. It's going to take patience. Wide readers don't discover books the way Amazon readers do. There are far more barriers. But once they know you're there, you'll start to see consistent sales without the need to release new material at the speed of sound.
How do you go about getting an invitation to Google Play? I didn't realise that was even possible.

I would very much like to stay wide, but ... money. Yep it is tough. At the moment going back into KU is not a necessity but in three or so months I'm going to have to seriously consider it. Since this BB has picked up my Amazon sales and I have a new novel out in a series that is in KU next month, that may make it possible for me to hang on a little bit longer than that I suppose.

Freedom's Sword drops out of KU in about a week, so I think I will add that wide. It is closely related to the trilogy although not actually part of it, so it would be a natural to appeal to anyone who reads that.

ETA: I did a search and found where Google Play is accepting requests to maybe be considered and sent one. I don't know how realistic the possibility is but it can't hurt to ask.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 11:47:03 AM by JRTomlin »

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline Rob Martin

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Gender: Male
  • New York
    • View Profile
    • Robert Martin Writes
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2018, 11:49:23 AM »
How do you go about getting an invitation to Google Play? I didn't realise that was even possible.

I would very much like to stay wide, but ... money. Yep it is tough. At the moment going back into KU is not a necessity but in three or so months I'm going to have to seriously consider it. Since this BB has picked up my Amazon sales and I have a new novel out in a series that is in KU next month, that may make it possible for me to hang on a little bit longer than that I suppose.

Freedom's Sword drops out of KU in about a week, so I think I will add that wide. It is closely related to the trilogy although not actually part of it, so it would be a natural to appeal to anyone who reads that.

ETA: I did a search and found where Google Play is accepting requests to maybe be considered and sent one. I don't know how realistic the possibility is but it can't hurt to ask.

A couple of months ago, I sent a request out of curiosity and got an invitation about 2 weeks later, so I'm pretty sure they're still sending them.

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2018, 11:57:18 AM »
Thanks! I had no clue they'd started letting people in again.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3699
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2018, 02:54:14 PM »
Yeah Google is probably my #2 non-Amazon retailer now, after Apple. Definitely worth doing even with its quirks.
Stuff for writers thisaway

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2018, 02:59:35 PM »
I feel as though if I ever get any number of sales on Apple it will be a miracle, so it's encouraging that you're doing well there. Their store is suckalicious which, from Apple, has to be deliberate.

I'll cross my fingers about Google. 

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 12:24:35 PM »
To give a better idea of how this BB wide promotion has worked for me, the promotion was on the 11th. My latest report, starting on the 11th through today, is that my sales for the trilogy have totalled $475 on Amazon, and around $50 each on B&N, iApple, and Kobo. Kobo started out well ahead but the others have gradually caught up.

If that isn't thought provoking, I don't know what would be. I am at a loss, as I always have been, how else to advertise to readers wide. No, they aren't on my mailing list. Why would they be although I never depended on back of the book links for my list, but it would be odd for people who didn't buy from Amazon to ask to be on an Amazon exclusive list.

I have zero advice for KU people interested in going wide. So far, I would have to mark my efforts as a 'fail' although, as has been pointed out, I write a genre that is probably nearly ideal for a wide audience.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 12:27:02 PM by JRTomlin »

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2018, 12:20:19 PM »
One more note: I almost immediately after applying received an 'invitation' to submit my novels and A Kingdom's Cost is now live on Google Play. Setting it up was a pain in the arse. It is pretty user un-friendly imo, but once set up looks okay. Now I just have to get the rest of the trilogy uploaded. And market there. (Wish I'd known before I ran a BB promo lol)

Thanks for the heads up on it. I had totally missed that they were taking applications.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline brkingsolver

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4278
  • Baltimore, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2018, 12:52:53 PM »
I just released Soul Marked "into the wide" and got ... crickets. Since it's tied to my I Bring the Fire series I'm sure the sales will come ... eventually. And it wasn't doing so well in Kindle Unlimited either, so I didn't lose much. Still, it's disappointing. My big hope is that I might get a BookBub on it in a few months time. It has great reviews and being wide does help generate BookBubs.

The middle book in my Telepathic Clans series, Broken Dolls, was originally written as "in the world of the Telepathic Clans", and although the reviews for it are better than the other books in that world, it was crickets. For some reason, spinoffs don't seem to work as well as they did when I was young. Eventually, I labeled it Book 3, and it started selling. It does have a couple of cross over characters, though a different MC, who shows up again in Book 5.

BR Kingsolver | Author website

Offline Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Gender: Female
  • Wenatchee Valley, WA
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2018, 01:04:19 PM »
Not that I have much experience with this but my guess is that it takes longer to build an audience wide vs KU because readers are spread geographically & through various distributors. KU was good for me when I first started but my page reads stopped and I went wide. I've had better luck doing that although it has been tough figuring out HOW to reach readers on other retailers (basically, an enigma).

C. Gockel, your books seem to have tremendous leverage. I hope sales pick up for you. Best of luck!

20th Century & Western Historical Romance
Rose Historicals Website | Pinterest

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2018, 01:52:40 PM »
I certainly expected it to take a while, but I must admit it is taking longer than I expected. In the six months since I went wide, I've had a total of $350 in sales on all platforms, so not exactly world shaking. But since the BB promotion I am having dribbles of sales, so we'll see how it all works out.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline Lorri Moulton

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1839
  • Gender: Female
  • Author of Romances, Mysteries, and Fairytales
    • View Profile
    • Lavender Lass Books
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2018, 02:03:24 PM »
I certainly expected it to take a while, but I must admit it is taking longer than I expected. In the six months since I went wide, I've had a total of $350 in sales on all platforms, so not exactly world shaking. But since the BB promotion I am having dribbles of sales, so we'll see how it all works out.

JR, I love the new cover for A Kingdom's Cost!  Are you going to update the other two covers to match?  I wonder (and I'm certainly no expert) if having a similar covers would help with sell through.


Author of Romances, Mysteries, Fairytales and Historical Non-Fiction.
Lorri Moulton | Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Books2Read

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2018, 04:07:40 PM »
Thanks. Yes, I'm planning on it. Unfortunately with tax season, it had to be put off for a while.

ETA: Oh, [expletive] it. Who needs groceries? I think I'll go ahead and order them.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline Lorri Moulton

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1839
  • Gender: Female
  • Author of Romances, Mysteries, and Fairytales
    • View Profile
    • Lavender Lass Books
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2018, 05:44:35 PM »
Don't spend all the grocery money!  I am looking forward to seeing your new covers though.  8)

Author of Romances, Mysteries, Fairytales and Historical Non-Fiction.
Lorri Moulton | Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Books2Read

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16966
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2018, 07:05:38 PM »
I think I can still afford Top Ramen. 😜

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin

Offline writerlygal

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 131
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2018, 07:50:00 PM »
Thanks for sharing your results & sorry it hasn't worked out better. Fingers crossed it turns around for you soon.

It seems that KU is getting an even bigger market share & it's harder to go wide than it used to be. It also seems Bookbub isn't what they used to be- perhaps due to increased competition from other promo sites & author newsletters containing recommendations? That's just my guess but maybe some of ya'all have other theories about why it's so much harder to go wide, even while scoring a Bookbub, these days?

Offline Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Gender: Female
  • Wenatchee Valley, WA
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2018, 07:59:46 PM »
Thanks for sharing your results & sorry it hasn't worked out better. Fingers crossed it turns around for you soon.

It seems that KU is getting an even bigger market share & it's harder to go wide than it used to be. It also seems Bookbub isn't what they used to be- perhaps due to increased competition from other promo sites & author newsletters containing recommendations? That's just my guess but maybe some of ya'all have other theories about why it's so much harder to go wide, even while scoring a Bookbub, these days?
More experienced authors probably have better ideas (lol) but my guess is that wide's audience is entirely different than KU's rabid readers. Wide readers seem more willing to pay money for books whereas KU readers have the subscription (which is still paying for books just less money). They get to read more and therefore seem more voracious aka willing to try new-to-them authors. At least that's my take.  :D

20th Century & Western Historical Romance
Rose Historicals Website | Pinterest

Offline taliwrites

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 267
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2018, 09:17:11 PM »
It seems that KU is getting an even bigger market share & it's harder to go wide than it used to be. It also seems Bookbub isn't what they used to be- perhaps due to increased competition from other promo sites & author newsletters containing recommendations? That's just my guess but maybe some of ya'all have other theories about why it's so much harder to go wide, even while scoring a Bookbub, these days?

I had a Bookbub about a month ago in a smaller category, for a permafree, and while I didn't have as many downloads as the first time, the sell-through was still awesome. Apple overtook Amazon in terms of sales (of the rest of the books in the series) right on the day after the ad ran. I think it's all about figuring out where your audience is. Some books do better in KU, some do better wide.

Online jb1111

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 461
  • PNW US
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2018, 11:38:24 PM »
I've gone wide, never have been on KU. So far, B&N and Kobo. Minimal sales compared to the Zon.

Which would figure, as Amazon is the million pound gorilla of book retailers.

The beauty of wide is that it doesn't really cost you anything, aside from part of your royalty when there's a sale (that is, if you're not on KU).

Except Google's "maybe you can be one of us" attitude towards authors which I find to be a total turn off for a company that wants to compete with Amazon.

Offline Lefevre

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2018, 11:54:04 PM »
Which does better wide, fiction or non fiction? Anyone tried both and can share?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 11:57:27 PM by Lefevre »
Lefevre

Online C. Gockel

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4565
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2018, 10:20:03 AM »
The middle book in my Telepathic Clans series, Broken Dolls, was originally written as "in the world of the Telepathic Clans", and although the reviews for it are better than the other books in that world, it was crickets. For some reason, spinoffs don't seem to work as well as they did when I was young. Eventually, I labeled it Book 3, and it started selling. It does have a couple of cross over characters, though a different MC, who shows up again in Book 5.


I have wondered if I should just change the After the Fire series to I Bring the Fire books 7 & 8. I'll give it a few months though. I just realized that I was pimping Soul Marked in Ragnarok on AMAZON, but not on the other sites because I released it into KU. I just finished updating it on all the other vendors and added links to Magic After Midnight while I was at it. Hopefully, in about two weeks I'll start seeing results from that. (Because thats how long it takes to read Ragnarok, it's a door stop!)


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website