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Messages - PaulineMRoss

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Minor rant on bookbub pricing...
« on: Today at 02:27:18 AM »
I looked at BB and checked their prices. To broadcast (promote) a FREE short story as a sample of my writing internationally was $80. With all due respect to those posting reports of making enough money to buy a new Mercedes, I felt eighty bucks to reach India, Canada and the UK was a bit off. I have since convinced the Mighty Amazon to offer my puny little short for FREE and with the assistance of other online services think I have achieved an equal or greater coverage for free. As always, YMMV.

To be honest, no other promoters even come close to Bookbub's reach. That's why they're pre-eminent. Back in January 2017, I ran a roll-your-own Bookbub on one of my books, making it free and throwing every halfway decent promo site at it, all on the same day. That brought in 7,000 downloads. Bookbub's average for that genre at the time was around 25,000. That's the difference. And that cost me about twice what a Bookbub would have cost.

But in both cases, a free promo is only worthwhile if you have a backlist of other books for readers who like your work to buy. And for a short, even if BB will take it (they have a minimum page limit) you'd be unlikely to see a good return. Shorts are difficult to market at the best of times. Most people use them as a loss leader, giving them away to mailing list signups.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Going wide [UPDATED: FIRST SIX MONTHS]
« on: Yesterday at 02:55:18 PM »
A 6-month report

What a difference a Bookbub makes! On the 9th July, Bookbub ran my epic fantasy 3-book box set at 99c to international markets only (CA, AU, UK, IN), the first ever Bookbub on this series. The average number of sales is around 500. Mine shifted 717 on the day, and a grand total of 1480 over the week the set was discounted (including around 50 from Bargainbooksy which ran the day before the Bookbub).

On the day: Amazon 465; Kobo 111; D2D (iBooks) 86; GooglePlay 55

Over the week: Amazon 859; Kobo 271; D2D 264; GooglePlay 86

Sales of the 6 other books in the series: Amazon 53; Kobo 31; D2D 14; GooglePlay 4 (total 102)

Total revenue for the month up to the end of the promo: $864

Total cost of promos: $228 ($188 for Bookbub; $40 for Bargainbooksy)

Profit to date: $636

Total revenues last month: $183  :D

So the Bookbub was an unqualified success, albeit not spectacular, and the sell-through is still ongoing, although it's slow. Interestingly, over the last 3 months, Amazon represented only 49% of my revenue for this series. Kobo was 24%, D2D 18%, GP 5% and KU/paperbacks 3%. This is not so much because I'm earning wads of money at non-Amazon sites, rather that this series earns very little anywhere, lol.

In other news, my first Regency series is now out of Select and KU, and will be going wide just as soon as I get my ducks in a row. It will be interesting to see how much difference the romance genre makes to the outcome. If things go well, I might take the second Regency series wide later this year.

We've promoted her from the cupboard under the stairs to Dudley's second bedroom.😆😄🙄😂😁😎


So I've made a sort of table of contents of posts that struck me (subjectively, of course) as the kinds of things people might specifically want to find.

That is heroic, Becca. Do you actually have a life outside this place, or do you live in the Kboards stationery cupboard?

Lovely. I hadn't seen that. Given how nitpicky Regency and other historical romance readers tend to be, I'm really surprised these people are getting away with it without drowning in one-stars.

Oh, they get plenty of 1*s. The savvy publishers drum up a whole bunch of glowing reviews on release to keep the average high. I've been trawling through some suspects and found quite a few with the funky formatting, too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Minor rant on bookbub pricing...
« on: July 19, 2018, 12:57:17 PM »
I've been following this thread with some surprise, since very few people really question the effectiveness of a Bookbub. Almost everyone makes money on it, so it's kind of the holy grail of promos, even though it isn't the career-maker it once was. A couple of data points:

I recently had an international-only 99c BB on an epic fantasy box set, 3 books of a 9-book series, all wide. The featured deal cost $188 and the estimated sales were ~500. In the 10 days since the BB ran, I've had 1400+ sales of the featured box set, and almost 100 other sales, with net revenue of $800+. This compares with a typical month of <$200. Nice profit.

In February, I had an all-countries free BB on a Regency romance box set, books 1-3 of a 6-book series in KU. The featured deal cost $320, with average downloads of 24K. The day of the feature, there were 25K downloads, with another 5K the following day. Altogether, the 5 free days netted 34K downloads. For contrast, a $100 FreeBooksy the day before the Bookbub brought in 2,500 downloads, one tenth of the BB number. I honestly don't know how many other books I sold, or how many extra pages read I got, but even now, five months after the BB, I'm still seeing higher than expected sales on the follow-on books in the series. Profit? I stopped counting after it went above 10K. Very, very nice profit.

Is it worth it? Yes, but the only word of caution I would add is the general one for all book-related expenses - don't ever spend more than you can afford to lose. Because you never know, you might be the exception who loses money on a Bookbub.

They'd have to work a lot harder and find much better ghostwriters to make any real inroads in Regency or romantic suspense, where it's difficult to push thinly veiled erotica as romance.

I can't comment on romantic suspense, but in Regency a common tactic is to aim for the inspirational end of the market. Much, much easier to hit the bestseller lists in those sub-categories. And they may be better ghostwriters, but they still know nothing about the era. Not that that holds them back - inroads have definitely been made by the push-them-out-fast and advertise-hard crew.

I'll be honest, almost all of you seem nice, even the ones I disagree with.  :)  But what if the person we ask isn't one of the good guys and steers us wrong? I mean, most women thought Ted Bundy seemed pretty darn nice right up until he wasn't. I just wish there was a better way to let newcomers know who isn't playing in the sunlight without worrying about stupid lawsuits.

What you do is you come here to Kboards and ask publicly, then you'll get a range of answers. If the service you're asking about is reputable, people will say so. If there are clear warning signs, people will say that too. And if it's one of those cases where people don't know for sure but have suspicions, they won't voice them publicly but they'll pm you. There are lots of threads like that here. And once you've been here long enough, you'll get to recognise which posters are giving you unbiased information.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Borrowing and KDP Select?
« on: July 17, 2018, 01:29:29 PM »
By any standard, I qualify as a Noobie Deluxe.

We were all in that place once.  :) Just keep asking questions. Just at first, you won't know what questions you ought to be asking, but the mist will clear in time, I promise.

And seems to be using a sniper rifle now, instead of a gattling gun.

Lol! I had to look up the Gatling gun (very early machine gun, for anyone else who doesn't know).

As others have said, it sounds like Amazon legal has been the guiding hand behind these account bans. We've all seen how the KDP group responds to issues, but this has been very targeted and they've been dotting their i's and crossing their t's. Note how quickly the TOS changes went through right along with the bans. None of this is normal behavior for KDP, which usually flails around like a pack of drunken howler monkeys.

Yes, indeed. Incisive and thorough and sustained. Lovely to see. Here's hoping this momentum is maintained. It does make one feel a little more comfortable being in KU, knowing that someone is awake and on watch at KDP HQ.

And at one point, I remember there were people republishing every month and amazon cracked down on it.

Up until a month or two back, it was still going on, although my favourite republisher does seem to have given it up now. She has close to 40 editions of some books showing on Goodreads (which helpfully keeps track of every single version).

Lo and behold, about four months later it all blew up huge and people were like, "Oh yeah, that person was horrible. For years. And everyone knew it." Well, no. People in private groups knew it. But publicly that person had a lot of support even here until things blew up. A lot of this stuff gets discussed in private and never makes it to the public discussions so those of us who are primarily learning about things through the public discussions have to be very, very careful who we associate with and what advice we take.

A lot of those people who inhabit the private groups also hang about here. So anyone who's wondering whether a service is safe or not, ask about it here. If there are serious concerns, people will say so (as has happened in a thread just recently). If there are vague rumours and uneasiness, then someone will pm you. But to be honest, I think the case you mention was a salutary example of a service that looked absolutely fine until it wasn't, and the wasn't-ness happened right here on Kboards.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Borrowing and KDP Select?
« on: July 16, 2018, 04:30:26 AM »
Thank you for your replies. Besides Amazon, I am also listed on Smashwords which redistributes through their 'affiliates' such as Barnes & Noble and others. I don't have enough ebook marketing experience to even hazard a guess as to which is the best or most profitable way to go.

Since your book is already on Smashwords, then you are ALREADY wide. That means you have made your decision, and you can't enroll your book in KDP Select at the moment. BUT to reiterate, you CAN still publish on Amazon AND elsewhere, just not in Amazon's Select program.

If you later decide you want to go into Select and take advantage of KU borrows, you'll need to remove your book from Smashwords and all its affiliates, to comply with Amazon's exclusivity.

I hope this is clear, because you sound a bit confused. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailerlite Glitch
« on: July 16, 2018, 02:07:21 AM »
I checked in this morning and the indexing is finished. Nothing else seems to have changed. The shuffling around within groups that I wanted to get done when this kicked off is just as painfully slow as ever. There's a lot I like about Mailerlite, but the recent changes don't seem to have improved much.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Borrowing and KDP Select?
« on: July 15, 2018, 04:01:45 PM »
Trying to learn about KU Borrowing and my fat little fingers lead me to KDP Select....Here I read:

"By confirming, you are enrolling in KDP Select. Please note books enrolled in KDP Select must not be available in digital format on any other platform during their enrollment..."

This sounds a bit harsh.

That's the point of KDP Select. You make your books available exclusively to Amazon, not sold anywhere else, and in return you get a range of promotional gizmos - countdowns, 5 free days per term in Select, and of course the (in)famous enrollment in KU.

But you can publish your books through KDP without being in Select, and then you can publish them anywhere else you like.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailerlite Glitch
« on: July 15, 2018, 07:35:55 AM »
in some extreme cases re-indexing might take up to Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Good grief. Some advance warning might be helpful, or offer the choice to postpone the update until a more convenient time (like when you don't have new releases going on!).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo promos
« on: July 15, 2018, 01:51:11 AM »
I've run a couple of promos on my free first-in-series epic fantasy. The regular promo (6, ~$10) gave me a small bump in downloads and a few follow-on sales. The editor's pick (15, ~$20) gave me a much better bump (>100 downloads the first day, continuing in smaller numbers for several days) and better sell-through which was quite steady for weeks. They're so cheap they're well worth while, IMO.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
« on: July 14, 2018, 12:04:15 PM »
I've lost money for July, but it's all shown up on June's reports. It's weird.

Uh-oh. It's happening to Amanda so it's officially a thing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
« on: July 14, 2018, 10:50:55 AM »
I'm seeing this too, now. We live in interesting times.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
« on: July 14, 2018, 09:06:56 AM »
I haven't noticed any sales disappearing. I have noticed lately that the MTD numbers are substantially higher than the BookReport this-month numbers, which is illogical (it should be the other way round, unless a big number of late payments carried forward from the previous month). At one point the MTD was 20% higher than BR.

Also, on AMS ad reports, I record numbers at roughly the same time every day, and several times lately I've seen a drop in numbers, which should never happen. I've seen it now on impressions, clicks and (for the first time yesterday) on sales value.

For anyone wondering about UK AMS, the reporting is a tad more sophisticated, in that you can filter for different time periods, instead of getting lifetime numbers only. Doesn't mean it's any more accurate, of course.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A New & Easy Image Creation Tool To Check Out
« on: July 13, 2018, 02:52:18 PM »
It's really easy. In your account, there is a cancel button. If you click and confirm, it will cancel your subscription at the end of your billing period. So you can still have access for the remaining time you have on your billing cycle but it would not auto-renew.

No hoops to jump through!

I'm glad you like it.

Thank you for the quick response! That is easy.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: A New & Easy Image Creation Tool To Check Out
« on: July 13, 2018, 02:14:52 PM »
Your timing is perfect - I'm just in the process of creating ads for a new release next week. I'm artistically challenged, so a typical ad takes me 1-2 hours to create if I have to add text to it. With your software, I can run something up in 5-10 minutes (and it looks better than mine!). It's impressively easy to use (much easier than some others I've looked at).

I do have one question. If I sign up for the unlimited package, and then, 6 months down the line, things change and I no longer need the software, how easy is it to cancel the account?

Writers' Cafe / Re: An Open Letter to Amazon
« on: July 12, 2018, 01:13:09 AM »
I hate to say it, but I think the better you do in KU, the more insulated you are from Amazon BS. You rarely see high earning authors losing their pages or getting rank stripped unless they're engaging in blackhat practices.

This is something that's been intriguing me for a while now. Since I suspect all of Amazon's policing is managed by bots, apart from the odd time the suits swoop in and clean up after a publicity mess, why would they pick on the people least likely to be using or benefiting from illegal page reads? And why the 50% business? And why are so many new releases affected? And why these hot genres, like GameLit and RH?

Personally, I think it's a programming error. Wild speculation: the bots are set to detect a surge in pages read that's very high relative to previous history. Maybe more than 50% higher than some previous estimate. If detected, it will strip the excess automatically, which triggers the nastygram. If this were so, then those with previous high page reads would be protected, whereas anyone who previously didn't sell much, switched to a hot genre and suddenly took off would be vulnerable.

But honestly, I don't think anyone knows for sure what's going on, and I'm not even sure Amazon knows. The bots are running the shop now.

I'm curious, has anyone heard of anyone being page stripped this month? I haven't heard anything on other boards.

There's one mentioned on another thread: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,264067.msg3688130.html#msg3688130

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