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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going wide for the first time with my newest book and I was wondering where you sell most of your books if you're wide? I'm struggling to figure out if Google Play or iBooks is worth it. Maybe I'm just being lazy because I'm exhausted  ;D but if you're comfortable, let me know how well you do in the wide market. I write romance if that makes a difference!
 

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Wide is wide. List everywhere, direct if you can. None of this half-arsed half-in-half-out business. None of this "worth it" business. If they allow you to list, list there.

Wide is a commitment to a long-term goal.

It can be hard to build up, but if you're after the holy grail of being able to take some time off while your books keep selling, wide is where it's at.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
Wide is wide. List everywhere, direct if you can. None of this half-arsed half-in-half-out business. None of this "worth it" business. If they allow you to list, list there.

Wide is a commitment to a long-term goal.

It can be hard to build up, but if you're after the holy grail of being able to take some time off while your books keep selling, wide is where it's at.
All of this. Wide is a commitment. I put my books out in as many formats as I can to every single retailer I can reach. I also go directly through the retailers as much as possible, because it's extra money for me (this might not be worth it for you if you release frequently and spend a lot of time updating files and covers, as uploading to six different retailers can be time-consuming, so you might prefer to pay an aggregator to save you some time).

I release a new novel-length work maybe once or twice a year, but my income has remained completely steady for over five years now, and Amazon accounts for only 50% of my earnings, which can only be a good thing (eggs, baskets, etc.).
 

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I am mostly wide and Amazon is maybe 95% of my income.

But it's sales. And sales on Amazon, for me, are more than twice as good as page reads.

FB ads can drive sales of your books everywhere, but AMS can drive so many sales on Amazon and can more than replace what you may have been earning in page reads. Nice thing about wide is that unlike KU, you get paid on a sale immediately, instead of a ranking bump and then waiting for them to get around and read it and sync up again.

I was a six figure author when I was in KU. I'm a solid seven figure author now that I am mostly wide.

I advertise a lot. But I started small and kept reinvesting the money back. I do about 25% of my sales now in ad spend and it's very worthwhile.
 

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Let me take the other perspective. I have been KDP select and wide.

It totally depends on genre and where you are comfortable and how much you spend advertising.

My focal point is not ebooks. My paperbacks outsell ebooks. So for me, going wide on ebooks means I have to invest alot more in advertising. When I was in select I could be very focused with AMS and keep my costs down which led into paperback sales.

For distribution outside of Amazon on paperbacks, I use Ingram and get a steady albeit small stream of sales without any ads. How? My books fall into Young Adult and get into library catalogues...etc...

So there is no right answer. Only advoce is to experiment and see where your comfort zone is.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lydniz said:
All of this. Wide is a commitment. I put my books out in as many formats as I can to every single retailer I can reach. I also go directly through the retailers as much as possible, because it's extra money for me (this might not be worth it for you if you release frequently and spend a lot of time updating files and covers, as uploading to six different retailers can be time-consuming, so you might prefer to pay an aggregator to save you some time).

I release a new novel-length work maybe once or twice a year, but my income has remained completely steady for over five years now, and Amazon accounts for only 50% of my earnings, which can only be a good thing (eggs, baskets, etc.).
I only release once a year usually, so that makes since for me, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Justawriter said:
I am mostly wide and Amazon is maybe 95% of my income.

But it's sales. And sales on Amazon, for me, are more than twice as good as page reads.

FB ads can drive sales of your books everywhere, but AMS can drive so many sales on Amazon and can more than replace what you may have been earning in page reads. Nice thing about wide is that unlike KU, you get paid on a sale immediately, instead of a ranking bump and then waiting for them to get around and read it and sync up again.

I was a six figure author when I was in KU. I'm a solid seven figure author now that I am mostly wide.

I advertise a lot. But I started small and kept reinvesting the money back. I do about 25% of my sales now in ad spend and it's very worthwhile.
See, that's interesting. I have my series in KU and 95% of my income is from page reads, not sales! I still sell a few copies a month, but I was really wondering how the "wide" reader acts as opposed to the KU subscriber. I couldn't imagine being as successful wide, but a lot of people swear by it so I was willing to try! I've never been really successful with AMS, but Facebook ads have been good for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Patty Jansen said:
Wide is wide. List everywhere, direct if you can. None of this half-arsed half-in-half-out business. None of this "worth it" business. If they allow you to list, list there.

Wide is a commitment to a long-term goal.

It can be hard to build up, but if you're after the holy grail of being able to take some time off while your books keep selling, wide is where it's at.
That's great to hear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
markpauloleksiw said:
Let me take the other perspective. I have been KDP select and wide.

It totally depends on genre and where you are comfortable and how much you spend advertising.

My focal point is not ebooks. My paperbacks outsell ebooks. So for me, going wide on ebooks means I have to invest alot more in advertising. When I was in select I could be very focused with AMS and keep my costs down which led into paperback sales.

For distribution outside of Amazon on paperbacks, I use Ingram and get a steady albeit small stream of sales without any ads. How? My books fall into Young Adult and get into library catalogues...etc...

So there is no right answer. Only advoce is to experiment and see where your comfort zone is.

Mark
Thank you for the perspective! I don't have a lot of money to work with, so pretty much everyone is going to outbid me on advertising - especially the way AMS works! I wasted a pretty good bit of money trying to learn AMS last year and I'm not eager to jump back in the money pit. I was concerned how to advertise a wide book because it's not free like the ones in KU, so it's much easier to grab a reader and have them come along for the whole series in KU. I'm sure that'll be a learning curve with wide, too. That's pretty neat that your books get into library catalogues!
 

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I am a unicorn said:
See, that's interesting. I have my series in KU and 95% of my income is from page reads, not sales! I still sell a few copies a month, but I was really wondering how the "wide" reader acts as opposed to the KU subscriber. I couldn't imagine being as successful wide, but a lot of people swear by it so I was willing to try! I've never been really successful with AMS, but Facebook ads have been good for me!
If most of your income is from page reads, you will have to sell a lot of books to make up for the loss of that. When I was in KU page reads never accounted for more than 50% of my earnings. When deciding to go wide again I took a chance that a certain proportion of those readers who would normally borrow my books would buy them instead, with sales on other retailers making up the remainder of the KU income lost. In my case it worked and my unit sales on Amazon went up, but the higher the proportion of KU page reads you have the more difficult that will be. Just a warning.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
Wide is wide. List everywhere, direct if you can. None of this half-arsed half-in-half-out business. None of this "worth it" business. If they allow you to list, list there.

Wide is a commitment to a long-term goal.

It can be hard to build up, but if you're after the holy grail of being able to take some time off while your books keep selling, wide is where it's at.
Word.

Preach it, sister.

One of the main points of wide is the "positive Black Swan" potential, also known as lightning striking. Several times in my career I've had things take off for unknown reasons on only one vendor. My GP sales quadrupled overnight at one point and took two years to drift back to "normal" and I have no idea why.

It's rather like stock market diversification

***

Separately, please let's not drift into a debate of KU vs. wide. That's been done to death and there is no one answer. The OP asked a question about how to "do" wide, not whether she should be wide or KU.
 

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I've just been doing my sales stats for my entire career.

Despite people talking about 2011 being the golden period, it wasn't for me, at all. I had a couple of novellas and two novels in two different series. Then I published a third novel in another series. I made maybe $30 a month.

Then Kobo Writing life opened. I listed my books there. In July 2012 I sold $3, In August, I sold $9. And in September... I sold $400. While still selling barely 30 books a month on Amazon. It was not a fluke. It continued until the Kobo-calypse (about which not a word shall be said), but never once did my income at Kobo fall below the $100 payout limit even during that time. At the time, Kobo was 85% of my income.

Kobo was the first venue to pay me four figures just by itself about a year later.

It's remained more or less steady while other venues have risen and matched or surpassed it.

What David says is so incredibly true. Sometimes you will take off on a venue for no clear reason. Every venue where you list increases that chance happening. I've been selling more than $100 per month on Kobo Plus (that was pre-Canada). No idea why and it's not huge, but I'll take it.

If you're wide, that is what your career will be made out of: little bumps and slides everywhere, pretty much without your involvement, although you may know the reason, such as being asked in an Apple promo.

Amazon is 46% of my income. Amazon US 21%

Another factor is price. I sell more books on Amazon, but they're all promo and Bookbubs. It looks impressive numbers-wise, but the $ value is meh. Wide is selling full-priced books for full prices. Bookbub will do well on some venues (not to mention being much easier to get when you're wide), but the money is in selling high-priced items.

Make box sets that you don't put on Amazon (because of their ridiculous $9.99 price cap). Add hard covers. Do audio. Distribute all of it as widely as possible, direct where possible.

But, whatever you do, don't go flip-flopping in and out of KU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lydniz said:
If most of your income is from page reads, you will have to sell a lot of books to make up for the loss of that. When I was in KU page reads never accounted for more than 50% of my earnings. When deciding to go wide again I took a chance that a certain proportion of those readers who would normally borrow my books would buy them instead, with sales on other retailers making up the remainder of the KU income lost. In my case it worked and my unit sales on Amazon went up, but the higher the proportion of KU page reads you have the more difficult that will be. Just a warning.
Thanks! I wasn't going to pull my series from KU - just wondering what the wide market is like for my genre and if any vendors were better than others. It's hard to imagine selling what I get from KU, so that's a good observation!
 

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I'm a little past halfway in taking my books wide. I started in early February, releasing the first two wide. I've been doing it slowly, in publishing order, as each book comes up on its KU renewal. For July, 49% of my wide sales came from Kobo. I do Facebook ads, targeting Canadians primarily. Barnes & Noble came in at number two, with 27% of wide sales, and Apple Books was at 24%. Still, all wide sales combined, only accounted for 1.1% of my gross, where KU used to be over 40%. I'm losing money, yes, but all the books aren't out yet and I'm just moving into Google Play, as well as D2D for all the smaller outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wayne Stinnett said:
I'm a little past halfway in taking my books wide. I started in early February, releasing the first two wide. I've been doing it slowly, in publishing order, as each book comes up on its KU renewal. For July, 49% of my wide sales came from Kobo. I do Facebook ads, targeting Canadians primarily. Barnes & Noble came in at number two, with 27% of wide sales, and Apple Books was at 24%. Still, all wide sales combined, only accounted for 1.1% of my gross, where KU used to be over 40%. I'm losing money, yes, but all the books aren't out yet and I'm just moving into Google Play, as well as D2D for all the smaller outlets.
That's an interesting tactic! I'll admit I haven't really looked into D2D, but a lot of people have mentioned it here, so I guess I should. :D
 

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I am a unicorn said:
That's an interesting tactic! I'll admit I haven't really looked into D2D, but a lot of people have mentioned it here, so I guess I should. :D
D2D charges a percentage of royalty, which is fine. But if you can upload to the big four, B&N, Kobo, Apple, and Google, do it. Let D2D do all the little ones. I hired an assistant to do all that, rather than try to learn the big four platforms myself.
 
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