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Being wide that is.

At this point, for 99% normie authors being wide simply doesn't make any sense anymore. The difference between Amazon sales vs sales at other retailers is ridiculous. Also book discoverability at retailers like Apple, B&N and Kobo is simply pathetic.

My experience being wide has really been a disappointment. I still think Amazon having this much power is not good for us in the long term, but in the mean time, we have bills to pay.

Just wanted to rant and vent.  :(
 

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IndieEuroAuthor said:
Being wide that is.

At this point, for 99% normie authors being wide simply doesn't make any sense anymore. The difference between Amazon sales vs sales at other retailers is ridiculous. Also book discoverability at retailers like Apple, B&N and Kobo is simply pathetic.

My experience being wide has really been a disappointment. I still think Amazon having this much power is not good for us in the long term, but in the mean time, we have bills to pay.

Just wanted to rant and vent. :(
How long were you wide for?
 

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You'll probably get a few authors here who will tell you that wide is working great for them. And it may be true.

I get maybe 5% of sales from stores other than the Zon. If that. And all other factors are the same -- I just place 'em and let 'em be.

I think the experience of most authors is varied.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
No, I'm not going to tell you that I'm doing great wide. I'm going to post this and leave it here:

This image covers about $40,000, so it's not like this represents one or two sales.

Fantastic sales. Wish I had the knowhow to do all the stuff you do.

As an aside, I had a 'look inside' Starship Waking.' What caught my eye was that you used a lot of passives. Many "experts" tell us not to, but I find not every word has to be active, and passives glue active sentences together. It makes me realise I should write how I think the story should be written, not how others tell us to.
 

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wearywanderer64 said:
Fantastic sales. Wish I had the knowhow to do all the stuff you do.

As an aside, I had a 'look inside' Starship Waking.' What caught my eye was that you used a lot of passives. Many "experts" tell us not to, but I find not every word has to be active, and passives glue active sentences together. It makes me realise I should write how I think the story should be written, not how others tell us to.
I didn't see where I asked for a critique.

Besides, that's not even my book.

And in the third place, having been through the whole Creative Writing 101 thing years ago, nobody except writers gives a fuck about that stuff anyway.Unless, and only unless, you do it to ridiculous degrees.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
I didn't see where I asked for a critique.

Besides, that's not even my book.

And in the third place, having been through the whole Creative Writing 101 thing years ago, nobody except writers gives a [expletive] about that stuff anyway.Unless, and only unless, you do it to ridiculous degrees.
It wasn't meant to be a critique, merely a compliment.

I thought it was yours because they came up in the amazon search field when I typed in your name. I was curious to see what books you sell that are so successful.
 

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wearywanderer64 said:
It wasn't meant to be a critique, merely a compliment.

I thought it was yours because they came up in the amazon search field when I typed in your name. I was curious to see what books you sell that are so successful.
This is the secret about being wide: no books are "so successful". Literally none of them. Because it's nice if you can get it, but usually you don't unless you have a Bookbub. The motto of the wide writer is"bank not rank".

Note in the figure above: less than 25% of my income is from Amazon US. My books don't come up high in Amazon searches. I sell books everywhere, and on my own website, and in audio. I own my audience and can send them wherever I want.
 

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I mean what I say and what you can see, namely that Amazon US (where everyone does their rank-finagling and judging and whatnots) is less than 25% of my sales, no matter that you want to see something else. I'm not even sure what your point is. Amazon has the majority share of all sales, and therefore we should simply give up the rest and go all in with Amazon? Just because they're the largest retailer and are almost always going to be people's largest retailer? Sorry that is just silly. I mean--what were you even expecting?

FYI I access ACX in a different way so that's *not* the same account.

But... go on and see what you want to see. Go back into KU. That's more sales at other retailers at full price (none of this pages read rubbish) for the rest of us.
 

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I am happy you posted this. Why? Because I have a similar experience going wide. Visibilty is a nightmare. I went wide two years ago, got fed up, and went back to Zon. When I published my third novel, I thought maybe things had changed and tried wide again. I don't see a change. Visibility on Kobo and elsewhere is manipulated behind the scenes and it is very hard to get a handle on it.

BTW. The reason I tried wide is because as a Canadian, Amazon's weak spot is the Canadian market because of Kobo and the history there. But, eventually Amazon will break through and AMS KDP ads will start.

For the incremental sales of wide versus the cost, I don't see the point. A lot depends on genre of course, and those who have had success wide are in genre's that are favorable to wide.

Amazon is not perfect BUT, neither is wide.  Also, I have built a great foundation of reviews on Amazon.

So I am glad to hear someone has had a similar experience going wide. There seems to be some negativity towards Amazon by certain authors...fine that is their choice. But, we must all look at our options objectively.

Mark
 

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I'm going to raise something terribly politically incorrect.

Higher quality books with better covers, blurbs and in general better written will do better wide.
Books that are meh, with meh covers and meh blurbs will do better in KU.

The reason is easy: when you're swimming in a smaller pond, meh books are more evidently meh compared to the trad pub and high quality indie books. In the giant slush pile that is KU, lower quality is less obvious and to KU readers more worthy of a try because 'free'.

If you can't get traction for love or money outside of Zon/KU, take a hard look at the product you're offering.

For reference, on average my split between Zon and the rest is 60/40 and I bring in six figures a year after expenses. I've been all out of KU for 3.5 years now.
 

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I think it has something to do with who your audience is, what they're expecting, and where they look for books. If you write things that are very similar to a lot of what's in KU, then KU may work best for you. If you write things that are farther off from what KU readers expect, then wide may work better for you. (Not an expert on this by any means, but those are my thoughts based on what I've gleaned.)
 

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Patty Jansen said:
I mean what I say and what you can see, namely that Amazon US (where everyone does their rank-finagling and judging and whatnots) is less than 25% of my sales, no matter that you want to see something else. I'm not even sure what your point is. Amazon has the majority share of all sales, and therefore we should simply give up the rest and go all in with Amazon? Just because they're the largest retailer and are almost always going to be people's largest retailer? Sorry that is just silly. I mean--what were you even expecting?

FYI I access ACX in a different way so that's *not* the same account.

But... go on and see what you want to see. Go back into KU. That's more sales at other retailers at full price (none of this pages read rubbish) for the rest of us.
To answer your question about the point, I think the point is that you are a great example of a successful wide author. In fact, you have probably been more dedicated and successful than most self published authors in developing sales outside of Amazon. To do that, though, you've given up the potential of sales through Kindle Unlimited, even though your extensive catalog looks to be ideal for KU.

To some of us looking i from the outside, it seems likely that you could more than make up your lost sales from Apple and the like by participating in KU. Now, there are plenty of reasons authors have for going wide that aren't tied strictly to income. But for people who are in KU and are thinking of going wide, your chart suggests that the financial rewards are limited. And some of us are too lazy to do all the work you have done to become successful wide.
 

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markpauloleksiw said:
I am happy you posted this. Why? Because I have a similar experience going wide. Visibilty is a nightmare. I went wide two years ago, got fed up, and went back to Zon. When I published my third novel, I thought maybe things had changed and tried wide again. I don't see a change. Visibility on Kobo and elsewhere is manipulated behind the scenes and it is very hard to get a handle on it.

BTW. The reason I tried wide is because as a Canadian, Amazon's weak spot is the Canadian market because of Kobo and the history there. But, eventually Amazon will break through and AMS KDP ads will start.

For the incremental sales of wide versus the cost, I don't see the point. A lot depends on genre of course, and those who have had success wide are in genre's that are favorable to wide.

Amazon is not perfect BUT, neither is wide. Also, I have built a great foundation of reviews on Amazon.

So I am glad to hear someone has had a similar experience going wide. There seems to be some negativity towards Amazon by certain authors...fine that is their choice. But, we must all look at our options objectively.

Mark
Visibility on Kobo is manipulated? Gosh! And where else?
 

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.

That "2020 sales" chart (fantastic sharing it by the way) shows only 36.5% outside of Amazon and Amazon connected channels. How many of the other purchases may have originated on Amazon suggestions/advertising/also-likes that the buyer went to the other vendor because they have a "Kobo"/etc reading device to actually purchase?


OP: Write more content. That is the only thing we have control of.

Publishing at Amazon has the widest distribution and a single central point for you that allows you to focus on writing more content not running around to other outlets to publish/maintain/advertise. It works for some but for most the content is king. Nothing sells the old books like the new book.

When a book hits sudden popularity then go wide with it and the rest of your catalog. It's valuable to put in the marketing time at that inflection point.
While successful hits have happened outside Amazon, the challenge has always been harder.

.
 
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You could ask readers.  That's what I did...and saw other authors doing the same on Facebook.  In my situation, other retailers beat out KU, so I went wide again.  So far, I'm happy with the decision.

If I paid to advertise on Amazon, I might be staying in KU.  Or if I had more sales in KU pages than books.  Everyone has to find what works best for them.
 

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This wide vs KU thing keeps coming up because I don't think there's an exact answer. It depends on your situation (this position is probably contentious too).

I experimented with KU for the first time this year, and then pulled my book back out into wide after a three month trial. I did get lots of reads with my new release, but I'm sure I would, alternatively, gotten lots of sales wide.

KU works for some kinds of books but not others. So, to the OP, sounds like you already made your decision, but you might consider experimenting with some of your books. See how you fare on KU, but give it time. Maybe your books are perfect for KU?

I'm really not an analytical/graph type of person, but I decided that, for my book, I was garnering nearly the same in page reads/sales on Amazon KU as I typically would get in sales wide. So, for me, the decision came down to simply diversifying my brand and not relying only on Amazon. But if my page reads has been much higher, I would have stayed with KU. I also should add that wide took me time to build. For a new author, KU might just be the ticket for a first book. I probably would have done at least their first 3mos in KU for my debut book, had I known back then.
 
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