Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I've posted previously, we track sales, promotions (paid and unpaid), reviews, rankings, and anything else we think makes a difference in sales. We have a custom Access database where all of this "big data" is entered. We then play with the reports in order to spot trends, wise investments, year over year comparisons, and other unhelpful, fluffy statistics.

Year-to-date, iTunes passed Nook Press for total books sold (July) and royalty income (happened in June because Apple pays 70% vs. 65% for B&N). What's even more interesting about that fact is that I don't list any of my non-fiction titles on iTunes. Sounds like someone had better get to work on the formatting and uploading.

Google was charging hard for the #3 position, but seems to have petered out in July. Stay tuned.

Here's some other trivia bullets:

- Were it not for growth from iTunes and Google, our year-over-year numbers would be flat as a pancake. Amazon, B&N, and KOBO haven't materially increased or decreased, despite having three additional titles in the catalog. This is troubling.

- Audio books don't seem to "take away" from ebooks sales, but they do appear to impact paperback sales. The royalty, on average  for an a-book is only slightly higher than the paperbacks. We can directly correlate increases in audio books sales with decreases in paperbacks, by title and timeframe. Audio books are still a worthwhile investment, but their profit margin is eroding. I used to automatically put every new release into this format, but no longer. (On my last SciFi title, we decided not to spend the money on a narrator)

- Amazon is still the top dog, by far. If you combine Createspace, ACX and KDP, it ends up that I'm screwed if they ever get mean or stupid.

- I'm not a conspiracy guy, but I can definitely see how an indie author monitoring all of these sales metrics could join the ranks of the tin-foil hat society. The consistency of certain trends is astounding at times, almost as if it were controlled by a machine.

I remember some years ago, when smartphones were really coming into stride, a buddy claimed his provider was "throttling" his usage at the end of every month. We all said he was crazy... no way the phone companies could get away with that. No way the technology could pull that off. Well, guess what.

I also recall snickering at those folks who worried the government was monitoring their emails, phone calls and travel. No way, I said - there are too many people, too much traffic to gather and process. Why would they care? It's illegal. People would go nuts if they found out.

Excuse me while I wipe the egg-mask from my face.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,659 Posts
Interesting regarding I-tunes. For the last 2 months and this month, Nook and I-tunes have finally started to sell a few of my books, making up half of my sales. I don't sell that much, but am doing better because of those two, and because of perma-free on my first in Gastien. Hopefully the trend continues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
984 Posts
Sounds like me.

1. Amazon 50-65%
2. Apple - 20-30%
3. Google - 15-20%
4. B&N - 10-15%
5. Kobo - 10%

I definitely see Google moving up quickly. It went from last place to 3 in only 5 months.  Since I started self-publishing, I've seen the most significant decline at B&N. I used to do much better there but they are really heavy on traditional books. They used to promote SP books more back when it first started.  BUT, I'd rather do better on the platforms that pay the most. That's why I love Apple's across the board no fees 70%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
I've noticed the same sputtering at Google.  They looked like they were going to make a run for #2, then they sort of died.  I still sell but it's nothing to write home about.  B&N has been the biggest surprise in the last few months.  My sales have increased greatly there while Amazon's have stayed flat so right now I'm a big Nook fan.  They're giving Zon a run for their money. 
iTunes, Kobo, and ARe are such a small percentage of my sales they're barely worth talking about.  I have no idea how to get any traction on any of those platforms.  When I sell there I'm always kind of shocked. 
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Ya, my iBooks have gone up 300 percent in sales since beginning of the year. Still not comparable to my KDP paycheck, but I'm working hard with reps and other promoters to get more traction there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,911 Posts
Very interesting. I'm looking forward to expanding back out of Select again once my crazy Countdown experiment is complete. :D I was starting to see some nice numbers from Apple (finally) early this summer, before I decided to play with Countdown and KU.

Joe, since you're a big data-tracker and you use Google Plus, have you seen a significant impact on your Amazon pricing due to Google Plus's whimsical price changes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Same here. Apple has become double my Nook sales in the past few months (I write contemp romance, serials). However, my Amazon sales still continue to grow. I've been pubbed since late 2012 but only started self-pubbing late last year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,102 Posts
Joe_Nobody said:
- I'm not a conspiracy guy, but I can definitely see how an indie author monitoring all of these sales metrics could join the ranks of the tin-foil hat society. The consistency of certain trends is astounding at times, almost as if it were controlled by a machine.
What conspiracy are you thinking about here, and can we get them to click up my sales setting in that machine? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,361 Posts
This month is the first time my iTunes sales have passed B&N. I still sell a gazillion more on Amazon than either of those outlets, but I'm not sure what's going on with B&N lately. It almost feels like putting my perma-free books on there via D2D killed things (they were 99¢ before), although I know that's probably not it.

At least, I don't think it is. Where's that tinfoil hat??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
776 Posts
I'm wondering if the Hachette dispute might be pushing people away from Amazon and towards other platforms. Might that explain Amazon's recent email to indies - a sudden realization that they were losing customers?  Has anybody looked into their investor's earning reports for any tidbits related to this?  Are their overall ebook sales dropping, holding steady, or increasing?




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,163 Posts
Joe_Nobody said:
Google was charging hard for the #3 position, but seems to have petered out in July. Stay tuned.
Ditto here. Started out as a strong contender, then just up and died.

Nook is still my second place, but likewise I'm starting to see some life on iTunes. Solid #3 market right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
VydorScope said:
What conspiracy are you thinking about here, and can we get them to click up my sales setting in that machine? :D
I'm not really thinking there is any conspiracy, but...

Does anyone remember those old urban legends about the computer programmer who inserted code that only absconded with the rounding differences on interest calculations? The money, less than .01 cent per transaction, was deposited into a "special" account, and over months, added up to millions of dollars.

Well...

If there was a conspiracy with ebooks sales, it would be a siphoning algorithm secretly planted in the accounting system by none other than the CEO himself. No one else knows. No one could report it. It would "scrape" a certain, growing percentage of sales as a title moved up the ranks, crediting the funds to a "special account." How would anyone catch him? Muuuhaha!

Hey, this might be a great plot for a book. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Honestly I find it really strange that iTunes didn't drop iBooks into their iOS two years ago. I've probably bought more digital books there myself than anywhere else. I've had okay sales there so far. Good to see it's starting to pick up now that iBooks is standard on all devices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Yup. All the Zons together are now only 52% of my income.

Apple is 25%
Kobo is 6%
Nook is 17%
Google - too minuscule to even calculate. I pretty much can buy a Starbucks cup of coffee with my earnings there on bad months. On good months, can afford to pay a small utility bill with what I earn there. Not sure what I'm doing wrong...

It's great on one hand, because I don't have to fear the Zon algorithms as much. On the other hand, I have no idea how I got traction on those other sites, so I have no idea what to do once the sales on these other sites start to fall. It's like Amazon UK - I was riding high there for well over a month, with my Broken series in the top 1000 for much of that time. Now, the sales are falling there, and I have no idea how to get them back. With Amazon.com, I know how to prop up sales - run ads on my permafrees. The other sites? Not so much...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,549 Posts
Joe_Nobody said:
As I've posted previously, we track sales, promotions (paid and unpaid), reviews, rankings, and anything else we think makes a difference in sales. We have a custom Access database where all of this "big data" is entered. We then play with the reports in order to spot trends, wise investments, year over year comparisons, and other unhelpful, fluffy statistics.
Hey Joe,

I have my own homemade spreadsheets for various things, but I haven't got one that tracks everything the way you seem to suggest. I'm really proud of my very first attempt to make a spreadsheet for my audio for example.

Did you get a template for your needs or make it yourself? It sounds great. Can I be cheeky and ask for a blank template or a link to where I can get one?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top