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For the past year, I've been selling paperbacks every month, without fail. Createspace sales used to be pretty sporadic, but I can now rely on some each month. Not complaining. I do find it hilarious, and pretty unbelievable, that I sell more paperbacks than I do eBooks on Kobo. I wonder if there's been a slight shift back to paperbacks. Has anyone else seen an increase in their paperback sales?

For those of you who haven't yet created hard copies of your books, you might be leaving money on the table.
 

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Lady Vine said:
For the past year, I've been selling paperbacks every month, without fail. Createspace sales used to be pretty sporadic, but I can now rely on some each month. Not complaining. I do find it hilarious, and pretty unbelievable, that I sell more paperbacks than I do eBooks on Kobo. I wonder if there's been a slight shift back to paperbacks. Has anyone else seen an increase in their paperback sales?

For those of you who haven't yet created hard copies of your books, you might be leaving money on the table.
I haven't seen a big increase, but I agree with your general point. It doesn't take that much extra work to format for paperback--especially if one invests in Vellum or something similar. Even if the sales are relatively modest, the ROI on the effort is probably positive. I've also noticed that some readers tend to see an author as more legitimate if there is a paperback version. Ironically, that seems true even of some people will only buy ebooks. Go figure!
 

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Createspace Paperbacks in ...

2016: 28
2017: 35
2018 (so far): 168

I think that's a yes. The bulk of those sales are my middle-grade novels, which don't really sell as ebooks. Also, I didn't start pushing them until around April this year, so really that's just 4-5 months.

 

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My tally, modest as it is:

2014: 67
2015: 45
2016: 45
2017: 73
2018 (so far): 49

It's never cost me any extra cash to make paperback editions available, and while I must admit I thought the numbers were a bit higher before I counted them up by year, I'm more than happy to have the hard copies available for lovers of physical books.
 

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My situation is a *big* anomaly, but my paperback sales have tripled my digital sales (including an estimated number of KU borrows). I write kids' books, and I guess a lot of parents don't want their kids using their electronics.

Listen to LilyBLily! Don't be afraid to give yourself the royalty you deserve! This applies to non-juvenile books as well. I was selling paperbacks for grown-ups at a convention. I told a customer that the price for a book was "fifteen" and she went fishing in her purse for fifty dollars. I thought, whoa, dude! That's crazy. I would have thought she'd go, "fifty, dude, are you crazy?" when she thought I said "fifty". But, no, she was going to pay it. Bless her heart (in the non-ironic sense). I guess in her mind I was giving her a $35 discount. That book was not worth $50 in my mind. And I published it! Nice woman, though--great taste.
 

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2016: 37 (Released first book in May)
2017: 80 (Released second book in May)
2018 so far: 20 (Released nothing)

There's a lesson in there somewhere.
 

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I used to anguish over charging $11.99 for an 70,000 word paperback, mostly because **I** am too cheap to pay that much for a paperback. But I'm not selling to myself, I'm selling to anyone who would be willing to buy a new paperback off of the internet. And many of those anyones are willing to pay much more than I would expect. Right now my paperback sell between $13.99 and $16.99, I believe, and as my prices slowly rise, I can actually see an increase in sales over time. Crazy, but true. I'll likely be in the $15.99 to $19.99 range by next summer.
 

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My Sales, btw.

2012: 44
2013: 52
2014: 206
2015: 471
2016: 352 <- Feb 2016 last Book Launch
2017: 128
2018: 36

Definitely worth it to have those paperbacks.
 

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Why stop at paperbacks?  Put out hardcover books too.  My newest release, which came out seven weeks ago, has so far sold 12 hardcover copies along with 34 paperbacks (out of 128 paperbacks so far for my entire catalog this year - my total paperback sales for last year were 134 copies;  I didn't start publishing hardcovers until three months ago)
 

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Mine are actually down a hair:

1/1 - 8/16/17 - 1,139 copies
1/1 - 8/16/18 - 1,021 copies

But the majority of sales for both years are one non-fiction book, the AMS ad for which finally lost steam last month after going strong for three years. I probably should see what I can do to get it back on track....
 

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Lady Vine said:
For the past year, I've been selling paperbacks every month, without fail. Createspace sales used to be pretty sporadic, but I can now rely on some each month. Not complaining. I do find it hilarious, and pretty unbelievable, that I sell more paperbacks than I do eBooks on Kobo. I wonder if there's been a slight shift back to paperbacks. Has anyone else seen an increase in their paperback sales?
Not an increase, but one of my books does sell just as many, if not more paperbacks than ebooks. This is on Amazon. Old school audience, I guess.
 

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I've noticed an upward trend.

I've also noticed that Amazon "push" indie paperbacks more than they used to. I don't think it's an accident - they're hacking away at the big 5 from a whole bunch of angles. Sooner or later the tree will fall.
 

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Jack Krenneck said:
I've noticed an upward trend.

I've also noticed that Amazon "push" indie paperbacks more than they used to. I don't think it's an accident - they're hacking away at the big 5 from a whole bunch of angles. Sooner or later the tree will fall.
They probably make a bigger profit from indie books sold via createspace than on trade-pubbed novels which they have to stock in warehouses all over the place.
 

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M R Mortimer said:
I am planning omnibus hardcovers. I can get them in front of Australian readers via Lulu for more reasonable prices than createspace paperbacks, since the GST debacle killed my aussie sales deader than one of my bad metaphor jokes. I mean, a hard cover is still expensive, but when I can sell a 6x9 omnibus of my fantasy trilogy for the same price of one of the trilogy in paperback from CS because local readers can't by from amazon OR CS direct anymore and only from third party sellers who gouge like a bull in the ring, it starts to make sense. It's been a dead sales area for me for a while now, but a few years back I was comfortably writing full time entirely on the back of paperbacks. So for me, the paperback growth has not eventuated. How much of that is the Aussie situation I can't say for sure, but I am convinced it is a huge factor.
Do you promote your paperbacks through your website? If so, I'd link to the bookdepository product pages for aussie visitors, because there's no postage and the books are about the same price as regular paperbacks in Dymocks.
 

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I haven't seen an increase in print sales, but I have definitely seen a decrease in Kindle sales for June, July, and perhaps in August (which started out well, then faded). My epub sales have also held up fine.

I've always had a few (non-fiction) books that sold better in print than in digital, but for June and July my print sales just about exactly equaled my Kindle sales. For August they're a bit less.

I price them so as to get a minimum $1.50 royalty on expanded distribution, which works out to $4-$5 on Amazon sales. When I first started doing this, I tried very hard to keep paperback prices at $9.95, but I relented after one day when I sold ten books on expanded distribution for a royalty of ten cents each. Now my books run $10.95-$15.95, with most at $12.95. Trade paperbacks are rarely that cheap.

When I first started self-publishing, with iUniverse, I did opt for hardcover, but they were just the paperback cover printed on glossy paper glued to cardboard, like children's board books. I didn't think they were worth the extra money. Still don't.
 

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Paperbacks account for 56% of sales of my translations of vintage Jewish books (mostly nonfiction). Paper sales would probably be higher except one of the books has color images and is much cheaper as an e-book.

So far, I'm only using Createspace. I imagine that once I expand into Ingram Spark, I'll see a slight bump in sales of physical books.
 

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I think we as a society are arriving at screen fatigue. People are on their screens at work all day, then they come home and they want a break. Paper books are like comfort food.
 

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My paperback sales have increased every year since 2013. Wish I knew how to post a year-to-year breakdown as others have, but CS doesn't seem to do that. I used to make ~$11 per month in 2013 in paperback sales. I'm over $180/month now and it's growing every year.
 
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