Home » Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Amazon, Apple, Ebooks, Kobo » Breaking Free Part 2 – One Month Later

Breaking Free Part 2 – One Month Later

28 June 2014

From author Nick Stephenson:

I had a bunch of emails last time I posted on this subject, asking me to update how my adventures outside of KDP Select were going after a month – so, if you haven’t read the previous post, go check that out here.

For everyone else, here’s the skinny: From my very first book release in March 2013, there had always been a common trend. Book sales would spike massively around a promotion (usually Bookbub) and then fall right back down again within a few days. Not that I’m complaining, but my eventual goal was to try and keep sales consistently strong, rather than relying on a monthly spike in numbers and then thirty days of diddly-squat.

. . . .

So, I pulled my titles from KDP Select and uploaded them onto other vendors, then set my strongest-rated novel to permafree. I applied for a Bookbub free promotion, which went live on the 27th of June. The results have been better than I could have hoped. Sales have remained consistently higher for over a month, beating out my average daily revenue of $80 by a factor of four. This last month has easily been my strongest to date, and is set to overtake the $7,000 mark by the time July rolls round. And, best of all, sales on non-Amazon retailers make up a significant portion of that figure, and Amazon UK has opened up for the first time.

. . . .

I’ve also been extremely impressed with my first experiences with other retailers. iTunes has been easy to work with (despite it taking nearly a week to get a title approved), Nook was simple and fast (12 hours from submission to publication) and Kobo was a dream. Kobo were also kind enough to feature my permafree book as one of their “first free in series” titles, which gave my numbers there a little push. Kobo is now a nice little side earner – and the efforts these guys go to in order to accommodate indies is commendable – especially given the vacuum that opens up every time I try to email Apple or Barnes and Noble. Well done, Kobo!

Link to the rest, including sales charts at Nick Stephenson

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Amazon, Apple, Ebooks, Kobo

5 Comments to “Breaking Free Part 2 – One Month Later”

  1. It’s still a mystery to me why Amazon nerfed the Select program so badly and still hasn’t corrected it.

    Hopefully stories like Nick’s will help change their minds – then again, I’m not sure why I would want them to make Select so appealing that authors stop publishing via the other stores again. So perhaps it’s just as well.

  2. Eggs and baskets. Well done and more power to you.

  3. This is a story we are hearing over and over again.

    So many indies are still partying like its 2009, when Amazon was the only show in town, but in 2014 its quite easy for an indie author to have their ebooks in upwards of two hundred and fifty ebooks stores around the globe – of which only a dozen are Amazon outlets.

    For indies willing to really put the effort in (and some up-front expense) those retail outlet numbers can get much bigger.

    In the US smaller stores like Books-A-Million and All-Romance/OmniLit are proving increasingly lucrative, while in the UK smaller stores like Waterstone’s can deliver healthy results.

    Globally its tremendously exciting. Google Play now lead the way with some 57 global ebook stores, and English language ebooks are selling well across the globe, not just in English-speaking countries.

    As we reported on our own blog, this past week five of the top 100 on Kindle Brazil and nine of the top 500 on Kindle Germany are English-language titles.

    There are enormous opportunities out there for indies willing to diversify, both at home and abroad.

    The only surprise about Nick Stephenson’s report is the speed in which he has gained traction with the other retailers.

    • It’s wonderful to see how well Nick has done and is encouraging for other self-pub authors. In addition to no doubt working his butt off to achieve those figures, I think his perma free book, the Bookbub ad, and that the fact that he has 7 titles in total available for download were strong contributing factors to his success. And the books are great 🙂

  4. In addition to highlighting what a great idea it is to diversify distribution, it also alludes to how much Apple could improve the iBookstore experience. Besides that all the other stores have a turnaround time between two and 24 hours, they’re all web-based and accessible to just about anyone with a PC.

    I get that iBooks is an app (which makes it a different beast than web-based solutions), and I’ll be honest I’m not sure if it’s exclusive to the Mac platform, but still, you’d think that Apple would have implemented better means for uploading.

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