Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Adventures in Epublishing: Visibility

I was baffled this week when trying to figure out how my Barnes & Noble sales for the month of December were beating my Amazon sales.  Now I know we're talking small numbers, here, but even small numbers are worth investigating.  This month I've sold 5 ebooks at B&N and only 2 at Amazon.  I am still convinced that Amazon is the king of ebooks and I figure most people with ereaders have Kindles and not Nooks.  So why are my books selling better on B&N?
I decided to surf the site and see where I could find my books.  It had taken me all of November to sell 7 ebooks at B&N, and so far this month I've already sold 5?  I knew there had to be some reason for this.

On B&N, I was able to find Into the Shadows listed at #135 on the Teen New Release List in the NOOKbooks bookstore.  B&N also has a category in their NOOKbooks section called 'PubIt! Books,' a set of lists based off of authors published through B&N's ebook publishing channel, something that Amazon lacks.  Into the Shadows is currently listed at #75 on the Young Adult list in the PubIt! book section.

Unfortunately, from what I can tell right now, my books are not very visible in the Amazon Kindle store or in the regular store for the paperback.  I'm not currently on any lists (that I can find).  I'm still curious how people are able to pin-point that they're on a list on Amazon, unless they did what I did on B&N and just searched for myself.  I have Author Central from Amazon, but it hasn't showed me if I was ranked on specific lists other than the overall bestseller rankings.  The only way to be more visible on Amazon is through sales.  I don't know how my books ended up on the lists at B&N, and they don't really have anything like Author Central to help you track sales, which would be nice. 

I'm hoping with the holidays (meaning people may be receiving shiny new ereaders) and my increased visibility on Goodreads.com, that I'll see an increase in sales.  Over 700 people have entered to win a copy of Into the Shadows on my Goodreads contest, and over 150 people have added it to their 'to-read' list.  If it stays visible on B&N, and some of my Goodreads readers actually buy a copy this month, that could translate into some nice sales.  We'll have to see how it all turns out in the December numbers!

6 comments:

  1. Interesting! I would expect your sales to increase as people read the book and told friends about it but the differences between the two venues are intriguing. I hope the positive trend continues!

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  2. I'm hoping that word-of-mouth will also help with sales. It's been a slow start to that end, but I just have to be patient, I think. And I think I had put more stock in word-of-mouth as well, but being that I have only a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and none on B&N, I figured I might look into it. I think the more reviews you get, the more it helps as well.

    I also just joined Kindleboards, so that may make it a little more visible on Amazon. Kindleboards is a site of avid Kindle readers/writers and you can post your book there on the Book Bazaar. It's cool...you can find out about lots of inexpensive ebooks there if anyone is looking!

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  3. Karly, interesting results. Maybe a Nook reader told their Nookpals about your book!

    I released my novel Dead Dwarves Don't Dance on Amazon in November. I haven't released on Nook/Smashwords yet, because I do the formatting myself and Nook/Smashwords seem more difficult in this regard. Is that your experience?

    Also, have you set up with Amazon Associates? It's a way to make an extra 6% on your book sales, and on other sales people who click on your links make! It hasn't added up to much for me since October (about $24), but it should continue to increase over time.

    Good luck with your books!

    -Derek J. Canyon
    Derek's blog (also called Adventures in ePublishing ;)

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  4. Derek...clearly great minds think alike! hehe! I am set up with Amazon Associates here through Blogger. Is that what you were thinking of? Or is there another way to work with them? Who wouldn't like to make more!

    It is possible that a bunch of Nookies talked, especially being that the numbers are still pretty low (I mean, we are talking 5 sales here!)

    As for the formatting...I actually pay a guy to do it for me. Kindle and Nook files are included in his fee and it's a little extra to do Smashwords. But even he had to go back to the Smashwords file because Smashwords didn't like it for some weird reason. It was something super small. I don't have time to learn the formatting (maybe someday) and it wasn't super expensive. Let me know, I can get you his email, if you like!

    I'll have to check out your book...sounds cool!

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  5. Sounds like you have the AA thing covered. I use AA for every single link to my books' Amazon pages: on my website, blog, emails, and on comments I make in other blogs.

    I'm going to have a go at doing the Nook/Smashword formatting myself first. I have already spent over $2000 on publishing my ebooks and I need to save some money. After I sell 1000 copies and break even, maybe I can splurge and get someone else to format for me. ;) Alas, I've only sold about 70, so that's still months away.

    I just bought your book. Not in any of my normal genres but I'll give it a read. It sounds like it might have superpowers of some kind, and I'm up for that ;). You're getting very good reviews!

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  6. Aw, thanks Derek! Much obliged! Yeah, it's a bit of money to dump in all at once, no? I only did one book to start and won't put out the next until this one pays off. Which is fine because I need a few months to rewrite/edit. Let's keep in touch...clearly we have lots to share!

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