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goldenstatewriter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎03-27-2012
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Re: Our E-Book Sales on Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble vs. Apple

I'll break this down with numbers so hopefully I don't get confused :-)
1) Switching to Smashwords for B&N distribution: My books are already there and alread approved, so I would just be adding a sales distribution channel. The reason for doing it would be simple: Smashwords has an agreement with B&N that is a lot more influential than mine. While B&N may be ignoring us indies who deal directly with them, those coming in via Smashwords (which has money and lawyers that I do not) may be getting better product placement. I am considering doing a few experiments with a title or two to test this possibility out. Yes I won't get paid as often, but if I make more in the long run, it makes business sense. I know for a fact there are smashword authors selling several thousand copies a month on B&N via Smashwords. I have not heard (yet) of any B&N direct indie authors currently seeing those same sort of numbers. This whole crash of indie sales is a head scratcher, and does not inspire confidence in B&N. You have to go where the sales are after all.
2) Pubit being down/broken: I've currently got 14 titles on B&N (and two pen names for different genre). Over the weekend I moved two more titles over. Both are in ePub format, both are formated just fine (I've been doing this a while after all). Both have been stuck in the 'Processing' mode. One since Friday night, the other since Saturday afternoon. That puts both of them over the 72 hour mark. I wrote Pubit yesterday, got a response today that they're 'looking into it'. Still no progress.
3) Apple's TOS. I'd have to go look, but if you do a web search you should be able to find the anaylsis of Apple's TOS that was done by a lawyer for some writer friends. Basically once you submit a book to Apple, whether or not they accept it, you can NOT submit it in the same format ANYWHERE ELSE. Now it was unclear if you could say still submit it in a prc or mobi format elsewhere, but if you submit it to Apple as an epub? You can not submit it as an epub anywhere else, even if Apple rejects it. Ever. Kind of nasty that.
4)Yes, getting real time sales number is nice, BUT as we don't get any demographics with those numbers (who bought it, where, age, sex, time, etc) those real time results aren't worth all that much. With the exception of Amazon, Smashwords gives me more data than anyone else: they actually tell me the time, date, and which country it was sold in! Nice feature that.
In the end it is all a matter of personal preferance and what works for you personally. As I have mentioned elsewhere, a different demographic buy's Nook's than Kindle's and they have different reading preferences.

SF50 wrote:
I use Smashwords currently to get to everyone except Amazon and B&N. When Kobo opens theirs, assuming they don't have any requirements that would prohibit me from doing so, I will go direct through them too.
Your comment about going through Smashwords to reach B&N makes no sense to me, why would you pull your books from Pubit to put them back through Smashwords? Pulling them off B&N would take a day, maybe two. Put them through Smashwords, which their approval process is currently running something in the 2.5 week range, plus another week at least for it to get distributed out to B&N. Then you're on a quarterly payment plan instead of monthly (after the first 2 months). So you're probably at least 3 months out from your first payment and the reporting is seriously delayed and not even on any dependable schedule. (And depending on your book's price, you get paid less.)
Essentially I don't understand what switching to going through Smashwords gains for you on a retailer that you can go through directly much easier.
I've not seen Apple's ToS but I highly doubt you lose any rights to your work by going through them and short of seeing a copy of their ToS that says anything different I'm going to believe they're not the great satan your comment makes them out to be. Do I really want to deal with them directly? If it gets me real time sales updates and monthly payments - absoutely.
B&N sales .. I've not been able to figure them out either. They predictably jumped near the end of November after black friday. Then they predictably shot up in December and January after the gift giving holidays and have since slowed down a little bit for me, but they slowed down in proportion to how they've slowed down at Amazon since the holiday spike has ended. I don't have a reasoning for the people who used to experience high sales and now oddly have none - My best guess is B&N's search function being the way it is. (Unless something has changed) they have a title search, not a subject search. So if you're looking for books on quilting and you put "quilting" in the search box - you're only going to get books back with that in the title. Sort of makes selling fiction books difficult when the book typically doesn't have the genre or plot in the title.
And finally - I've not had any issue with Pubit recently(though I've not submitted any new book recently either). I'm not sure what your issue is. Are you submitting books in EPUB format or are you putting in DOC files etc ?
SF

 


 

Frequent Contributor
SF50
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎07-18-2011
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Re: Our E-Book Sales on Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble vs. Apple

Thank you, makes for an easier reply.

 

1. After I posted I realized most of your titles were probably already approved on Smashwords and the 2.5+ week wait would not be an issue. Those people selling thousands of books? .. That has nothing to do with Smashwords' agreement with B&N - They self promote and market their books. They have a website that people can find in searches and that they can point to from their book's FB page that people can go to and say "hey if this book has that FB page and this website and all those fans on the FB page and positive reviews - it must be good." (This would work with an average or slightly above average series of books.) They've written a (quality) trilogy and gave the first of the books out for free to get the reader hooked. They contacted Generic Reviewer's blog and had them review their book for more publicity. You make it sound as though 'because they're on Smashwords, that's why they sell' - Smashwords is the distributor and is the first to tell you you have to market your book.

 

2. Weird, because I've noticed generally the times the system 'hangs' in processing the person tends to report that they sent up something other than an EPUB - so I think it's odd that it hung on an EPUB. Hope it gets resolved soon.

 

3. Until you post that I call BS. There's no way that is enforceable especially the section about "Even if they reject it." Sounds more like a scare tactic from people who don't like Apple. Show me a link to the actual ToS that says this and then I'll believe it(but still say it's unenforceable).

 

4. You still don't get those demographics with Smashwords. You get location. You said you get date and time but I'm not sure where you see that. The quarterly mapping report doesn't give you that and that's the only location I see that possibly might. I like the real time reports that actually show me on a daily basis what sold. I can tell you Tuesdays are the slowest day and weekends and holiday weekends are best. Some days when everyone is complaining they're not selling, I'm having my best day (a few of my titles are better for travelling is my best guess as to why). If my sales drop one week I know right away and I can go check reviews for any bad review or find what may be the cause. Smashwords reports don't give me the sales break down by days even (that I was able to find at least) and even if they do it takes sometimes 1 or 2 months to get an update. Insane. I do like the feature about seeing location, but losing monthly payments is too much of a sacrifice for to switch for just that.

 

Personally I think the biggest thing hurting authors on Pubit is the search function searching title names only and not matching keywords. I hope your switch over goes well though and you get the results you seek.

 

SF

http://www.ebformat.com

 

 


goldenstatewriter wrote:
I'll break this down with numbers so hopefully I don't get confused :-)
1) Switching to Smashwords for B&N distribution: My books are already there and alread approved, so I would just be adding a sales distribution channel. The reason for doing it would be simple: Smashwords has an agreement with B&N that is a lot more influential than mine. While B&N may be ignoring us indies who deal directly with them, those coming in via Smashwords (which has money and lawyers that I do not) may be getting better product placement. I am considering doing a few experiments with a title or two to test this possibility out. Yes I won't get paid as often, but if I make more in the long run, it makes business sense. I know for a fact there are smashword authors selling several thousand copies a month on B&N via Smashwords. I have not heard (yet) of any B&N direct indie authors currently seeing those same sort of numbers. This whole crash of indie sales is a head scratcher, and does not inspire confidence in B&N. You have to go where the sales are after all.
2) Pubit being down/broken: I've currently got 14 titles on B&N (and two pen names for different genre). Over the weekend I moved two more titles over. Both are in ePub format, both are formated just fine (I've been doing this a while after all). Both have been stuck in the 'Processing' mode. One since Friday night, the other since Saturday afternoon. That puts both of them over the 72 hour mark. I wrote Pubit yesterday, got a response today that they're 'looking into it'. Still no progress.
3) Apple's TOS. I'd have to go look, but if you do a web search you should be able to find the anaylsis of Apple's TOS that was done by a lawyer for some writer friends. Basically once you submit a book to Apple, whether or not they accept it, you can NOT submit it in the same format ANYWHERE ELSE. Now it was unclear if you could say still submit it in a prc or mobi format elsewhere, but if you submit it to Apple as an epub? You can not submit it as an epub anywhere else, even if Apple rejects it. Ever. Kind of nasty that.
4)Yes, getting real time sales number is nice, BUT as we don't get any demographics with those numbers (who bought it, where, age, sex, time, etc) those real time results aren't worth all that much. With the exception of Amazon, Smashwords gives me more data than anyone else: they actually tell me the time, date, and which country it was sold in! Nice feature that.
In the end it is all a matter of personal preferance and what works for you personally. As I have mentioned elsewhere, a different demographic buy's Nook's than Kindle's and they have different reading preferences.