Since joining KDP Select, my sales have skyrocketed.
I went three months on PubIt! with selling a single title. For some reason, in October things just went to hell in a handbasket. My sales on Amazon remained steady.
I owe this to two things:
1) Nook's market share is shrinking, and it didn't have much share to begin with
2) PubIt! Support is non-existent. I have NEVER had them answer an email. NEVER.
Nook's market share may be shrinking. We have no way of knowing. The market itself is so much bigger that even a diminished share of that market still has the Nook with a larger audience than this time last year. So, that's not the reason for the decline in sales if you are seeing that.
As far as my newest title goes, sales are horrible. I have two ebooks on BN, 1 through pubit and 1 through a distributor. Of course, I haven't put nearly as much funding into advertising my latest title, but thought sales would be better than this.
If someone out there knows a new marketing niche, please let the rest of us know. Simple advertising and word of mouth just doesn't seem to be working anymore.
I also like doing bookswaps in exchange for reviews if anyone is interested.
Price point is way too high Nicholas.
That is probably a large part of the problem.
$3.99 tops for a Nookbook unless you are an established author.
$2.99 is even better.
I find this thread of comments to be extremely interesting. There seems to be a fairly broad range of reasons that people attribute to their success or failure here on Pubit. First of all, for those who are new to Pubit, I’d recommend you not get discouraged by those posting negative comments here. I am not saying that the experiences they have shared are untrue. I simply believe that in a forum like this, you will tend to see more participation from those whose experience has been negative than positive.
In regards to the negativity towards Pubit and the lack of sales, I don't think it is fair to suggest that because your books are doing better on Amazon than on Pubit that somehow Pubit is the problem. I think that there are strengths and weaknesses under both Amazon’s and Pubit’s programs. The most successful publishers find ways to take advantage of each sales outlet’s strengths.
I will agree that the amount of support available to publishers and writers on Amazon is somewhat superior to Pubit, but I find the device superiority found on the Nook color and Nook Tablet to be a huge advantage in the market our books are sold in. (Children’s Books)
If you want to compare market shares then I think it is important to do so at the book genre level. For example, Amazon has a significant advantage over Barnes and Noble when it comes to the average chapter book. But Barnes and Noble has a much more established presence in the market for Children’s, Educational, and Self Help books. I attribute this to the fact that the Nook Color has been around for so much longer than the Kindle Fire and that the Kindle Fire has proved to be a bit of a disappointment by comparison.
Our own sales on BN.com have seen steady growth since we started selling our books electronically in May of last year. Christmas day saw a sales explosion with Pubit which we attribute to all the kids who got nooks for Christmas and wanted to buy books. Since then we have seen continued growth week to week and are on track to have sold 10,000 books for the month. To some, this may seem like outstanding success, to others only moderate or poor. We are pleased with these numbers and count it as a success.
We have put a little extra effort into understanding the market that we are selling in. I have put together a few of my recommendations based on the research that we have done. Here they are for your consideration:
1. Know your audience and produce what they are looking for. I’ve seen quite a few writers who have talents in writing in a broad range of styles and genres. For example, a previous poster in this forum wrote that he sells children’s books as well as erotic romance novels. This person may be very talented at both and may have fantastic books, but I wouldn’t recommend publishing them both under the same name. Our research suggests that we receive many sales from customers that purchase one of our books and then look at the other books written by that author. Make sure that when they do that, they see a list of titles that fit the model of the book they already purchased.
If you can build a niche for yourself, you may feel a little constrained by not being able to break out into different markets, but it is our experience that you will find much greater success at building a name for yourself. Identify what you do well and then do that a lot!
2. Use social media to promote your work. Maybe you only 10 or 15 people following you on twitter or signed up as fans on your Facebook page. Perhaps no one ever comments on your blog posts… well so what?!? Do it anyway. Simple articles on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, that link directly to your book on BN.com will increase the exposure that your product pages receive and improve search returns on all the major search engines out there. More exposure = More sales. Make friends in the industry and help promote their books. Ask them to return the favor. We are all stronger as a group and you will be surprised at the effect that a small network of bloggers can have on the exposure a book receives. Keep these efforts focused though. There is much greater value in networking with people who have interest in your kind of work.
3. Don’t cut corners on your cover art, title, description and about the author section. C’mon, I know you have heard this before a million times, but it makes such a HUGE difference. All people can see about your book is on the cover. We are all taught not to judge a book by its cover but this is the one thing that we were all taught not to do as kids that we ALL do anyway. Make sure your cover and title look nice and are applicable to your book. Don’t forget to write a killer description that gives people a good idea of what your book is all about. Lastly, don’t forget to write a good “about the author” section. People pay attention to this stuff. Be creative and make yourself shine.
4. Price your material appropriately. We have found that when people compare the price of e-books, that they don’t generally compare them to their printed counterparts as we initially thought. It seems logical to think that someone shopping for a book might consider the price of the printed copy and find the e-book version at a discount to be quite the deal. Our research has found this to be inaccurate. I don’t claim to be the national expert on purchasing psychology, but our experience has found that people compare e-book prices more to the price of smartphone and tablet apps than to their printed version. $9.99 might be half of what your book would sell for in a retail bookstore, but it still might not be that great of a deal for an e-book. Consider adjusting your prices down a bit to capture more sales. I argue that 2 books sold for $5.99 is better than one book sold for $9.99. Don’t be afraid to adjust your pricing. Test the waters and come up with something that works.
We questioned 200 likely buyers for our books and found that only 3 of the 200 would ever consider spending more than $6.99 on an e-book. Nearly half of them had never spent more than $4.99 on an e-book. Consider the comparison with a smartphone app. The perceived value of an application that is interactive, includes animations, and provides services they use on a regular basis, is much greater to many people than that of a book. Many of such apps sell in the online market place for little more than a dollar or two.
5. Be patient. I laugh when I see people who sign up for Pubit, place a book for sale, and then expect their book to magically start selling like hotcakes. There is little attention given to books that are simply new. BN.com provides exposure more to books that sell well. How are you ever going to get that exposure if you don’t sell well first? Find other ways to get exposure as mentioned above. It doesn’t take that many sales to make your way up on the book list. Once you have one book that does moderately well, it then becomes a lot easier to have additional books get exposure.
6. Timing. Make sure you time your releases right. Publish your book on Pubit such that your book is available for sale on a Thursday. Then do your marketing blitz on Twitter, Facebook,you’re your Blog once your book has already been posted for sale. The last thing you want is for all the attention to go to a page that hasn’t yet been made available. Also, I don’t recommend releasing all of the books you have written on the same day. Spread them out and release them once every few weeks or every few months even. Have big release events for each book. Make a big deal out of it, and make sure all your family and friends are aware of it. Everyone loves talking about their amazing cousin or friend that writes books for Barnes and Noble. Let the whole world know.
Well, I know this was extremely long for a forum post. If I have helped any of you out there then that was my goal. Good luck to all of us and may we all find the greatest success selling our books here on BarnesandNoble.com.
I'm very late in posting, but I had to comment. My sales at Pubit are much, much, much better than at Amazon. That's always puzzled me, because nearly everyone else I talk to has much better luck with Amazon. My sales went up in January at B&N but stayed low at Amazon. Just an example, my sales in January, 2012 for B&N were FIVE TIMES what they were at Amazon.
The marketing advice given on this forum was excellent. Thanks for that. Some simple things to remember are
1) Put out a quality product with a good cover and description. Having an editor is crucial.
2) Do some marketing, but don't be pushy and 'in your face.' Readers HATE that. The best way I've found is to connect with other authors and promote one another's books. Get as many followers as you can on Twitter and try to retweet tweets for other authors you follow. Many will return the favor.
3) BE PATIENT. My book sales have slowly, slowly climbed, but it takes a while to get the word out and see results. They're still not phenomenal, but I'm pleased they're not dropping off. And, I only have one Indie book out, although I'm also published with other publishers.
4) Keep writing and publishing. One book is not enough to judge how well you'll do as an Indie author.
5) If you connect with Indie authors who write the same genre you do, it's a good idea to team up and each of you put the other's book info at the back of your book, maybe even the first chapter. Something like: Check out 'Death Notice' by Alicia Dean. Available on the Nook and Kindle (or whatever). Chapter One (Insert the chapter)- I would highly suggest you only do this if you feel your book and the other person's book are similar and both are quality. :-)
6) Try to get people to review your book without being pushy. Ask for legitimate, honest reviews and don't stress if you get poor reviews. I actually kind of like having a few negative reviews. It makes me feel more legit, like people aren't just doing me favors. And, not everyone has the same taste and that's a WONDERFUL thing about us humans. Also, some readers say they will pay more attention and perhaps buy a book that has a few negative reviews. It piques their curiousity.
7) Carefully consider pricing. I agree with the other posters. Very few people will pay more than 5 bucks for an unkown author. However, although I listed my book at 99 cents for a few months, I think that's too low for a full MS. I think readers expect to get what they pay for, but want a bargain to a degree. My personal opinion is that, for a full MS, 2.99 is a good price. For a Novella and under, 99 cents.
Sorry. This was a little wordier than I intended. :-)
Best of luck everyone!
I just launched two of my twelve books on B&N and so far I one sale compared to Amazon with over 20. I wonder if the marketing or access to Publit is as well known or what the issue is. I wish that B&N would have simply called it "nook" and not PUBLIT which is meaningless. People can go to KINDLE and find my books. I am not sure how anyone finds my books on this site. Perhaps I am not giving B&N enough time; however, nook and kindle must have approx the same sales???
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Last January I sold 70 children's books on pubit, this January 17. Last February 50 books, so far this February 4 books, I don't get it! My February sales up to February 20, Amazon 24 Books, itunes 14 books, Pubit 4 books?
How many more children's books do you have up there this year as compared to last year?
What types of searches do your books come up for on the B&N search engine?
If you browse through the categories, what page is your book on in a certain category?
If you had 10 books up last year and 10 this year then there's your problem.
Last year there were probably 1/3rd as many books for sale on B&N as there are this year, so you are facing much steeper competition.
Have you been doing any posting on forums? Any SEO to try and boost the ranking of your book?
For me, it's been a wild ride the last few months. Sales soared, peaked and then seem to be steady. I've tried a lot of differnt things, so understanding what works and what doesn't is a nightmare at best. I am just grateful for the sales I do have. I have a new book coming out soon, and the new ones seem to spike sales for a while, since most of my books are in a series. I'd like sales to be better, naturally, but I am not complaining.
I believe you're right. Sometimes my sales are better on one then it switches to the other. I want to watch my sales but it's like watching for water to start boiling or paint to dry.
Both are excellent opportunities for all of us.
Formatting. Now there's a can of worms. lol
Have a great day.
Three books period. The books are train books, and when anyone searches Children's train books, up they come. 137 books in December, 17 on B&N. The price may have been a problem @ $4.99 (same as last year) so I lowered the price to $3.99.
Being my first month I can't really say if sales have picked up, since I did not have a prior sales month. But, I can say sales on B&N have been steady and Amazon has been slow.