Author Topic: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet  (Read 2501 times)

LilyBLily

Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« on: February 18, 2019, 08:32:43 AM »
I've taken the first steps to de-list one of my series from the various wide venues, plus its box set.

Not a big deal, really, because this series has been a bomb since the beginning. There's nothing wrong with the ad copy, the blurbs, or the covers. Or you could say there's everything wrong with them because they accurately convey the super niche nature of the series. I did a classic launch on this series, dropping one book a month at discount prices, having ARC reviews, paying for numerous newsletter ads, and even setting the first book free. A couple thousand downloads of the free title led to nothing.

Despite some recent Facebook ads and some other efforts more of a social media type, this series simply doesn't sell anywhere. Rather than go to the expense and bother of rewriting the books, getting new covers for them all, rewriting the ad copy, etc., I'm putting them back into KU in the hope that now and again someone will take a (free) chance on them because they've read my other books. 

In theory, such drip-through sales should happen wide. But wide doesn't sell my other books. Facebook ads sell my books on Amazon, not anywhere else--despite universal links. My recent FB ads proved that yet again.

Chris Fox's book suggests that some projects simply aren't worth relaunching, and much as I love this series, I have to agree that enough money has been spent on it. There is one other thing I haven't tried. I haven't done permafree for Book 1. I could try that, and it would cost nothing. I could also set the prices of the other books at 99 cents, so the whole three book series would cost almost nothing. And I wouldn't bother to inform Amazon about any of this. I'd let its little web spiders do the work.

What do you think about lowering the prices of the other books? The box set would go down to, like, $1.99. Ridiculous, huh? But it would be nice to see some action on this series.
 

munboy

Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 09:15:48 AM »
I think it's a solid decision. Rather than throw more money into the series, sit on it and build your library. The more readers you gain with other books, the more that will be likely to read your entire back library.

Going back to UK makes sense. If readers aren't buying them, there's always the possibility of them giving it a chance when they're already paying for UK and looking for books to read.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 09:25:00 AM »
Some money from the series is better than no money from it.

Unfortunately, that does feed the pattern. A lot of readers are increasingly ready to take things only for free or for $0.99. While I've never minded the strategic use of low prices, part of me wishes that trend had never started. I have mixed feelings, though. In a lot of cases, people are more wiling to try an author they aren't familiar with at a lower price point. Also, price is the only variable where we can beat trads on a regular basis. We don't have the same overhead and can make a profit at a lower price point than they can. On the other hand, if I had to make a living at writing, I'd want to try the higher price points more.

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Maggie Ann

Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 10:26:19 AM »
Higher prices never worked for me. KU worked to some extent until a year ago then borrows went flatline. That's when I decided to go wide. That's also when I decided to do permafree on my most popular series (which isn't saying much) with the sequels at 99c and boxed sets at $2.99. I'm direct on Kobo with two series and will upload a third some time this week. Those are the three that have first permafree.

I also unpublished a 12 book series of novelettes. I had broken them out into four boxed sets quite some time ago, but none of them were selling. By unpublishing the novelettes, I was able to price the boxed sets at 99c. I'll get the rare sale but I haven't done a thing to promote them yet.

I'm making more than Starbucks money, although I'm definitely still a prawn. Some of my audios associated with the permafrees are selling and I even made a bounty last month. Every little bit helps but I don't know if I'll ever reach the level I was at a year ago. Granted, it was a prawny level, but 75% of my income just faded away without even saying goodbye.

As Bill said, some money from the series is better than no money from it.
           
 
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123mlh

Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 11:59:05 AM »
I guess I'm going to be the contrarian viewpoint. If the books aren't selling because they're niche then dropping the price probably won't result in more sales. If the sales you are getting are from readers of your other books who go on to buy these books then I think it's important to set a price expectation for that pen name. If it were me, given what you've said, I'd probably leave the books wide and try permafree book 1 making sure that Amazon knew about it and leave the other books in the series at a price point similar to what you use for books in other series by that name.
 

dgcasey

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Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 03:03:01 AM »
I made the decision to go hybrid with my titles. Most of my titles will go wide after spending one or two cycles in KU and they will stay wide. But, I also decided to keep one series I'm writing in KU exclusively, though I will be publishing the paperbacks everywhere. That series has been called "a horror series for adults who have outgrown Goosebumps." It will have dozens of titles by the time I'm finished with it. I have other series, but each volume is more closely tied to the volume before, though maybe not an outright sequel. All I'm saying is I want to have on series that is exclusive to KU while sending all my other titles into the wild.
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LilyBLily

Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 12:56:42 PM »
I'm putting a short, stand-alone romance back into KU in hopes it'll pick up a few reads now and then. It was just in a Kobo promotion and sold zero copies. Zero! How can that be??? I think the only way it will ever earn me another dollar is in KU. 

I'm taking the advice given here and doing permafree the rest of this year on Book 1 of my dud series. I'm keeping Books 2 & 3 in that series at $3.99 and wide. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Many times I've followed the standard tactics and been disappointed. OTOH, this series has nowhere to go but up.

 

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Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 01:26:08 PM »
I'm putting a short, stand-alone romance back into KU in hopes it'll pick up a few reads now and then. It was just in a Kobo promotion and sold zero copies. Zero! How can that be??? I think the only way it will ever earn me another dollar is in KU. 

I'm taking the advice given here and doing permafree the rest of this year on Book 1 of my dud series. I'm keeping Books 2 & 3 in that series at $3.99 and wide. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Many times I've followed the standard tactics and been disappointed. OTOH, this series has nowhere to go but up.
I feel your pain. Kobo sucks for me and I have sold one book there since I went wide in 2017. I wish there was a way to pull my books from there because it's a waste of time.

The rest of your post resonates with me. It's hard to tell which books will do good where. Wish I had advice but I'm in a similar boat and put a book in KU to see what would happen. Nothing yet.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Going back to Kindle Unlimited--But Maybe Not Yet
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2019, 07:33:09 AM »
I'm putting a short, stand-alone romance back into KU in hopes it'll pick up a few reads now and then. It was just in a Kobo promotion and sold zero copies. Zero! How can that be??? I think the only way it will ever earn me another dollar is in KU. 

I'm taking the advice given here and doing permafree the rest of this year on Book 1 of my dud series. I'm keeping Books 2 & 3 in that series at $3.99 and wide. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Many times I've followed the standard tactics and been disappointed. OTOH, this series has nowhere to go but up.
I feel your pain. Kobo sucks for me and I have sold one book there since I went wide in 2017. I wish there was a way to pull my books from there because it's a waste of time.

The rest of your post resonates with me. It's hard to tell which books will do good where. Wish I had advice but I'm in a similar boat and put a book in KU to see what would happen. Nothing yet.
If it helps, in my experience it takes KU readers a while to find a book that's newly listed. Typically, when I do a new release, the sales start coming in, but it may be two or three weeks before KU kicks in--and that's with a fair amount of advertising.

I don't know why this pattern exists, but it is consistent for me.


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