Author Topic: Kobo vs the others  (Read 15563 times)

JRTomlin

Kobo vs the others
« on: September 24, 2018, 05:22:28 AM »
Just an interesting (to me) observation. At the moment, I am actually doing as well on Kobo as iBook and B&N put together. Mind you, that's still only a few hundred bucks each but interesting. It isn't because of Walmart though. My biggest sales are in Canada and Australia. I am in one of their promotions which no doubt explains it. Still, it is new for me to have Kobo doing that well. The three of them together are making up for leaving KU - barely.   :banana:

As for Google Play, one day they may total enough for a coffee at Starbucks.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 07:43:42 AM by JRTomlin »
 

Sailor Stone

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 05:36:29 AM »
Kobo is easily my best site for sales these last six months. It's all about being accepted into their promos I believe. Walmart is a non-factor for me as well; hopefully that changes with time.
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 05:44:51 AM »
I've found that Kobo promotions are hit or miss, largely miss. Is there a trick?
 

guest14

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 05:47:36 AM »
Amazing! Some people are cooking with Kobo and Walmart. Me, I was doing well until Walmart appeared on the scene. Now? I'm nowhere. Amazon goes down each month regardless of the level of interest because the influx of new writing takes precedence and there is no value in quality or sustainability. Good quality merchandise is valueless in Amazon. Price and novelty wins out. B&N works hard to build market share, Apple is, I dunno - just Apple, I guess and the rest.. well, just who are the rest?

Me? I'm just plodding along...
 

Max

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 05:54:30 AM »
Okay. I'm clearly lost here. How do you know which of your Kobo sales can be attributed to WalMart on the dash?

As far as sales, Kobo, it's usually number three, but a close number three between them, Apple, and Nook.
 

Kate Elizabeth

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 06:06:53 AM »
The past few months, about half of my sales were coming from Kobo promos.  The other half were mostly Google Play international sales.  Lately, though, the promos have been hit or miss.
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 06:34:34 AM »
You can't tell for sure which are attributable to Walmart, but I am assuming that ones in Canada and Australia aren't. Also, I am pretty sure that the promo I am part of at the moment which is not in the US does not show at Walmart. I admit I am making some assumptions though. I would say that generally, ignoring a promo that is doing pretty well - for Kobo that is - that my Kobo sales are up about 10% since the Walmart 'thing' (what do you call it? It's not a merger) went into effect.

I have only been on in a few Kobo promotions. The ones I look for say something like this - which is the box set promo I'm in now: "This promo will be advertised to customers in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand on the Kobo homepage and by email." The $3.99 and under sale that is coming up says this: "The sale will be promoted by email and by banner on the Kobo store." It is a US sale. I'll see if I can get in that one but the price reduction on my $4.99 novel may not be enough to get it into that one.

If they aren't being actively promoted by Kobo, I don't bother. The one that I was in that did absolutely nothing was the one tied to the Walmart startup.
 
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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 06:43:44 AM »
My wide sales rise and fall on each vendor with only a loose link to promos and known factors. Sometimes, such as recently, they double on one vendor almost overnight. Usually they rise fast for no apparent reason, then sink slowly--presumably from some kind of promo or publicity I know nothing about.
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Max

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 06:46:00 AM »
You can't tell for sure which are attributable to Walmart, but I am assuming that ones in Canada and Australia aren't. Also, I am pretty sure that the promo I am part of at the moment which is not in the US does not show at Walmart. I admit I am making some assumptions though. I would say that generally, ignoring a promo that is doing pretty well - for Kobo that is - that my Kobo sales are up about 10% since the Walmart 'thing' (what do you call it? It's not a merger) went into effect.

I have only been on in a few Kobo promotions. The ones I look for say something like this - which is the box set promo I'm in now: "This promo will be advertised to customers in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand on the Kobo homepage and by email." The $3.99 and under sale that is coming up says this: "The sale will be promoted by email and by banner on the Kobo store." It is a US sale. I'll see if I can get in that one but the price reduction on my $4.99 novel may not be enough to get it into that one.

If they aren't being actively promoted by Kobo, I don't bother. The one that I was in that did absolutely nothing was the one tied to the Walmart startup.

Thank you.

I've applied to almost a hundred promos and been in 25. Some were decent, some, nah. I didn't see an uptick with the new collaboration with Walmart.  I know my perma isn't on Walmart, and I've given thought to taking it off perma at Kobo so it can get into Walmart.

 

CoraBuhlert

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 09:02:27 AM »
Kobo has been my second biggest market after Amazon for years now.

Their promos are hit and miss for me. Some do well, others don't. For example, the recent 3 books for 5 bucks promo in the UK, Australia and New Zealand I was in did nothing, but then I couldn't even find the promo link on the respective sites. I still keep applying to any Kobo promo that's a good fit for my books, because it can't hurt and might just do something.

I haven't noticed any impact from the Walmart thing at all. Most of my Kobo sales are outside the US anyway (Canada usually, but also Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands) and I have seen no increase in US sales at Kobo.

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LD

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 09:12:28 AM »
I get crickets on Kobo.  It's pretty dismal there.
 

Mark Gardner

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 09:43:20 AM »
I get crickets on Kobo.  It's pretty dismal there.
I also do poorly on Kobo, but I'm gonna have to figure that out if I want to chase the Wal*Mart sale.
 

EllieL

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 10:04:22 AM »
Some months I sell better on Kobo than on Amazon. I usually do well with their promos, and I love the dashboard that shows where the sales are coming from. Australia is my best market behind Canada. Today I saw a Singapore and a Sveden... er Sweden.
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LD

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 01:57:59 PM »
Some months I sell better on Kobo than on Amazon. I usually do well with their promos, and I love the dashboard that shows where the sales are coming from. Australia is my best market behind Canada. Today I saw a Singapore and a Sveden... er Sweden.
I just signed up direct a few days ago, to take advantage of their promos.  Here's hoping it'll help.
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2018, 07:42:45 AM »
One thing I really like about Kobo promotions is that for quite a few of them the discount is by promo code at checkout which means you don't actually have to lower the price and risk price matching.
 

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2018, 09:49:44 AM »
I think it's interesting that I haven't yet heard from anyone who saw any impact as a result of the Walmart promotions. I would have expected at least some little ripple. Of course, Walmart is new at this. It may yet push Kobo sales upward as time goes on.


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guest153

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2018, 09:59:13 AM »
A few months ago, I took my mystery series wide because it wasn't getting any love in KU. Tried Bookbub ads, tried several of Kobo's promotions (including that Walmart one), and in grand total I've sold about four copies in four months. I still get more sales in one month off of a low-cost Amazon ad than I've gotten from Bookbub and Kobo promos in four months.
 
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JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2018, 10:07:57 AM »
I've never had any luck with Bookbub ads. David Gaughran says he does well with them but darn if I can figure out how.


ETA: I think David has made some posts on his blog about how do get better results with them. Might be worth checking.


 
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Gaylord Fancypants

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2018, 11:47:22 AM »
I think it's interesting that I haven't yet heard from anyone who saw any impact as a result of the Walmart promotions. I would have expected at least some little ripple. Of course, Walmart is new at this. It may yet push Kobo sales upward as time goes on.
I think their launch was really a pretty soft launch. It takes time to get people excited enough to buy the ereader and then actually start buying books. They probably wanted to stress-test the site and the sales process anyway before they try to crush it. So hopefully sales will keep going up from here. They couldn't really go down, my sales on Kobo flatlined when the Walmart thing happened.
 

RPatton

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2018, 12:01:09 PM »
The guy who runs Walmart's online store is in a personal war against Amazon. He hates Amazon and hates Bezos. He's also the guy who started jet.com.

Check out this https://jetsupportdesk.blob.core.windows.net/jetsupportdesk/Jet%20Onboarding%20Guide%20V3.pdf to get an idea of how friggin' smart this guy is.

If he could somehow bring what he learns from Kobo to Jet.com (a subsidiary of Walmart), I would pay them money to let me sell ebooks with them. The storefront is brilliant, the landing pages for the print books, perfect. Seriously, it's what I always thought an online book store should look like.
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2018, 12:51:46 PM »
If he hates Amazon, then  maybe they will make a real try at it. I have no problem with a soft start. So far my increase in Kobo US sales has been tiny, but I suppose any increase at all is good. Overall for the last two months, Kobo has beat Apple for sales, for what it's worth, but mostly Canada.
 

guest153

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2018, 01:35:51 PM »
The guy who runs Walmart's online store is in a personal war against Amazon. He hates Amazon and hates Bezos. He's also the guy who started jet.com.

Check out this https://jetsupportdesk.blob.core.windows.net/jetsupportdesk/Jet%20Onboarding%20Guide%20V3.pdf to get an idea of how friggin' smart this guy is.

If he could somehow bring what he learns from Kobo to Jet.com (a subsidiary of Walmart), I would pay them money to let me sell ebooks with them. The storefront is brilliant, the landing pages for the print books, perfect. Seriously, it's what I always thought an online book store should look like.


I hope he makes a real effort. With all the scammers and unscrupulous publishers at Amazon and Amazon moving away from recommendations and also-boughts and more towards paid advertising, there's going to be a real vacuum for organic recommendations.
 

SCapsuto

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2018, 01:13:48 AM »
I'm intrigued by your success with Kobo. The bulk of my sales have been through Amazon, with iBooks a distant second. By contrast, I'm averaging just one sale per year through Kobo.

Does Kobo have a marketing tool that I've missed? Perhaps something analogous to Amazon's AMS?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 02:31:12 AM by SCapsuto »
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WasAnn

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2018, 01:22:55 AM »
I love Kobo, but it blows for sales. I'm only moving books wide very slowly, but still. I probably should promo...probably. If that Jet.com guy gets moving, I'll be right there and strapping tiny rockets to his feet to add to the escape velocity. Anything that will compete with Amazon's Pay-Us-Or-Die twist is great by me (and I say that as a reader almost more than an author).


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JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2018, 01:34:54 AM »
I'm intrigued by your success with Kobo. The bulk of my sales have been through Amazon, with iBooks a distant second. By contrast, I'm averaging one sale per year through Kobo.


Does Kobo have a marketing tool that I've missed? Perhaps something analogous to Amazon's AMS?
Kobo has promotions that you can access by asking. Email them and ask for the Promotions tab. Analogous to Amazon's AMS? Not exactly.

This is one that I just completed that did pretty well for me:

Quote
September 40% Box Set Sale

Description
Submit a title to our September 40% off Box Sets sale which will take place September 20th-October 1st 2018. This promo will be advertised to customers in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand on the Kobo homepage and by email. The sale will take place at various times in various territories during the sale period. Please note that this sale will not be advertised in the US. Your box set must have a price of $4.99 or higher to be considered (3.99 in the UK and EU). You do not have to submit a discounted price for this sale, as the discount will be provided by promo code during checkout. This also means you don't have to worry about other retailers price-matching!


They usually have a dozen or so promotions you can apply for. You aren't always approved and not all do as well. I try to aim for the ones that Kobo advertises.


At the moment, I am selling slightly better on Kobo than Apple. Both outsell B&N and I couldn't afford to even go to Starbucks if I had to depend on Google Play. None of them equal Amazon yet, but they more than make up any loss from not being in KU. YMMV

WasAnn, I have done promotion wide. I am pretty sure I would be dead in the water there otherwise.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 05:52:53 AM by JRTomlin »
 
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SCapsuto

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2018, 02:27:44 AM »
Kobo has promotions that you can access by asking. Email them and ask for the Promotions tab.



Thanks! That's very helpful.  :icon_cool:
I've done moderately well with AMS, and I'm surprised more platforms don't have something similar.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 02:31:28 AM by SCapsuto »
Steven is a full-time professional translator. His blog, "Between Wanderings," explores Jewish life and culture from the 1850s to 1920s through the words of people who lived then, and he is translating and publishing books from that era on the same topic. Steven is also the author of "Alternate Channels," about the portrayal of lesbian and gay characters on 20th-century American television. "Alternate Channels" was a semifinalist for an American Library Association book award.
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guest14

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2018, 06:23:29 AM »
I've found that doing promotions with Kobo is the kiss of death for my sales. I've tried a couple of times over several years and found that to be consistent.

I do quite well with sales on an increasing scale most months, especially post BookBub (obviously) and have learned not to respond to the clarion call of Kobo promotions. If I just keep quiet, the sales keep on going. If I promote... they die. As it is Walmart has killed sales for September. I now have better sales elsewhere (not saying where I don't want to jinx it) and await return to favour in Canada and Australia.
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2018, 01:04:07 PM »
I've found that doing promotions with Kobo is the kiss of death for my sales. I've tried a couple of times over several years and found that to be consistent.

I do quite well with sales on an increasing scale most months, especially post BookBub (obviously) and have learned not to respond to the clarion call of Kobo promotions. If I just keep quiet, the sales keep on going. If I promote... they die. As it is Walmart has killed sales for September. I now have better sales elsewhere (not saying where I don't want to jinx it) and await return to favour in Canada and Australia.
Kobo Promotions kill sales? Why is that?
 

guest14

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Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2018, 05:54:54 PM »
I've found that doing promotions with Kobo is the kiss of death for my sales. I've tried a couple of times over several years and found that to be consistent.

I do quite well with sales on an increasing scale most months, especially post BookBub (obviously) and have learned not to respond to the clarion call of Kobo promotions. If I just keep quiet, the sales keep on going. If I promote... they die. As it is Walmart has killed sales for September. I now have better sales elsewhere (not saying where I don't want to jinx it) and await return to favour in Canada and Australia.
Kobo Promotions kill sales? Why is that?


I actually have no idea except I'm doing well, and think - 'aah! let's do a promotion'...and then 'splat!' (that's the sound of my sales hitting the pavement). It recovers eventually, but it's like pulling teeth. Same with the Walmart launch. My figures were going up weekly/monthly and I'm thinking.. 'good, we have traction', then Walmart happens and suddenly... it's a desert. I have no explanation how that could be except I'm suddenly invisible to the marketplace. My only thought is that Walmart brought a lot of new authors onboard and for Kobo that meant lots of new material. Maybe I should promote again, but it's parched out here in the dunes... :D
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2018, 02:43:48 AM »
The Box Set that I mentioned, I had never before sold any of it at Kobo so I feel reasonably certain that the 31 I sold was the promo. It's not exactly getting rich money, but for a $9.99 box set, even 40% reduced, gave a bump to my Kobo sales total. Why they don't do well for some people, I couldn't say, but so far my experiences are more positive than negative. Since I am backing away from Free for a time being, I am not doing any of their Free promos which they don't seem to advertise anyway. And I think the Walmart rollout was pretty poor for all of us.

 
 

Kathy Dee

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2018, 02:05:17 AM »
QUESTION: those of you who are doing well on Kobo, are you direct or through an aggregator?

 :catrun

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The Doctor

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2018, 02:19:56 AM »
QUESTION: those of you who are doing well on Kobo, are you direct or through an aggregator?

 :catrun

^ Just wanted to put that cat in there  :thumb18:

Not quite doing well but I was originally sending my books to Kobo via D2D. I sold okay (but my own prawns standards). Then I decided to go direct, and... crickets.

I've gone back to using D2D but my Kobo sales haven't recovered.
 

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JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2018, 02:48:29 AM »
I'm not sure I would describe it as 'doing well' but I am direct. More 'having some sales at least'. Direct is the only way to have access to the Kobo promotions.

There is no dog emoji! The injustice of it all!  :rant
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 02:52:36 AM by JRTomlin »
 

CoraBuhlert

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2018, 10:29:09 AM »
I'm also direct. For starters, I signed up with Kobo Writing Life before D2D or StreetLib existed and didn't use Smashwords at the time. And besides, if you're direct with Kobo, you get access to their promotions.

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JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2018, 07:12:37 AM »
I've applied for 8 Kobo promos running later this month, none freebies. I'll let you know which I get into and how they go.
 

Tom Wood

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2018, 07:22:34 AM »
...
There is no dog emoji! The injustice of it all!  :rant
Would this one suffice?
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2018, 07:23:37 AM »
That one works! Thanks.
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2018, 05:22:29 AM »
Continuing my Kobo saga, this month (unlike the previous two) so far iBooks is doing far better than Kobo on sales. Kobo seems to be more volatile and dependent on promotions, at least so far.

I do have a promotion coming up on the 12th - a one-day promotion. It is for my 2nd most expensive book, Not for Glory, which is $5.99 so I can reduce it to $2.99 for a promotion.

Quote
The Daily Deal feature on the Kobo homepage is a coveted merchandising spot. Your Double Daily Deal will run in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. This feature represents an opportunity to be featured as a secondary daily deal, to accompany the primary daily deal. Double Daily Deals are now featured on our Deals page the home of all active deals on Kobo, and one of our most-frequented pages as a result. This is a huge boost to the deals visibility. The deals will also be promoted on the @KoboDeals Twitter account. To be eligible, your book must be priced at a 50% (or more) discount off your regular price during the deal time period.

I will be curious to see what kind of results it has since I've never had one before. They like books that are at least $6 for that so I don't have many that are likely to get it. I'll post how it goes.
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2018, 11:55:24 AM »
To update, my Kobo sales this month have averaged a very, very modest 1 - 2 a day. On the twelfth, I had a promo that sold 10, but it was 3rd in my trilogy so I promptly sold 6 others in the trilogy that day and the next. For Kobo, that's not bad. Then sales went back to the 1 - 2 a day.

I have two more Kobo promotions this month, both 40% off which buyers use a purchase code for, so I don't have to lower the price and risk an Amazon price match. So far those are my favorite Kobo promotions. I also like the fact that Kobo actively promotes them with emails, etc. So we'll see how those go.  grint
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2018, 01:08:46 PM »
Ive got one next week, my first. Just heard tonight!
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2018, 08:10:18 PM »
 :Tup2:
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2018, 09:31:38 PM »
Once they post the sales report (spreadsheet) for September, I'll take a look and see if there's a field in there identifying Walmart sales.

The report has a LOT of fields, but it's always so far out of date it's next to useless.

Still hoping they release their new reporting features, as promised on That Other Place by the Kobo CEO, earlier this year.
 

CoraBuhlert

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2018, 08:23:10 AM »
My Kobo sales have been low this month, but I am in a promo right now and in another later this month, so I'll see how these do.

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CoraBuhlert

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2018, 01:22:32 PM »
Of the two Kobo promos I was in last month, the 99 cent spy thriller promo didn't do much. However, the 40% off promo delivered nicely.

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rdperry57

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2018, 06:54:13 AM »
I get crickets on Kobo.  It's pretty dismal there.

Me, too!

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Sailor Stone

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2018, 07:26:09 AM »
I just completed a free promo for one of my books through Kobo's promotion tab and it netted about 960 downloads for the book, and, so far, 17 sales of the next book in the series. Considering most readers won't even open the book for a long while, if ever, I don't think that's too bad a ratio of sales-to-free downloads. Kobo is my best vendor.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2018, 12:04:42 AM »
I just uploaded five books direct to Kobo over the weekend and they went live yesterday. There is no promotions tab. Does it take awhile after first publishing for it to appear?

           
 

Sailor Stone

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2018, 12:07:23 AM »
You need to send Kobo an email asking to be included in the Promotions page. They are great about responding.
 
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Maggie Ann

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2018, 12:32:02 AM »
You need to send Kobo an email asking to be included in the Promotions page. They are great about responding.

Thanks. Will do that right now.

           
 

JRTomlin

Re: Kobo vs the others
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2018, 02:10:13 PM »
Last month my sales on Kobo were about twice what I sold on Apple and B&N combined. That still doesn't come close to Amazon but it is definitely going up. However, US sales still lag way, way behind sales in Canada. I am not sure how much Walmart has spurred US sales.

I have done pretty well with Kobo promotions. I generally avoid the Free ones unless I have something free anyway. I had my Black Douglas Omnibus in the just completed 'Black Sunday - Cyber Monday' sale that did particularly well. Some of their promotions Kobo does actively promote with emails, etc. Those are the ones I look for.