Author Topic: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?  (Read 2092 times)

Lorri Moulton

Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« on: March 31, 2020, 03:39:54 AM »
I have eight books that are "wide" and six in Kindle Unlimited.  I'm curious if anyone else has them in both...and if so, how are the results?

Since I write in different genres, I thought it would be worth a try.  Fantasy, non-fiction and a few others are wide, while I put sweet romance and women's fiction in KU.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Cottage Books
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2020, 03:47:56 AM »
I have one urban fantasy series wide, as well as shorts (also used as reader magnets) and one nonfiction. None of them are big sellers, either on Amazon or the wide outlets. In the case of the series, I can't tell if its sales are low because it's not in KU or if there is another reason. I wouldn't expect the shorts or the nonfiction to be big sellers, but I have to say that the nonfiction sold somewhat better on Amazon before I took it wide (even though it wasn't really getting KU reads).


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cecilia_writer

Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2020, 04:10:27 AM »
I have all my present-day mysteries and 1950s mysteries wide (and a few odds and ends) and two historical novels in KU. I am not sure how much crossover there is in readership, although some people insist they read everything I write!
Wide works well for me generally - I sell far more on Kobo than on amazon.com.
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Wonder

Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2020, 04:13:35 AM »
I have one series in KU and the rest are wide. But the KU thing was a failed experiment and I'll be going back to wide after my KU series is finished. I just want to give the KU readers a fair chance to finish the series before I duck back out.
 

ashleycapes

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Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2020, 08:19:38 AM »
Yep, I started that way and have been thinking of taking some books out of KU but haven't yet. I have an epic fantasy series wide, and an epic fantasy series with KU + an Urban Fantasy there too.

The longer books tended to be in KU at first, now I've included a few shorter ones.

(Over the years, the wide has equally or overtaken most of the Amazon-only titles.)

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TimothyEllis

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Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2020, 12:21:22 PM »
I'm all in KU.

And it continues to be about 65% of my income.

For me, wide was the total failure.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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JRTomlin

Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2020, 12:55:23 PM »
I have one series in KU and the rest are wide. But the KU thing was a failed experiment and I'll be going back to wide after my KU series is finished. I just want to give the KU readers a fair chance to finish the series before I duck back out.
Same here. I put my historical mystery series back in KU and it is a failed experiment. I'll take it out as soon as the term ends.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2020, 01:51:46 PM »
Same here. I put my historical mystery series back in KU and it is a failed experiment. I'll take it out as soon as the term ends.

KU isn't an automatic boost.

Unless you have a release or promo going on to give the books visibility, just putting them in KU isn't going to generate reads.

It works for me because I'm releasing regularly, and the whole back catalogue is in KU.

A lot of my current income is series 1 KU reads, because series 5 book 1 referenced events at the end of that series. So even 5 year old books in KU are still getting good reads. And those finding series 5, are going back and reading almost everything I've written.

KU is not a drop box to generate income. It never was. You have to have a strategy to keep visibility.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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JRTomlin

Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 01:58:01 PM »
Timothy, I've been around the block a few times. Of course, I promoted them. 

In my experience, historical fiction does not do that well in KU, and because my novels are generally priced at $4.99 when I do (I should say 'did'. I was in KU for a year before I pulled everything out about a year ago) get reads I lose too much money on them. I was experimenting to see if historical mysteries might be an exception, especially since they are the lowest priced novels I have. As far as I can tell, the answer is no.

ETA: Having lowered my prices to $2.99 as a gesture in the health crisis is hurting me financially. *sigh* I hate having novels at that price but I'm going to leave them there for another week or so giving people a chance to pick up some cheap reads while stuck at home many with a severely reduced income.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 02:06:35 PM by JRTomlin »
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2020, 02:33:02 PM »
I used to be all wide, but I've been experimenting with KU for one of my older series (space opera, novella length). I also just released a short story in KU, and plan to use my free days this week.

It seems that taking a backlist book out from the other retailers in order to enroll in KU is a suboptimal strategy. I suspect that the visibility boost that KU gives a book isn't sufficient unless coupled with other things, either ads or the extra visibility you get before the 30-day and 90-day cliffs.

As far as revenue goes, KU is obviously better for longer books. My novellas earn pennies in KU compared to what I earn for a full sale. In the next couple of weeks, I plan to crunch the data and write up a more detailed analysis on this KU experiment for my 2021 business plan.

It's also very genre dependent. From what I have heard, space opera is very much a KU genre.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Is anyone else splitting books between wide and KU?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2020, 02:41:30 PM »
As far as revenue goes, KU is obviously better for longer books. My novellas earn pennies in KU compared to what I earn for a full sale. In the next couple of weeks, I plan to crunch the data and write up a more detailed analysis on this KU experiment for my 2021 business plan.

It's also very genre dependent. From what I have heard, space opera is very much a KU genre.

Last point first, yes. Space Opera is a KU genre. So is LitRPG and GameLit.

About sales verses reads though, while KU does cannibalize sales, you can tap into a whole KU section of people who were never going to buy your book anyway. With these people, KU is a bonus income you were not getting with just sales alone.

The calculation is if the reduction in sales income is offset by the increase in read income.

And I'm using income deliberately. The people who use KU to binge read will pick up on whatever book is visible, read it, like it, then binge on your entire catalogue. This happens in sales, but not as often because of the high cost of buying.

It's the binge readers using KU you need to reach. Once you do, KU works.

On a book by book basis, the stats might say KU is not working. But on a catalogue level, the stats may be totally different. The only book I pay any individual attention to is the current one. Otherwise it's the daily totals which I track.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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