Author Topic: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide  (Read 1991 times)

MelanieRay

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Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« on: October 20, 2018, 02:07:41 AM »
This would probably be more for the new authors that haven't been around as long, or for those who haven't gone wide yet and just want to get a taste of what it might be like. These are cool things I learned about.

Drivethru Fiction lets you upload a book trailer!:
How cool is that? I've made a couple back when it was cooler, and I loved playing around with the little movie maker on my computer. I never dreamed I'd actually get to put them on a book distributor though.

D2D is The Boss.- If you are going wide, this should be around your first stop. Get your book looking nice, make sure the chapters are showing, all that good stuff. Then save that epub it generates. You can take them to smashwords, kobo, streetlit, or Amazon and have it slide right through looking nice. I use the standard D2D All purpose look. I don't know if it works with all the others. (Edit, yes it does and they are so beautiful. They make your books look pretty with actual decorations.

If you're like me and have no vellum 'cause no mac and no money, D2D is a great way to make your book look more professional.

And don't worry! Believe it or not, D2D doesn't mind. From their FAQ section.

Quote
Can I use the converted epub anywhere else?

Yes. Anywhere.

Most other ebook conversion and distribution services will limit the ways you can use the books they make for you. At Draft2Digital, we're proud of our products and confident in our service. Feel free to download your proof copy and use it however you want.



Smashwords is easy now: If you ever heard from other authors that they hate smashwords and the meat grinder from the past, don't worry. They take epubs now. Yes, you won't get all the bells and whistles I guess of the meatgrinder, but I hated that meatgrinder and I don't care. Pop in your epub and done. Put in a cover and all that jazz. I was even approved for enhanced distribution today for a title I uploaded yesterday. Oh wow. That used to take six days at least . . . :shocked:

Don't forget books2read: All my book covers are hooked up to books2read not a click through amazon. Books2read are especially helpful for people to click your book and get it where they want. The first time they use it, they'll see loads of links to retailers. When they hit a retailer, they will get a message asking if they want it to be their preferred retailer. If so, every time they open a books2read it will just go straight to their favorite retailer instead. How cool is that? :icon_eek:

Kobo is like butter easy: I coast through it in like two minutes. Awwww yeah. :cool:

If you can't get an account on google play, go streetlib: They got you. :icon_cool: They actually got a lot of little stores too. Like a lot. Like a ton. Like a lot. :eek: (Fair warning. I have no idea how Amazon or Google Play actually play together. I remember google play used to do random discounts and it messed with authors on Amazon because their book would be pricematched.) I don't know if that's still a thing. I feel old learning all this new stuff.

Edit: Cora Buhlert actually new the answer to that one. Thank you. :heart:

If you check the "Increase wholesale prices" box at StreetLib, they will automatically increases prices at Google Play and a few other notorious price reducers, so you avoid the pricematching problem with Amazon.

Anyhow, I hope this gave you a little bit of peak of what is out there wide.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 02:59:27 PM by SValentine »
 

sandree

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2018, 03:04:49 AM »
Thank you for this. If I ever get that far, I am leaning towards going wide. I an inching towards the finish line with my first book :tap.
 
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Vijaya

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2018, 07:09:24 AM »
A hearty thank you from a newbie!!! Good stuff to know.

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

CoraBuhlert

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2018, 09:53:08 AM »
If you check the "Increase wholesale prices" box at StreetLib, they will automatically increases prices at Google Play and a few other notorious price reducers, so you avoid the pricematching problem with Amazon.

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MelanieRay

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2018, 10:33:08 AM »
If you check the "Increase wholesale prices" box at StreetLib, they will automatically increases prices at Google Play and a few other notorious price reducers, so you avoid the pricematching problem with Amazon.
Learn something new everyday. Thank you. I put that in the top so others would see it too.:)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 10:37:12 AM by SValentine »
 

Eric Thomson

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 09:58:29 PM »
I learned that there are a lot of readers outside the Amazon ecosystem, and a lot of countries where readers seem to prefer ABA (anything but Amazon).  But the dynamics are different.
Sales (and income) outside Amazon for me at least are surprisingly stable from month to month compared to the wide swings I see on the Zon.
 :cheers
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2018, 11:13:44 PM »
On the Google Play issue, Publish Drive also has a system for pricing higher, and if the result isn't the exact price you specified, PD keeps tinkering until they hit the right point.

In my experiments with wide, I've tried D2D, Smashwords, Publish Drive, and Streetlib. I like D2D's system the best, but all four are workable. On one of my wide books, I used all four. D2D was my primary distributor, but I used each of the others for outlets that were unique to them. Publish Drive and Streetlib have both opened US offices. All four have opened access to at least some new outlets during the last year. Sure, a lot of them for PD and Streetlib are located in countries where English isn't the predominate language, so some of them may not move many copies, but there are at least a few English speakers in most countries these days. Also, the growth hasn't been confined to non-English-speaking areas.


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MelanieRay

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2018, 12:37:26 AM »
On the Google Play issue, Publish Drive also has a system for pricing higher, and if the result isn't the exact price you specified, PD keeps tinkering until they hit the right point.

In my experiments with wide, I've tried D2D, Smashwords, Publish Drive, and Streetlib. I like D2D's system the best, but all four are workable. On one of my wide books, I used all four. D2D was my primary distributor, but I used each of the others for outlets that were unique to them. Publish Drive and Streetlib have both opened US offices. All four have opened access to at least some new outlets during the last year. Sure, a lot of them for PD and Streetlib are located in countries where English isn't the predominate language, so some of them may not move many copies, but there are at least a few English speakers in most countries these days. Also, the growth hasn't been confined to non-English-speaking areas.

 :goodpost: I never heard of publish drive. It's only got a few extra stores from what Streetlib has, but I will add it to my repertoire. The wider, the better. Thank you. :mhk9U91:
 

David VanDyke

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2018, 07:51:33 AM »
So glad I went wide. Far fewer worries about the periodic Amazon messes.

And, you cannot win if you do not play, as they say. Just had B&N do a promo on a permafree of mine, out of the blue. That is, they sent me a letter asking me if I'd like my book featured, and of course I said "h-e-double-hockey-sticks yes!" 18,000 downloads later, I'm on track for a quadruple-sales Nook month. Like a free BookBub, almost.

The point being, the best way to get lucky is to put yourself in position to get lucky. If I were only on Amazon, I'd be missing out.
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.

I'm a lucky guy. I find the harder I work, the luckier I am.
 
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Vijaya

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2018, 11:43:21 PM »
Wow David!!! Excellent!!!

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Sailor Stone

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2018, 12:39:03 AM »
So glad I went wide. Far fewer worries about the periodic Amazon messes.

And, you cannot win if you do not play, as they say. Just had B&N do a promo on a permafree of mine, out of the blue. That is, they sent me a letter asking me if I'd like my book featured, and of course I said "h-e-double-hockey-sticks yes!" 18,000 downloads later, I'm on track for a quadruple-sales Nook month. Like a free BookBub, almost.

The point being, the best way to get lucky is to put yourself in position to get lucky. If I were only on Amazon, I'd be missing out.

I notice David that you are very good at "getting lucky". That B&N promo is great. Good for you and the hard work you put in to be positioned for success.
I do like being wide. Amazon never noticed my efforts at promotion before so I don't lose a thing by not being in Select. Google (I think) just featured one of my books and Kobo always does well for me. No luck so far with Apple or B&N, just the odd sale every now and then through both. Ah well, onward and upward.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 12:42:48 AM »
So glad I went wide. Far fewer worries about the periodic Amazon messes.

And, you cannot win if you do not play, as they say. Just had B&N do a promo on a permafree of mine, out of the blue. That is, they sent me a letter asking me if I'd like my book featured, and of course I said "h-e-double-hockey-sticks yes!" 18,000 downloads later, I'm on track for a quadruple-sales Nook month. Like a free BookBub, almost.

The point being, the best way to get lucky is to put yourself in position to get lucky. If I were only on Amazon, I'd be missing out.

Absolutely. You don't want to just sell your products in WalMart or Sam's Club or any other store. Both of them make deals with the vendors to keep the prices low and the small vendors end up being squeezed into oblivion. You want as many eyes on your product as you can get. When I'm looking for something, I don't just check Amazon. I also go to WM, ebay, even Target.

I just went direct with Kobo and I have my first promo with them in a couple of weeks. It may be a complete bust but I know I will be getting eyes on my books that wouldn't have been there before. In fact, I have hardly any sales on Kobo through D2D. I do much better with Apple and B&N. That's why I went direct.

I'll be checking out StreetLib and the others this weekend.
           
 
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Sailor Stone

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 12:51:16 AM »
From Maggie Ann:
Absolutely. You don't want to just sell your products in WalMart or Sam's Club or any other store. Both of them make deals with the vendors to keep the prices low and the small vendors end up being squeezed into oblivion. You want as many eyes on your product as you can get. When I'm looking for something, I don't just check Amazon. I also go to WM, ebay, even Target.

I just went direct with Kobo and I have my first promo with them in a couple of weeks. It may be a complete bust but I know I will be getting eyes on my books that wouldn't have been there before. In fact, I have hardly any sales on Kobo through D2D. I do much better with Apple and B&N. That's why I went direct.


*****So, if I may ask, were you going through D2D for Apple, B&N, and Kobo, but are now direct through just Kobo and still with D2D for the others, or are you direct for all vendors now? If direct for all, did you get better sales for Apple and B&N by going direct to them?****
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2018, 01:03:00 AM »
From Maggie Ann:
Absolutely. You don't want to just sell your products in WalMart or Sam's Club or any other store. Both of them make deals with the vendors to keep the prices low and the small vendors end up being squeezed into oblivion. You want as many eyes on your product as you can get. When I'm looking for something, I don't just check Amazon. I also go to WM, ebay, even Target.

I just went direct with Kobo and I have my first promo with them in a couple of weeks. It may be a complete bust but I know I will be getting eyes on my books that wouldn't have been there before. In fact, I have hardly any sales on Kobo through D2D. I do much better with Apple and B&N. That's why I went direct.


*****So, if I may ask, were you going through D2D for Apple, B&N, and Kobo, but are now direct through just Kobo and still with D2D for the others, or are you direct for all vendors now? If direct for all, did you get better sales for Apple and B&N by going direct to them?****

I just went wide a few months ago when KU crashed and burned for me. For now, I went direct with Kobo just last weekend. I'd had my head chopped off by Kobogate several years ago and I was reluctant to put myself in their clutches again. It's a wait and see for me before I decide to go direct with B&N.

Yes, I'm still through D2D with the others. I'm in all of D2D's vendors.

           
 
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David VanDyke

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2018, 01:34:36 AM »

The point being, the best way to get lucky is to put yourself in position to get lucky. If I were only on Amazon, I'd be missing out.

I notice David that you are very good at "getting lucky".

It's become a deliberate choice, ever since I read Taleb's books--the concept of spreading "bets" and trying to catch that black swan event. Some swans are small, or medium sized, like this B&N thing. Some are large or gigantic (never had one of those yet), as with The Martian, where somebody in show business falls in love with a book and wants to make a movie of it. But it's part of my practical philosophy to try to get my fingers into many pies.

Of course, many people have had great success by concentrating on one thing (say, KU)--and that can pay off in the short run. But nothing lasts forever, every mother lode gets mined out eventually, everything gets superseded.
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.

I'm a lucky guy. I find the harder I work, the luckier I am.
 
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Count Jeffula

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2018, 06:45:02 PM »
18,000 downloads later, I'm on track for a quadruple-sales Nook month. Like a free BookBub, almost.


Holy catfish.   :eek:

That's awesome, man.  Congratulations.   :cheers
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David VanDyke

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2018, 06:55:43 AM »
Yeah, it's like pennies (dollars) from heaven. B&N seems to continue to improve their SP platform (several years too late, but hey, better Nate than Lever, as they say). My suspicion is that someone motivated took over and is driving the train now, trying to turn things around after years of neglect. I'm very happy with B&N and with Google Play particularly, which has also taken off for me, especially internationally, for some unknown reason. GP is opaque, but they must do some kind of promotions or recommendations, or maybe they started favoring GP in their own search results for books, because a few months ago my GP sales rose sharply--another example of the positive Black Swan event.

Persistence + time = luck.
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.

I'm a lucky guy. I find the harder I work, the luckier I am.
 
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Eugene Lloyd MacRae

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2018, 08:16:45 AM »
I loves me some D2D. I donít have a Mac & vellum so these guys are a big time saver.

I use a different look for each series to ďbrandĒ them. My character in the Stopper series is Merlin Arthur Dragon and I ended up using the Dragon image from their fantasy looks - a happy accident although I donít like the sword they use for the scene breaks but Iíll take it.

I create an ePub with no backmatter to upload to Amazon.

I create an ePub with backmatter showing all my books - use that version to create & download a PDF file for the print version

I go back & Create an ePub with backmatter showing all my books & the extra D2D stuff for the rest of the stores.

And on to my next book
Stories That Never Give Up


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PJ Post

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 08:49:51 AM »
David, I tend to agree and disagree with you in equal measure, but this...

Persistence + time = luck.

Is gold.

 :tup3b
 

Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2019, 12:02:13 PM »
     
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Paul Gr

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2019, 07:29:43 PM »
Thanks for the info., time to escape from the Amazonsphere.

David VanDyke

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Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2019, 02:37:28 AM »
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.

I'm a lucky guy. I find the harder I work, the luckier I am.
 

JA Wallace

Re: Fun Things I Learned From Going Wide
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2019, 07:17:32 AM »
I retired and published book 1 of a mystery series in 2018. Initially I went with KDPS.  I had a few hundred free downloads, but not many sales or page reads. I kept writing and I'm now working on book 4 in the series. In January 2019, I decided to go wide through D2D, and I haven't looked back. D2D rocks. They're author friendly, the technology is easy to use, and it produces a beautiful book.  My sales have increased both at KDP and D2D with a 60/40 ratio in total sales. I'm not setting the world on fire, but I've gone from selling under 100 books in 2018 to over 500 so far in 2019.  I'll continue to publish with KDP, and it's important to note that they've always been helpful to me. But their focus is on the customer not the supplier, and it shows in the quality of their publishing technology.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 07:25:36 AM by JA Wallace »
 
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