Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Looking at the Numbers

Consequences has been out for a while, and while my sales figures aren't all that high (not unexpected since the only real marketing push I've given it has been through social media and on this site), I'm starting to see a trend here that's got me thinking about how to release and distribute anything in the future.

When I released it, I did the paperback through CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), and digital versions through both Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft 2 Digital, which put me in Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble nook, and Kobo. Over the last couple of weeks, something interesting has emerged from the sales reports about that, though.

I've pushed the links for everything; why leave anything out, right? What I'm seeing is this:

  • Paperback is still the most popular format, outselling the (cheaper) digital editions by a wide margin;
  • Next is the Kindle edition;
  • Dead last is combined .epub versions.

Now when I say dead last, let me clarify that: I've sold two copies in .epub format. One in iBooks, one on Kobo.

That's not very impressive.

And yes, I know most of what I've sold so far have been "friends and family" sales, but still, even among that small group the results are becoming pretty clear.

Amazon is dominating the market. Makes sense, actually: I own a nook, and I run the Kindle for Android app on it. Kindle has their Unlimited program where you can read for free if you're a part of it (the author gets royalties based on page views), but it requires exclusivity to Amazon for distribution to be part of it. Which means I'm not.

So I'm thinking. Yeah, I picked up two sales I wouldn't have gotten otherwise, but how many potential page views from KU am I missing out on? I'm a new author in this field, after all, and I'm sure there's folks out there who would rather take a free chance for them (and I still get paid, albeit less than a purchase) than to fork over money on something they're not sure they'll like. 

So is it even worth it to release to the other outlets?

I'm working on getting some more reviews and publicity to push Consequences, really try to reach a wider potential reader base, so I'm not carving anything in stone yet. But the odds aren't looking good for .epubs.

The digital book world may truly belong to Amazon now.

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