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Publishing and Promoting > Thinking of Switching from Bookbaby to KDP

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message 1: by Martha (last edited Nov 07, 2014 11:44AM) (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Hi everyone,

Three months ago I published the paperback edition of my book Thieving Forest through CreateSpace (Amazon), but I used Bookbaby as the publisher / distributor of my e-book. This means my e-book went to Kindle, the Apple Store (iBook), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and other e-readers / e-reader venues right from the beginning of its launch. I was happy with this since I felt as though I wanted to spread as large a canvas as possible for the first 3 months of my book's life. If I had used Kindle Select, I would not have been able to sell the e-book as, for instance, an iBook for the first few months.

However now I see that with Bookbaby I do not get a daily sales report for my e-book sales. I would like to be able to see what I sold on what day for marketing reasons (for example, did a massive e-mail blast by BookDaily have a sales effect on the day it went out?).

Does anyone have any experience with switching over to Kindle after BookBaby? Or any opinion around the topic of publishing to Kindle directly instead of using something like BookBaby or Smashwords?

Thanks,

Martha


message 2: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments My first book is coming out on the 18th and after doing exhaustive research, I decided to do Kindle Select for the 90 days to build visibility. I've talked to a few established authors who've said that getting visibility on Amazon right now is tough if you're not in the Kindle Unlimited program which you can't do if you're not in Kindle Select.

I have also talked with an author who did unpublish with everyplace else and go to Kindle Select to do a promotion through BookBub and he said it took a few weeks for everything to be removed from the other stores but he's been satisfied with his results so far.

Just curious how your sales are at the other sites? If you pull them out of those other online stores, are you comfortable giving up those sales in the hopes of better visibility at Amazon?

I'm planning on branching out after my first 90s and using Bookbaby to distribute wider, but I'll keep my own login at KDP and just not distribute through BB to them.


message 3: by Martha (last edited Nov 07, 2014 12:34PM) (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Thanks, T.H. What kind of visibility do you get with Kindle Unlimited program?

The sales are not all in for my e-book, but (as I expected) about 80% of my e-book sales are kindle sales. As I understand it, I could go with KDP and NOT take down my e-books from other sites, or go with Kindle Select and take down my e-books from other sites.


message 4: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments I've heard that people in the KU program do really well. I don't know how it works yet, but hopefully I'll have it figured out once my book is live in the store.

Correct. You don't have to be Select to use KDP. But your sales are updated regularly. When I made mine available for presale, the numbers were updated throughout the day so I could see them.

You can also go direct easily with B&N and iBooks if you want better visibility into your sales. Then you can use BookBaby for just the other sites beyond those.


message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Great idea going directly with B&N and iBooks. It didn't occur to me. Thanks!


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 08, 2014 11:57PM) (new)

I had my eBook on KDP and B&N before going with the Select Program in February. B&N was only 8% of sales so I wasn't gambling much. In the first 90 days in Select, sales were way up. In the second 90 day period, the sales were not as good but still better than the average months before trying Select.

Then during the summer, KDP announced the Unlimited Program and things got much better. I advertise that my book can be borrowed for free, and royalties from it provide a nice bit of income. And the best thing about these free borrows is that they count in some way as sales in raising your Sales Rank. My ebook reached #1 on the Top 100 list for its genre based primarily on free borrows, and the increased visibility that gave me translated nicely into better sales of both eBooks and paperbacks.

- Brad


message 7: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Wow, Brad, this is interesting. It sounds like your experience has been that the increase in sales for Kindle far outweighed the lost sales in Nook, iBook, Kobo, etc. I wonder why that is. Did you notice any special promotion on amazon's part?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

It's been difficult to see any of the promotion that Amazon does. It can be as simple as at the bottom of the page when it says " People who bought X also bought (your book)


message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula Coots (paulacoots) I find all these perspectives very helpful. I only have my novel on Amazon at the moment, and it's been on the back burner that I need to convert it for the other outlets. After reading this post, I am considering signing up for KDP again and just leaving it at that. I've been signed up for it before, and withdrew the title on two separate occasions when I was planning to make it available elsewhere. If I sign up for it again, I can't take it off KDP, from what I understand. At this point, the year has been so crazy with real life, I might just sign up for it and leave it at that.


message 10: by Arie (new)

Arie Farnam (ArieFarnam) | 91 comments I've never used BookBaby. I use Draft2Digital for non-Kindle digital, CreateSpace for all print and KDP for Kindle. I have wondered about KDP Select. The conditions don't sound very attractive on paper but it sounds like at least some authors are seeing some real results. I might consider it after my regular readers get a chance to get it off of other channels. Then it will depend on how good Draft2Digital is at pulling it from other stores. At least with Draft2Digital there is a limited number of other outlets I have to worry about.


message 11: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Paula, Is this true that if you re-up with KDP you can't change your mind and take it down later? That sounds a bit limiting.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca McCray (RebPai) | 32 comments When you sign up with Kindle Slect, it's for a 90 day period. You can have it automatically renew or you can uncheck that box. I fell out of Select for a couple of months, but re-joined when KU came out. So, it's always a 90 day commitment.


message 13: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments I see. Thanks for that clarification, Rebecca!


message 14: by Salem (new)

Salem Salem | 1 comments I started out earlier this year by creating accounts with B&N, iTunes, Nook and Kobo as well as Amazon. Eventually I tried KDP with one book as a test then pulled my novel off the other sites and went with KDP for it as well. The 90 day periods are not restrictive to me, and I've found my best results through the program.

I keep trying different methods to find the readers, and Amazon gives me the greatest window through which to view readership and sales.

On the flip-side, when someone buys my physical book at a store, I have no idea when they bought it or any general idea what else they read. It's an interesting contrast. Do keep in mind that KDP is for digital only, and does not restrict your promotion or placement of printed books.


message 15: by Paula (last edited Nov 13, 2014 09:37AM) (new)

Paula Coots (paulacoots) I didn't opt out once, but twice. First, I did it to use the free sale. Then, I tried the countdown. All this time I had planned to make it available on other outlets, but I have not had the resources (time, money, family issues) to get that done. So, when I decided to sign up for the third time and just leave it, I got the message onscreen that informed me that I couldn't drop out of the program if I did it again. That is what happened to me. I hope that clarifies things. Sorry I didn't see the question until today, Martha and Rebecca.


message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca McCray (RebPai) | 32 comments Paula wrote: "I didn't opt out once, but twice. First, I did it to use the free sale. Then, I tried the countdown. All this time I had planned to make it available on other outlets, but I have not had the resour..."

Hi Paula,

Yes, but there are two topics there. There is the 90 day commitment and then there is opting-out. For the 90 day commitment, it's over when it's over (just make sure you unclick the "automatic renewal" box). Now, if you commit to the 90 days and you decide to "opt-out" in the middle of the 90 days, you can do that once. If you then sign up again, you'll receive a message that you can't opt-out again. Basically, they'll let you renege on your 90 day commitment -- but only once.

My guess is they allow you to renege once on the off chance you made a mistake. After that, they expect you to keep your commitment and stick with Kindle Select for the 90 days.

Regardless, when you sign up for Select, you are not signing up indefinitely.


message 17: by Arie (new)

Arie Farnam (ArieFarnam) | 91 comments I think the question about it being forever was that if you publish a book on KDP at all (not KDP Select), you can't really unpublish. I think you can make the book unavailable but it is still technically there. No experience on this. Just I've read something of the sort.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments You can unpublish on KDP whenever you want. The book is delisted from Amazon, and no one will be able to purchase it.


message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca McCray (RebPai) | 32 comments Arie is right, though. I unpublished parts of my book and while you can't buy them, they're still listed in my KDP dashboard. I'm fine with that because less hassle if I ever re-publish.


message 20: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Am I the only one around here who uses Bookbaby? No one has any long-term feedback? I've only gone through one sales cycle (they report every 60-90 days, whenever they get their reports from amazon, b&n, kobo, etc.) and so far I've only gotten 3 ebooks sold in addition to kindle sales.


message 21: by Arie (new)

Arie Farnam (ArieFarnam) | 91 comments I use Draft2Digital for non-Amazon digital, CreateSpace for PoD and KDP for Kindle. D2D is great, immediate reporting, really easy to use, not every channel imaginable but all the important ones.


message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinhallock) | 86 comments I've used BookBaby for a couple of years and continue to use them. I've considered going all in with Amazon, but my sales through the other outlets are about a third to half of my Amazon sales and I feel I have a farther reach with more outlets.


message 23: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Martha wrote: "Am I the only one around here who uses Bookbaby? No one has any long-term feedback? I've only gone through one sales cycle (they report every 60-90 days, whenever they get their reports from amazon..."

I'd never use them, personally, because there are far better alternatives like D2D. Even Smashwords at its worst is probably better. You could also go direct to each retailer if you expect to sell a lot in channels other than Amazon.


message 24: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinhallock) | 86 comments I like BookBaby because I get to keep all the profits; they don't take a cut. I directly sell my book on Amazon, BN, and a few others which allows me to track my sales in real time for promotions, and BookBaby delivers my books to a bunch of other outlets so that my book is widely available. I haven't used Smashwords, but don't they take a percentage?


message 25: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Thanks, Kevin, good to know. I'm assuming when you say that you "directly sell" your book on Amazon, you mean the ebook? And you are using either KDP or the Kindle Select program? It sounds like you are using Bookbaby for other online outlets. That's what I'm considering, too.


message 26: by Kevin (last edited Nov 17, 2014 09:25PM) (new)

Kevin (kevinhallock) | 86 comments Yes - I am directly selling the ebook through Amazon via KDP, BN through their service, etc.


message 27: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Kevin, you're paying Bookbaby $249 for the "privilege" of keeping 100% of the royalties. Nothing is free :)

http://www.bookbaby.com/pricing


message 28: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinhallock) | 86 comments The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit later. The better option will depend on the individual. I was just explaining why I made the choice I made.


message 29: by Alp (new)

Alp Mortal Martha wrote: "Hi everyone,

Three months ago I published the paperback edition of my book Thieving Forest through CreateSpace (Amazon), but I used Bookbaby as the publisher / distributor of my e-book. This means..."


I have just removed all of my work from Amazon and am in the process of publishing everything through Smashwords Premium catalog - you couldn't pay me to return to Amazon/KDP - controlling doesn't even begin to cover it.


message 30: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Kevin wrote: "The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit later. The better option will depend on the individual. I w..."

Totally understand, and yes, it's not a bad option if you expect to sell huge numbers of books. I was just clarifying your statement that there's no cost attached, since it may confuse some people.


message 31: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 20, 2014 09:04AM) (new)

Ken wrote: "Kevin wrote: "The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit later. The better option will depend on the i..."

Hi: my name is Jackie - Does anyone have an idea how to better edit the stories. I am trying to edit them myself at the moment - but I still find mistakes even after over fifty readings. Can you help me or have any advice? - Jackie


message 32: by Paula (new)

Paula Coots (paulacoots) Jacqueline wrote: "Ken wrote: "Kevin wrote: "The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit later. The better option will dep..."
I use a program called Natural Reader which helps me hear redundancies, awkward phrasing, and the dreaded word repetition. The basic version is about $20 and doesn't sound too mechanical. I am meticulous about typos, and yet...they still slipped by me. It also helps to have other eyes for copy-editing. I had two people read it after I'd read it about fifty times, who each found different errors and NOT the same ones the other had found. Then I read it yet again and found errors both of them had missed. There are just those little things that our brains sometimes fill in for us. I long ago lost count of how many times I had "fine toothed read" and I just opened my book the other day for the heck of it, and saw an error right off the bat. One of those "he finally he" type deals. Geez. Hope that helps! I console myself with the thought that, "Well, the book IS as long as three books..." 330,000 words or so is a lot to comb through.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Paula wrote: "Jacqueline wrote: "Ken wrote: "Kevin wrote: "The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit later. The bet..."
Thank you so much - it does help! I find that even though I re-read and re-read the stories, I still miss mistakes - drives me crazy! - Jackie


message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula Coots (paulacoots) Jacqueline wrote: "Paula wrote: "Jacqueline wrote: "Ken wrote: "Kevin wrote: "The question is whether one wants a lower cost now or assuming you sell enough books over your lifetime, you want to have a higher profit ..."

You're welcome!


message 35: by Arie (new)

Arie Farnam (ArieFarnam) | 91 comments Yeah, same experience. I have a professional technical writer who does my copyediting after 5 or 6 beta readers have read it and picked out typos when they could and I have read the thing at least 10 times and I still found glaring typos my copyeditor missed (and she catches more than I can possibly believe, given how careful the rest of us are).


message 36: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 35 comments Alp wrote: "I have just removed all of my work from Amazon and am in the process of publishing everything through Smashwords Premium catalog - you couldn't pay me to return to Amazon/KDP - controlling doesn't even begin to cover it".

Intriguing. What happened? Care to share any details? I'm trying to tot up a list of pros and cons.


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