18 Comments

  1. Huge congrats, Matt! Sounds like it’s money very well spent, but when I first heard of it, my initial thoughts were, “Yeah, but it’d be hard to line up the sale/price change with Amazon,” and it sounds like that happened to you a bit.

    I’m still frustrated that I tried to increase my book price on my two novels to $4.99 roughly two months ago, and yet they’re still at $2.99 because (presumably) one of the Smashwords distributors haven’t raised their price yet.

    Enough whining on my end though, just huge congrats on the book sales and rankings. You’ve made an incredible, almost unbelievable, ascent! And you’ve been more than generous in sharing your trip and the lessons you’ve learned along the way.

    • Thanks, Stan. It really, really, really was worth it. The staff there is ultra-responsive, too.

      Definitely don’t try to do it with price matching unless you’ve got direct control over all of your distribution channels. I use Smashwords for B&N and iTunes, do Kobo through Writing Life…Kobo took 3 days even though it’s direct, Smashwords took a little longer for B&N, but iTunes never changed…I finally just cut out distribution to them altogether. Even when all channels went free, Amazon took 4-5 days to respond. Lesson: don’t do Bookbub if your title isn’t in Select.

      Not long ago, I was on the “distribute far and wide” bandwagon, but the other distributors aren’t treating this like a business, so I’m taking mine away as of this week. When I get famous enough for them to actually pay attention to me, then I’ll move back to full distribution; until then, unfortunately, it’s Amazon for me. I’ll get famous through 3rd party channels (like advertising through BB) rather than wait for the others to get on board.

      • Damn it, Matt! You’re a genius. Only a few channels through Smashwords are blowing me off on price changes and book descriptions, so of course I should dump them. (And I know this isn’t Smashwords’s fault. I actually really like their service and simply can’t see myself pulling my books from them. — Partly, this is because I want their to be plenty of competition, and partly because I’m selling books on some of their platforms and I figure reviews now, plus improved algorithms set up by the retailer, will serve me best in the long-term.)

        Anyway, I just went and opted out of some of their channels and hopefully that will get my price change done like yesterday. : )

      • Genius…I like that! 🙂 Don’t crown me until you get those price changes, though!

        But I agree, I really like what Smashwords is trying to do and it’s not really their fault that B&N and iTunes (in particular) drag their feet, technologically speaking. But unfortunately we have to look out for ourselves for now. I’ll do my best to support them if I ever get some clout, but for now Amazon is just offering too many advantages (though the conspiracy theorist in me wonders when that’s going to stop and the Zon implements gatekeepers…have you heard about the White Glove program? http://janefriedman.com/2013/03/26/amazon-white-glove-program/#.UVGj5Vs4UcY).

    • Lol…yeah, don’t be an idiot, like me! If you’re doing free, don’t bother with Bookbub unless you’re in Select. If you’re $.99, you should be fine if you have good control over your channels (watch out for latency to iTunes if you’re using Smashwords).

    • Ah…I have a ringer. My wife is a web developer for a data mining company, and has been so excited about the success of the Bookbub ad that she’s been recording the ranks of all my books manually and putting them in Excel. It’s pretty fun watching the trend lines (did I really just say that?). I’ll try to post the graph tomorrow or monday-ish.

      If you aren’t married to a data mining expert, however–or even if you are–may I suggest you hie thee over to Kindle Nation Daily and click on their “Ebook Tracker” link. Set yourself up with the simple registration, find your books and save them to your account, then request said alerts be emailed to you once a day.

      While the historical data gets a little lost (you can only view today, 24 hours, and “previous months” which kinda flattens out the data), it is pretty freaking awesome for a totally free service. It doesn’t do sub-list ranks, though (like Hard boiled detective fiction), just overall Amazon sales rank. Which is still cool.

      I was going to highlight this whenever I got around to dissecting my KND promotions from last October and February, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’ll try to go more in-depth when I blog about it, hopefully soon (I plan to do more promotions with KND in the next few weeks).

  2. My question here is did you use the Free option or the Paid option on Bub? In most instances, I agree with giving a free book away. But, if I pay $150 for an ad – it is not going to be free lol. Once you answer that, Ill ask my next question.

  3. Amith

    Congrats, Matt! You should check out Readstuffs. They provide a promotional platform for authors. And currently acepting prototions only for their Indian subscribers from American and Indian authors.

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