My Wide Adventures AKA Sales so far

Almost two months ago I went wide. Has it paid off?

Not so much.

I put All of Nothing, and Wherever He Goes wide through Draft2Digital as soon as they dropped out of KU. I put The Years Between Us on all platforms as soon as it was finished–it never went into KU at all.

Because of an oversight, I missed one of my books in the trilogy, and I thought I would have to wait for them to drop out, but everyone encouraged me to just email Amazon and ask for them to be pulled out, and I did. They were polite about it, and the minute I had the email saying they were out of Select, I put them wide.

For simplicity’s sake, I can say all six of my contemporary romances have been wide since April first.

And well, nothing happened.

Actually, something did happen.

My KU reads dried up, but sales on other platforms didn’t make up that loss. I kind of knew that would happen, but it’s different seeing it. They even talked a little about it at the summit during the wide panel–that dip where page reads go from a waterfall to a trickle, and where no one knows your books are on other platforms.

It takes time, and seeing that money, no matter now small, disappear, makes you sick inside.

Also, listening to Jami Albright talk about her success at the summit in KU with only three books didn’t help me feel any less bitter when I had just pulled my own books out of KU and made them wide.

But like a life-style change to beat a sugar addiction that will make you feel better for the rest of your life, I feel going wide will be the same for my career. Is Amazon cake? I guess if you’re you in the 20booksto50k group on FB and see everyone’s earnings in KU, you can feel like Amazon is a giant piece of gooey cake with a huge scoop of ice cream, too.

amazon vs cake

Hello, type-2 diabetes!

I might have taken that too far.

But, as always, this isn’t about whether going wide is smart or not–always go back to your business plan and decide for yourself what you want out of your writing career.

As for sales: I put Don’t Run Away permafree the minute I could, and asked Amazon to price match when the free price on other platforms kicked in. This is supposed to help introduce a reader to my books. Being that Don’t Run Away isn’t as strong as the books I’m writing now, that’s a plan that may not pan out. But I’ll be publishing  a new series this year after I get them all written and edited, and eventually book one will be permafree, too.

For sales from April 1st to the day I’m writing this blog post, May 30th (rather, the 29th since that’s the way reporting goes).


Don’t Run Away: 125
All of Nothing: 18
Wherever He Goes: 0
The Years Between Us: 1
Summer Secrets Novellas 1-3: 1
Summer Secrets Novellas 4-6: 1

Out of the 125 copies of Don’t Run Away, no one bothered to go on to books two or three of the trilogy. It takes time for people to read, so maybe they haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet. I don’t like to think they didn’t like the first book and don’t want to read the other two. (But when you’re writing a series, that’s always a possibility.)

amazon sales for blog post

So, sales aren’t all that great. Those two little spikes you see? Those are me fiddling around with BookBub ads. I’ll write another post about that later.

How about on Kobo?

On Kobo, I gave away 32 copies of Don’t Run Away. I had 0 organic sales of any of my other books on there. Meaning, I didn’t get any read through to my other books in the trilogy. Bummer.

kobo graphic for blog post


Draft2Digital publishes my books in a lot of places, but the top two are Apple and Nook. It’s easier to give you the charts. But I’m sure you can imagine that giving away Don’t Run Away dominated my “Sales.”

draft to digital chart for blog

I sold one copy of All of Nothing, Chasing You, Running Scared, and The Years Between Us. I liked the Chasing You and Running Scared. It means out of the 80 people who downloaded Don’t Run Away, ONE person read the other two. I mean, that’s progress, right?

draft to digital chart for blog 2

As you can see, I gave away the most copies of Don’t Run Away on Nook. I’m not sure why, but maybe one day those will turn into sales of my other books.

Here are the chart breakdowns:

draft to digital chart for blog nook sales

And Apple Books:

draft to digital chart for blog apple sales

I feel like I got a little bit of something going everywhere, but not a lot of anything.

As I experiment with ads, and put more books out, maybe that will help. I mean, after all, I haven’t really done much marketing letting readers know my books are everywhere. I use my FB author and personal page to let people know as much as I can without sounding like a harpy.

I use the end of this blog post to let people know my books are wide, but let’s be honest. I’m writing for writers who probably won’t buy my books, and that’s okay. That was the path I chose when I decided to blog on these topics.

And it’s the same with Twitter. I have this as my pinned tweet, and it does absolutely nothing:

All of Nothing promo with goodreads review

I boosted this post on Facebook and it got me 3 new likes to my author page. One of them was my sister. Go me. But the ad is pretty, no? (If you want to make your graphics, use this website; Derek Murphy is so great for the writing community. Be sure to save it as a PNG though, so you have the transparent background. Otherwise, you’ll save it with the white background underneath. I did the rest in Canva. Search for [your color] bokeh if you like the background.)

I do have a Freebooksy scheduled for the middle of next month for Don’t Run Away since it’s permafree. That will be my first real ad aimed at all the platforms I’m on. We’ll see if it makes a difference.

To be honest, this was pretty much what I expected. I’m willing to experiment with ads for now while I’m working on my series. Maybe working with ads over the summer will help me grow a small audience and they’ll be willing to buy my quartet when it’s done.

Slow and steady wins the race, and all that, right?

Have you tried going wide? What has been your experience? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Don’t Run Away:
Chasing You:
Running Scared:

Wherever He Goes:
All of Nothing:
The Years Between Us:

Try the Tower City Romance Trilogy Today!

9 thoughts on “My Wide Adventures AKA Sales so far

  1. My “going wide” experiment resulted in zero sales as well, and I’ve never revisited it. I think the first-book-is-free gambit is a loser. I see results like yours over and over in blog posts. There *is* a way to get a free first book to lead to more sales, though. 1) Stay in Select. Crank up your prices to $4.99 on all books. 2) Run a free promo on book one, and a $0.99 on the rest of the series, all at the same time. 3) Spend a bunch of money promoting the free promo, so you get thousands of downloads. Hundreds of those people will grab the $0.99 sale books at the same time because they feel a little guilty about taking your first book for free.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have dropped my other two books to .99. We’ll see if my promo results in any read through. With your books in KU, doing a free promo almost always bumps up your KU reads. That was always the case when I did a free promo while in KU. When I did a free promo for All of Nothing, my page reads paid for the promo within a week.


  2. Oh boy. You’re going wide is doing about as well as my in Select experiment. Good luck with your freebooksy promo. I had a friend that ran one, stacked with another ad and had a good amount of downloads that also lead to a few more reviews and an increase in her pre-orders for the release that came out today. So it is possible to earn off that, but it takes some effort and sinking money into giving your book away for free in hopes the buy through makes it back. Wishing you luck that the next few months have a pick up in sales for you.


  3. Right. Like I just told Joshua, when I was in KU my free promo resulted in sales because of page reads anyway. I don’t have that now, and I can only count on paid sales, which so far haven’t come in. Everything I’ve ever read has warned me that going wide takes time. I can revisit this in a year or so, but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried now about how much money I’m leaving on the table. Sigh.


  4. Pingback: My messed up route to (non)success. | Vania Margene Rheault

  5. I know this post is from last month but I’m 90% wide right now, with only 2 books out of 10 or so still in Kindle Select. My erotic romance pen name has been wide since last year and sells without advertising except for a new monthly free promo I do through a newsletter promo site (not Freebooksy though as they’re just too expensive for a monthly thing).

    It can be tough being wide after being in KU for a while and then wondering if you’re leaving money on the table. Given that KU readership is in the millions and with Amazon enticing new readers with free 3 month memberships for Prime Days and with major authors like Marie Force and JA Huss putting all their books (Huss) or most of their books (Force) in the program, that’s definitely a possibility that you are leaving money on the table by being wide. But KU also requires money to be noticed in the form of advertising and promotions. Even when I was in KU, to make money I had to spend money with FB and AMS ads. Sometimes I did newsletter promos, too, and sometimes swaps with other authors. Wide is the same and it’s a harder and longer slog to find the readers but they’re there. I have readers who refuse to touch anything that’s Amazon because of their business practices and I get it. It’s also why I’m wide with my books for now. I still do the same ads I did when I was in KU, only the links go to wide retailers or a landing page. I’ll probably put some books in KU under a different pen name, one that writes more to market but that’ll be for later.


    • Thanks, Liz. I knew going in that it would take a while, but my mindset made me go crazy. I was checking sales all the time, and that isn’t who I am. I don’t want to lose the joy of writing because of the struggle of going wide was too much of a struggle. Do you know what I mean? I didn’t go back (or in the process of going back) to KU because of the money. The page reads are nice, obviously, but I think I will feel better when all my books are in one spot. I don’t know why. But yeah, it did hurt when I took my books out of wide and that meant taking my books out of Overdrive and the library system. But for every pro there’s going to be a con. I don’t have many books out right now (six that I count as my backlist) so maybe one day I’ll go back to wide, or have a few books in both, as some authors are doing these days.
      Thanks for reading, Liz, and taking the time to post a comment. Good luck to you in your writing and publishing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally understand wanting everything in one place. I’m the same way. I’ve just started paying for BookTrackr which tracks all my sales on all retailers for me. I could do it myself but it came so highly recommended so I figured I’d try it. I still have one series in KU and for now, it’ll stay there until I get the second book out but I’ve had to teach myself not to look at my dashboard all the time and not worry too much if the figures are low. Sometimes KDP has a lag and so I just focus on writing more or reading more. I’m actually taking it easy right now because I got so close to suffering burnout from taking in too many projects at the beginning of the year, all of them writing to market. I ended up leaving all of them and decided to focus on my own series for now and take the pressure off. Some of us writers just like working in solitude, I guess, although I recognize the importance of working with others as well. Good luck to you and looking forward to your upcoming release!


  6. Pingback: Turtle tips: The Road To Self-Publishing pt. 2 – TurtleWriters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.