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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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?
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:
And Apple Books:
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:
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: books2read.com/dont-run-away
Chasing You: books2read.com/Chasing-You
Running Scared: books2read.com/running-scared
Wherever He Goes: books2read.com/whereverhegoes1
All of Nothing: books2read.com/allofnothing1
The Years Between Us: books2read.com/the-years-between-us