Potential for Kobo and Apple to rise in 2019?


#1

Just listened to this on YouTube. Was wondering people’s thoughts. Personally, I always planned on going with a wide distribution simply because I am a Kobo user and didn’t want to publish something I couldn’t even get on my own device. If this is true, it’s encouraging to think there’s a better future for the wider market.


#2

I used to be wide, but doing the KU thing at the moment. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Thanks for sharing the video.


#3

It would be very healthy if Apple started caring more about ebooks, or if B&N experienced a miraculous comeback.

If Amazon is the only game in town then indie writers have far, far less leverage. We are treated really well right now, but that’s largely because of the competition between Amazon and the other platforms.


#4

I think that woman is overly optimistic about the other venues. I see no serious challenger to Amazon’s dominance at this time. Will they grow some? Yeah, but I still think the vast majority of the books will be sold through the 500 lb gorilla.


#5

I agree, but… there is no guarantee that Amazon won’t change the game. They can lower the percentages they pay out at any time. They can lower (even more) the amount paid through KU – or stop even pretending to deal with those who game the system. They are already making it “pay to play” for indies – use our ads or your books are invisible.

When you are the biggest and strongest, you can do what you want. Since the buyers will continue to shop there, the writers have no choice but to bend over and grab their ankles, especially if they have put all their eggs in one basket.

Amazon is not a good guy, and writers should never be lulled into believing they’re a friend or partner.


#6

I have a pen name that gets fair freebie results and some sales on B&N, but gets nothing but crickets on Amazon. If B&N is dead as a marketplace, why do I get any results? Don’t know. But that pen name does better on B&N than anywhere else.

OTOH - when my sales died in 2016, I went to KU with everything and started using free days. The results were that my ‘sales’ quadrupled and so did my earnings. But pages read was less than a thousand a month most months and the earnings were pitiful. If Amazon paid a penny a page, it would work for me, but the scammers sucked up the KU market.

Still, traction is traction, I started going ‘wide’ in September, but just with my K. A. Jordan pen name. I’m seriously considering going to Radish with that pen name. It appears they have a low pay rate, like KU, so it might not be worth it.

I’ve also started using FaceBook ads (and getting results) for my Amazon e-books & paperbacks as I. C. Talbot. That pen name will stay on Amazon and many of those stories will stay in KU for now. Paperback sales are regional, so I’m going to start hitting festivals in that region F-t-F and see if I can get a hit!

For a couple of years prior to 2017, I had 1 e-book short story (Impressive Bravado) that did very well on Apple, as long as it was free. We’re talking 5k copies in 3 years. But I never sold another e-book on that venue, nor one copy of that story even at $0.99. So I’m just not into iBooks as a market. I’ve made more in KU with that story last year, (we’re talking $2) than I ever did with iBooks. (Scratching my head on that one. I mean, really?)

What I did notice was a remarkable uptick in freebie results (on B&N) when I switched from Smashwords to Draft2Digital. (Hmm…I got a theory on that, but it’s probably wrong.)

I’d even get halo sales while in D2D after a freebie. I also got paid monthly by D2D when I had to wait for a year or more to get paid by Smashwords ($10 minimum payment that took 6 months to process sometimes). But getting e-books published and listed on D2D venues can take weeks, as do price changes.

I was able to put more work into my books in 2018 (I now have 29 titles) and the results have been greatly encouraging. I’m looking forward to getting even better results in 2019.

Now, I’m strictly a small fish in a BIG pond. YMMV, and I hope it does. Without a big blockbuster book, and now that people have gotten their fill of back-list titles, tiny publishers like me (Icy Road Publishing) and newbie authors seem to have a better chance in a maturing market. The goldrush is over, and if Amazon tackles the scammers even in a half-cocked fashion, we should do much better in the future.


#7

Very true, but what that tells me is you need to “sell direct” to your readers (I do via Kickstarters and my website store). This way you have access to them when a new title comes out. Amazon “screwing around” doesn’t change the fact Google, Apple, and Kobo don’t have substantial sales and probably won’t anytime soon.

Right now A LOT of authors (myself included) have done well BECAUSE of Amazon…so I’m not going to be complaining about the benefits I’ve gotten from them. Will it change in the future? Possibly. Do I count on it staying the same? No. Do I take measures like selling direct - absolutely.