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New Update: Steadily increasing Nook sales due to not doing KDP Select?

February 29, 2012 19 comments

UPDATE AS OF 2/29 – SEE BOTTOM OF POST

I took a peek at my months sales figures for Barnes & Noble Nook ebooks this morning, and something caught my eye. I looked back at January’s numbers, and figured out what it was. As of February 17th, my Barnes & Noble sales exceeded January’s entire monthly total. January was my best month to date for Nook, so I peeked back at December…and saw a trend. Where this trend comes from I have no way of telling*, but I’m liking the trend.

* As a marketer at heart and by trade (my degree is in marketing, and I’ve been doing marketing essentially my entire adult life – from putting flyers under windshield wipers for an ice cream parlor to putting together a complete social media program for my company), not knowing where a sale came from, not being able to track what methods work and don’t work based on measurable end results, absolutely kills me.

November of 2011 was a decent month for Nook sales. December was 40% better than November (nice, I can pay the wine bill!). January was even better, a 50% increase over December (hey, more wine!). And now February has exceeded January by the 17th of the month. Why? I can’t be sure, but I have a guess.

I think there’s a strong possibility that my steadily increasing BN sales may be due to me NOT choosing to go KDP Select.

A lot of my blog visitors are readers, not authors, so very briefly on KDP Select: Amazon launched an exclusive program called Select in early December that authors sign up with for a 90 day period during which time they are NOT allowed to sell/distribute/list excerpts/give away their ebooks through any other method. Not sample chapters or excerpts on a blog, not Nook, not Kobo, not Sony, not iPad. In exchange Amazon allows authors to give away their book for free up to five days during that 90 day period (among other ‘benefits’, none of which I see as an advantage by any stretch). I’ve come out against KDP Select for many reasons which I won’t get into here (maybe later), but in a nutshell I feel going exclusive through one channel is business suicide (not to mention pissing off owners of Nooks, Kobos, Sony Readers, etc. that would no longer be able to buy my books). However, a boatload of authors have jumped onto the Select bandwagon, which leads me to this hypothesis:

There is now less competition in my genre, meaning my books rank higher and are more visible to potential readers in Barnes & Noble’s systems. All of those authors that latched onto the Amazon bandwagon gave me a better opportunity to provide science fiction/adventure to Nook users looking for books.

Nook sales are still a very small percentage of my overall sales; Kobo, Sony, and iBooks even less, but it’s still a percentage. And it’s a growing number, so far. I have no intention of cutting off that percentage. Barnes & Noble had a 70% increase in Nook e-reader sales this past holiday season over the previous season. The iPad is still by far the most popular tablet (over 60% market share), and the iPad 3 is set to be announced March 7th. Kobo is a massive player in Canada, having 36% of the market compared to Kindle’s 25%. Why would I want to ignore those markets, small percentage or otherwise?

And readers – would I have pissed you off by going Amazon only with the Gabriel books?

UPDATE: As of Feb 29 (so some stragglers may still show up after month’s end), my Nook sales have increased by over 70% over January’s totals. To recap – since the kickoff of KDP Select, Nook sales are up 40% from November to December, up 50% from December to January, and now up 70% from January to February (and keep in mind this month is 2 days shorter than January). I’m starting to think there’s something to this theory…

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