Round Up: Audiobook Release, BookBub in Canada & Amazon Launches Ad Service Amazon Marketing Publishing

digitalaudioOPTI have finally returned to work after an extended period back in Ireland over Christmas – which was wonderful – and then a spell with a virus which was considerably less so. I was mostly unplugged from the internet over the last while, but I hope it’s not too late to wish you all the best for 2015.

This is a quick catch-up post on some recent bits and bobs. Normal blogging service will resume tomorrow with a very useful guest post from two authors exploring some alternative marketing strategies with excellent results.

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First up is the release of the audiobook edition of Let’s Get Digital. This is the new, updated version of Digital which has been narrated by Simon Whistler – who you may know as the host of the excellent Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. Simon is an author himself, as well as an experienced narrator, so it was great to get him on board for this project.

The audiobook version is unabridged – jam-packed with all the advice, tips, and how-to guides that went into the new, updated version of Digital – and you can pick it up from:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Audible US | Audible UK

Prices vary at the different retailers, but easily the best deal is the massively discounted Whispersync price if you already have the e-book (90% off list price!).

I’ve already sent complimentary copies to those on my mailing list who expressed interest in reviewing the audiobook, but I have some left. Reviews on Amazon and iTunes are welcome, but I’m specifically looking for reviews on Audible itself.

If you are able to review there reasonably quickly, let me know in the comments (or email me) and I’ll get in touch with you directly over the next few days with a complimentary copy. (Note: If you are in the UK, please mention that as you will need a different code.)

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The latest Author Earnings quarterly report is out with some attention-grabbing findings, such as this:

  • 33% of all paid ebook unit sales on Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.

Read the rest here.

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mercenaryOPTMercenary – my historical novel set in early 20th century New Orleans and Honduras – is now free on all retailers and you can grab it for the price of a click from:

Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google

It will be free for the foreseeable future and I’ll be explaining why in an upcoming post.

(Although, if you download the book, or Look Inside on Amazon, you can figure it out. I better get cracking on that new series!)

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There has been an explosion of start-ups in the digital publishing space over the last few years with most folding quite quickly. The vast majority overpromise and under-deliver, focus on solutions to problems that don’t really exist, or don’t really understand publishing and/or authors’ needs in the digital era.

Reedsy looks like it could be different and might take the pain out of finding good professionals to work with – such as editors and cover designers – something that can be particularly frustrating for newer self-publishers.

I got a preview of the site when I met Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera in September, and Reedsy then launched at the end of last year. The site is worth checking out and they have big plans to develop further, add other service providers like translators, and move into additional areas like collaborative tools.

As with anything like this, it will depend on how the team at Reedsy executes and how they handle scaling up. But, from speaking with them, I felt they understood how crucial the vetting of service providers is to an enterprise like this, and that they get this new digital world. Reedsy could end up being a very useful tool. Worth keeping tabs on.

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powerpackOPTThe Indie Author Power Pack is no longer on sale. It had a wonderful run, selling more than 11,000 copies, and I wanted to thank you all for your support as we tried to gatecrash the NYT Bestseller list.

As you might have guessed from the lack of parping, we missed out on the list. By my calculations, we had enough countable sales to hit the list (we seemed to outsell several titles), but didn’t make it.

I’m not sure exactly why, but my guess is that we were shunted over to the Advice/How To bestseller list and either (a) we didn’t have enough sales to hit that list – a hybrid print and digital list, and print sales start really picking up in November, or (b) our sales weren’t fully counted for whatever reason. So it goes, but it was fun trying.

And my thanks go to all of you for making some serious noise around the launch. The response was phenomenal.

I also want to give a big thank you to Phoenix Sullivan, who published the box and came up with the fantastic marketing plan, convincing a huge number of sites to feature the box during a concentrated period (and thank you to all of them too). It went like clockwork and gave us the best possible chance of hitting the list, and went a long way to racking up those great numbers.

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If you missed the chance to purchase the Indie Author Power Pack, you’re not totally out of luck. As part of its relaunch, Bibliocrunch is giving away five copies. Although you have to be quick, the competition ends in three days.

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BookBub has expanded to Canada.

Last year’s UK expansion added maybe 5%-10% of juice overall, but, crucially, gave authors a way into the UK market (some self-publishers who had done well in the US had been experiencing negligible sales across the pond).

Canada is unusual because its digital market is dominated by Kobo. BookBub is a proven audience builder on Amazon US, and has made astonishing gains in its Barnes & Noble reach in the last year (Apple to a lesser extent). It’s much harder to say what their Kobo reach is like because Kobo has a relatively small US market share.

The estimated 40%+ Kobo has of the Canadian market is a different story. If BookBub can move the Kobo needle significantly, that will be very interesting indeed.

Announcement here.

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Box sets were the big trend of 2014 and it will be interesting to see what 2015 brings.

I think there will be a big focus on deeper forms of collaboration, with authors coming up with all sorts of ingenious ways to pool audiences and increase sales together. And I’ll have a guest post tomorrow on just that.

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Before I go, Amazon launched their long-mooted pay-per-click author advertising program today (check your KDP dash to see what I mean). I don’t have much to share on that just yet, aside from it looks like it’s Select-enrolled books only (and thus of minimal interest to me). But I’d generally caution against throwing money at the service right now as beta testers reported underwhelming results.

I don’t know if Amazon tweaked anything based on the beta feedback – or plans to – aside from some marginal improvements in targeting. I recommend waiting until you see actual results of someone getting a positive return. It looks like Amazon has quite a bit of work to do before this service is worth your hard-earned.

Threads like this one on KBoards will be worth watching.

David Gaughran

Born in Ireland, he now lives in a little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn’t increased the time spent outside. He writes novels under another name, has helped thousands of authors build a readership with his books, blogs, workshops, and courses, and has created marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet. Friend to all dogs.