Episode 101 – Digital Giveaways, Silver Foxes, and Nook UK

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Question of the Week: How will the closure of Nook’s UK store impact your author business? Do you plan on continuing to publish to the Nook US store?

It’s Self-Publishing 101 in Jim and Bryan’s 101st episode. After thanking Michael La Ronn and his Author Level Up YouTube channel ( www.authorlevelup.com ), the princes of publishing took on tips about digital Amazon giveaways, cover art, and increasing your revenue. News stories included Amazon’s 2nd physical store, the age of most Kobo readers, publishing’s need for dynamic change, the top subcategories on Amazon, used ebooks, and Nook’s closure of its UK store. This week’s Question of the Week: How will the closure of Nook’s UK store impact your author business? Do you plan on continuing to publish to the Nook US store?
What You’ll Learn: 
  • How you can use digital giveaways to increase Amazon followers
  • Five ways to improve your future cover art
  • What you can do to increase your writing revenue
  • Where Amazon’s 2nd physical store will be located
  • Why Kobo is catering to older readers
  • How long the publishing industry has continued its practices
  • The top 60 subcategories on Amazon
  • Why Amazon is testing used book pricing
  • What caused the Nook UK store to fail
Question of the Week: How will the closure of Nook’s UK store impact your author business? Do you plan on continuing to publish to the Nook US store?

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  • Chris Syme

    Just an FYI La Jolla is La-hoi-ya. It’s a pretty cool mall very close to Univ of California-San Diego.

    • So what you’re saying is I was correct and Bryan was wrong?

      • Chris Syme

        Could be–but I’ve heard more people say la jolla than la hoi-ya over the years. If you’re a golfer, you know it’s La Hoi-ya because that’s where Torrey Pines is. I don’t want to take sides but yes, you were right.

      • Bryan

        Jolla at your boy!

    • Yeah, La Jolla (it’s a Spanish name) is a university town outside San Diego. 😉

  • Articles are recommending we join other ebook giveaways, but how would you find one? It’s not like a goodreads giveaway with a page that lists them. …or is it?

    I do plan to give some of mine away. Hopefully it will help for our upcoming book launch.

    • Bryan

      I think he means find other people to collaborate with (like multi-author FB Events).

  • Patrick Stemp

    I’m not big enough for Nook UK going away to affect me at all.

    FYI – the German Historical Fiction that skewed the results was likely Mein Kampf, published for the first time in Germany since WWII. It’s an annotated edition with notes pointing out some of the stupid crap he said (from what I’ve heard). Physical copies sold out on day one. I imagine the e-books sold quite well too.

    • Bryan

      Ah ha. I’m not sure if it was for self-published books only.

  • While I don’t think the closing of the Nook UK store will affect me directly, I do wonder how badly it will affect others that sell a lot of books on Nook stores in general. It makes sense to try to move all of your Nook readers to another platform or onto your mailing list just to make sure the lines of communication are still open once all their stores close.

    I liked that you talked about interactive audio/games and video games! Considering how the generations that grew up with the Nintendo and other gaming platforms is getting older, gaming is not just for kids anymore. I believe that more and more there will be companies looking for different types of stories to tell and Indie authors will be happy to provide them.

    • Bryan

      Hooray for gaming! 🙂 Great points, Lisa.

  • Daniel Martone

    There is no way that they start selling “used” digital products… the lawsuits would go on for decades. They purchased the patent in order to stop someone else from trying this… which would interrupt their business model. Plus, it would destroy the back catalog of every writer out there… who is going to pay full price (even $2.99) for something that someone is selling for $.99, who read it.

    • Bryan

      We shall see…

  • Daniel Martone

    Looking at the top category: Kindle > Romance > Paranormal > Angels… the list is filled with Bella Forest’s work… has to have at least 20 in the top 50, if not more. That would be a very hard nut to crack.

    • Bryan

      Yup. She’s a rockstar.

  • Daniel Martone

    Nook’s closing will have very little effect on the market… it’s hard to miss what’s been gone, in reality, for such a long time.

  • Closing Nook UK won’t mean much to my income, but 41/42 stores closed is worrying because I sell a lot at Nook US (about 25% of my Amazon US sales). That’s a chunk to lose. I fear I WILL lose it though, the way things are heading. Google is catching up, but Kobo and iTunes are holding steady and won’t fill the hole the loss of Nook will cause.

    The Amazon digital give-away thing would be a great way to give the book to arc list people. Price at 99c, give it away, and get the verified purchase tag for all those reviews. Thing is, it seems to be only for US authors. So I’m out of luck.

    I’ve heard that this give-away for following an author on Amazon will work with free books as well. So if I were an American author, I could promote the give-away with my Facebook ads. Send people to my permafree books, and get readers to follow me at the same time as starting them reading my series. Worth a shot for some of you?


    • Bryan

      I think you don’t get the verified purchase notification. I believe I read that on the KDP page.

      I’d love to try the permafree book giveaway. I wonder if folks would take me up on it, seeing as they can already get the book for free :).

  • I find this question a non-starter. Those who chose to go KDP Select don’t care what happens to Nook and those who chose to go wide have nothing to loose having their book available on Nook until the end.

    • Bryan

      Non-starter! Thanks, Edwin.

  • Scott Nelson

    Regarding the German category data: Mien Kampf by Adolph Hitler was allowed back on sale in Germany for the first time since WWII. It immediately surged to best seller status, and would fit both of the categories you discussed.

    • Bryan

      Makes sense. Apparently there was also a very popular historical fiction book in German too.

  • Chris Shumate

    Nook is still around? Just kidding.

    Regarding the resell of digital ebooks, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is you don’t really own an ebook on Amazon. You own a license to read it. If I decide to loan out my copy of Ted Save the World to someone, I cannot read it while it’s on loan because it’s not a book, it’s a license to read a product.

    If Amazon decides to sell used ebooks that you own, you will not longer be able to read that book. It will come off of your Amazon account. It’s very similar to borrowing an ebook from Overdrive. When I borrow an ebook from my library I lose the ability to read it after the expiration of the rental, unless I renew. There are even books on Overdrive, that while available, I cannot get from my library because it doesn’t own a digital license for it.

    What Jim mentioned about a PDF ebook is true because it’s saved on someone’s machine and easily reproducable. This is not the case with Amazon and Kobo as I understand their platforms. In Jim’s example it is clearly theft. If Amazon does it correctly, then it isn’t theft, rather it’s the same as selling an physical book to a used book store.

    • Bryan

      If they do it correctly. We’ll see :).

  • The closure of Nook UK won’t affect me at all. Nook US is my biggest selling platform this month–don’t ask me why, I can’t even upload there directly–but this goes to show that you should never, like EVER, make decisions based on news and “OMG the sky is falling!” hype.

    If Nook US closes, their customer database will be bought by someone else. Since Nook uses EPUB, I’m betting that this someone WON’T be Amazon. My money is on Kobo. But that’s if it happens. IF.

    I can’t pay my bills with hype or ifs, so I’ll continue to make my books available on B&N for as long as they exist.

    • Bryan

      Agreed. Sky is falling decisions always turn out poorly. My money is also on Kobo!

  • Nook UK closing won’t effect me, but this is all new to me – just one book so far and another in pre-order. I will keep publishing in Nook US through Draft to Digital as long as it is available. The more stores the better for me.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nook US closes down as well. I agree with Patty that Kobo should buy Nook’s user database. That would make a ton of sense for B&N. Kobo already partners with brick and mortar bookstores worldwide. They sell their devices for sale in Chapters/Indigo, which is Canada’s largest bookstore. If B&N focussed on their strength in physical bookstores and partnered with Kobo, that would be an interesting Amazon alternative. It works in Canada. Could it work in the US?

    • Bryan

      Hmm. Could work. Interesting idea, Matthew!