Episode 17 – The Subscriptions, Guilds and Earnings Show

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We went deeper into discussions about the subscription model this week on episode #17 of the podcast. Jim and Bryan also talked about a recent Apple acquisition, the Horror Writers Assocation’s decision to include indies and Author Earnings’ latest report on Nook. Other topics included creating your social media marketing plan, segmenting your email list and selling your first standalone novel. Our biggest news may have been our guest co-host for next week’s show: Hugh Howey! Hugh will sub in for Jim on episode #18. Our Hugh-skewing question of the week: What do you think of Author Earnings? Comment on our website or give us a call at (206) 338-0092.

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What You’ll Learn: 
  • What our listeners think about Kindle Unlimited
  • How to build a social media platform from scratch
  • What Nick Stephenson does to organize his email lists
  • What the SPP trio would do if they were just starting out
  • How publishers think subscriptions will change the industry
  • What Apple is doing to compete with Amazon
  • Why horror writers are happy after a recent guild decision
  • How many books authors are selling on Nook
  • How books become a part of Kindle Unlimited
  • How much books earn on Kindle Unlimited
Question of the Week: What do you think of Author Earnings?

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  • I’m a fan of author earnings because it gets me excited for the future. I’m still very much on the bottom rung of the publishing ladder having only one book out and it’s only been out for a few months, but looking at these reports helps to validate the effort I’m putting in to try to achieve long term, sustainable success.

    • Bryan

      I’m right there with you on the one book train, S.C. (as far as fiction is concerned). Us creative types all need a little validation, and I agree that AE is a major provider. Thanks for dropping by.

  • I don’t know what KU calls consent–but my book was added without them telling me first. I also don’t see a way to track whether anyone has read 10% of my 1010.000 word book. I am also concerned that people will download my book and not read it for ages thus cannibalizing my sales. My sales have kept up, but this is new.

    • Also Time Travellers Wife—I couldn’t get through it. To me it is proof that trad published “best sellers” have nothing over Indies any more.

    • Bryan

      I think the “consent” is being in KDP Select. I think the article meant things like The Hunger Games from trad pubs that didn’t give consent.

      I’m glad sales have kept up. I think the only way to “track” if someone has gotten 10% is if you got credit for the borrow. Then again, I haven’t tried it out yet myself.

  • Nick_Stephenson

    thanks for the mention guys!

    • Bryan

      You’re welcome, Nick. Thanks for being so transparent about your marketing and sales. It’s very helpful.

  • Stephen Kotowych

    Just wanted to give an example of “shopping” at Amazon and buying elsewhere, as discussed with some skepticism in the podcast: in Canada our large chain bookstore is the Chapter/Indigo chain, and my wife is a very loyal in-store customer of theirs, largely because of their loyalty points/reward system. However, while she would also prefer to buy online from Chapters/Indigo the search algorithms on their website are terrible. She will often search for what she wants on Amazon first, then use the specific data (usually an ISBN) that Amazon gives her to find the book on the Chapters/Indigo website and order from them–again, motivated mostly by the loyalty/rewards program (since the Amazon price and shipping is usually the same as on the Chapters/Indigo site). I lack the patience for this, but she loves her reward points, so… Anyway, I’ve never shopped the Nook site but if its poorly designed perhaps something like this is happening. Might not happen a lot, but it certainly can/does happen–at least here in Canada!

    • Bryan

      Thanks for the example, Stephen. I wish we could find some way to get some numbers on this. I think it definitely does happen, I’d be interested in a percentage though.

    • Yes, I’ve done that quite a few times, too. Shipping isn’t as cheap in Canada as in the US, so if Chapters has it in-store locally, it’s cheaper to pick it up in person. I’ve also looked at books on Amazon and then searched for the book at ABE Books or direct from the publisher. If you are getting several used/out of print books, it is cheaper to get them all from ABE rather than Amazon’s hodge-podge of different sellers. And if you need a bulk discount, you have to go directly to the publisher.