Finally, a retailer breakdown

On September 16, 2013, in Blog, by Laura

Thanks to Hedonist Six for allowing me to refer to her blog post today, showing off some stats she has uncovered after compiling her sales data for the past year.

See the original blog post here; Exclusivity or not; are other retailers worth it?


(The figures quoted represent royalty income, not number of books sold.)

For her particular work, in her genre – erotica – the breakdown is as follows:

68% Amazon

14% Smashwords (almost exclusively Barnes & Noble since Apple has not yet added her work to its catalogue)

10 % Google Play

6% All Romance Ebooks

2%  Kobo

While these results may not be indicative of how these retailers may perform for you, it’s still pretty interesting. Especially when you bear in mind that beyond linking to book listings on her website, she hasn’t done any advertisements of anything other than Amazon listings. The only significant marketing activity so far has been to just make part one of her serial novel free on all platforms, and wait for readers to find it themselves.


All Things Come to an End – Kobo & Goodreads

On September 11, 2013, in Blog, by Laura

OK, you may have already noticed this and I may just be hopelessly behind, but I just realised Kobo no longer shows reviews from Goodreads. Earlier when you went to Kobo and looked at a book which people have reviewed on Goodreads, if all things were set up properly and the ISBN for the Kobo version was added to Goodreads, you’d see Goodreads content right there on the product listing.

For people who have extensively pushed their books on Goodreads to try and get more (good) reviews, this used to be a good thing. For others who found Goodreads to be a cesspool full of snarky reviewers leaving 1 star ratings without explanation, I suppose maybe it wasn’t. This has now changed though.

In March this year, Amazon bought Goodreads. There has been a lot of discussion online about whether or not that’s a good thing, but as far as I can tell, it really doesn’t matter so much. Amazon has claimed they won’t mess with Goodreads or try to ruin it, similar to how they neglect run Shelfari. One thing that has changed now is that obviously Goodreads isn’t looking so great anymore as a source for unbiased reviews for other retailers (Kobo).

While comments from Goodreads suggest that they haven’t actually switched off the API that pushes reviews to other sites, there is only one other plausible explanation: Kobo has taken this feature away themselves. An internal business decision on their part to try and sever ties with what is now part of their biggest competitor. I can’t say I blame them. The one thing I hope they do rectify is, now there are NO reviews on Kobo AT ALL. I can’t even figure out how to write one myself independent of Goodreads. This is in my opinion a problem. If there is no way to gauge the quality of the content on Kobo, readers will look elsewhere. Let’s hope they’re working on a solution to add reviews back again, but in the meantime, Kobo book listings look pretty naked and star-less.


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Kobo WritingLife upload problems

On March 6, 2013, in Blog, by Laura

If you’re selling on Kobo (or trying to), perhaps you have come across the very vague problem of not being able to upload your books when you try to add them via WritingLife. Everything might seem fine, the book looks good on your pc, you’re able to read it without any issues on Calibre. You may have even uploaded it to Amazon and it’s gone through just fine.

And then on Step 2 of the book creation process on Kobo, it falls flat and tells you “Sorry, we could not upload your file” or something similar. There is no explanation, no specific error code, just this vague and frustrating message. All this makes it hard to figure out if Kobo are experiencing technical issues or if it is indeed your ebook file that is at fault.

Here are some pointers and common causes for this issue:

  • Your file contains references to other ebook retailers. For example, somewhere you’ve got a link to an Amazon listing of your book, or perhaps your Amazon Author central profile. Take it out and link to your own website or blog instead!
  • Your file has some sort of error in it. For example if you’re uploading an Epub file, check that it is fully valid and does not fail EpubCheck! If this doesn’t work, try uploading a different format.

If you are sure the file is perfect, and does not have links to Amazon or other retailers in it. And you have even tried converting it to another format (from Epub into Mobi using Calibre for example) and it still doesn’t work, you might want to get in touch with Kobo support. We’ve found them to be quite helpful with most issues and have received responses on average within 24 hours or less.


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