Nook: A Tough Nut to Crack?

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Back when I started in 2011, I used Smashwords (SW) to distribute my books (except to Amazon). I eventually went direct everywhere possible, but I still had The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos distributed to Nook through SW for a while, because I’d done a pre-order. It was selling pretty steadily—like hot cakes, actually. I sold 107 copies in one month, which was an all-time best for me. When I unpublished it from SW and went direct to NookPress, though, it flatlined. I wrote about it here on Kboards, and several people said they’ve had similar experiences. Some suggested that it was because I was essentially starting over when I went to NookPress.

But!

The entire time I was direct, I barely sold a thing. I’m talking a year and a half of one sale every now and then. I hoped that it’d just take some time for things to get moving again, but it never happened.

Toward the end of 2016, I started having issues with NookPress. I ended up distributing through Draft2Digital (D2D), because I just wasn’t getting anywhere with NookPress support. (Other authors were experiencing other weird glitches, so I have a feeling NookPress is in need of some serious overhaul. I’d never had a problem with them before, but I just couldn’t wait around for them to fix my account; I had books to publish!) Anyway, I was distributed through D2D for a month or so and nothing moved. I remembered how I’d done really well in the Nook store through Smashwords back in 2014, so figured it couldn’t hurt to try it again.

I moved my entire Nook catalog to Smashwords. Immediately, Nook sales picked up for me again. At the rate I’m going, I stand to make $100 in royalties on a single title alone this month (The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos).

Some authors have speculated that SW has some kind of relationship with Nook’s merchandizing team. I’m really starting to think this is true.

I’m hoping that my other books will start moving in the Nook store, whether through SW juice or as a result of people reading and liking TNWTST. If each of my books could consistently make $100/month in the Nook store alone, I could pay all of our bills and my husband could quit his job!

Here are some things I’m going to try to improve my Nook sales:

  • Update back matter in TNWTST to point readers to another book.
  • Update Sandpaper Fidelity cover (which I need to do across the board anyway).
  • Lower price of Becoming Natalie from $3.99 to $2.99. Something about that $3.99 price point just kills sales for me.
  • If I have the budget, do some advertising for Just One More Minute—either on Facebook/Instagram or with less expensive sites like Bookbub that accept Nook books.
  • Share books to Nook reader groups on Facebook.

I’ll report back and let you know how it goes!

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