The Disappointing Nook

So far, coming off of Kindle exclusivity has been a very painful experience. Not being on the Lending Library means my “borrows” have disappeared. A lot of readers were picking up the Wool series because it was free with their Prime account, which is factored into our standings on the charts. Even though the book is still selling well, I’ve seen a slide in rankings the past 10 days from the 60s to the 90s.

Meanwhile, despite receiving dozens of emails begging for a release on the Nook, the sales there are paltry. I’m not completely giving up hope, and will wait a few more weeks to see if things pick up, but if this holds steady, the Wool series will once again become a Kindle exclusive by the end of this month.

iTunes, amazingly, still hasn’t published the Wool Omnibus, even though I submitted it over two weeks ago! Amazon publishes in 12 hours. B&N gets it done in 24-48 hours. iTunes? I’m hearing from other authors that it has taken over a month.

That’s ridiculous. I feel awful for the iBook readers who’ve picked up the first four Wool stories and can’t snag #5. It’s been in Apple’s hands for two weeks. Amazon has really spoiled me (and by extension, you) with their turnaround time.

If you are pulling for the books to stay available on the Nook, stop by and leave a review. I’m going to give them this month to see if sales pick up, but I’m not hopeful. I think the discoverability over there doesn’t favor indies the way it does on Amazon. If you have Nook-toting friends, recommend a halfway decent read. Keep hope alive, people!

15 responses to “The Disappointing Nook”

  1. please stay on Nook! I am a Nook user/lover, but was forced to buy hard copies (which is one and only hard copy books I have brought for the pass two years) because at the time when I hear about the great stories, it’s not available on Nook.. and so when First Shift comes up, I directly ordered a signed hard copy, assuming nook would be excluded too.. :(

  2. please stay on Nook! I am a Nook user/lover, but was forced to buy hard copies (which is one and only hard copy books I have brought for the pass two years) because at the time when I hear about the great stories, it’s not available on Nook.. and so when First Shift comes up, I directly ordered a signed hard copy, assuming nook would be excluded too.. :(

    1. I hope to, wl! I really do.

  3. I think you nailed it. It’s the discoverability factor. Amazon is really good at getting you to buy something. I’ve played around with the Nook and the shopping experience is not nearly as intuitive. As everyone has said, if you read Hunger Games, Amazon spoon feeds Wool to you. I don’t think Nook does the same.

  4. +1 for keeping you on the Nook. Just found your book over the weekend and it’s totally awesome! Can’t put it down. I’m recommending it to all my friends on FaceBook. :-)

  5. Put it on Smashwords. They can create most of the formats for most eReaders and the book is up in hours. Formats include ePub (iPad’s native format).

    Downside: their search box won’t come up in a Firefox browser, so you’ll have to use Explorer to find a title if you don’t have the direct URL.

    You’ll have to make a couple of small changes to the ms.

  6. Just left a glowing review at B&N, pointing out that every one of the 18 reviews was 5 stars. Hopefully Wool catches fire there the way it did on Kindle. You deserve it.

  7. Realy upset B&N have not offered Dust will make me rethink what reader i replace this one with

    1. I know. I’m bummed as well. They don’t allow us to do pre-orders (iBookstore, Kobo, and Amazon do), and so you can’t time it for release. I pressed “Publish” yesterday at dinner, trying to give it a head start, and it still says “processing.” :(

  8. Hugh, after all this, the attacks to amazon competitors and their products, we can be sure that Amazon chose your book to create another hit. We all know they pushed it heavily in amazon as some point and that effort led to the sales. I do not read scifi and I was recommended the book by Amazon in many occasions, even when your sales and reviews were very low. Amazon used what they created to boost their product, and you are just another victim on this. I see talent in your books, but you are not there yet. I expect good things from your in the future.

    How were your print sales in the real world without amazon on your back, and even after all the buzz? You sold about as much as the typical “best-seller”, and I mean the book that makes a low position on a long chart for only a few weeks, then drops, never creating any real money for anyone.

    Amazon have a near monopoly on ebooks and it would serve them well to make authors keep their ebook rights for them, but that’s not going to happen. They also like the idea of luring authors into this millionaire self-published author fantasy, but actual authors know better.

    1. They were pushing my book when the sales were low? That’s news to me. The first time anyone relayed an Amazon email suggesting WOOL was in July of 2012, which was after the book had hit the NYT list. The first time it hit the list was after Gizmodo and did features on the story. My initial push came from readers.

      In October of 2011, the first WOOL story sold 1,000 copies. In November, it sold 3,000 copies. In December, 10,000 copies. Amazon had no idea who I was at this point. I couldn’t get an email returned. I was selling 30,000 copies a month, had quit my day job, had agents calling me, had BBC America offering a TV deal, and had Ridley Scott interested in the film rights well before Amazon took notice of me.

      That doesn’t fit very well with what you would like to be true, but facts don’t bend to wishes. Hey, I wish the literary works got all the attention as well. I read books like THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET and LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, and I want to know why these books aren’t selling 30 million copies apiece. Same for genre works like LEXICON by Max Barry. These books deserve more. Mine deserves less. You’ll get no argument from me. But you do a disservice to the readers, who made all of this happen, when you confuse correlation with causation and put forward the conspiracy theory that Amazon made me by design. No . . . they made me by offering a platform that does not distinguish between self and traditionally published.

      B&N does not do this. They favor the e-book editions of the print books they push in their stores. And while my S&S edition has sold over 150,000 copies and made them a lot of money, maybe the reason it hasn’t sold in the millions is because when the book was released and getting national press, a dispute with B&N meant the book wasn’t even carried in the largest chain. (Yikes!) Or the fact that we turned down their offer on the sequels, so S&S stopped promoting the work and was happy with the several times return on investment and to let the thing ride on just from reader demand. The truth is far stranger than your fiction. Imagine getting a major deal with a big 6 publisher and then having a merchandising dispute result in no books in the largest chain while you’re on a 12-city book tour! Amazing, eh? The wonder is that I am not more pro-Amazon than I am after witnessing stuff like this.

      Has Amazon pushed my work this past year? Undoubtedly. They did so after it had hit the NYT list and had garnered mention in national news outlets. Do I cheer Amazon for changing my life? Absolutely. Their platform, their commitment to customer service, the huge lead they have on e-books, their excellent devices . . . all of these things contributed to my success. I’m eternally grateful to them. I think anyone in my position would be. For all the hate authors and publishers pile on this company (engendered by a nostalgia for bookstores, which were going to dwindle in the wake of the internet, no matter what), Amazon has been better to readers and authors than any other company in modern times. They treat both with far more respect than any major publisher. I swore by them before I started writing. I used their services while working in an independent bookstore (I would order in used copies of out of print books for customers who couldn’t find copies on their own and were happy to not have to do the searching). They are a fantastic company full of brilliant and caring people, and I’ve been saying that a lot longer than I’ve been selling books through them. And they were selling a metric ton of my stories well before they promoted me one iota. Again, correlation. But the dates behind what happened when don’t support your theory of causation. Readers did this for me. And I’m eternally grateful.

  9. […] 2012, I blogged about my results after pulling out of KDP Select. I was getting a handful of emails a month from readers who wanted to know why they couldn’t […]

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