Monday, April 02, 2012

Nook First - Week 1

I thought I'd report on my first week's experiences with the Nook First program. Overall, I'm absolutely thrilled that I was able to participate.

A brief recap:

The Nook First program includes a variety of marketing promotions on the part of Barnes & Noble. (Note: this is the current program; things might change down the line.) Your book is on the home page, on a special "Nook First" page, and there are email blasts to Nook owners and to everyone who's bought one of your books through Barnes & Noble. Needless to say, you can't get this kind of attention on your own. Not without major effort and expense.

Your book is not free. The minimum price is $2.99. Your book appears with 3 others on the Nook First home page for two weeks, and shows up in "new releases" in whatever genre(s) you've selected when you uploaded the book. So, there's good visibility all over the Barnes & Noble website. And, if your book climbs in the rankings, it'll be in even more places.

The conditions: the book must be a first time digital release, and you have to keep it exclusive to the Nook store for 30 days. After that, you're free to publish it elsewhere. My reasoning in applying for this program was that my Pine Hills Police series wasn't selling particularly well anywhere, so publishing SAVING SCOTT, the new book in the series as a Nook First, might draw attention to the rest of the series. Also, my other promo and marketing efforts seem to target the same general audience.

Did it work?


Based on the first week, YES.

Below is a chart showing my overall results for the first week of Nook First. For reference, until March 19th, the first day of SAVING SCOTT'S promotion, I'd sold a total of 135 books total for March at B&N. Six of them were SAVING SCOTT, which I uploaded a few days before my March 19th start date. On day 1 of Nook First, I sold 53. (Clicking should enlarge the image)



There are those who have argued that since only a small percentage of their sales come from B&N, Apple, Sony, or other e-tailers, they're sticking all their eggs into Amazon's basket. However, during the first week of my Nook First gig, I saw higher sales of all my other titles at Amazon as well. So, I haven't hurt my sales at Amazon, and instead, have added a whole bunch (I hope) of new readers, thanks to the promo by B&N.

On its second day, SAVING SCOTT broke into the top 100 best sellers in the Nook Store. Later that week, it climbed to the #15 slot. Note: right now, the best-seller lists are full of the Hunger Games and 50 Shades of Grey series books, so even coming close to the top 10 is nothing short of miraculous for an unheard of author.

But, even better, is that I saw sales rise across the board. FINDING SARAH, the first book in the Pine Hills Police series had never sold more than 10 copies in a day. Here's what happened during week 1 of Nook First for SAVING SCOTT:



Another surprise: WHEN DANGER CALLS also showed a sales jump. (This is one of my best-sellers at Amazon, but never did much at B&N)


As a matter of fact, WHEN DANGER CALLS, which isn't even part of the Pine Hills Police series, made the top 100. Having two titles in the top 100 is something I never dreamed of.

And, let's be realistic. I made more money in this one week than I've made in YEARS of my writing "career." Seeing daily sales totals add up to more than I usually make in a month at Amazon definitely makes me give this project a big thumbs up.

If you've ever thought about buying a cute little bunny for your family for Easter (or know someone who might), you'll want to check in tomorrow for my guest, G.G. Hall's post.



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22 comments:

Mario said...

This is a great post. Very informative.

Maryann Miller said...

Congrats, Terry. This is so terrific for you. Thanks for letting us know this program does work well, and I was pleased to see that the sales at B&N boosted sales at Amazon.

Andrea Parnell said...

Terrific, Terry. Thanks for sharing the numbers and your experience with Nook First. So happy for you that it is a success.

Janet Fox said...

Superb analysis, Terry. This is great information so thank you for sharing.

June Shaw said...

Wow, Terry, how amazing! I didn't know about the program but now I'm definitely interested. I'm so happy about your succes with it!

Ruth Harris said...

Bravo, Terry! Thanks so much for sharing all this information. Good for you & good for B&N....we want them to thrive & prosper & hopefully they'll figure out that helping authors adds up to a big plus...

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for sharing, Terry! Glad it went so well for you. :)

Allison Brennan said...

It was so great to have a chance to really talk to you this weekend and share a panel! :)

KathyW said...

Great info. Everyone is so focused on Amazon, it's good to know there's another choice that works.

KathyW said...

Great info. Everyone is so focused on Amazon, it's good to know there's another choice that works.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks to all for the congrats. Goes to show what having a major bookseller behind your work can do.

And Allison - so wonderful for the f2f time--both on the panel and at the bar (wait -- can we say we were at the bar?)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Fantastic results! Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

Nell Dixon said...

Thank you for sharing! Interesting reading.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

This is very helpful, Terry, since I'm considering what to do with my new original mysteries (other than my Bad Hair Day series). Thanks for sharing your results.

Jemi Fraser said...

That is fabulous! So exciting! I'm so glad other people are discovering your books, Terry - they're way up there in my list of favourites :)

Terry Odell said...

Again, thanks all for your comments. And Jemi, thanks for your kind words about my books.

Karen C said...

I'm really happy that using B&N's Nook First program worked so well for you. I loved Saving Scott and glad that others are as well!

michellemuto said...

I'm so pleased to finally see B&N get into the game! This is great news.

Is there someplace special to sign up or is it invite only?

Joyce Yarrow said...

A big "bravo!" to you Terry for blazing the trail and sharing all this valuable information! Congratulations!

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords said...

Hi, Terry, thanks for posting the link to this on my post about my 1 year stats on my first ebook (http://slingwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/promised-stats-on-first-ebook.html).

I'm doing a presentation this month to an RWA chapter and planned to include some data about the various "Exclusive" seller programs. This gives me some good info on Nook First--and the change to introduce you to some readers who may not know you.

kathy brandt said...

Hi Terri,

Excellent post! My publisher worked out the same deal with Nook and the results were the same as yours. All my four of my books sold like crazy and they still are three months later, so it builds on itself for sure.

I have a question. How do you get all the stats from B&N?

Congratuations on your success.

Terry Odell said...

Michelle - it's not 'invite only' but it's not advertised, since word of mouth is filling the program nicely.

Joan - thanks! Never hurts to get your name out there.

Kathi - I don't know how you can get stats for books 'owned' by the publisher, but as part of the PubIT program, I can see sales for all my indie books.