Alright, let’s start out with three big charts.
Firstly, these are % charts off one the total of whatever they represent (total units, total revenue, etc.). So, to read them, for example, about 18.5% of all units sold for Life in the North is in the audiobook format. And less than 1% (about 0.2% actually) is paperback.
Take a close look. I didn’t provide charts for all 3 books of System Apocalypse because the ratios are very similar for units though not necessarily revenue. Revenue goes weird as people do things like buy more ebooks or read more on KU or use Whyspersync.)
This is btw until Nov 30, 2019.
Things to Know
For the most part, AoB has been wide. It was in KU very briefly for about 6 months before I took them back wide.
Secondly, AoB is a short series, so each audiobook is only 4-5 hours long. They have an omnibus edition of 3 books,for both audio, ebook & paperback. I don’t actually have a paperback edition of books 1, 2 & 3 of AoB.
While I do have an omnibus for System Apocalypse, I don’t have one for audio which is why I didn’t bother getting the number.
Lastly, all this data is ONLY Amazon & ACX. I am way too tired and sick to pull individual sales data for AoB which is wide (both ebook & audio); but I doubt the data would change much. My wide sales currently are around 2% of my total ebook sales for A Healer’s Gift for example.
Why Show This?
Firstly, for those wondering about ratio of audiobook to ebook to KU. These are my numbers. In terms of units sold, it can range from 8% or so to nearly 18%. In terms of revenue, it’s around 18% at the lowest end.
You can see why audio is so important. It’s a large % of my income, and due to the higher price point, is often disproportionate to the amount of units sold (see A Gamer’s Wish).
If you’re trying to figure out if you should do an audiobook, you can use the above ratio to work it out.
Secondly, you can see how the ratio changes, depending on a few factors I think:
-Popularity of series (System Apocalypse does much better than the other series, so it gets a LOT more audiobooks sold)
– Narrator popularity (Nick Podehl has his own cache compared to Patrick Zeller, the newbie – and cheaper – narrator I used for A Gamer’s Wish).
– Audiobook length (I do a LOT better as a ratio for the 15 hours omnibus edition than the 6 hour long books. I’d assume when I throw an audiobook omnibus for the Hidden Wishes trilogy, we’ll see a lot more audiobook sales).
Thirdly, it’s an interesting view on KU / wide / etc.
– AoB was wide to start, went into KU middle of it’s run and then pulled out after 6 months. You can see how units are high, but revenue is nearly half. At the same time, if you look at LitN which has been in KU all the time, the drop-off isn’t as steep. Then you have a Gamer’s Wish that was in KU then went wide, and the % of revenue from KU is nearly the same as LitN.
I’d hypothesize that if you have your book in KU on launch, you have lots of readers testing you out on KU as the cheaper option. As such, units sold are high, KU revenue is high (since that’s when you get most of your sales); but… if you stayed wide on release, your KU revenue is lower as a % because you don’t get the KU bump at launch.
KU eats into your ebook sales. Which eats into your profit. Now, mind you, KU can give you a huge boost in units & discoverability. But… it does come at a cost in revenue that you do need to make up on.
This result surprised me, and might make me test out going wide again for a new series and staying wide to see what it’s like.
Questions? I know some of this would be more useful with $ amounts rather than %’s… but for obvious reasons, I don’t like discussing my income. 🙂
Taking that into account, feel free to bounce questions.
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