Is a K-Lytics Amazon Book Market Research Report Worth It?

The short answer is

Yes GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

(For those of you who don’t see Thor in the GIF, the answer is YES!)

I first heard about K-Lytics through Chris Syme’s Smarty Pants Book Marketing podcast “How to Do Market Research Before You Publish & Sell More Books

What is K-Lytics? It is essentially a service that does data analysis on all the books being sold on Amazon. These kinds of market research reports are very common throughout the retail sector and in other areas of business. But K-Lytics (I believe) is the first such marketing service to focus on the e-book market.

When a Facebook ad popped up in my feed advertising a new report for $27 in the genre that my pen name is working in, I decided to try it out. To my surprise, it also came with two other more targeted sub-genre reports. Simply reading these three reports as a whole gave me a much better understanding of current market trends.

The K-Lytics report objectives were as follows (and posted here with the permission of K-Lytics):

  • *Assess the Kindle market for:  Paranormal Romance*Create a “Virtual Bestseller List” for the target keywords based on true Amazon Sales Rank, not display sequence*Provide an estimate of the market size and “drop-off”:
    -#1 Bestseller, Top 20, Top 100, Top 500, etc.
    -Copies sold per day and estimated monthly royalties*Develop a comprehensive market profile including:
    -Kindle category usage and performance
    -Price levels, page length distribution, short reads share
    -Typical cover art, top authors and top publishers in the segment*Identify the best keywords for titles and descriptions

    *Provide a Top 100 title database with all key book data points including book descriptions for further research and reference

The main genre report was 79 pages. The second sub genre report that was included was 74 pages. The third sub genre report was included was 63 pages. All of them had very detailed charts and graphs, enough to satisfy the most hungry of data junkies.

But what if you are math challenged, you might ask? I hate numbers!

Actually, I confess that usually when I am confronted with math I usually look like this:

What GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In addition to the three reports you also get access to videos that go through the reports and explain how to interpret them, and what the significance of each conclusion means. The video on the main genre report was about 30 minutes long. The other two videos were about 10 minutes each. It was like having a data scientist walk you through the report, but with real everyday easy to understand language.

As for the actual findings of the report, it was interesting to see how the number of copies was calculated for various books based on sales rank along with the estimated royalties (something you could probably spend all lot of time trying to figure out and do very poorly). Each report did this for the top 100 books. To see the range of sales and royalties was eye-opening.

The report also included all the descriptions for the top 100 and the book covers of the top 30 bestsellers. It was very interesting to see the trends. Weeks after I bought the report, I was working on my blurb for my latest novel and found myself going back to the report to browse the blurbs. It was SUCH a time saver to have it all there for me. It occurs to me that this would also be the case if I was trying to get a feel for the covers in the Top tiers of a subcategory. Yes, I suppose this is something you could spend a lot of time doing yourself, but for me, I’d rather spend the time writing.

Writing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Even though I have been studying this market and scouring Facebook threads and forum threads and talking to authors in this genre for years, I still learned some things. I only wish K-Lytics been around a couple years ago. I could’ve saved myself a lot of time.

If I was considering writing a new genre to make money, or if I was a serious introvert who did not have the time or opportunity to network with other working authors, I would absolutely without a doubt order a K-Lytics report on that genre before attempting to write in it.

Will I order another K-Lytics report again? Right now, I could see ordering this once or twice a year in my chosen genre just to stay on top of things. They have higher tiered memberships, but right now, I’m just not making enough (as in I’m not making anything because my books aren’t out yet) to justify those expenses.

On a random note, it occurs to me that for the true newbie indie author, Chris Fox’s “Write to Market” might pair very well with a K-Lytics report indeed. Hmmm…Ideas!

Unfortunately, I just don’t write fast enough to write to market, but maybe one of you will! And if you do, let me know how it goes!

 

30 Day Dragon Diction Challenge Day 2

This blog post is being dictated as part of my 30 days/blog posts Dragon Dictation challenge, in which I’ve challenged myself to dictate and post 30 blog posts. Click here to see the original post and learn more about the challenge!

Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links by which this blog may earn a commission. 

An Author’s Challenge: 30 Days of Dragon Dictation – Day 1

So my first blog post with Dragon anywhere didn’t turn out too bad. Like the previous blog post I’ve decided to try and dictate this one.

In fact, I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself and try and dictate 30 blog posts. In order to get used to dictating, one book (one of the ones listed below, can’t remember which one) recommended practicing with blog posts and emails before moving on to try it out with your own fiction.

It’s not exactly a 30-day challenge because I do not have the time to blog every day but who knows, with this app maybe I do. I am currently dictating this blog post while waiting for one of my kids to finish their gymnastics class. If I can use Dragon anywhere to reclaim the random bits of time, here and there, this app possibly opens a whole new world of productivity for me.

So what are the resources that I’ve been using to learn dictation and help me along?

(This is going to be the last two lines in this blog post that IS actually dictated. I don’t even want to think about trying to figure out how to insert and organize book links via dictation just yet.) Honestly, I’m not going to drive myself crazy and try to make all blogposts 100% dictated, especially in these early days. But if I can get a workable draft, then it will go a long way towards increasing my productivity.

 

I first heard about Scott Baker, I think through a friend on facebook. Then I found my way to the facebook group Dragon Riders – Authors Dictating (which has a wealth of info) and almost all the questions I had about equipment and how-tos tended to refer to Scott’s book. You can also check out The Self Publishing Formula’s podcast interview with Scott at, SPF-060: Talking the Talk – with Dragon Dictation expert Scott Baker (also includes a transcript for fast scanning).

 

This was another book mentioned in the Dragon Riders facebook group and what I liked about it was that it offered more strategies for slowly integrating dictating as another storytelling tool for writers. What caught my eye from the intro was that it stated that it would talk about:

  • -How to figure out if dictation will work for you with free apps and software that you can access on any device

-How to get over the initial hurdles of using dictation in your workflow

-How to prep my work for dictation so that I can have the most productive sessions possible

Want to try your own dictation challenge? Here’s a goal for your first day:

Dictate one blogpost or email.

It doesn’t have to be long. You don’t even have to dictate 100% (though 80% is preferable). Just get it done. Because at this point, just learning how it might work for you is the goal. You can’t integrate it into your life unless you have some idea of how to do it.

Got an Author Newsletter? You need a Privacy Policy!

If you are an author with a mailing list or in the process of setting one up, it is a good idea to have a privacy policy listed on your website that details what you’re going to do with the personal information you collect.

According the Small Business Administration’s article “7 Considerations for Crafting and Online Privacy Policy,” you primarily need to have the following:

1. Explain How You Collect and Use Personal Information

While not required by law (although the Federal Trade Commission prohibits any deceptive practices), creating a privacy policy is important if you want people to buy your products. This is particularly important if you are involved in e-commerce or if you collect information in surveys or marketing forms. Every customer has a right to know how you collect and use their information.

Online privacy policy generators (just run a search on that term and you’ll find them) can help you craft a policy. As you craft yours, be sure to clearly explain the following:

  • Your Cookie Policy – Cookies are used to store user preferences or shopping cart contents. Clearly explain your cookie practice.

  • How You Share Customer Information – Customers need to know that their data will only be used to complete the transaction and that any further use of that data (including selling or distributing it) requires their consent.

  • Contact Information – Make it easy for your customers to contact you or file a complaint.

Clearly, if at some point you are considering using Facebook ads and any of their targeting/tracking methods over on your own website, you should probably have some type of disclosures about cookies.

While the FTC and many states do NOT yet require websites to have privacy policies, it’s a good idea to have one because some states (and some countries) do. California, Delaware, and Nevada all require “operators of Internet websites or online services that collect personally identifiable information” about their residents “to notify consumers about how that information is used.”

And quite honestly, in my own author mailing list, I have no way of knowing where those subscribers are based because I don’t collect mailing addresses, only emails.

Because I AM based in California, my website IS required to have a privacy policy.

But not every indie author (especially this startup indie author) has the money to pay an attorney the money to draft a privacy policy.

Luckily, googling terms like “free privacy policy template” or “free privacy policy generator” will bring up a whole slew of websites.

But which one should you trust?

According to this attorney roundtable podcast on the Smart Passive Income Podcast (which is well worth a listen, or going to the site and downloading the transcript for free, to because 80-90% of what this show talks about setting up a business structure applies to indie authors), some of these policies are junk.

Luckily more Internet searching turned up the San Francisco Better Business Bureau website, which links to a privacy policy template. I trust the BBB because it’s a non-profit that I’ve actually heard of. I copied and pasted their template, aand modified it to use for this website (just scroll to the bottom, and click Privacy Policy which currently links to an external google doc because I’m still trying to figure out this wordpress theme).

Even if you’re not in California, the San Francisco BBB’s privacy policy template pretty much covers everything you need (I think) and is worth a look, if you’re looking around for a free privacy policy template.

Please note that I am not an attorney, and this is in no way meant to be legal advice.