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.
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society