Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rethinking Smashwords

 I abandoned Smashwords when Amazon offered the KDP Select Program to authors.  It was not a difficult decision, really.  Amazon is where a majority of my sales come from, and it seems they do the best job of connecting readers with my books.
 The least difficult decision of all was abandoning the Nook ship.  As much as I love Barnes and Noble as a store, and as much as Nook owners love their devices, the Nook website makes me CRAZY.  I cannot believe how poor of a job Barnes does with it, and as much as I'd like to provide content to them, it always goes wrong.
 And then I read a book by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, titled The Secrets to Epublishing Success.  You can get it for free from Smashwords for a variety of devices.  I was so impressed with Mark's approach to the industry that I found myself reconsidering having everything with Amazon.
In the first month of the KDP Program, it provided instant results.  Now, it's created an environment where there are so many free books available, readers have stopped paying for them.  Also, it puts authors like me in a bad position when someone buys a book I wrote, then says, "Why didn't you tell me this was going to be free next week?"
 There are certainly things I'd like to see from Smashwords in terms of helping readers connect with authors, but from the sound of things, Mark and his crew are working on it.
 So, now it's time to crack open my copy of the Smashwords Style Guide and get formatting.  =)

http://www.africabeauties.com/?afid=335
(HOUSEWIFELY! I LOVE IT.  )

6 comments:

  1. "Now, it's created an environment where there are so many free books available, readers have stopped paying for them"

    Not necessarily true. I gave away quite a few copies of my backlist e-book BREAKING COVER at Amazon at the beginning of this month. After the promotion, I've sold nearly 2500, "lent" over 350 (which I also get paid for), and sold over 800 copies of my other books. That's just this month.

    Smashwords sales last month before doing the Amazon promo: 1.

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    1. Hi JD. Thanks for weighing in. Congratulations on your success with Breaking Cover. I'm sure it's well deserved.
      From personal experience I can tell you that the KDP Select program does have its benefits. However, it is often inconsistent and tends to not last. You get a nice little surge and then it slowly peters out. Let me know if you get the same results next time.

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  2. PS: When Superbia hit No. 48 on Amazon's Top 100, I thought it was time to quit my day job. It's a painful thing to watch your book tumble back down to the ground after skyrocketing into the atmosphere. Maybe you won't have to go through that though. Best of luck.

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  3. Thanks for the heads up on the free books. I'd read a bit of SUPERBIA, and was interested. Great POV, strong characters, interesting situations and a great plot. I THINK I got them all. THANK you for sharing, and, yes, I will review them.

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  4. Also, it puts authors like me in a bad position when someone buys a book I wrote, then says, "Why didn't you tell me this was going to be free next week?"

    My writer's group was discussing Amazon just last night, and this thought never came up in conversation, and it really should have. Food for thought.
    I'm going to publish my first book with Smashwords, and the more I read and hear about it the better I feel about my decision.

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  5. I've put two of my stories up on KDP Select and I've seen movement with one of them and not the other. *shrugs* I'm leaving most of my stories on both outlets.

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