I gave up on Smashwords this week.
Their Wide Variety of Formats
I’ve monitored my stats almost every day since I downloaded the first manuscript for my grandfather back in 2012–and the stats are dismal. At the time, Smashwords seemed like a good addition to my marketing plan when I published with Amazon and their Kindle site. If you aren’t already aware of Smashwords, they publish and make available ebooks bestowing freedom to authors to set their own prices. Smashwords further makes available your digital downloads to Nook (Barnes & Noble), Apple IBooks, Scribd, Oyster, and Kobo, and allows downloads in EPUB, PDF, and MOBI formats.
It’s not as if they aren’t busy trying to help promote their authors and introduce them to new readers. They are currently running (July 1 – July 31) their annual Summer/Winter Sale. In view of the complete lack of activity (probably not their fault) on any of my listings, I declined to join. They keep up dialog in their “Site Updates” as well as “Press Releases” in which they recently noted Smashwords and Publishers Weekly joined to launch an ebook best seller’s list.
And I have to hand it to Mark Coker. It is not as if he hasn’t tried getting some of us off the sidelines. His free downloads, “Smashwords Style Guide” and “The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success” are comprehensive and indispensible for an Indie author as the publishing format on Smashwords is neither as easy nor forgiving as Kindle.
Spoiler Alert: You have to sell at least $10.00 in royalties to warrant payment. After the first blush of sales were over, I was still under that amount and will apparently carry the embarrassing sale record to infinity. This is no small entity. They are dynamic; have published over 416,638 books in all genres with over 65,000 of those books free.
So, what’s a mother to do? Guess it’s time to begin a new campaign!
It all began this week with a review for a new author buddy of mine who introduced me to a couple nifty little Amazon website author page opt-ins I hadn’t previously noticed. Sometimes, you just have to hit me upside the head! Carlyle Clark, author of Children From Dark Houses, immediately included in his “Editorial Reviews” a couple sentences from my recent review of his book (which I expanded somewhat for this blog). Those Editorial Reviews show up prominently near the top of the book information. It succinctly brings to the surfers attention pertinent blurbs from your reviews. I loved it!
Also, I got to looking at (Amazon) Reviewers information. As I mentioned recently (coincidentally also on this blog), I’ve been receiving requests for reviews. Therefore, the time has come to expand on my reviewer information and add a link to connect to me from Amazon. Learning new stuff is exciting, isn’t it? Ah, but as seniors sometimes tend to do, I digress.
So then, what was the whole point of “unpublishing” my books from Smashwords? Have I succumbed to KDP? Find out next time! And if you are interested in knowing how to include a few of the favorite sentences from reviews of your books, email me. I’ll be glad to share. ©2016 Virginia Williams