Archives for posts with tag: Smashwords sale

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I’ve just completed comparing the results of three survey’s recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part, dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media’s four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue. They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

This, of course doesn’t answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult, Contemporary and YA.

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what’s the upside to offering your books free?

Okay, so money doesn’t matter to you, it’s about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world. Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

I’ve had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it’s resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I’ve downloaded free and have yet to read.

See what I’m getting at. There’s no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

However, if you’re writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I’m participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

What’s the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less – or more, at least on Smashwords.

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

Here’s how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

These surveys would have been more credible if they’d had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a “successful author” as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an “emerging author”.

At BookBaby you’re a successful author if you’ve earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled “lower earning authors”.

Huh?

We definitely aren’t comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the “high achieving group” earning $5000 or more.

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

See what I mean? It’s like they’re comparing different species.

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I’m a “lower earning emerging author”.

And on that we all agree.

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

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*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

 

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media   https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

 

My Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1577656/survey-results-on-self-publishing-self-evident-self-serving

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Throughout the month of July I gave away one hundred and thirty-seven e-book editions of my novels during Smashwords SummerWinter Sale 2016.

As an author who has published his books with Smashwords I was contacted and asked if I wanted to participate. You could offer whatever discount you wanted for what ever period of time you wanted during the month of July. Once you registered, Smashwords applied a coupon code to your dashboard and anyone who wanted the book just entered the code and got it free.

I’ve had no more success with Smashwords than I’ve had with any other sites selling my books – which is just about nil, but since I’ve been giving my work away on other sites lately, which entails a sweep-stake and then actually sending the e-book to the individual winners via email, this seemed way easier.

It was.

Giving your work away on Smashwords was free and unrestricted. One might think that’s not a lot to expect considering the time and effort that went into it, however, to give away a single title on StoryCartel costs twenty-five dollars, on Goodreads – one hundred and nineteen, and Kindle Select (Amazon) wants exclusive rights for ninety days.

LibraryThing and BookLikes don’t charge for their giveaways but they generate about a third of the results and, as I mentioned, you have the labourious job of sending out individual emails with your e-book attached to the winners.

I have six works on Smashwords – five novels and a play. I decided to go for broke and offer them all free for the month.

Just a brief aside here. Have you ever noticed how people without success pour over meaningless minutiae like the numbers hold the secret to fame and fortune if only they could decipher them? No? Well, I have, probably because I’ve begun to do it – and now you get to experience it.

The Smashwords giveaway was interesting to me on a number of levels – though, like I said, not likely interesting to anyone else.

This was the first time all my writing (barring one of my better novels yet to be released by the publisher) was presented to the public in one place, at one time and on equal terms.

Here’s how they fared in regard to free downloads:

Harry’s Truth – A Play in One Act – 33

Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success – 31

Abandoned Dreams – 22

Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs – 20

The Big Picture – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic – 18

Forest – Love, Loss, Legend – 13

What does it mean that my one act play, Harry’s Truth, only sixty pages, ranked first? Or that Saving Spirit Bear, my first novel with the least positive reviews (and rightly so) was second? What does it mean that the better I write the less popular the book?

Any suggestions?

Other than those conundrums it appears giving away one hundred and thirty-seven books does not generate any reviews – at least not on Smashwords, or likely on any other site for that matter. Free, it appears, is the equivalent to no value – or, more specifically no downside.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Links to associated sites:

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com

Kindle Select   https://kdp.amazon.com

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com

LibraryThing   https://www.librarything.com

BookLikes   http://booklikes.com

StoryCartel  https://www.storycartel.com

 

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My novels and play Harry’s Truth – A Play in One Act, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic and Abandoned Dreams and

The ECO-WARRIORS series:

Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success?

Book 2, Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs

Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

are available as e-books and paperbacks at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

 

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

 

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

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