Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Smashwords

#Smashwords 2017 #Survey


Smashwords If you’re not familiar with Smashwords, it’s a space for authors to self-publish, with no upfront fees (and, with distribution to the most important retailers); plus, of course, a space for readers to find a wealth of books…

And, comparing it with Amazon is simple—Smashwords actually goes to great effort to help authors sell books…

And, even though it was published three years ago, their Indie Author Manifesto is worth a read…

Something else worth reading are the Surveys that Founder Mark Coker writes…

Here’s a bit of his intro to this year’s survey:

“Each year for the Smashwords Survey, I analyze ebook sales aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network.

“We’re looking to identify potential data driven insights that can help authors and publishers make their books more accessible, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.”

You can read more of Mark’s intro to the survey; but, I’ll put the questions it seeks to answer here:

What are the top fiction and non-fiction categories?

What romance categories perform the best?

How do box sets perform, and which types of box set perform the best?

Do authors who release ebooks as preorders sell more books overall?

How do preorder adoption rates differ across genres (New!!)

What percentage of overall sales in each genre for new titles go to books released as preorders (New!)

What are the pricing sweet spots for full-length fiction to maximize both readership and author earnings?

Do longer books still sell better?

Does FREE still work, and what about free series starters?

Do series books sell better than standalone books, and if so, by how much?

And, here’s this year’s Smashwords Survey:


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Cool #Quotes from #SmartAuthors Via #Smashwords #Founder


Last month I published two posts about the new Smart Author PodcastSmart Author Podcast

Soon, #Smashwords Will Be an Even Nicer Place for #Publishing…

#BreakingNews ~ #Smashwords and the #SmartAuthor

The Podcast isn’t very old; but, it’s spawned a Wealth of quotes from joyous Indie Authors; and, you can find all the quotes on Facebook

The Founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, said:

“We asked members of the Smart Author Podcast launch team to share their thoughts on indie authorship. 

“Here’s what they shared.  Their quotes run the spectrum from insightful, to heart warming, to hilarious to downright strange.  Just like authors.”

Here are a few of my Favs:


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#BreakingNews ~ #Smashwords and the #SmartAuthor


Here I am again, foregoing a re-blog for more details about Mark Coker, Smashwords, and the new Podcast Series, Smart Author… Smart Author Podcast

I did a post back on the 25th about this breakout podcast

That post has the schedule of audios up through November…

These podcasts are coming from a man who has the most successful e-book platform in the word—130,000 authors publish there for Free and there are currently around 475,000 books available

It took me seven years since I published my novel on Amazon and a few other places to get it on Smashwords—I really should have started on Smashwords………

So, if you’re an aspiring author, or an experienced author who’s fed-up with Traditional Publishing and/or Amazon, do, please, go read Smashwords’ Founder Mark Coker’s latest blog post about Smart Author Podcast (btw, it’s all free…)…

The Smart Author Podcast link takes you to the series online & the link with Mark’s name has other podcast services you can hear them on…

And, for those of you who watch videos, this conversation between Mark and author, editor, ghostwriter, coach, Tim Knox will reveal the fascinating history of Smashwords, give you a few reasons to check it out before you potentially get stung on Amazon, realize that traditional publishers can only judge a book on “perceived commercial merit”, and begin to work from the premise that authors often write for very different reasons than most publishers publish…

{I hope you don’t have to suffer through an ad at the beginning…}


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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Visit The Story Bazaar
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FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Soon, #Smashwords Will Be an Even Nicer Place for #Publishing…


I’ve been publishing for nearly 13 years; however, almost 7 years ago, I got very serious about it—I used FastPencil to publish a novel that I now give away on Smashwords… Smashwords Publishing

The weird thing is that I’ve known Smashwords is a very cool place to publish for all those nearly 7 years; but then, I am getting fairly old, so nearly everything looks like too much work; still, Smashwords is the easiest publishing I’ve ever done…

So, why will Smashwords soon be even nicer?

A recent email from them had this:

Heads up. This Friday October 27 we’re kicking off the Smart Author Podcast!

It will be a FREE podcast and will feature the Founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker—a man who just might know more about e-publishing than anyone else on the planet…

Here are some scheduling notes from Mark:

These first four episodes launch this Friday [Oct. 27th]:

Seven Trends Shaping the Future of Authorship
Introduction to Ebook Publishing
Bestseller Secrets
How to Sell More Ebooks with Pre-orders

And then these episodes release each week through November:

11/3 – Working with Beta Readers
11/10 – Marketing to Libraries
11/17 – Smashwords Survey 2017
11/24 – The Art of Delusion (How to keep writing despite inevitable challenges)

More episodes are planned for December…

You can listen to an Introductory Trailer right HERE

And, that page also has the following offer [which will disappear Oct. 25th around Noon Pacific time, USA]:

Click Here to apply to join our launch team.  Launch team members gain early access to the first eight episodes along with other exclusive perks.

Finally, you can Subscribe at these locations:

Apple Podcasts

Google Play

SoundCloud

TuneIn

Or, you can always Listen Online

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Perhaps More Writers Should Aspire to Be Like Edgar Allan Poe…?


Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

As a preface to the main text of this post, I offer a statement fraught with truth (and, perhaps, fear, for some...):

“…most books, both traditionally published and self-published, don’t sell well. Whether your book is intended to inspire, inform or entertain, millions of other books and media forms are competing against you for your prospective reader’s ever-shrinking pie of attention.”

That quote is from Mark Coker, the Founder of Smashwords, “…the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.”—I also used it in a post I did back 2013, What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

O.K, preface accomplished…

When I said up there that “Perhaps More Writers Should Aspire to Be Like Edgar Allan Poe…?”, I didn’t necessarily mean more writers should do “spooky” stuff (but, of course, not all Poe’s writing is “spooky”…); nor, did I mean more writers should drink themselves to death…

What if you knew that:

“…Poe earned only about $6,200 in his lifetime, or approximately $191,087 adjusted for inflation.”

What if you also knew that:

“…$191,087 was all you got for 20 years of work and the stuff you wrote happened to be among the most enduring literature ever produced by anyone anywhere?”

Those quotes are from an article in The Millions, entitled, Edgar Allan Poe Was a Broke-Ass Freelancer.

A few more excerpts from the article (the Voice in these quotes is Catherine Baab-Muguira):

“Last October, in the depths of a depression so profound and overwhelming that I had to take mental-health leave from work, I started rereading Poe for the first time since I was a kid… I encountered a writer completely different from the one I thought I knew…He was actually a lot like my writer-friends, with whom I constantly exchange emails bitching about the perversities of our trade—the struggle to break in, the late and sometimes nonexistent payments, the occasional stolen pitch….Poe’s short stories weren’t the adventure-horror tales I remembered, either. They turned out to be exquisitely wrought metaphors for despair.”

“You never enter the same Poe whirlpool twice. Much of his work has a purposeful, built-in double nature; he intended we discover ‘secret codes’ of meaning… “

“This points to the other important, less acknowledged, double nature of Poe’s work. It’s both art and commercial entertainment. Few other American writers so obviously and continually straddle the gap between high and low culture, between art for art’s sake and commercial enterprise.”

“I think if Poe hadn’t had to write for money, he’d probably have faded away long ago.”

And, in a second section of the article (which contains more details about Poe’s literary life), Catherine says:

“Picture this: A tech breakthrough has made mass publishing cheaper than ever before. With the cost of entry down, new publications launch with much high-flown talk about how they’ll revolutionize journalism, only to shut their doors a few years or even months later. Because the industry is so unstable, editors and writers are caught in a revolving door of hirings, firings, and layoffs. A handful of the players become rich and famous, but few of them are freelance writers, for whom rates remain scandalously low. Though some publications pay contributors on a sliding scale according to the popularity of their work, it’s mostly the case that writers don’t earn a penny more than their original fee even when their work goes viral.

“I’m speaking of Poe’s time, not our own. Still, I expect some of this will sound familiar. Pretty much the only piece missing is a pivot to video.”

As always, I urge you to go read the full article; but, as a fitting end to this post:

“When I first cracked back into Poe last October, my therapist begged, ‘Please stop reading him. He’s too depressing.’ But my experience of reading Poe and other writers on Poe the last 11 months has been the opposite of depressing. It helped me climb out of a very deep hole.

“In the end, Poe only pocketed $191,087, but he did get the immortal fame he grew up dreaming of. And I got taken, blessedly, outside myself. If the past is anything to go by, what lies ahead is not destruction. It just might be the stuff of our wildest dreams.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com