A Smashwords Update

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my adventures with Smashwords, the ebook distribution platform that I utilised to make one of my books (Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth) free to download everywhere (you can read about all the details in that post, Adventures with Smashwords). Now it's time for an update, because I've found out that there's another great reason to publish a free book on Smashwords besides the fact that you can make it free.

And that is this: you get more downloads that way.

Now, the above statement must seem obvious. I mean, surely if your free book is only available at Amazon, you'll shift fewer copies than if it's also available at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, etc. But the point is, I didn't realise that I might actually get some people downloading my book from stores other than Amazon. The only reason I originally published on Smashwords was to make my book free.

Now, I do get waaaay more downloads from Amazon than I do from all of Smashwords and iBooks and Barnes and Noble and Kobo combined. On average, for every copy of Down to Earth that someone downloads from Smashwords, B&N, etc., three copies are downloaded from Amazon. In other words, my Smashwords sales are one-third of my Amazon sales. That makes Amazon the clear winner.

But think about it this way. Say 300 people download my book from Amazon. That means, on average, another 100 people will download it from Smashwords and all its retailers. That's an extra 100 people who get exposed to my work. And even though I don't make any money off of it, I get a little thrill when I see that people have downloaded my free book, and will hopefully read it and really enjoy it, and learn about teamwork and friendship in the process.

And, if they really, really like it, they might buy the rest of my books ;)

In fact, publishing Down to Earth for free on Smashwords worked so well that I've just published my other short story, Signed, Anonymous, on it as well. It's only available on the Smashwords store at the moment, but it's been shipped to Apple and other places already, so I'm hoping to see it in other stores within a few days (perhaps you'd like to grab yourself an early copy from Smashwords? If so, Click Here. Did I mention it was free?).

As for publishing my other (paid) books on Smashwords, I'm still thinking about it. Thing is, if I publish them on Smashwords, I have to give up my KDP Select benefits (the extra promotional tools you get if you agree to publish your ebook exclusively with Amazon). Maybe I can come up with an experiment where I publish just one or two of them on Smashwords, and see what happens. Hmm, now there's a thought ....

Super Sporty Short Stories: Signed, Anonymous.
Click the cover to download it on Smashwords!

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