February 15, 2013 by Sylvia Hubbard
Writer asked me recent question:
Why don’t you just make your books available exclusively through Amazon to cut out all the headache of trying to find your money, plus you can get nice sales and reviews there?
Here’s my reply
DON’T PUT YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET…
Becoming an author is difficult and then at the end of the month, I have to become a pimp and constantly ask where is my money.
True Amazon does cut down on the frustration, but I’m an author, which means I’m in the business of publishing books for readers.
Readers are my customers and I have to think about them instead of concentrating on my frustration.
Four years. four years I’ve been on smashwords. the first year, I didn’t make a bump. Not even a free download, the second, I think I did like $50 dollars.
The third and fourth… I would say it’s been nice.
There are soooo many books out there, the competition is very hard.
Although Amazon offered me some nice sales bumps and reviews, I still made books exclusively available on Smashwords because #1 I can offer books for free easily over there and #2: I can send them through the ever growing and popular iTune and B&N channels.
I also found out that readers need action statements, so in the last part of my books, I would encourage them to visit the Smashwords store to see more book by me and please leave a review wherever they purchased the book.
I also would use my blog, FB & twitter to send out at least twice a week:
- Send out thanks for people who purchased on Smashwords & Amazon
- Remind people if they haven’t purchased on Smashwords or Amazon they can do so (with a short link attached to that message)
- Remind people to leave a review now that they’ve downloaded the book.
To encourage people even more to get books off of Smashwords, I would often do free fridays and use hashtags (#amreading #freefridays #shortsundays #SeductiveSaturdays)
I also on my blog set up a free read page and if others had free reads on their page, I would connect with them. On the page, I had free book links to Smashwords and in those books I had links to PAID books which readers would click through and buy right from smashwords or back into my site which lead them back to smashwords.
It worked like a charm.
Readers were flocking to smashwords and I would say my sales have bumped nicely every quarter.
The most important thing I learned and I think you should also think about is that you shouldn’t be your eggs all in one basket.
The nook and itune stores are really coming strong in 2013 and you don’t want to miss those sales