How the Smashwords Summer eBook Sale Can Give You a Boost

smashwords-logoI’ve been on Smashwords since November of 2010. Admittedly, it’s still not as widely known as the mighty Amazon or iBooks, but folks are learning about it. If you’re a new author, it’s a great place to sell your work because unlike Amazon, you can set the price as free in order to gain new readers.

For the last several years, Smashwords has done their July Summer/Winter (yes, it’s winter Down Under) sale. Who doesn’t love a sale? Right? Well, for us starving authors, this is a fantastic way to possibly earn a few bucks. The website has been set up to allow authors to discount their books in varying rates. They make it easy as pie to offer these discounts — even marking them down to free if you’re trying to get folks interested in a new story or series.

smashwords July sales promo pic
Click to enlarge

My tactic for the last few years has been to discount all my books that are $2.99 or less to free. Other books are given deep discounts of 75%. No, I’m not going to make a fortune off this sale, but that’s not really the point. As authors, our goal is to get our work read. And this is a good way to do it. Smashwords makes it easy for readers to find the great deals with a handy box on their home page.

smashwords find meSo how did it all work out? Well, for the most part, my sales on Smashwords are fairly low. I average just a handful of books sold each month. But the great thing about that site is their global reach. You can have readers in all corners of the globe. As you can see, my sales spiked the first few days of their sale, which will hopefully translate into subsequent sales.

Smashwords July sales graph
July Sales
Smashwords 180 day sales
180 day Sales Chart

Overall I think Smashwords runs a great program by offering their sale. Where else can you reach new readers with free or deep discounts done with comparative ease? If you’re a fledgling author looking for exposure, Smashwords and their Summer/Winter sale are a good place to meet your new fans. So mark your calendar for next year – and take advantage of this great sale.

If you want to learn more about Smashwords, Laurie Boris recently wrote about what Smashwords is good for, and we have lots of other articles about Smashwords here.

Author: K. Rowe

K. Rowe is an experienced and prolific multi-genre author. She draws from over twenty years of active Air Force service. Kathy lives in eastern Kentucky with her husband and a zoo of farm animals. Among her many duties she finds time to offer services as a publishing consultant for new authors. Learn more about Kathy from Facebook, and her Amazon author page.

6 thoughts on “How the Smashwords Summer eBook Sale Can Give You a Boost”

  1. Yes, it worked for me. It’s so easy, too, you just pick which discount you want. It’s the same for every book you choose and it ends automatically at the end of the month.

  2. I’ve participated in this program over the past couple of years and have yet to generate a single sale. Maybe it’s because I’m only discounting 50-75% and not advertising? I don’t really expect anything out of it to begin with, so I’m not disappointed. I’m just curious if their store is growing from year to year.

    I’ve also been reluctant to set my sale prices to free. Not to start a debate, but I find it hard to count a free book as a sale. I consider it a giveaway, and I have better success with those through LibraryThing.

    1. I think posting a few for free helps. At least it lets readers try you out and hopefully come back for more.

  3. I made all the books I had on Smashwords (which is only a small portion of my books) free this year and I saw some nice activity. I also saw some sales on Amazon that I don’t normally see, and I believe it is due to the freebies on Smashwords. So I call it a success. Nice article, Kathy. Thanks.

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