When the Reading Audience is Captive

Smashwords givebackSW
Sale has been extended to May 31

There isn’t a corner of the world the Coronavirus hasn’t hit (well, maybe Antarctica) and now millions of people are stuck at home with nothing to do. Some are diehard readers, and others choose to binge watch stuff on Netflix or another online platform. For many people the social isolation is too much to bear. They can’t figure out how to productively pass the time. And then there are those of us who spend much of our year in social isolation, and this is just business as usual.

Smashwords has set out to ease the pain of isolation. They’re holding a sitewide Author Give Back program that lasts from March 20 to May 31. Authors can enroll some, or all, of their books, and those can either be listed as free, or you can set a discounted price. I’ve been a part of Smashwords for many years, and each time they have an event like Christmas in July or another promotion, I’ve always enrolled my books and short stories. Readers can find the sale books here. This is a good, free way to get your books promoted. But do you make money off giving away books? Yes, you do! Continue reading “When the Reading Audience is Captive”

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital

library-1666703_640It’s been a while since we’ve had a post outlining the similarities and differences between Smashwords and Draft2Digital (D2D), and since both have made changes over the years, now seems like a good time.

Smashwords, introduced by Mark Coker in 2008, was a breakthrough for many small presses and self-published authors because it offered a way to get eBooks into stores authors couldn’t otherwise access. A few years later, D2D came along offering many of the same perks. So which should you use? Let’s take a look at both. Continue reading “Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital”

Smashwords Summer Sale and More

Smashwords LogoThose of you who have opted to publish with Smashwords will want to look at this. I have participated in these sales, which they also run in December, a few times with decent results. It’s about the easiest sale you can be part of. It literally takes only a couple of clicks and your books revert to their original prices automatically at the end of the sale period. Here’s a summary. Much of this is directly quoted from their recent email.

The Tenth Annual “Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale” Runs July 1-31 

Enrollment is now open, and, for the first time ever, they allow you to enroll ALL your books at a single discount level –  25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (FREE).  Continue reading “Smashwords Summer Sale and More”

Everybody Listen Up: Smashwords Is Entering the AudioBook Market

listening to audiobooks girl-1990347_960_720Audiobooks. My first thought when I hear the term are questions like Why? Or what’s the point? The thought that “those aren’t real books” might float through my head. I feel pretty damn full of myself unless I stop to think for half a second, maybe get a bit introspective. Then I realize how much I sound like the paper sniffers. You know, the people who say an eBook isn’t a real book. They love the smell of paper and apparently the reading experience isn’t the same without it. I don’t want to be one of those people. Then I’ll admit to myself that if my commute involved driving an hour or two every day instead of the 30-foot stroll in my slippers and work pajamas from bed to office that I might see more of a need. Then I’ll remember that I’ve actually listened to audiobooks a time or two when an ex and I would take road trips. (If you’ve driven I-80 across Wyoming, you’ll understand the need for entertainment beyond the “scenery.”)

All of this is just a big buildup to make the point that, as an indie author you’re a business person. You have product and customers. Some of your potential customers like a product, in this case your books, in different formats than others. You have your book available as an eBook (possibly in different eBook formats available from multiple vendors) and paper. Is it also available as an audiobook? Should it be? Continue reading “Everybody Listen Up: Smashwords Is Entering the AudioBook Market”