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Smashwords

Fri, 22 Feb 2019 00:25:00 +0000
Smashwords Introduces Global Coupons
At Smashwords, we're committed to providing our authors and publishers the greatest possible control over their ebook publishing, distribution and marketing. 

Today I'm pleased to announce Global Coupons, a new marketing tool that enables authors and publishers to assign a single coupon code to two or more books in their catalog. 

Global Coupons are a boon to authors and publishers that want to initiate, track, and manage custom marketing campaigns encompassing multiple titles. 

With the addition of Global Coupons, authors and publishers now have another powerful Smashwords-exclusive marketing tool they can use to attract readers and turn fans into superfans. 

Authors and publishers can use Global Coupons to drive subscriber acquisition for private newsletters, reward reader loyalty, distribute review copies to reviewers and media, and make their books eligible for discovery with the Smashwords Store's ever-present “Special Deals” shelves.

How to Create Global Coupons

Here’s a step-by-step checklist for creating Global Coupons:
  1. Click to the Smashwords Dashboard’s Coupon Manager feature
  2. To create a single coupon code spanning multiple titles, either click the “Select all Books for Global Coupon” option, or select books individually
  3. Click “Generate Global Coupon”
  4. Next, select if you want to apply a flat percentage off to all books (i.e. 23%-off), or set a unified price (i.e. if you wanted to price all books at $1.00, or any other price), or you can choose to set unique and individual prices or discount levels for each title
  5. Set an expiration date
  6. Select if you want the Global Coupon public or private (with a public coupon, participating titles will be merchandised as on sale in the Smashwords Store, and available for discovery through the home page’s “Special Deals’ features; with a private coupon, the author or publisher decides where to share their coupon code).
  7. Assign an optional Campaign Label, which allows authors and publishers to more easily track redemptions from their Sales & Payments reports
  8. Click “Create Coupons” and you're done!

The Global Coupons feature is available now as an exclusive tool for all Smashwords authors and publishers.  The coupons work only in the Smashwords Store.

We quietly introduced the feature two weeks ago within the Dashboard’s Coupon Manager.  Although we didn't tell anyone about it, hundreds of authors and publishers have already discovered the feature and used it to attach Global Coupons to over 13,000 books.  Two publishers used the feature to assign a Global Coupon to over 800 books each, all with a few simple clicks.  Dozens more have used it to generate Global Coupons spanning over 100 books each.

If you've got two or more books at Smashwords, give it a try and let us know what you think.




Enjoy!

Tue, 01 Jan 2019 02:02:00 +0000
10th Annual Read an Ebook Week Sale Starts March 3
Mark your calendars! 

The 10th annual Smashwords Read an Ebook Week sale kicks off Sunday March 3 and runs through Saturday March 9.

Thousands of Smashwords authors, publishers and readers will participate in this international ebook celebration featuring thousands of exclusive deals on great books. 

Authors and Publishers:  Enrollment is now open at https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos   The sale will be promoted to over one million Smashwords customers.  Don't miss out!

With a few clicks, you can enroll your books into discount categories of 25% off, 50% off, 75% off or FREE. 

To enroll all your books at once, click the Enroll button immediately below the discount level you desire.  This is a huge time saver for authors and publishers who manage dozens, hundreds or even thousands of titles.

Readers: When the promotion goes live on Sunday March 3, visit the Smashwords home page where you'll find multiple options to explore the participating titles.

Here are two shortcuts:
Be sure to check back daily because thousands of new books will join the sale throughout the week.

How to Join the Celebration

Here's a quick checklist to help you get the most out of the Read an Ebook Week event:

  1. Authors and publishers:  Enroll your books now at https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromo.  You'll also find a link on the Smashwords home page.  If you're not yet publishing with Smashwords, now's a great time to join the over 130,000 authors and publishers around the world who publish and distribute ebooks with Smashwords.  Visit https://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords for an overview of our free publishing and distribution services, and then click "Join" to get started.
     
  2. Authors and publishers: Each day during the week long sale, celebrate your participation across your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog, private mailing lists).   Include a direct hyperlink to your author or publisher page.  Also be sure to complete your Smashwords Interview (also accessible under "Interview Manager" in your Smashwords Dashboard) so prospective readers can learn the story behind your authorship. 
     
  3. Authors and readers:  Visit the Smashwords Read an Ebook Week event page at https://www.smashwords.com/ebookweek where you'll find downloadable buttons, banners and images you can share on social media to promote your participation in the event. 
     
  4. Readers:  When you discover a great deal, share it with your friends on social media.  Be sure to tag the author (find their Twitter and Facebook addresses on their Smashwords author profile page) so they know you downloaded their book!  To promote the sale to your friends, share this hyperlink which places the reader into the heart of the Read an Ebook Week Catalog:  https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1/any/any
     
  5. The official hashtags for the promotion are #Smashwords and #ebookweek19

This promotion is exclusive to the Smashwords store.  It will not impact prices at other retailers.  Enjoy!

Tue, 01 Jan 2019 01:59:00 +0000
2019 Book Industry Predictions: The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings
Welcome to my annual publishing predictions.

I’ll start by sharing some thoughts on the state of the indie nation and then I’ll jump into the predictions.

Also be sure to check out today’s companion post, Smashwords Year in Review and 2019 Preview.

The State of the Indie Nation

 If you’ve followed my posts here at the Smashwords Blog over the years, you know I don’t sugarcoat.  I try to give you the unvarnished truth of what I’m seeing and hearing, and what it all means for the future of indie authors and publishers.

Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and let’s ponder the past, present and future of indie publishing.

When I met with authors this year, I sensed a growing unease with the direction of the industry.  For some, their unease has given way to desperation and despair.

Sure, it’s a tough life as an author – this has always been the case.  Yet something different is happening now.

Authors feel like something’s been taken from them, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.  Their concerns often reverse and manifest as self-doubt.  Are they not as good of a writer as their most ardent fans tell them they are?  What are they doing wrong?

A lyric from the band Black Sabbath comes to my mind.  It’s the title track from their classic album by the same name, Heaven and Hell:

“The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.”

~ Black Sabbath


Is someone or something stealing authors’ dreams?

The answer is complicated.  I think at the root of the challenge, as I’ve discussed here on the blog for several years now, is that the supply of ebooks is growing faster than the supply of readers.

Since ebooks are digital, and because virtual shelf space is unlimited at ebook retailers, it means these books never go out of print.  It’s great that your book will always be available, discoverable, and purchasable, but it also means that every day from this day forward you’re competing against more books.

If the glut was the only concern, most of the indies could deal with it through best practices alone.  Most indies don’t take full advantage of best practices, which means those that do make the effort usually enjoy superior discoverability and sales.

But even best practices aren't enough now.  Something else is going on.

Some smart authors are starting to feel as if the system is somehow rigged against them.  I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but these authors are on to something.

The answer is in Seattle.  The industry’s dominant retailer is taking advantage of this glut to commoditize books and strip indies of their independence.  This strategy was set in motion years ago with the launch of KDP Select in 2011, and the waves it unleashed then are now wreaking havoc on author shorelines.

This was a major theme of my predictions post last year.  It’s worth a re-read because the same forces I described last year intensified in 2018 (Read it now).

For this post, in the context of my discussion on the state of the indie nation, I’ll examine Amazon’s strategy from a different angle.  I’ll look at how Amazon’s strategy is forcing authors to make short term decisions that undermine their long term careers.

Amazon requires its suppliers – i.e. authors and publishers – to make concessions in exchange for greater visibility in the Amazon store.  These concessions come in the form of exclusivity, lower royalty percentages, the loss of pricing control, and other hidden tolls and taxes that eat away at your profits.  If you want to maximize visibility in Amazon's store, these are the pounds of flesh you must trade.

Talk to any large traditional publisher and you’ll learn these are the same battles they’ve been fighting and losing with Amazon long before indie authors came on the scene.

All these concessions are presented to indies cloaked in the cheery veneer of “options” you can take advantage of.  Those that don’t swallow these options are disadvantaged.

No other ebook retailer demands these concessions.  No other retailer is pushing to commoditize books.  No other retailer encourages its customers to pay less when the customer would happily pay more.

Amazon does it because they can, and because their business model is all about commoditizing everything they sell.

Jeff Bezos once stated that Amazon’s business philosophy is, “your margin is my opportunity.”  That’s all you really need to remember.

Most indie authors I know live hand to mouth if they’re a full-time author.  It’s tough to make a living writing books.

Amazon acts like a twisted modern day Robin Hood who steals from the poor and gives to its customers.

Measuring the Mood of Indies

When I step back and consider how the mood of indies has evolved over the last ten years, I can almost divide the decade into two chapters.

The first chapter started in 2008 and 2009, and was marked by jubilence and unbridled optimism within the budding indie community as ebook retailers opened their virtual shelves to self-published ebooks.  This democratized distribution was a game-changer because it allowed readers to discover and purchase indie ebooks right alongside the books of traditional publishers.  It was during these first five years that ebooks grew from less than one percent of the overall trade book market to nearly 20 percent.

But not all parties can last forever.

In the second chapter, the most recent five years, the ebook market matured and its unsustainable meteoric growth stalled.

Indies responded by working harder than ever.  But for many authors, it felt as if each time they took one step forward, unseen forces pushed them two steps back.

Since indie authors get most of their income from digital sales, the glut of ebooks stings.  It makes authors ripe for exploitation by players who promise to improve the author's discoverability.  These player's interests aren’t always aligned with those of the author.

Enter Amazon.  Amazon presented authors with quick fixes such as KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited that offered to raise their visibility overnight.  Never mind the consequences to the author’s long term future or the damage it causes to rest of the bookselling ecosystem.

I warned authors about these consequences the same day KDP Select was introduced seven years ago (Read Amazon Shows its Predatory Spots with KDP Select).

Authors who put all their eggs in the Amazon basket tell me they now feel trapped.  They’re also angry because they feel Amazon’s competitors failed to give them a viable alternative to this fate.

Point taken.

The third chapter of this story will be written by indies.  What happens next is up to you, and those who come after you.

Politics and Publishing

The other day I was having an email conversation with my buddy, Michael Larson, who I first met through our mutual friend, the late Dan Poynter.  Mike and his wife, Elizabeth, co-founded the amazing San Francisco Writers Conference 16 years ago.  To this day it remains one of the best writers conferences in the country.  It was one of the first to embrace indie authors as equal members of the publishing community.

We were talking politics and publishing.  I lamented to Mike how voters, like the entire publishing industry, can buy into simplistic quick fixes that are inadequate – and even counterproductive – to solving today’s complex challenges.

Wherever you land on the political or publishing spectrum, you probably agree it’s natural for most people to prefer simplicity over complexity.  Complexity is scary!

There’s a political component to publishing, but it has nothing to do with conservatism or liberalism.

As an indie publisher, you’re an important member of the publishing community. Every publishing decision you make, like the flap of a butterfly’s wing, is a vote for the winds to blow in one direction or another.

Why is simplistic political pabulum so appealing and so effective?  Why are so many traditional publishers and indie authors surrendering their independence and financial futures to temporary quick fixes?

Mike’s six word response floored me: 

“Pain cries out for simple solutions.”

Now I get why KDP Select is so successful for Amazon, but not so much for authors.  Now I understand why my attempts to warn authors for the last seven years have failed.

If I’ve got a throbbing headache and the only painkiller I have handy is Tylenol, I don’t want someone telling me how Tylenol is going to burn a hole in my liver 20 years from now. I need relief now.

I met with talented authors this year who were near tears when they described how they’re working harder than ever, producing their best work ever, yet their sales were dropping year after year.

Out of desperation, they’re trying everything.

They’re giving readers whiplash in the process.  KDP Select is brilliantly designed to act this way.  The moment you even try it, you’ve undermined the future you might have had.  The thing is, you never know.

I see this anguish in the faces of these talented authors and it makes me angry.  It doesn’t have to be this way!

Yes, the market is glutted, but why is the largest retailer working single-handedly to diminish the labor of authors and publishers, especially when readers are willing to pay more?

Are $3.99 and $4.99 price points – the sweet spots for most bestselling indies – too much to pay for a great book?  No!

The entire publishing community is now living in fear.

Large traditional publishers are worried about making their next quarter’s numbers, and are terrified Amazon will take away their preorder buttons if they so much as look at Amazon cross eyed.  Indies are terrified of Amazon’s next price-matching email or KU nastygram, which reminds them that repeated offenses could lead to cancellation of their publishing privileges.  Indies are terrified of seeing their legit reviews disappearing without explanation or recourse. Or, like the NY Times bestseller who contacted me this morning, why should an author fear being kicked out of KU because Amazon might notice that a pirated version of her book was just listed for sale at another major retailer?

What kind of life is this, living in fear that your business partner who’s supposed to have your back is browbeating you, and threatening to drop the axe on you at any moment?

All too often, succumbing to Amazon’s offers of quick fixes like KDP Select can feel safer, but this decision can also lead to long term pain, bondage and servitude.

As I’ve repeated here on the blog, in my books and at my workshops around the world for the last decade, there’s no single magic bullet that will grow an author’s book sales.  There are many secrets, and they’re called best practices.  Best practices require hard work, consistency, iteration, and a steady hand over the long term.

Yet we’re drawn to the pill that promises to numb the pain now, not tomorrow.  By jumping from one magic elixer to the next, we take our eyes off the balls that really matter.

Here’s what really matters:  Do your books cause rapturous delight in the hearts and minds of your readers?  Are your publishing partners’ interests aligned with your own?  Is your partner trying to elevate you or control you?

Exclusivity is a form of censorship.  It says you can express yourself here, but not there.

Algorithms that give preference to exclusive books are a form of censorship too.  This struggle for free expression predates Amazon, and will continue long after Amazon is gone.

In fact, the seeds of the indie author movement, and this contemporary battle for free expression, can be traced back to the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press over 500 years ago.  Ever since the introduction of the printing press, writers struggled against political, religious and commercial interests that sought to censor or control their free expression (For more on the fascinating historical struggle for free expression, check out episode nine of the Smart Author Podcast titled, The Indie Author Manifesto).

The good news is that Amazon’s practices can’t last.  They’re unsustainable for the creators of books.  Like all forms of oppression, the people will eventually rise up and take back their independence.

It won’t happen tomorrow, but I can assure you that here at Smashwords, we'll continue fighting to put authors in control  (To learn what we accomplished for you in 2018, and for hints of what we have planned for 2019, check out my other post today, Smashwords 2018 Year in Review and 2019 Preview).

Now on to my predictions section of this post. 

Mark Coker's Publishing Predictions for 2019

Predictions are a form of speculative fiction.  They help us imagine a world that might be if current trends continue, and they give us advance opportunity to encourage or reverse these trends via the collective actions of all participants.

I see silver linings everywhere.

There’s much to be optimistic about.

You are the creator of books. 

Books, and readers' desire to consume them, will never go away.  Books will always remain valuable and magical vehicles for revelation, joy and rebirth.  In these turbulent times, books are more important than ever.

The world is cyclical, just like the seasons.  Winter is upon us here in the northern hemisphere, but it too shall pass.  Markets rise, fall, then rise again.

I have faith that at the end of the day, when toxic or unjust forces that limit freedom become too overwhelming, people will band together to tackle these complex problems.  The alternative is annihilation, so pick your path.

Even during droughts, beautiful flowers grow in the desert.  There are still millions of readers out there right now searching for their next great read, and they’re willing to pay for it.  You can reach them.

As an indie publisher, you are powerful.  Every decision you make is the flap of a butterfly wing.  If indies concentrate their flaps in the right direction, we can shift this industry’s winds in a better direction.

Now I present you nine publishing predictions for 2019.

1.  Indies Help Fuel Further Rise of Audiobooks in 2019 – Audiobooks create new time in the reader’s day to enjoy books.  As a result, audiobooks are now the fastest growing segment of the book market.  Some indies are already earning more from audiobooks than they do from ebooks and print books.  Just as indies helped propel the ebook market forward, they’ll do the same for audiobooks in 2019, but to a lesser extent, since audiobook production is not an affordable investment for most indies.  Although audiobook sales could surpass ebook sales within a few years if current trends continue, there’s no guarantee these trends continue.  As we all know, the market for ebooks grew exponentially for first the few years before it matured and flatlined.  At the end of the day, print, audio and e- are simply different formats for enjoying books.  The audiobook market, like ebooks, is subject to the same over-saturation facing ebooks, though that saturation will play out slower because high production costs act as a gatekeeping force.  Amazon is already attempting to commoditize audiobooks too, which will lead to price-cutting and lower earnings.  But other forces are working to counter this.  Apple Books is now carrying audiobooks from our production partner Findaway.  If you can afford the investment, do it sooner rather than later, because it’ll be tougher to earn your investment back in a few years than it is now (be warned, however, there’s no guarantee you’ll earn your investment now).  Smashwords authors will find an audiobook production option in their Smashwords Dashboard.

2.  Ebook Preorder Adoption Will Continue to Rise – In the 2018 Smashwords Survey that I presented at RT Booklovers this year, we found that 16.7% of new books released at Smashwords during the survey period were released as preorders, up from 12.23% in the 2017 survey.  It may not look like much, but it represented a 37% increase from the prior year.  In 2019 I think we’ll see the adoption rate increase further.  It needs to, because that tiny 16.7% of books accounted for 51% of our top 1,000 bestsellers.  Authors who do preorders earn more sales, and those that don't are squandering their potential!  This is an essential best practice that 80% of indie authors haven’t yet implemented.  If you’re a long time follower of the blog or have read my books, you know I’ve been advocating preorders as a top best practice since 2013.  To learn how to make preorders work for you, listen to episode 8 of the Smart Author Podcast on preorder strategy.

3.  More Authors Will be Tempted to Quit – For the reasons outlined in my introduction, more veteran indie authors will quit publishing in 2019, to be replaced by new, less-experienced authors who are even more subject to exploitation.  If you’re considering quitting, please listen to episode 8 of my podcast episode titled, The Art of Delusion.  The path out of the darkness begins by staying true to your inner light, and by finding joy in the journey of publishing.  Don’t measure your success by dollar sales.  The only way to truly fail in publishing is to quit.  Stay in the game if you can.

4.  Amazon Algorithm Fatigue Sets In  – Indies are obsessed with Amazon’s algorithms, and there’s no shortage of experts who will advise you on how to modify your publishing strategy to please Amazon’s algorithms.  What few people realize, however, is that the obsession with Amazon’s algorithms is taking indies in the wrong direction.  Imagine if all the attention shown to gaming Amazon’s algorithms was instead focused on writing better books?  That would be a true benefit to readers, and a benefit to the author’s long term career.

5.  Amazon Becomes Pay-to-play – In my 2016 April Fools post, I wrote a satire announcing a powerful new book marketing program at Amazon.  It was called Kindle Power Bucks (read Kindle Power Bucks Solves Marketing Challenge) .  Authors would pay Amazon each time a page of their book was read by readers.  The larger your marketing budget, the more readers you could buy.  This dystopian future came closer to reality in 2018 when Amazon started replacing “also bought” shelves with sponsored ad shelves.  Sponsored ads are littered throughout their search results.  Let’s be clear.  When you have to pay a retailer to be seen, that’s a toll.  It’s a tax on your profit margin.  It means you’re not really earning 70% list at Amazon (actually, you never did earn 70%, since they charge a download fee based on the size of your book). This is another way for Amazon to pay authors and publishers less for their books.  Why would Amazon do this?  Is it because this service helps place better reader-pleasing books in front of their customers?  Absolutely not.  This is another way to extract margin concessions from its suppliers, much like the co-op dollars large publishers must pay to have their print books featured on front tables and shelf talkers at physical stores.  Similar to Google Adwords, Amazon Ads pit advertisers against one another as they bid for greater visibility.  Over the long term, this erodes your profitability, because the economics of ad bidding holds that you keep investing more dollars until a dollar invested can’t earn back the dollar in royalties.

6.  More Authors and Readers Will Abandon Facebook – Facebook is in a world of hurt right now.  Users are beginning to realize that Facebook’s business model is all about selling their users’ privacy and attention to the highest bidder.  For authors, this means they hold your readers’ attention hostage so they can sell you ads.   They’ve shown a callous disregard for the toxic content that spreads like wildfire on their site, possibly because they recognize that fake news spreads faster and is more engaging then real news.  Facebook has created an environment that tends to make its users less happy the more time they spend there.  Despite my criticism, I’m hopeful Facebook can reform their ways because there’s still much to love about Facebook, and there’s no other viable alternative yet that can match the better aspects of Facebook.  If you’re considering quitting Facebook, don’t.

7.  Facebook, Amazon and Google Will Face Increased Anti-trust Scrutiny in 2019 – Last year I predicted Amazon would face increased anti-trust scrutiny, and we saw new rumblings in that regard in 2018.  In 2019 those rumblings will intensify, but this time it’ll be around all three of these companies.  These three companies have grown so large and powerful that they’re now stifling innovation outside their walls, and decimating fair competition.  Each of these companies started with fantastic missions, and each has created tremendous value for their users and shareholders thanks to their innovations.  But they’re now so large it’s nearly impossible for new startups to gain a foothold.  It’s another of those hairy, complex problems with no simple solution.  Much of the challenge has to do with how large platforms and marketplaces operate on the internet.  When businesses started moving online thanks to the Internet, it removed geography as a natural regulator on the growth of a business.  These large companies also benefit by a concept known as “network effects,” which means that the more people who join their service or participate in their marketplace, the more useful that service becomes for all its users, and thus the more difficult it is for users to leave that platform for another competitor.  Once you’re locked in, you’re subject to exploitation and dependence. 

8.  Blockchain Hype Subsides – I like new technology.  In my prior career starting in the ‘90s, I ran a Silicon Valley PR firm.  My job was to promote new technology.  There’s good hype and bad hype.  If a product or technology truly solves real world problems, then yay, shout your message from the highest rooftops.  But bad hype is another variety.  Bad hype exaggerates the true potential of a product or technology.  Bad hype is inherently dishonest and disingenuous by over-stating reality. 
Blockchain is one of those technologies with enormous potential for society, and it deserves to be talked about and considered.  It’s the technology that underpins Bitcoin.  There was a lot of hype about Blockchain in 2018, that it would somehow become the panacea to what ails indie authors.  I kicked the tires.  I wanted to believe.  I read lots of articles, asked questions and listened to others I respect so I could understand why they were so excited.  But at the end of the day I still didn’t get it.  Maybe I’m not smart enough.  I do believe Blockchain has potential applications, but those applications are so far out and so nebulous it strikes me as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. 
It reminds me of Bitcoin, which seems like a great digital currency for cybercriminals, but of questionable value to the rest of us. The value of Bitcoin plummeted 70% in 2018.  I think Blockchain for publishing hype will decline 70% in the year ahead as well.  But who knows, I could be wrong.  New technologies have a way of disrupting things overnight.

9.  Ebook Sales Will Rise in 2019 if Major Countries Enter a Recession – Recessions are horrible affairs.  People lose jobs.  Businesses close.  Livelihoods are lost.  But recessions are necessary to the long-term health of any economy, because they help deflate bubbles and rein in excesses. 
The US is now teetering on the verge of entering its first economic recession in nearly a decade.  Recessions tend to be global affairs, since our economy is so inextricably linked to others.  Trouble in one country can tip others over the edge.  The effect of a recession, or even the mere fear of a recession, is that consumers become more frugal.  Books have always represented a low-cost spend for entertainment and knowledge, and ebooks even more so.  A trip to a movie theater might cost you $15 for 1

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 17:28:00 +0000
Smashwords 2018 Year in Review and 2019 Preview
Welcome to my annual Smashwords year in review for 2018 and preview for 2019.

2018 was another productive year for Smashwords.

We achieved several important milestones, delivered on all the development initiatives I outlined in our 2017 year in review, and continued building the foundation for what comes next.

Let’s jump in, starting with milestones:

Smashwords Milestones 2018

Books published – We now publish 507,500 books; up 7.5% from 472,100 at the end of last year.

Words published – We now publish 18 billion words; up 1.2 billion or 7.1% from 16.8 billion a year ago.

Authors/pen names served – We’re now serving 142,200 authors; up 5.1% from 135,175 a year ago.

Smashwords Celebrates 10-year anniversary - Wow, these ten years went fast. Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey.  Read our 10-year anniversary post here.

Smashwords Store Facelift + Multi-dimensional Discovery – In November, the Smashwords home page received its most significant refresh in 10 years when we introduced our new multi-dimensional book discovery interface.  With a single click on a book category, or on a price or word count filter, readers can surface a great selection of books across multiple themed shelves.  In December we added additional shelves to further broaden discoverability.  The shelves are powered by new algorithms designed to automatically curate book recommendations based on how other readers are responding to these books in the Smashwords Store and across the Smashwords distribution network.  Early results have been positive.  In the first 30 days following the launch of the new home page, sales increased 25% over the prior 30 days.

Annual Smashwords Sales Meet Multi-dimensional Book Discovery – On Christmas Day we launched our second annual Smashwords End of Year Sale.  This is the first time one of our sales has taken advantage of our new multi-dimensional search.  Readers are responding with increased downloads and purchases.  The sale ends tomorrow, January 1st, at 11:59pm Pacific time.

Enhancements to our "Classic" Interface – From the start of our development for the new Smashwords home page, we knew we wanted to keep our classic interface as another option for readers.  Throughout the year we made a number of enhancements to the classic interface.  We introduced new options to search for Special Deals expiring soon, box sets and books in series.  We revamped our algorithm for "Highest Rated" to reduce unfair gaming so we could present readers more relevant recommendations.

Improvements to Coupon Manager - We updated the interface of Coupon Manager to make it easier for authors and publishers with a lot of books to manage their coupons.

Bulk enrollment for Smashwords Site-wide sales - We added an option to enable authors and publishers with large catalogs to enroll all their books in our special site-wide sales, including Read an Ebook Week, The Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, and our Smashwords End of Year Sale.   This new feature led to more books in each of these sales, more earnings for authors and more reader happiness.

Updates to Book Pages – We updated book listing pages with larger cover images.  We made it easier for readers to view all the books in a series (previously, series books were simply mixed in to the author's catalog of books).  We made it easier to jump to the profile pages of co-authors.

New Erotica Filters – We introduced new preference settings that give readers more control over the types of erotica that appear in their book searches.  With a click of the "Filtering" button, readers can now choose to omit erotica, show only mainstream erotica, or show all books including both mainstream and taboo erotica.

Improved Point-of-sale Merchandising in the Smashwords Shopping Cart – We made a number of updates to the Smashwords shopping cart to encourage customers to add more books by the same author.  For example, if a customer purchases a book in a series, we make it easy for them to add additional titles in the same series.

Smashwords Partners with Findaway for Audiobook Production and Distribution  – Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of the book industry.  In March Smashwords entered the audiobook market in partnership with Findaway Voices.  Authors can launch audiobook production directly from their Smashwords Dashboard.

Track “Favorites” and Smashwords Alert Subscriptions – Ever since our launch ten years ago, we’ve offered the ability for readers to “favorite” their favorite authors.  When a reader does this, the author shows up on the reader’s personal profile page as one of their favorites.  In 2016 we introduced Smashwords Alerts, which allows readers to subscribe to daily email notifications when one of their favorite authors releases a new title.  In 2018 we added a feature in the Smashwords Dashboard that allows authors and publishers to track the number of favorites AND the number of Smashwords Alert subscribers.  Click the “Who’s Favorited You” option and you can view all the people who favorited you, along with a link to their public profile page, their country, and any social media coordinates they choose to share.  Encourage your fans to favorite you and subscribe to your Smashwords Alerts.

Smashwords Authors Enter Walmart via Kobo – 2018 was the year that Kobo opened up Walmart to ebook sales, which means Smashwords ebooks are now available at Walmart as well.  Despite all the excitement, ebooks at Walmart are a work in progress.  It remains to be seen if Walmart will take the necessary steps to fully embrace the opportunity.  For example, per Walmart policy, they don’t allow a price of FREE for ebooks, which means their customers don’t have access to many of the most popular series starters.  That glaring blind spot will need to be addressed if they want to become a serious player in ebooks.

Smashwords Partners with Romance Daily News – In July, Smashwords unveiled a partnership with Romance Daily News, a new online magazine targeting romance readers.  Each day RDN offers its subscribers access to a free "Book of the Day" ebook that normally carries a price.  Smashwords also supplies RDN with daily indie bestseller lists across multiple romance and non-romance categories.

New Smashwords Book Marketing Guide – The updated 2018 Smashwords Book Marketing Guide now offers over 65 book marketing ideas, all free to implement.  It includes bonus sections on social media strategy, how to write a press release and how to build your brand by earning free mainstream press coverage.

Smart Author Podcast – We released five new episodes of the Smart Author Podcast, all focused on evergreen best practices that help authors make their books more discoverable and desirable.  If you’ve listened to all 16 episodes and have suggestions for additional topics you’d like me to tackle, please suggest in the comments below!

Smashwords Plans for 2019

Before I jump into our plans for 2019, I’d like to talk about our values at Smashwords, and how these values shape our development roadmap.

Smashwords has always operated our business with a higher purpose in mind.  Our higher purpose is to advance the interests of our indie authors and publishers. We believe indies are the future of publishing, and we appreciate that you’ve chosen Smashwords as your partner to blaze this new future.

We support indies by creating incredible publishing tools that help you publish and distribute with pride, professionalism and success.  We advocate for our authors’ and publishers’ interests.  We fight to protect your independence at a time when some in the industry work to strip you of your independence.

There’s a selfish motive to our benevolence.  If we help you succeed for the long term, we’ll succeed in the long term too.  We think this keeps our interests aligned with your interests.

Our priorities for 2019 reflect these values.  I'll list below what we're focusing on.  For obvious reasons, I'll need to keep this high level and in broad strokes.  Lots of surprises planned.

What to Expect from Smashwords in 2019


Thank you for choosing Smashwords as your publishing and distribution partner.  

On behalf of the entire team at Smashwords, we look forward to the privilege of serving you in 2019!
__

Be sure to check out my other annual end of year post, 2019 Book Industry Predictions:  The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 23:24:00 +0000
Smashwords Unveils New Book Discovery Interface; Surpasses 500,000 Published Books
I'm excited to share two big pieces of news with you today.  I'll tackle the headline items in reverse order since one is the preface to the other.

The first news is that Smashwords catalog has grown to over 500,000 books!

Thank you to all Smashwords authors, publishers and readers for helping us achieve this milestone.

When I founded Smashwords ten years ago, the mission was simple:  I wanted to democratize publishing.  I wanted to make it fast, free and easy for writers to self-publish ebooks like a pro.

We created professional-quality tools that enabled writers to bypass traditional publishing gatekeepers, and we offered a simple storefront so our authors could sell their ebooks directly to readers.

The year after our launch we turned our attention to distribution, where we made it possible for major ebook stores to efficiently procure, stock and sell ebooks from our indie authors and publishers.  And then we helped open up the library market to indie ebooks.

True to our mission of democratization, for the last ten years our little Smashwords Store has displayed books in a style that what we affectionately refer to as the “firehose.”  Books were displayed as they came in, with new books appearing at the top of the home page mere seconds after upload by the author or publisher. 

That deliberate design decision was controversial.  No major ebook seller displays every new self-published ebook on their home page – warts and all – as they arrive to the store.  I can understand why.  It’s not the best way to sell books!

Yet I wanted to give every book and every author their 15 minutes (or more) of fame so they could find their first readers.  I'm sure many of our current USA Today and NY Times bestselling authors found some of their very first readers thanks to the firehose. 

Although some Smashwords Store customers enjoy inspecting every book as they come in, the firehose method is suboptimal for most readers. 

The advantage of the firehose approach was that it created a level playing field for all authors, and that's why we stuck by it.  The downside of the firehose is that with zero home page curation, our home page could look quite ugly at times, and that’s putting it kindly. Often, our home page is downright scary, especially when a string of books with poorly designed covers come in all at once.

In short, my stubborn commitment to democratization meant we haven’t been putting our best foot forward, especially for first time visitors to the Smashwords website.  We weren’t adequately showcasing the best of our best from among our over 100,000 authors and publishers.

We’ve always known we could sell more books in our store with curation, yet the prospect of curation butted up against our core mission.  We’re not here to judge.  We don’t want to gatekeep.

We’ve always believed that readers are the best curators.  We also believe in the value of diversity and choice.  One reader’s life-changing masterpiece can be another reader’s dreck.

We further rationalized the firehose (both in internal staff debates and external communications with authors) by pointing out the fact that over 90% of our authors’ sales have always come from our distribution to our awesome retail partners such as Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Scribd, as well as to the library outlets we supply. 

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, ebook sales at major retailers in recent years have been anemic at best, and some have experienced declines.  Yet over the last couple years, sales in the Smashwords Store have increased, and that’s despite the limitations of our firehose approach on the home page, and despite our primary focus on helping our major retailer partners sell more of our authors' books.

What is it about our store that caused it to buck this industry-wide trend?  I suspect the reason is that despite our store’s rough edges, it offers several unique features that readers love.

Readers love that all our books are DRM-free, which means the reader can enjoy their purchases their way on any device they own now or in the future.  Readers also love Smashwords Coupons, our best known and most popular feature, and they tell us they also appreciate our multi-format ebooks, and our myriad flexible search, discovery and sampling features that help readers find their next great read.

Now that we’ve hit 500,000 books, we’ve achieved a critical mass of titles that allows us to do more with our store.  We can provide these loyal customers more options for book discovery.

Introducing an Improved Smashwords Store

After many months of planning and design, today we unveiled the most significant change ever to the Smashwords home page.

We think the new design strikes a good balance between democratization and usability.  We make it easier than ever for readers to discover the best books at Smashwords, as judged by their fellow readers.

We’re also excited to keep the original "classic" interface as an additional option for readers who want to continue taking advantage of its special powers.  And we’re already considering additional experimental interface options we can introduce in the future that will put more readers closer to their next great read.

The new interface unveiled today retains the best elements of the classic design, including the firehose.

Here’s a summary of some of the enhancements you’ll find today on the front page of the Smashwords Store:

Books in Shelves

The firehose, which previously displayed all new books as they arrived, is replaced by nine new “shelves,” offering a more conventional book discovery experience.  But since we’re never satisfied with the conventional, if you scratch below the surface you’ll find we’ve added some interesting twists you won't find anywhere else.

Whereas previously we only displayed 20 books at a time, now we can display up to 45 by leveraging horizontal shelf displays.  We’re also emphasizing covers over the prior text-heavy design.

Each shelf is organized around a different book discovery theme.  The themes, in order of presentation, include:

Multi-Dimensional Book Discovery

It’s now easier than ever for readers to discover incredible books right on the Smashwords home page.  At first glance, our shelf design might look similar to the shelves you’d expect at any other major ebook retailer.  They’re different. 

These shelves are dynamic in that they allow the reader to customize the all nine shelves' contents with a single click.  When you first visit the home page you’ll see all nine categories of shelves, drawing upon the best of the best at Smashwords as judged by your fellow readers.

But what if you’re a fan of fantasy, and you want to find the best fantasy books?  Simply click “Fantasy” in the navigation pane on the left side of the page, and voila, all nine shelves are populated with with fantasy books, where you can browse a great selection from multiple dimensions.

If you prefer longer fantasy books, or books under a certain price, you can drill down further to the best books that will interest you across the nine shelf themes.  In short, you retain the most useful of the prior search options but now we’re giving you multi-dimensional results.

With thousands of book categories and subcategories, eleven filters for price and book length and nine shelves, we calculate there are over one million unique search combinations customers can use to drill deep to discover the best of the best from among our 500,000+ books.

The home page shelves are also intelligent in that they know not to recommend books you’ve already purchased at Smashwords, making it easier than ever to discover new books and new authors.

Reader-Powered Algorithms

The shelves are controlled by new algorithms that determine which books appear in which shelves, and in which order.  These algorithms are fully automated, and powered by real readers who are spending real dollars.  As a distributor of ebooks, we have the ability to leverage vast amounts of sales data to identify the best Smashwords books that match reader interests.  Take a look at the new Smashwords home page.  I trust you’ll agree it looks much improved.

Readers Gain Enhanced Control over Erotica

Erotica has always been a popular category for Smashwords authors and customers.  Our catalog of legal erotica is probably one of the broadest collections anywhere.  Starting today and for the next visit by all future first-time visitors, we prompt you to select your erotica preferences.

The default setting, if you don't make a selection, is no erotica.   This has been our policy for many years.

But now we give you even greater control.

Our previous book filtering options were unable to accommodate those many readers who wanted mainstream erotica - the erotica carried by all major ebook stores -  but didn’t want to view erotica that delved into more taboo subjects.  Previously, your only choice was to block it all or see it all.

Now you can choose which types appear on the Smashwords home page and in your search results.

If you want no erotica, only mainstream erotica, or all erotica, those preferences are your choice.  You'll find this option under the "Filtering" button that appears prominently near the top of the page.

Click the (i) next to the filtering option to learn more about the filtering options, or to view definitions of the different erotica types so you can make a more informed decision.

These new erotica preferences are enabled by our initiative starting in September 2017 that required all erotica and erotic romance titles to be properly labeled by their authors and publishers if they contained taboo themes.  If you’re curious to learn more about our certification initiative and how it benefits readers and authors alike, check out the announcement here, Smashwords Implements New Classifications for Erotic Fiction.

Adult Fiction Books Gain Increased Visibility

When you walk into your local bookstore, most of the books you see are adult fiction and non-fiction.  Adult is not a four-letter word.  Adult doesn’t necessarily mean that the book contains steamy sex scenes.  Many adult fiction books contain themes or violence that would be inappropriate for minors, even though the books aren’t promising titillation.

Yet due to the blunt nature of our previous preference settings, readers would often block general adult fiction by accident when they really meant to block erotica.  Effective immediately, these non-erotic adult books will be visible to all customers of the Smashwords Store regardless of their erotica preferences.

We believe this change will give customers access to more of the books they’d expect to find in any favorite bookstore.  It’ll obviously benefit our authors too.

"Highest Rated" Listings Now More Relevant

This is an update we implemented in August but haven’t had an opportunity to announce yet.  As mentioned above, we believe readers are the best curators.  Readers manifest their curation through their purchases, reviews and word of mouth.

We’ve always allowed readers to search books and filter book results based on which were the highest rated by fellow Smashwords customers.  Up until August 16, 2018, we listed our “Highest Rated” books ranked simply by their average average review rating, with the highest averages appearing at the top of the list.

This meant that a book with only one five-star review could be ranked above a book with 49 reviews averaging a still-impressive 4.9 stars out of five.  That wasn’t fair to authors or readers, and it also led to a lot of authors attempting to game the review system.

There were even bad authors who’d torpedo other authors' review ratings with a single four-star review so their book could appear higher.  Such bad seeds were banned from Smashwords, yet as you can imagine it becomes a game of whack-a-mole.

The new Highest Rated listings still show the average review score and the number of reviews, but their listing order is now determined by a new multi-faceted algorithm that weights various factors for credibility.  I won’t go into the factors for obvious reasons, but just know it’s more difficult to game.  And as always, we have a zero tolerance policy on gaming. Gaming represents a grave disservice to fellow readers and authors.

This new algorithm applies to the classic interface, which is where you'll “Highest Rated” filter resides. 

What's Next for the Smashwords Store?

We still have a long list of improvements we want to make with the store.

In the months ahead you'll see us continue to add new shelves and other fun enhancements based on reader and author feedback.

Although we're excited about the improvements, we've only scratched the surface of what's possible.

Let us know what you want to see next!  Click the "?" icon at the top of any Smashwords web page to share your suggestions for our store.  I'll read every suggestion.


Tips for Authors – How to Sell More in the Smashwords Store

I expect some authors and publishers will have questions about what they can do to maximize the visibility and sales of their books under the new home page interface. 

I’ll put this in Q&A form.

Q:  How can I improve the odds of my book appearing in home page features?

There are several things you can do here, ranging from the obvious to not so obvious. 
  1. Publish with Smashwords - If your book isn’t at Smashwords, we can’t sell it in our store! 

  2. Real sales matter - Our algorithms are heavily weighted toward actual sales at Smashwords, Smashwords retailer partners and to libraries. 
     
  3. Release your next book as an ebook preorder - Books released as preorders sell significantly more copies than those that are not.  Preorders you earn across the Smashwords distribution network will boost your odds of appearing in multiple shelf categories, especially the top shelf, "Featured New Releases." Listen to Episode 4 of the Smart Author Podcast to learn how to make ebook preorders work for you. 
     
  4. Distribute your books with Smashwords - Your sales at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive and others will improve your placement in each shelf.  If you’re not distributing with Smashwords, we can’t give you credit for your sales.  
     
  5. Adopt and continuously refine your best practices - This is where professional bestselling indies are separated from the rest.  If you think you’ve adopted all the best practices and you’re done, think again.  Here are two free resources that will increase your sales at every retailer: 
    A.  The Smart Author Podcast – Start with the first episode and then listen to the rest in sequential order.  The Smart Author Podcast represents a free masterclass in ebook publishing and marketing.  It guides you step-by-step from the very basics of ebook publishing to more advanced topics.  Listen for free at Apple Podcasts or any other major podcast directory.  For direct links to the most popular podcast sources – or to listen right now over your web browser or read full edited transcripts of each episode – visit https://smashwords.com/podcast

    B.  Smashwords Book Marketing Guide - The new 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide identifies 65 free marketing ideas that will help you make your books more discoverable and desirable to readers.  If you’d rather listen that read, the entire book is serialized on the Smart Author Podcast starting with Episode 10
  6. Run promotions using Smashwords Special Deals.  It’s super simple to launch a Special Deal.  Click to your Dashboard’s Coupon Manager, create a coupon, and mark it as a public coupon.  Two of the nine shelves feature books that are drawn from the Special Deals catalog.
     
  7. Check your categorization - When you upload a book to Smashwords, we ask for categorization information.  Some authors make the mistake of giving their book a single categorization when dual categorization is usually more appropriate. For example, if you write Christian Romance, you might want your book to be categorized under fiction: romance: christian and fiction: romance: clean & wholesome.  Each categorization opens up the opportunity for your book to appear on more customers searches.  Always choose the most specific categorization that accurately reflects the targeted reader who will enjoy your book the most.  For example, fiction: romance: paranormal is the virtual shelf a paranormal romance fans would visit rather than fiction: romance: general.
     
  8. Promote your book at all stores - On your website, blog and in other social media promotions, provide a direct hyperlink to your books at all retailers served by Smashwords, including the Smashwords Store.  Each book you sell at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble and Kobo and other Smashwords distribution partners will also help you sell more in the Smashwords Store, because sales there will raise your visibility in the Smashwords Store.  And each sale you earn at Smashwords can get you listed on the Smashwords home page in the “Recent Purchases at Smashwords” shelf. 

Q:  Can I contact the merchandising team at Smashwords to get placed on a shelf?

No.  Each book’s placement in the shelf is determined by actual customer sales, and by the reader’s search preferences.  See the prior question on how to maximize your odds. By basing placement on merit, as measured by sales and our other secret sauce factors, it creates a level playing field for all authors.  Your selection isn’t based on whether someone at Smashwords thinks your books are worthy, or is a personal fan of yours.

Q:  Can I pay to have my book featured on the Smashwords home page, or advertised there?

No.  We don't want to sell you advertising.  We want to sell your books. 

Q:  I’m friends with someone who works at Smashwords.  Can they help me get featured on the Smashwords home page?

No, sorry, no friends and family shortcuts.  Please refer to the tips above.

Q:  Can you tell me more about the algorithms that drive each of the shelves above?

I’ve shared quite a bit above already.  We want to discourage attempts at gaming the algorithms so we’re keeping the exact ingredients of our secret sauce secret.  We plan to continually adjust the algorithms as we work to do an ever-better job at surfacing books that will thrill customers who shop at the Smashwords Store.  We also don’t want to encourage writers to waste their precious time obsessing over how to please algorithms. Instead, focus your energy on pleasing readers and all else will follow. 

Q:  How much can I expect to sell in the Smashwords Store?

Keep your expectations low.  Although hundreds of thousands of readers pass through our store’s virtual doors each month, our store is still relatively small.  At present, on average, sales in the Smashwords store typically range between what our authors sell at Scribd and Kobo, and about half of what they sell at Barnes & Noble.  Every author’s mileage will vary.  Bottom line, our store is a small retailer but one you shouldn’t miss.  You’re likely to pick up new readers who wouldn’t find you anywhere else.

Q:  I work at a large publisher with thousands of high-quality titles.  Can I deliver my books to Smashwords in bulk via ONIX?

At present, no, but please drop us a line (next item below has contact info) if you have a proposal for our consideration.  In the meantime, please upload books one at a time per normal.

Q:  Where can I provide feedback or suggestions for the Smashwords home page, or for new shelf categories and themes?

We want to hear from you!  We’re excited about the improved discovery experience for the Smashwords home page, and we look forward to enhancing it further in the future.  Please click the “?” icon at top of any Smashwords page to send us your comments and suggestions.  We always appreciate your feedback, positive or negative.


###



Tue, 08 May 2018 16:00:00 +0000
Smashwords Partners with Romance Daily News
Smashwords has partnered with Romance Daily News, a new online magazine for romance readers that launches this week at the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference in Denver.

Romance Daily News (RDN) represents an exciting new book marketing opportunity for all romance authors and publishers, and a great opportunity for readers to discover the very best in indie romance.

This is a multi-faceted, multi-year partnership, leveraging many of the unique capabilities and features of the Smashwords ebook distribution platform.

Smashwords will provide daily romance bestseller lists and will manage nominations and fulfillment for the magazine's free Book of the Day giveaway.  Let's look at these items one at a time:

RDN/Smashwords Book of the Day 

Each day of the year, RDN will offer its subscribers a free romance ebook from a top-selling author.  All featured titles normally carry a price, making this an exclusive deal for RDN subscribers.  For series titles where the first book in the series is already free, featured books will offer book #2 in the series for free and both titles will be promoted.

If you're a romance reader, you'll want to subscribe to RDN.  It's carries an introductory price of only $9.99 per year, though the price will increase in the future.

The first 90 daily featured slots have already been filled, many of which are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.  Some of the authors scheduled for Book of the Day features in the first 90 days include R.L. Mathewson, Quinn Loftis, Katie Ashley, Amy Miles, Opal Carew, Sam Crescent, Karen Lynch, Leeanna Morgan, Natasha Preston, Nicky Charles, Cynthia Sax, Kym Grosso, Elizabeth Reyes, Emma Hart, Brenda K. Davies and many other international bestsellers.  The first featured author is Cecilia Tan.

The Book of the Day feature will utilize the Smashwords Coupon feature which will allow RDN subscribers to download the book for free, and will allow authors to track redemptions.

Each featured Book of the Day will be accompanied by an author Q&A interview, powered by Smashwords Interviews, and edited by Lori Perkins, the publisher of Romance Daily News.

Featured authors are selected by the Smashwords merchandising team and Lori Perkins.  At present, the nomination process is invitation-only.  First round invitations were based on the author's sales track record at Smashwords, and we expect future rounds will weigh heavily on author track record as well.  We're looking for proven reader-pleasing authors to feature.  By focusing on track record, we can eliminate subjectivity (we love all our authors!) and surface proven reader-pleasers as voted upon with real readers' dollars, downloads and preorders.

Two tips on how to maximize your odds of landing an invitation for future Book of the Day slots:
  1. Release your next book as a preorder, with the longest possible runway.  This will help your sales.  In the new 2018 Smashwords Survey (I revealed the findings at RT Booklovers a couple months ago but haven't released them here on the blog yet), we found that 75% of all romance sales for new releases went to the 29% of romance titles that were released as preorders.  Books released as preorders are dominating bestseller lists!  Learn more about preorders and preorder strategy by listening to Episode 4 of the Smart Author Podcast (run time only 23 minutes).
  2. Distribute with Smashwords.   If you're not distributing your preorders and backlist with Smashwords, we can't count your aggregated sales across our network, and you can’t create the Smashwords Coupons and Smashwords Interview which are essential components of your Book of Daypromotion.  And it should go without saying that if you have books in KDP-Select exclusivity, we can't feature them, nor can we credit those sales toward your track record.

RDN/Smashwords Bestseller Lists

In what we believe is an industry-first, each day of the week, RDN will run a different bestseller list, supplied by Smashwords, based on aggregated sales results from across the Smashwords distribution network (i.e. Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Smashwords Store, OverDrive).  These lists are dynamic, in that they'll refresh each week to reflect the latest sales data.

The daily lists will fall under the following nine categories (we're likely to add more categories in the future):

These lists, with buylinks pointing to iBooks, B&N and Kobo for preorders, and to the Smashwords Store for other books, will make it easy for RDN readers to discover, preorder and purchase the best in indie romance.

All authors and publishers that distribute with Smashwords are eligible to earn spots on these lists based on their aggregated sales performance across the Smashwords distribution network.  This means the same tips above for landing a Book of the Day feature are the same tips that can help you land in these high-profile bestseller lists.

Subscribe to Romance Daily News at https://www.romancedailynews.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RomanceDailyNews  

Enjoy!




Fri, 27 Apr 2018 20:07:00 +0000
Smashwords Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
This past Sunday marked ten years since the public launch of Smashwords on May 6, 2008.

Wow, what a difference ten years makes.

Ten years ago, the book publishing industry looked quite a bit different than it does today:
Search All Amazon* UK* DE* FR* JP* CA* CN* IT* ES* IN* BR* MX
Search Results from «Озон» Художественная литература, новинки.
 
Фредрик Бакман Вторая жизнь Уве En man som heter Ove
Вторая жизнь Уве
На первый взгляд Уве самый неуживчивый чело­век на свете. Он, как и многие из нас, считает, что его окружают преимущественно идиоты – соседи, непра­вильно паркующие машины; продавцы, говорящие на птичьем языке; бюрократы, отравляющие жизнь нор­мальным людям...
Но у придирчивого ворчливого педанта – большое доброе сердце. И когда молодая семья новых соседей своим автомобилем случайно повреждает его почтовый ящик, это происшествие становится началом невероят­но трогательной истории об утраченной любви, неожи­данной дружбе, бездомных котах и древнем искусстве сдавать назад на автомобиле с прицепом.
Истории о том, как сильно жизнь одного человека может повлиять на жизни многих других....

Цена:
512 руб

Олдос Хаксли О дивный новый мир Brave New World
О дивный новый мир
О ДИВНЫЙ НОВЫЙ МИР - изысканная и остроумная антиутопия о генетически программируемом "обществе потребления", в котором разворачивается трагическая история Дикаря - "Гамлета" этого мира....

Цена:
189 руб

Джек Кэнфилд, Марк В. Хансен, Эми Ньюмарк Куриный бульон для души. 101 лучшая история Chicken Soup for the Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years
Куриный бульон для души. 101 лучшая история
В детстве, когда вы болели, ваша бабушка давала вам куриный бульон. Сегодня питание и забота нужны вашей душе. Маленькие истории из "Куриного бульона" - исцелят душевные раны и укрепят дух, дадут вашим мечтам новые крылья и откроют секрет самого большого счастья - счастья делиться и любить.
Маленький мальчик из простой семьи знакомится с тремя президентами. Мать-одиночка заводит Книгу Желаний - и все ее мечты исполняются. Неудавшаяся актриса обретает истинное счастье, узнав что у нее... рак. Самая красивая девушка города влюбляется в горбуна после двух фраз. Учительница устраивает похороны вместо урока. 13-летняя девочка продает 45 526 коробки печенья, чтобы осуществить мамину мечту. И другие 95 поразительных историй, от которых вы не сможете оторваться".

БОЛЕЕ 500 000 ПРОДАННЫХ КОПИЙ

ФЕНОМЕН В ИСТОРИИ КНИГОИЗДАНИЯ

САМАЯ ПРОДАВАЕМАЯ В МИРЕ СЕРИЯ

История успеха:
1993 Год: Книга, которую никто не хотел издавать / #1 New York Times Bestseller / 20 000 проданных копий
2003 Год: + 180 новых книг в серии / Серия-бестселлер / 80 000 проданных копий
2013 Год: Около 250 книг в серии / Самая продаваемая серия в истории / Более 500 000 000 проданных экземпляров

Как все начиналось
История создания книги "Куриный бульон" вдохновляет не меньше, чем маленькие истории, из которых она состоит.
Джек Кэнфилд и Марк Хансен, оба популярные мотивационные спикеры, любили свои выступления "приправить" парочкой вдохновляющих историй. После тренингов многие обращались к ним: "А где можно найти ту историю про девочку-скаута? Я бы купил книгу ее сыну". "А та история про парня и щенка - ее можно где-то прочитать?".
В течение года Кэнфилд и Хансен записывали истории, которые пережили сами или услышали от знакомых, и когда их набралось 101 - разослали по издательствам. Они получили 144 отказа.
Тогда Джек и Марк решили найти покупателей еще до публикации книги, в надежде переубедить издателей. Они рассказывали о ней своим знакомым и слушателям тренингов, и всех, кто был заинтересован, просила написать расписку о покупке будущей книги. Когда таких расписок набралось более 20 000, Джек и Марк снова обратились к издателям.
Книгу напечатали, и все, кто давал обещание, купили ее. А дальше... продажи встали. Джек и Марк не хотели сдаваться. У них была цель - продать 1, 5 миллиона за 1,5 года.
Тогда они придумали "Правило пяти": ежедневно совершать по пять активных шагов по продвижению и продаже книги. С этого момента Кэнфилд и Хансен каждый день рассылали по 5 экземпляров журналистам, голливудским звездам, делали по 5 звонков руководителям компаний с предложением подарить книги сотрудникам. В итоге через 1,5 года было продано 1.3 миллиона экземпляров.
Издатель попросил написать продолжение.
Со временем книга, которую отвергли 144 издательства, стала одним из самых успешных проектов в истории книгоиздания....

Цена:
282 руб

Джоджо Мойес Всё та же я
Всё та же я
Луиза Кларк приезжает в Нью-Йорк, готовая начать новую жизнь. И попадает в другой мир, в чужой дом, полный секретов. Радужные мечты разбиваются о жестокую реальность, но Луиза со свойственным ей чувством юмора не унывает. Она твердо знает, что рано или поздно найдет способ обрести себя. А еще обязательно получит ответ на вопрос: кого же она на самом деле любит?..

Впервые на русском языке!...

Цена:
359 руб

Дэниел Киз Цветы для Элджернона Flowers for Algernon
Цветы для Элджернона
"Цветы для Элджернона" Дэниела Киза входят в программу обязательного чтения в американских школах. Это единственная история в жанре научной фантастики, автор которой был дважды награжден сначала за рассказ, а потом за роман с одним и тем же названием, героем, сюжетом.
Тридцатитрехлетний Чарли Гордон - умственно отсталый. При этом у него есть работа, друзья и непреодолимое желание учиться. Он соглашается принять участие в опасном научном эксперименте в надежде стать умным...
Эта фантастическая история обладает поразительной психологической силой и заставляет задуматься над общечеловеческими вопросами нравственности: имеем ли мы право ставить друг над другом эксперименты, к каким результатам это может привести и какую цену мы готовы заплатить за то, чтобы стать "самым умным"? А одиноким?
На вопросы, которые поднимали еще М.Булгаков в "Собачьем сердце" и Дж.Лондон в "Мартине Идене", Дэниел Киз дает свой однозначный ответ....

Цена:
189 руб

Мариам Петросян Дом, в котором...
Дом, в котором...
На окраине города, среди стандартных новостроек, стоит Се­рый Дом, в котором живут Сфинкс, Слепой, Лорд, Табаки, Македонский, Черный и многие другие. Неизвестно, действительно ли Лорд происходит из благородного рода драконов, но вот Слепой действительно слеп, а Сфинкс - мудр. Табаки, конечно, не шакал, хотя и любит поживиться чужим добром. Для каждого в Доме есть своя кличка, и один день в нем порой вмещает столько, сколько нам, в Наружности, не прожить и за целую жизнь. Каждого Дом прини­мает или отвергает. Дом хранит уйму тайн, и банальные скелеты в шкафах - лишь самый понятный угол того незримого мира, ку­да нет хода из Наружности, где перестают действовать привычные законы пространства-времени.
Дом - это нечто гораздо большее, чем интернат для детей, от которых отказались родители. Дом - это их отдельная вселенная....

Цена:
509 руб

Ирвинг Стоун Жажда жизни
Жажда жизни
Винсент Ван Гог — гениальный безумец, при жизни испытавший и презрение критиков живописи, и полное непонимание собратьев по кисти, а после смерти признанный великим художником. Его манера писать казалась странной и нелепой даже привыкшим к творческим экспериментам обитателям Монмартра. Его либо равнодушно отвергали, либо цинично использовали женщины. Над ним посмеивались друзья. Его жалели родные... Именно Ван Гогу посвящен самый известный биографический роман Ирвинга Стоуна, который выдержал более 30 изданий только на родном языке и был переведен на 30 иностранных языков. В процессе его создания Стоун, по его собственным словам, "прошел пешком по югу Франции, жил в психиатрической больнице, куда поместили Ван Гога, и, наконец, спал в той же самой комнате и на той же постели в маленькой гостинице в Овере в годовщину его смерти"...

Лучшие книги для подростков – статья на OZON Гид....

Цена:
202 руб

Семёнова М. Братья. Книга 2. Царский витязь. Том 1
Братья. Книга 2. Царский витязь. Том 1
Беда наслала на землю вечную зиму и оставила много сирот, родства не помнящих. Киян-море вздыбилось и смело города Андархайны. Чертоги вождей спрятались в глубине, согретой теплом земных недр, беднота осталась мёрзнуть на поверхности. Настали тяжкие времена, обильные скорбью утрат...

Минули годы после Беды. В чужой семье, в глухой деревушке вырос чудом спасённый царевич Светел, наследник некогда могущественной империи. И когда ему сравнялось пятнадцать, решил искать доли в воинской дружине, чтобы найти и спасти любимого старшего брата Сквару. Его насильно увели из семьи мораничи, и с тех пор родные ничего не слышали о нём. «Я обрёкся родительского сына в дом вернуть. За то, что вырастили, хоть так отдарить...» - думает Светел. Но что, если его долг совсем в другом? Да и узнает ли он брата? Ныне Сквара, что чёрный ворон, невидим в темноте...

Мария Семёнова: «Сразу чувствуется фальшь, если автор не разбирается в теме» – статья на OZON Гид....

Цена:
389 руб

Федор Достоевский Идиот
Идиот
"Главная идея... - писал Ф.М.Достоевский о своем романе "Идиот", - изобразить положительно-прекрасного человека. Труднее этого нет ничего на свете..." Не для того ли писатель явил миру "князя-Христа", чтобы мы не забывали: "Страдание есть главнейший и, может быть, единственный закон бытия всего человечества".
Каждое новое поколение по-своему воспринимает классику и пытается дать собственные ответы на вечные вопросы бытия. Об этом свидетельствуют и известные экранизации романа, его сценические версии. В России запоминающиеся образы князя Мышкина создали Ю.Яковлев, И.Смоктуновский, Е.Миронов....

Цена:
155 руб

Сара Джио Назад к тебе Back to You
Назад к тебе
Когда-то общественность потрясла история Шарлотты, которая попала в кораблекрушение во время медового месяца и вернулась домой лишь спустя два года. Она провела много времени в открытом море, а затем на необитаемом острове в компании нелюдимого мужчины по имени Грэй, благодаря которому смогла выжить.
Спустя много лет Шарлотта находит на берегу послание в бутылке. Это невероятно, но из него следует, что Грэй все еще ждет ее на острове, и, по его мнению, с момента их расставания прошли считаные дни......

Цена:
370 руб

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