By Mark Coker, Smashwords

For each of the last six years, we’ve published our annual Smashwords Survey here on the blog.

Now, for the first time, the Smashwords Survey is available in episode 7 of the Smart Author Podcast.

To compile the Survey, we crunch millions of dollars worth of actual retail and library sales data, aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network, and then we ask questions of the data.

It’s always a fun experience to discover new insights.

The goal of the Survey is to identify author-controllable factors that can than make ebooks more discoverable, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.

Although we can’t quantitatively measure book quality, or even the quality of a cover image, there are numerous other factors that can be measured. The Survey helps us identify the habits and best practices of the bestselling authors and books.

If you want to travel in same orbit as bestselling authors, learn from what they’re doing. Learn what works and what doesn’t.

One of the most powerful benefits of our approach to analyzing this data is that it’s aggregated.

Although you can study what a single favorite bestselling author is doing, that’s just one data point. Every author will have slightly different results.

With aggregated data, we can identify important factors with greater confidence.

For example, I’ll often talk to authors who’ll tell me they tried preorders once and they didn’t work, or they didn’t work for an author friend, so now they just upload the day of release. That’s an unfortunate mistake, but it’s not a big surprise.

Most authors don’t do preorders yet. For this 12-month Survey period, we found that only about 12% of authors released their books as preorders. Yet this small minority of books released as preorder dramatically outperformed all other books. Once you look at the data (or listen to it below), it’ll probably change your mind about preorders.

I’m excited to share this podcast episode with you because in all prior six years, the only time I presented the findings live was at the RT Booklovers convention, which where I release the Survey’s findings each year.

Although I blog about the findings and share the full presentation online, I’ve always wanted to make the findings more accessible to more authors. Now that I’m doing the Smart Author Podcast, for the first time I’m able to bring you this year’s findings as audio.

As I was working to transform the visual presentation into this audio presentation, I added new, never-before-released findings that weren’t in the original release. So even if you already studied the Survey we released earlier this year, you’ll learn new insight from the podcast presentation.

Enjoy!

Here’s where you can listen and subscribe

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

TuneIn

Google Play Music

Overcast

YouTube (audio)

iHeartRadio

Libsyn

Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

More information:

Download the original 2017 Smashwords Survey presentation
For full transcript of this episode, click here.

By Mark Coker, Smashwords

Public libraries represent a promising sales opportunity for most indie authors.

In Episode 6 of the Smart Author Podcast, out today, you’ll learn how to market your indie ebook to public libraries.

Although sales of indie ebooks to libraries are much lower than sales through retail, the library ebook market is growing whereas sales through most retailers are flat to down.

Libraries are engines of book discovery. Library patrons often discover their new favorite authors through a library checkout, and many of the patrons will go on to purchase other books by the same author at retail. If you want to sell more ebooks through retail, sell more ebooks to libraries.

There are over 9,000 public libraries in the United Stated, and over 16,000 combined in the English-speaking countries of Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Worldwide there are over 250,000 public libraries.

In Episode 6 of the Smart Author Podcast you’ll learn how librarians discover, curate, acquire, manage and check out ebooks. You’ll learn the mindset of librarians, and how everything they do is razor focused on serving their patrons. You’ll learn six marketing tips that will help get your ebooks purchased by more libraries.

If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe to the podcast at your favorite source below, and please share with friends!

Where to Listen Now

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

TuneIn

Google Play Music

Overcast

YouTube (audio)

iHeartRadio

Libsyn

Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

Enjoy!

By Mark Coker, Smashwords

At Smashwords, we love libraries, which explains why over the last few years we’ve built out an incredible library ebook distribution network to OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Odilo, CloudLibrary, and Gardners.

Public libraries are engines of book discovery. Millions of readers discover their new favorite authors at public libraries, and then go on to purchase other books by the same authors at retail.

If you want to sell more ebooks at retail, sell more ebooks to libraries.

In Episode 6 of the Smart Author Podcast, out today, you’ll learn how to sell more ebooks to libraries. You’ll learn how librarians discover, curate, purchase, and manage ebooks. You’ll learn how, when, and where to contact librarians so you’re a valued resource and not a nuisance.

You’ll learn six marketing tips you can put to use today.

We hope you’re enjoying the Smart Author Podcast. The feedback from authors and publishers around the world has been gratifying. We’re so pleased to make this quality best practices knowledge available for free to authors everywhere, and in such an accessible and convenient format.

If you’re enjoying the Smart Author Podcast, please share it with a friend!

Coming up next Friday, November 17, is an extra special Episode 7 on the “2017 Smashwords Survey.” Be sure to subscribe today at Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source listed below so you can be the first to hear it. Mark will share new, never-before-released data.

Where to Listen and Subscribe:
Apple Podcasts – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/smart-author/id1298180300?mt=2
Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mark-coker/smart-author
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/user-845581352
TuneIn – https://tunein.com/radio/Smart-Author-p1043483/
iHeartRadio – https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-Smart-Author-28595395/
Google Play Music – https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Inyyeidlihl2vizh4cegieizsvu
Smashwords (Listen over your web browser) – https://smashwords.com/podcast
Supplemental resources:
You’ll find edited transcripts of each episode at our Smart Author hub page at Smashwords.

Join us at Facebook at the official Smart Author Facebook Page where you can discuss each episode with fellow listeners, or pose questions following each episode.

If you enjoy the episodes, please share with friend!

Enjoy!

2. HELPFUL RESOURCES
How to publish and distribute ebooks with Smashwords
Frequently asked questions
Smashwords Site Updates
Smashwords blog (subscribe today via the email option!)
How to Publish ebooks (4-part presentation)
Smart Author Podcast
Smashwords Video Workshops
Create a Smashwords Interview (self-interviews)
Smashwords Series Manager (Manage series metadata)
Smashwords Coupon Manager (Create custom coupon codes)
Connect with fellow Smashwords readers and authors at Facebook
Mark’s List – Low cost cover designers and ebook formatters
Thanks for choosing Smashwords for your ebook publishing and distribution.

When you distribute with Smashwords, you’re directly supporting our ability to create exciting new tools and opportunities for you.

Thanks,

The Smashwords Team

To Access Your Smashwords Account:
To sign in to your account: Click to https://www.smashwords.com.
In the sign in box, enter your email address: goodlifeguide@cox.net followed by your password.
If you forgot your password, click “forgot password” link to generate a new one.

By Mark Coker, Smashwords

1. HOW TO WORK WITH BETA READERS
Beta readers are test readers. Beta readers will help you write a better book.

If you work with beta readers, you’ll gain insight to inspire your final revision.

In Episode 5 of the Smart Author Podcast, out today (links below), you’ll learn how to work with beta readers to make your next book the best it can be.

You’ll learn how to recruit beta readers, how to craft your questionaire to collect the right feedback, and you’ll learn time-saving strategies to complete the round with minimal hassle.

In other podcast news, Apple Podcasts featured Smart Author in their “New & Notable” section this week, on the top row! We’re tickled pink by Smart Author’s warm reception from the indie community and we look forward to bringing you more great episodes in the weeks ahead. Thank you for sharing this with your friends.

Where to Listen and Subscribe:
Apple Podcasts – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/smart-author/id1298180300?mt=2
Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mark-coker/smart-author
TuneIn – https://tunein.com/radio/Smart-Author-p1043483/
Google Play Music – https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Inyyeidlihl2vizh4cegieizsvu
Smashwords (Listen over your web browser) – https://smashwords.com/podcast
Coming up next Friday, you’ll learn how to market your ebook to libraries.

Supplemental resources:
Following the release of each episode, you’ll find edited transcripts at our Smart Author hub page at Smashwords.

Join us at Facebook at the official Smart Author Facebook Page where you can discuss each episode with fellow listeners, or pose questions following each episode.

Mark has some background on this episode at the Smashwords Blog.

Please take a moment to subscribe at your favorite podcast service so you don’t miss any future episodes!

If you enjoy the episodes, please share with friend!

2. HELPFUL RESOURCES
How to publish and distribute ebooks with Smashwords
Frequently asked questions
Smashwords Site Updates
Smashwords blog (subscribe today via the email option!)
How to Publish ebooks (4-part presentation)
Smart Author Podcast
Smashwords Video Workshops
Create a Smashwords Interview (self-interviews)
Smashwords Series Manager (Manage series metadata)
Smashwords Coupon Manager (Create custom coupon codes)
Connect with fellow Smashwords readers and authors at Facebook
Mark’s List – Low cost cover designers and ebook formatters
Thanks for choosing Smashwords for your ebook publishing and distribution.

When you distribute with Smashwords, you’re directly supporting our ability to create exciting new tools and opportunities for you.

Thanks,

The Smashwords Team

By Mark Coker, Smashwords

We asked members of the Smart Author Podcast launch team to share their thoughts on indie authorship.

Here’s what they shared. Their quotes run the spectrum from insightful, to heart warming, to hilarious to downright strange. Just like authors.

If any of these images speak to you, feel free to click to enlarge then download to your device or desktop and share. You can also find these quotes at Facebook at the Smart Author Podcast page, where you can like them and share them.

What does indie authorship mean to you? Add your own thoughts below in the comments.

By Mark Coker, Smashwords

Inside:

Smashwords launches Smart Author Podcast
Helpful Resources
Your Smashwords page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/goodlifeguide
Smashwords account login email: goodlifeguide@cox.net
1. SMART AUTHOR PODCAST LAUNCHES FRIDAY, TRAILER NOW AVAILABLE
Heads up. This Friday October 27 we’re kicking off the Smart Author Podcast!

Hosted by Mark Coker, The Smart Author Podcast guides writers step-by-step from the very basics of ebook publishing to more advanced topics. It’s a free masterclass in ebook publishing best practices.

Whether you’re new to publishing or you’re already a New York Times bestseller, the Smart Author Podcast will help you reach more readers. You’ll learn practical, no-nonsense advice on how to make your books more discoverable and more desirable to readers.

Listen to the trailer now at Smashwords

These first four episodes launch this Friday:

1. 7 Trends Shaping the Future of Authorship
2. Introduction to Ebook Publishing
3. Bestseller Secrets
4. How to Sell More Ebooks with Preorders
And then these episodes release each week through November:

5. 11/3 – Working with Beta Readers
6. 11/10 – Marketing to Libraries
7. 11/17 – Smashwords Survey 2017
8. 11/24 – The Art of Delusion (How to keep writing despite inevitable challenges)
More episodes are planned for December.

Join the Smart Author Launch Team!
If you’d like to help us promote the launch of the Smart Author Podcast, consider joining our Launch Team. You’ll gain exclusive early access to each of the first eight episodes, and you’ll participate in weekly promotions starting this Friday and continuing through November 24. Launch Team members who participate throughout the four-week promotion will receive a super-cool commemorative Smashwords thumb drive containing the first eight episodes. You’ll also receive an acknowledgement and link to your pen name’s Smashwords author page in Mark’s November 24 blog post where he’ll thank Launch Team participants. Thank you in advance for considering joining us for this important project!

Click here to apply – enrollment ends soon

Subscribe now at:
Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/smart-author/id1298180300#
Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Inyyeidlihl2vizh4cegieizsvu
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-845581352
TuneIn: https://tunein.com/radio/Smart-Author-p1043483/
Or, you can always listen online at https://smashwords.com/podcast

Enjoy!

Podcast Links
Following the release of each episode, we’ll post supplemental links and resources along with edited transcripts at our Smart Author hub page at Smashwords.

You can read the announcement of the podcast at the Smashwords Blog.

Join us at Facebook at the official Smart Author Facebook Page where you can discuss each episode with fellow listeners, or to pose questions following each episode.

In the meantime, please take a moment to subscribe at your favorite podcast service so you don’t miss any episodes!

2. HELPFUL RESOURCES
How to publish and distribute ebooks with Smashwords
Frequently asked questions
Smashwords Site Updates
Smashwords blog (subscribe today via the email option!)
How to Publish ebooks (4-part presentation)
Smart Author Podcast
Smashwords Video Workshops
Create a Smashwords Interview (self-interviews)
Smashwords Series Manager (Manage series metadata)
Smashwords Coupon Manager (Create custom coupon codes)
Connect with fellow Smashwords readers and authors at Facebook
Mark’s List – Low cost cover designers and ebook formatters
Thanks for choosing Smashwords for your ebook publishing and distribution.

When you distribute with Smashwords, you’re directly supporting our ability to create exciting new tools and opportunities for you.

If you know a friend who’d benefit from the Smart Author Podcast, please forward this email along to them.

Thanks,

The Smashwords Team

To Access Your Smashwords Account:
To sign in to your account: Click to https://www.smashwords.com.
In the sign in box, enter your email address: goodlifeguide@cox.net followed by your password.
If you forgot your password, click “forgot password” link to generate a new one.

You can purchase the book online soon from Smashwords in multiple eBook formats.

eBook formatting and cover design by Shelley Glasow Schadowsky.

By Elsie Johnstone
& Graeme Johnstone

This is the third book in the trilogy – Lover Husband Father Monster, Her Story; Lover Husband Father Monster, His Story and now, Lover Husband Father Monster, The Aftermath.
In Books One and Two, the story is told in two voices – his and hers – of how Stuart Hoare’s abuse and control of Jennifer, his wife and mother of his three children for fifteen years, culminates in a tragic family disaster.
Stuart is a successful businessman, the family live in an upmarket Dublin suburb and the children attend good schools. Jennifer, previously a successful environmental lawyer, is an ‘at-home’ mother who is a slave to her family’s needs. Although unhappy in the marriage, Jennifer endures because all sense of self has been destroyed and she has nowhere to go.
On Facebook, she reunites with her English lover from university days, has an affair and eventually gathers the strength to confront her husband to declare that the marriage is over and that she is leaving to live in London, taking their young daughter Molly with her.
Stuart will not accept her decision, repudiating her right to her own destiny by seeking revenge in the most heinous way.
On the day of their departure a series of events finds him standing arms outstretched in a trancelike state on a motorway flyover while Molly lays injured below amid a pile-up of cars.
Initially it was thought to be an accident, but truth always outs and in ‘The Aftermath’, the real story unfolds as we travel alongside the major players and discover how their lives are changed forever.
What happened next?
Does Molly survive?
If he did do it, did he mean to do it?
Will the law extract a price or will he escape conviction?
Will Jennifer and her lover make a life together?
The story is told in many voices. What of other family members and friends, how will they cope?
The rock has been thrown into the pond and the ripples are immediate and immense, affecting and changing forever the lives of close family and friends. The case captures the attention of the whole of Ireland who are fascinated by how an apparently privileged and well to do family can be caught up in a situation where a father appears to commit the unspeakable crime.
This psychological thriller will keep you enthralled from the beginning to its dramatic conclusion.

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords and/or Amazon at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/593585.

eBook formatting and cover design by Shelley Glasow at goodlifeguide.com

By James Hastings

Two childhood friends reunite after nearly a decade to journey to the eastern lands of Bangladesh to attend a traditional wedding under times of severe political unrest. With local help, diverse transportation and the blessings of pure luck on their side the adventure continues into the mountainous regions of Nepals capital, down to the jungled foothills and lowlands. In search of spiritual enlightenment and solace through the veil of misanthropy and disillusionment, these reacquainted companions journey together learning more about themselves as well as their place with each other.

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords and/or Amazon at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/489612.

eBook formatting and cover design by Shelley Glasow at goodlifeguide.com

By Graeme Johnstone

It is the longest-running deception in the English language and the most successful. Four hundred years of duping the world.
A tale of deceit, corruption, love, passion. Of murder, fixing and bribery, centred on the writing of some of the greatest works known.
A tale of two remarkable men, the frenzied times they lived in, and the fixated people that surrounded them.
William Shakespeare.
Christopher Marlowe.
One is the real playwright.
The other is the stooge.
Which is which?
‘The Playmakers’ is the novel that answers the question. An absorbing tale of conspiracy, manipulation, romance and murder when two young men from vastly different backgrounds are flung together by their passion for the written word.
Shakespeare, the savvy, street-wise actor and producer, and Marlowe, the educated brilliant writer. Each has his own dark secrets, aspirations and singular approach to life and love, but they are bonded forever when caught in a web of political intrigue, corruption and ultimately brutal murder.
To escape torture in Elizabethan chambers of horror and save their lives, they are reluctantly cast as the main players in the greatest theatrical performance ever, acting out an extraordinary literary deceit that has lasted to this day.

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords and/or Amazon at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/509995.

eBook formatting and cover design by Shelley Glasow at goodlifeguide.com