By Mark Coker
Each year, Smashwords publishes our annual Smashwords Survey which examines millions of dollars in aggregated sales data to identify potential best practices insights that give indie authors and publishers advantages in the marketplace.
You’ll find the full survey at the blog.
Here are just three of our top ten most exciting findings:
1. Preorders – During the survey period, less than 10% of Smashwords authors released their books as preorders, but these preorder titles accounted for two-thirds of our top 200 bestsellers. Books born as preorders sell more books! Last month I wrote a tutorial on ebook preorder strategy for Publishers Weekly Magazine. Read it here Or, check out the blog post on our new assetless preorder feature which allows you to set up preorders 12 months in advance, even before the manuscript is finished.
2. Series with Free Series Starters Earn More – If you write series, you won’t want to miss this. For the first time ever, we found definitive evidence that series with free series starters earn more income for authors than series without free series starters.
3. FREE Still Works – For four years we’ve advocated that authors can use free ebooks to earn more money by building readership that can then be directed to purchase priced books. The secret to free is no longer a secret, and in recent years now that so many authors are doing free, the effectiveness of free as a reader-builder has been on the decline. We expected it to decline further in the latest survey but we were pleasantly surprised to see that the impact of free actually improved during the survey period. Based on our data, free ebooks at iBooks earn 41 times more downloads than books at any other price.
If you’re a blogger or you have a web site, feel free to embed the Slideshare presentation of the Smashwords Survey directly into your site. To embed the presentation on your site, visit the presentation and then click “Share” and you’ll see the HTML you can use to embed the presentation.
Read the full survey at our blog where you’ll see other options to share the Survey with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. Sharing is caring!