As promised, I’m keeping everyone abreast of my dealings with SmashWords so as to give my impression of the process. Back in December I published a short story (actually, a novelette) through their site which was immediately available via SmashWords but took some time to make it through distribution channels. SW will send your eBook to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, iBooks and Diesel on their behalf as the publisher. It sometimes takes a while. Now my book is in all of those stores except for Amazon, as there’s some kind of renegotiation going on with them overall.
Anyway, I did a search and found the book in each place except iBooks (can’t get there from the web) and linked them above. So now phase 2 is over.
Thus far, 50 people have downloaded the except of the story (free) and only 3 have bought it. However, I haven’t done any promotion beyond this blog yet, mainly because I was waiting for the distribution thing to happen. However, I’ve learned a few things already:
- I suck at writing jacket copy.
- My cover is all right, but it’s not stunning, and thus probably not driving many sales.
These things I knew before, but seem particularly important now that I’m considering publishing more stories in this manner.I’m trying to take more time to work on these aspects in the next iteration so that when people do land on the page, they’re enticed to click. I recognize the limits in this area as I am not an artist or book designer or copy writer, cannot afford a decent artist or book designer or copy writer, and would have to consider very carefully employing their services if I did. After all, I’m not going to make much money off of these stories no matter what.
The next step is being a little more aggressive in the promotional area. But not overly so. I’m dipping toes in the water here to work out what’s best for this kind of fiction. I may even wait until I have all the stories I plan to release this way (for now) in the SmashWords catalog at least.
Any thoughts, Internets?