SFFMP 25: Marketing, Pre-Orders, and Distribution with Smashwords Founder Mark Coker
Tonight, we had Smashwords founder Mark Coker on the show, and he gave us a lot of great information on working the pre-order system on Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc., marketing on Smashwords and sites it distributes to, and selling more books overall. Here are some of the highlights of the interview:
- How Mark’s book, The Boobtube, led him to create Smashwords back in 2008
- How to take advantage of pre-orders on Smashwords, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, etc. (Unlike with Amazon, you get a big boost on release day, because the orders accumulate and all count toward your Day 1 sales.)
- Possibly getting extra merchandizing love with retailers such as Apple, based on strong pre-order interest and early sales
- New features coming to the Smashwords pre-order system, such as assetless pre-orders (so you don’t need to have the finished manuscript in order to make your book available for order)
- Don’t worry — no penalties at Smashwords for missed deadlines on pre-orders, but you can upload up to 12 months ahead, so you can give yourself plenty of time
- Getting books into libraries through Smashwords (OverDrive/Library Direct) and Mark’s thoughts on new sites such as EbooksAreForever.com.
- Why still use a distributor? Makes it easy to get books out without having to be on each platform (on Barnes & Noble, you actually end up making more on books priced under $2.99)
- Scribd, Oyster, and other smaller retailers that you can only get into via a distributor
- The Smashwords affiliate program (getting other people to plug your book for you — and giving them an incentive to do so)
- Common mistakes Mark sees authors making
- Are permafree series starters still working?
- What’s coming next to Smashwords
Whether you use Smashwords or not, you might gain something from checking out Mark’s helpful books: Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (Amazon | Smashwords) and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide – How to Market any Book for Free (Amazon | Smashwords)