One of our earliest guests on the podcast, almost 150 episodes ago, was Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords. We had him back on this week to talk about some of his predictions for the coming year and marketing tips derived from the 2017 annual survey of the Smashwords sales and distribution data.
Note: we had some technical issues so weren’t able to stream live, but we hope to be back at our usual time of Tuesday 6pm PT/9pm ET next week.
Here are some further details of what we discussed with Mark:
Changes in Smashwords over the last three years.
How much more successful authors are on iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. when they make use of pre-orders.
How many downloads a day can you expect from permafree titles?
Is it worth trying to sell English novels in countries where English isn’t the primary language?
How can trad publishers get away with charging 9.99 or more for ebooks, and can indies do this if their books are well edited and professionally done?
How do you market cross-genre books that fall into more than one category?
How do you guys feel about killing characters, and does it ever get easier?
How does your plotting process work?
Has anyone tried Kobo Plus yet and gotten results?
Where you can advertise as a newer author with less than twenty reviews on your book? Here are the links to the spreadsheets Lindsay mentioned (that C. Gockel maintains). We’re not sure if they’re up to date though, so let us know if you know of a good and recent resource. Where to Advertise Free Ebooks | Where to Advertise 99 Cent Ebooks.
How did Lindsay relaunch her pen name successfully after a long gap between releases?
If you want to write three books before launching any of them, can you use novellas as part of the plan?
Jeff and Lindsay are working on new projects, but Jo has some links if you want to check out what he’s up to right now. Here’s his serial-in-progress: The Adventures of Rustle and Eddy. Also, he’s recently done a series of “How I Write” blog posts, which cover his plotting process, among other things.
Tonight, after Lindsay tripped her way through the introduction (talking *and* pressing buttons… too much pressure), she and Jeff interviewed Ferol Vernon from Written Word Media. He and his wife are the founders of such sites as BargainBooksy, FreeBooksy, and New in Books. We wanted to know what he could tell us from the point of view of someone running one of the sites where we authors like to advertise.
Here’s some of what we talked about:
What are the Freebooksy and Bargainbooksy sites, and why should readers and authors be interested?
Ferol’s thoughts on what makes one book perform better (more clicks and sales) than another for any given genre.
The importance of good cover art and whether there are any genres where cover art doesn’t matter quite as much.
Authors getting more bang for their advertising bucks by stacking promotions.
Is it possible to promote a mid-series book or are series starters always going to be more effective?
Do certain genres have a higher percentage of click-through?
Should you write different blurbs for these sponsorships than you do for your book on Amazon?
Can putting a book’s accolades (i.e. USA Today Bestseller or winner of such-and-such award) help get more clicks and sales?
For more information, or to submit your book for an advertising slot, check out BargainBooksy, FreeBooksy, and New in Books (the last one is a new site of theirs that features new releases, so no minimum review requirements and no need to put the book on sale).