When I first came into self-publishing, I didn’t even know about KDP Select. I find myself feeling fortunate about this because whilst many authors noted a lot of success at the beginning of Amazon’s exclusive deal, I’ve read quite a lot of material lately that has suggested that the perks of the arrangement are beginning to wane. Instead, I uploaded to KDP and Smashwords, got into the latter’s premium catalogue and pushed Inside Evil onto the shelves of distributors like Apple, Sony and Barnes & Noble.
There are a number advantages of going with Smashwords, including that they issue payment when you have a minimum of $10 through Paypal, rather than waiting for a minimum $100 cheque balance for foreign publishers (or aliens as America likes to call us) that Amazon requires. Likewise, because I’m based outside the US, I can’t access B&N’s own PubIt, so have to utilise Smashwords to get on their shelves. I don’t own a Mac, so directly uploaded to Apple’s iBooks is impossible, and though Kobo have just released their own publishing tool, I’m yet to use it.
Whilst I’ve used Smashwords to offer codes for freebies, I had NO actual sales from the website itself. I thought it was going to take years for me to ever get the $10 minimum, and with no distributor sales either I was beginning to think it was a lost cause. That was until this month, however, when BAM, I had four B&N and three Apple sales. OK, these numbers aren’t high, but I’m in self-publishing infancy, am doing no advertising for those platforms and am not selling huge amounts on Amazon either. In fact, for July, with those seven distributor sales, I actually made more at Smashwords than at Amazon.
Now, I’m finally happy that I’m utilising Smashwords to distribute Inside Evil across its channels, and for the first time, a few sales seem to be appearing. After the first few months of practically selling nothing, sales are actually creeping up each month; a welcome trend. Do you use Smashwords? Have you noted growing sales at distributors?