My books are on Smashwords which I am sure most of yours are too. I probably don’t focus as much on promoting that as I should do and one of the plans this summer (I use the term loosely) is to get into both Goodreads and Smashwords in a more efficient way. Without giving away any spoilers… it looks like Romance Writers have a way with words!
Anyway David who keeps an eye on Publishing trends and updates sent me the link for the most recent survey conducted by Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords.
Here is what you will find in the 2017 Smashwords Survey
- What are the top fiction and non-fiction categories?
- What romance categories perform the best?
- How do box sets perform, and which types of box set perform the best?
- Do authors who release ebooks as preorders sell more books overall?
- How do preorder adoption rates differ across genres (New!!)
- What percentage of overall sales in each genre for new titles go to books released as preorders (New!)
- What are the pricing sweet spots for full-length fiction to maximize both readership and author earnings?
- Do longer books still sell better?
- Does FREE still work, and what about free series starters?
- Do series books sell better than standalone books, and if so, by how much?
Each year for the Smashwords Survey, I analyze ebook sales aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network.
We’re looking to identify potential data driven insights that can help authors and publishers make their books more accessible, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.
The results are often just as much a surprise to me as they are to you. When I drill down and analyze difference aspects of the data, I don’t know if I’ll find a lump of coal at end of the trail or a pot-of-gold. This year I discovered a lot of gold.
As you review the findings, please maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. The data represents the aggregate experience of thousands of authors and millions of dollars in book sales, but your results may vary. Your book is unique.
The factors that cause a reader to discover, sample, purchase or enjoy a book cannot be fully explained by data. Nor can data yet determine why one story or writing style is preferable to another.
For example, if you were to ask a reader why they purchased a given book, you might receive an answer like, “it looked interesting to me.” But why did it look interesting? In all likelihood, not even the reader fully understands the conscious and unconscious factors that caused them to click on one book instead of another. Was it the color combination on the cover image, the price, the author name, the position of the sun, the day of the week, what they ate or was it a convoluted mysterious witch’s brew of thousands of simultaneous factors? I suspect the latter.
It’s also quite possible you glean insights from the data that I and others will miss completely. If so, that’s great. My goal here, as it is with everything we do at Smashwords, is to create tools and share data that give you competitive advantage in the marketplace. It up to you to put the tools and knowledge to work.
Follow the link to the slide show presentation of the survey and be prepared for a few surprises: http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/06/smashwords-survey-2017.html