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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seem to be the champion of silly questions at the moment, but I only published my first book on Kindle in March so i am a newbie so please be kind to me.

Until I joined kindleboards, I had never heard of Smashwords and B&N and others and now am confused. Do I stick to Amazon or do I need to use these other sites as well. What are the upsides and the pitfalls?

Please can someone help me through the jungle of information?

 

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Milly,

I don't have any more experience than you, but that never stops me from giving my opinion. I'm on Kindle and Nook, but probably 90% of my sales come from Kindle. I think that will change with the way B&N is promoting Nook, and with their new color Nook. I looked at Smashwords, Google Ebooks, and Goodreads.com but don't see a big advantage of using them at this time. I'd love to hear what others think though.

Larry
 

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While Amazon is definitely the current market leader in all things ebooks, you're not really hurting yourself by making your works available wherever you can. If anything, it's just another chance for someone to discover you. As for Goodreads, it's more of a social networking site for readers, and it doesn't really deal with book sales directly, but most authors agree that it's a good thing to be part of.
 

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Like Larry, my wife is seeing about 90% of her sales from Amazon. B&N comes in at about 10% for the rest of sales. Smashwords has been rather sparse overall. Since I'm the one who does all the conversion of the files, at first I thought all this extra work for a few sales just wasn't worth it. Yet as sales grow it adds up in the long run and it becoming more and more worth it.

 
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While you don't need to use them, these other sites can help you reach a wider audience. It gives you more places where readers can find you.

I'm currently using Smashwords as well as Amazon. The cons? It's harder to format since you have to make sure your word .doc matches their requirements and Word hasn't added hidden booksmarks etc. It takes a few days to two weeks to approve a book for premium distribution. It isn't as large as Amazon. However, that said, it offers a wide range of formats, including books that can be read without a dedicated e-reader. If you can get their premium distribution it lets you reach a wider audience and access shops like Sony and Apple without producing the content for them directly. The coupons are useful if you want to manage promotions or send out review copies to someone in a country where Amazon gifting doesn't work, etc.  Smashwords also gives you slightly more control over your price (although the royalty rate is lower)and you can offer free books if you want to release linked short stories etc.

I've had more interest in my books through Smashwords than through Amazon, but this does seem to be unusual.
 

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Milly, since you are a new author, it would better for you to concentrate on getting another novel out instead of wasting time with other sites.

Amazon is the best market right now so I only put novels on it . They also give you a good royalty and have a great system.

It is easy to get books published through Kindle Direct Publishing, which is not the case with some others.
 

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Listing with the other sites costs nothing, and it's not that tricky.

Smashwords accounted for 10% of my sales last month (and even more in revenue).

If you don't list with the other sites you are leaving money on the table.

While most authors sell the vast majority of their books on Amazon, some sell more elsewhere.

IMO, as a minimum, you should be listing with Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords (through which you will be listed with Apple, Sony, Kobo & Diesel).

If you write Romance, you should add OmniLit to that list too.
 
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Pros: more people can buy your book.

Cons: you'll have to do a tiny bit more work uploading to Smashwords instead of just Kindle.

The pros outweigh the cons...by a lot. There's not a single good reason to leave your books only on the Kindle.
 

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The only channel I would be hesitant about exploiting is Google.

Indies have had a number of issues with them, but I think the big one is the price discounting. Google can arbitrarily reduce the price of your book, without warning or consultation. Amazon then price-match, and this can drop you out of the $2.99+ 70% royalty zone.

Aside from that, there is really no good reason not to list with the rest. It's a little bit of extra work, but you only have to that once, then you sell there forever.
 

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Hi Milly

As Brits the only way we can get on to B&N is via Smashwords. But it's not difficult, and it costs nothing, so go for it!

I offered 'Final Passage' as a free title on B&N last year, and got 13,000 downloads and a lot of encouraging reviews. In fact it gave me the motivation to go on and write another book.

Now B&N accounts for around 10% of my sales. A hundred dollars or so arrive by PayPal every now and then ... all welcome!

Good luck with your titles, wherever you put them.

Tim
 

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Until I joined kindleboards, I had never heard of Smashwords and B&N...
I was startled to see you say you'd never heard of B&N, till I noticed you were from England. Over here, B&N is the big book chain. They are well known, and they have two relatively new e-readers out--the Nook Color, which is basically a tablet, and the Nook Touch, which is an eInk device with a touchscreen. I sell well on PubIt (which is B&N's indie publishing arm, but which does not accept overseas authors, I believe), selling almost half my books there. For me, what sells well there is erotic romance, but I've seen authors do well in other genres, too. The thing about B&N is it's strangely erratic-- you could upload a book and have it sell like hotcakes, or you could upload a book and sell a copy a month. But because books sometimes do really well over there, I'd recommend doing Smashwords just so you can be available on B&N.

And personally, I'm planning on (finally!) expanding onto Smashwords this month so I can get my books available on all the other platforms. It can't hurt, and it might help.
 

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dgaughran, that is an interesting point that you made that publishing on other sites could cause Amazon to reduce the price of your book and cause you problems.  I hadn't considered that angle.

I truly believe that Kindle will be the number one e-reader.  It is already just about there.

I also think that Amazon will be the number one publisher of Indie novels.

That is why I don't waste time with other sites.

It is sort of like a hound dog chasing rabbits.  First he chases one rabbit and then chases another rabbit.  The reason he does that is that are so many rabbits to chase.  But he never catches any of them.  If he concentrated only on one rabbit, he might catch it.

I am concentrating only on one rabbit and it is working well for me. I getting good sales and have 13 books on Amazon.  I am proof reading two more novels and hope to have them on Amazon by the end of the Holiday weekend.

I guess there is some bragging value in being able to say you have novels on lots of different sites, but I am not sure it helps you take money to the bank.
 

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I truly believe that Kindle will be the number one e-reader. It is already just about there.
I like my Nook Color. And I think the Nook Touch looks like it would be cool-- if I didn't already have so many Kindle books, I'd be tempted to buy it. I'm happy to see good, solid competition out there; I think it benefits us if Amazon doesn't have a total lock on the market.

I guess there is some bragging value in being able to say you have novels on lots of different sites, but I am not sure it helps you take money to the bank.
It helps me. Just about fifty percent of my writing income came from B&N last month. And I would expect that some of those other sites (particularly the iBook store) will grow as people start reading more on tablets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow! Thanks for all of your input - you have given me lots to think about.

Am a third of the way through the third book, so I think that i will get that out of the way and then get all three onto Smashwords as well as kindle and see how it goes.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to talk to me. Thanks x

 

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I don't own a Kindle (I own a Sony e-reader). I buy all of my ebooks through either Kobo, the Sony store, or Smashwords. (Sometimes, directly from publishers).

If a book is only on Amazon, I don't buy it. Why? I have no interest in fiddling with Calibre or other tools to make the kindle format work on my device. I'd just rather go elsewhere and purchase from a place that offers the format(s) I prefer.
 

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Milly Reynolds said:
Until I joined kindleboards, I had never heard of Smashwords and B&N and others and now am confused. Do I stick to Amazon or do I need to use these other sites as well. What are the upsides and the pitfalls?
I can't think of any pitfalls. Becoming available at other online venders can only be a good thing. It gets your book in front of more potential readers.
 
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