Smashwords Authors discussion

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General > Can we help each other a bit further?

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R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Curious at looking at the group here. I haven't seen a whole lot of interaction in here, and not sure why. Are we all too new? What else could we do for each other aside from what has been discussed in here? I would think that if we work together, we can get each other's name out a bit quicker. Should we review each others' books? Your thoughts?


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will grow from there.

I'll go first.
My name is Belinda Buchanan and I have self-published two books. I did have both of them on Smashwords, but opted to remove After All Is Said And Done to try the KDP select. I still have The Monster Of Silver Creek listed.
I love to write, (sometimes more than I like to read) and am hard at work on two more novels. My sales on Kindle are pretty good, but not so well on Smashwords.
My goal for this year is to try and find my target audience and promote, promote, and promote. Of course that's easier said than done! LOL!

So, tell us about yourself R.M. What are your books about? And, I invite the other members to join in and tell us about yourselves.


Brittany Highland (BrittanyHighland) | 47 comments R. M., Belinda and all, my name is Brittany Highland and I run publicity for an author in Tennessee named Paul Spite.

Paul Spite writes across a number of genres, but his debut Smashwords book is a legal thriller called The Power of a Pawn. We just released this novel on December 16th.

I think we all have unique gifts and perspectives we can use to benefit the group as a whole. Some of us enjoy writing book reviews and are good at it.

One of my passions is online marketing, and I know information on that topic is useful to independent authors. I had promised Chris (a member of our group) that I would post a thread on Facebook marketing, and I just did so at this link: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7.... I hope it's beneficial for everyone and I'm happy to answer any questions on that thread.


message 4: by Joseph, Group Founder (new)

Joseph | 10 comments Brittany wrote: "R. M., Belinda and all, my name is Brittany Highland and I run publicity for an author in Tennessee named Paul Spite.

Paul Spite writes across a number of genres, but his debut Smashwords book is ..."


If you send me a eMail address I'll send you an interview for Paul about his book.
I Appreciate Your Courtesy,
Jospeh


Brittany Highland (BrittanyHighland) | 47 comments Joseph, thank you for the offer. I appreciate it. I just sent you a private message with my email address.


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Belinda wrote: "Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will grow from there.

I'll go first.
My name is Belinda Buchanan ..."


Well, as for me, I'm RM, and I'm still very new to this whole thing. I published my first book, Shadow Boxer, just three weeks ago on Smashwords, and its set to ship to the major retailers soon. It should be up on Apple tomorrow, the rest are gonna be a week to 2 more I assume. Shadow Boxer is just a random collection of poems that I have written over the years, and I just wanted to do something with them. I have another book in preparation, which is called Allesandra's Bequest. I'm hoping to have it out in February. It's going to be a short story narrative wrapped around 16 songs. It's original creation is a concept album (musician, too). I think this format will hold up well without the music behind it. Again, this is all stuff I have had under my hat for a long time.
My focus over the last few years has been more on the short story/novel side. it's been centered around my having grown up with Deaf parents, which officially makes me a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults). It's a fairly unique experience I suppose, and I feel it's worthy of writing about. So I want that first full length book to be about my experiences in that regard. I hope it will educate people on the Deaf world, because most people aren't even aware of it.

So that's me and my immediate plans. I plan to post again about facebook, just can't remember if it was in this thread or a different one. Thats it for now though, so who is next?


V.H. Folland (VHFolland) | 18 comments I tend to submit links to my books to any directories I can find and send out review copies, but that's about it. The other thing I found useful are sites like squidoo and wizzley, where you can set up lenses and articles about the book with sales links.


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will grow from there.

I'll go first.
My name..."


R.M.,

Writing a book about the deaf world sounds very interesting, and I'm sure it will be most enlightening. I also believe it will put you in a unique market in which your book should be highly visible. Please keep us posted!


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments V.H. wrote: "I tend to submit links to my books to any directories I can find and send out review copies, but that's about it. The other thing I found useful are sites like squidoo and wizzley, where you can se..."

Hi V.H.,
I've not ventured into the worlds of lenses yet. Can someone who is technology impaired do it fairly easily?


message 10: by Joseph, Group Founder (new)

Joseph | 10 comments Belinda wrote: "V.H. wrote: "I tend to submit links to my books to any directories I can find and send out review copies, but that's about it. The other thing I found useful are sites like squidoo and wizzley, whe..."
You need something of a visual sense, a ability to see the world (or story) in pictures or images. But anybody who puts in the time can probably do a book trailer to help promote their work.


message 11: by Belinda (last edited Jan 05, 2012 03:11PM) (new)

Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments I looked at your page on squidoo, V.H. It's very nice. I like the trailer for Fire Season.

Thanks for sharing with us!


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Belinda wrote: "R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will grow from there.

I'll go first. ..."


Thanks, Belinda. there are a few books in that area, and Ive read a couple of them. There definitely isn't a whole lot. What i really want to accomplish is pulling in potential readers who have never had to think twice about it. I talke about Deaf-related issues a lot in my blog. Here's the link for anyone who wants to check it out.

http://rmfraser.blogspot.com/

VH, ill have to check out those two sites you mentioned. I want to look into everything that i can possibly do to get the word out there. thanks for sharing.

Belinda, you mentioned pulling one of your books for the KDP select, can you explain KDP to me? Im new to this whole thing, so bear with me, haha


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments V.H. wrote: "I tend to submit links to my books to any directories I can find and send out review copies, but that's about it. The other thing I found useful are sites like squidoo and wizzley, where you can se..."

VH, I checked out squidoo and wizzley, and it has me intrigued, though I could not get a great overall sense of how everything on there works. I think I get the gist of it, but could you get into more detail of exactly how you use it?


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will grow from there..."


KDP select: In a nutshell, this is the way I understand it. If you have a version of your book published through amazon for kindle you are eligible to enroll it for 90 days in their KDP select program. This allows members of Amazon prime to "borrow" your book for free. You get a share of the pool based on the number of times each month your book is borrowed compared to the amount of members participating.
The only catch is you cannot have your e-book for sale anywhere else during these 90 days.
Here is the link to read more about it. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishin...
Also I know there are tons of comments on this program here on goodreads, if you want to look around in some of the other groups.


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Belinda wrote: "R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "R. M. wrote: "Belinda wrote: "Hi R.M.

Thanks for starting this thread. Perhaps we should all tell each other a little bit about ourselves first and maybe it will gro..."


awesome, that helps out a lot. it may be something for me to look into once my book is shipped there. So far, Shadow Boxer has only been shipped to Apple and Kobo, just waiting for the shipping to the rest of them, including Amazon. It's a good concept, for sure. Thanks Belinda!


message 16: by V.H. (last edited Jan 05, 2012 10:44PM) (new)

V.H. Folland (VHFolland) | 18 comments R. M. wrote: "VH, I checked out squidoo and wizzley, and it has me intrigued, though I could not get a great overall sense of how everything on... "

For squidoo, it's more about promotion than money - at least for the books. I usually set up a lens with links to the book, my blog, details about the book and so on. Direct sales are low, but it tends to bring a lot of visitors to the blog. For SEO, it's a free page rank five backlink, so it boosts your profile in search engines. Squidoo does pay for traffic but, honestly, my book lenses usually don't get enough.

It's mainly plug-and-play, so you don't have to be technical e.g. if you have a trailer, there's a pre-built module, so you just put the link in; for Amazon, you just need the Asin.

Regarding Smashwords specifically, there isn't a Smashwords module, but I've been using the unofficial add-on.

I can spin off a help thread, if anyone is getting started.

ETA: Sorry, the unofficial add-on is one of the widgets I've been testing - you can get a copy here.


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Thanks for the link. it gives me a better visual than I had before for sure. I'll have to do more research into this. It looks to be of decent help to me.


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments Hello all, I just published the first chapter of my next book, Allesandra's Bequest, on Smashwords. It's a free sample, basically. Here's the link:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Also, if anyone of you download it to read, could you leave me a review on my smashwords book page?


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments V.H. wrote: "I tend to submit links to my books to any directories I can find and send out review copies, but that's about it. The other thing I found useful are sites like squidoo and wizzley, where you can se..."

Hey, how do you look up the directories for review submission? Just do a google search on "book reviews"? I tried doing a similar thing, but nothing really seemed to show up that was worthwhile. Could you explain that part of the process? I just wanna make sure I'm doing this right. Thanks


V.H. Folland (VHFolland) | 18 comments I look for ebook directories and submit links to the book on Smashwords or my site.

If you are looking for reviewers, try the Creative Reviews group here on Goodreads (in the group's "authors seeking reviewers" section). They are normally very good, and open to new books.


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments awesome, thank you


Josh Karaczewski (joshkaraczewski) | 31 comments I had a question for everyone on updating. I was thinking about publishing a book of my short stories, and had the idea that I would add other short stories to it later as updates. I've never updated a book - so I was wondering if this was something that would work?


R.M. Fraser (RMFraser) | 53 comments as far as I know it will work, except that anyone who downloaded it before your update will have to go back and re-download it again. I know if I had to do that it would seem silly. It would make more sense to publish "(Your Title) Volume 1" and then publish your updates as future volumes. That way no one would go back and replace their first one. Make sense?


Brittany Highland (BrittanyHighland) | 47 comments Josh wrote: "I had a question for everyone on updating. I was thinking about publishing a book of my short stories, and had the idea that I would add other short stories to it later as updates. I've never updat..."

It's good to build up a literary repertoire of sorts. Potential buyers will give you more credit if they see that you have published multiple works. For that reason, and the reasons that R. M. gave, I would encourage you to publish another ebook.


Steve Merrick (stevesevilempire) | 18 comments Brittany wrote: "Josh wrote: "I had a question for everyone on updating. I was thinking about publishing a book of my short stories, and had the idea that I would add other short stories to it later as updates. I'v..."

I have done the same thing and the updates are very easy, It's probably very good advice to publish a second book but I found that adding a short every couple of months actually does no harm.
I guess I am saying its a no Foul if you do, but the flipside is that another book gets put back or delayed. ;-) Steve


Steve Merrick (stevesevilempire) | 18 comments hey folks the review each others work idea is not a bad one. ;-)


message 27: by E. (new)

E. Bard (EBard) | 11 comments Hi Belinda - I saw your post from January about Smashwords and KDP Select. Since it's March now - I have a question for you. How did you find it? Did your Select book do better or your other Smashwords publications? I'm curious because I've seen a lot of blog posts plugging the Select program but I've only had significant sales on Smashwords. Could you - and any other authors here - let us know how you fared? Thanks.


Brittany Highland (BrittanyHighland) | 47 comments E. wrote: "Hi Belinda - I saw your post from January about Smashwords and KDP Select. Since it's March now - I have a question for you. How did you find it? Did your Select book do better or your other Smashw..."

Great question, E! I'm curious to know the answer too.


Barbara G.Tarn (Barb65) | 725 comments I must say that shis year (well, 2 months and a half) I've sold more books (by 1 title, LOL) on Smashwords than KDP... so Select isn't going to see me anytime soon! ;-)
I also had my first sale on a new platform (DriveThruComics for my graphic novel)! :-)


message 30: by E. (new)

E. Bard (EBard) | 11 comments Thanks for letting us know Barbara - I've only sold a total of three books on KDP (two titles, three months) - so I'm reluctant to give up Smashwords.


Barbara G.Tarn (Barb65) | 725 comments Well, last year I sold a handful more on KDP... still not interested in giving them the exclusive. Although I'd love to hear from someone who did! :-)


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments My 90 days are up on KDP select and I must say that although I'm glad I tried it, I really didn't fare any better for it. My total for the end was 4 through KDP select program.
I do much better thru Smashwords, so I am happy to have my book back on there.


Josh Karaczewski (joshkaraczewski) | 31 comments Steve wrote: "Brittany wrote: "Josh wrote: "I had a question for everyone on updating. I was thinking about publishing a book of my short stories, and had the idea that I would add other short stories to it late..."

I just published the short story collection I was talking about. The introduction to Mark Coker's new book cinched the idea of an ebook being able to evolve through updates.
Check it out here if you're interested: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...
My shameless marketing idea for it is to offer the free coupon code as a "thank you" for visiting my blog. Let's see if it works...


Ted Summerfield (ted_summerfield) | 135 comments There is a forum for Smashwords authors to ask questions on editing, marketing, conversion; to promote their books on Smashwords; and to meet other Smashwords authors.

It's free to join, has a growing community since it moved, and is called the Smashwords Forum.


message 35: by E. (new)

E. Bard (EBard) | 11 comments I want to suggest something because I too have noticed that there isn't a lot of interaction going on here. Hopefully this will change because I think we can help each other.

In one of the other groups I belong to an author contacted me about swapping author/book profiles to feature on our respective blogs. So we swapped information, tweeted and FB'd about it and it did help us each get a little more traffic to our blogs. Maybe we could do that here? I write YA but review thrillers and YA. Would anyone here be interested in doing a profile swap on our blogs? We could feature each other with our Smashwords links. If I haven't explained myself clearly enough, here's an example of the feature I did on my blog for author Caron Rider http://thrillreads.blogspot.ca/2012/0... . It includes a book pic, blurb, Goodreads rating, quote, author bio and links. Anyone interested in swapping (I post your stuff, you post mine)?


Steve Merrick (stevesevilempire) | 18 comments E. wrote: "I want to suggest something because I too have noticed that there isn't a lot of interaction going on here. Hopefully this will change because I think we can help each other.

In one of the other ..."


Heyah, thats a pretty good idea, I can tell you that I interact when I can, but work tends to slow the whole thing down, its full on and then full of, so like a lot of people I do as much in ther downtime as I can but this is a really good idea and I would welcome the opportunity..... ;-) Steve


message 37: by E. (new)

E. Bard (EBard) | 11 comments Steve wrote: "E. wrote: "I want to suggest something because I too have noticed that there isn't a lot of interaction going on here. Hopefully this will change because I think we can help each other.

In one of..."


Hi Steve - Let me know if you want to swap. We might not write in the same genre, but my blog is about books and authors. You can message me with details if you like. (Yes - we all have other work/lives/stuff too - so don't worry about rushing. Let me know anytime).


Steve Merrick (stevesevilempire) | 18 comments E. wrote: "Steve wrote: "E. wrote: "I want to suggest something because I too have noticed that there isn't a lot of interaction going on here. Hopefully this will change because I think we can help each othe..."Hiyah E.

My Blogs are all over the place, sci fi, journalism , comment, shorts stories heck even some appaling poetry, its all at indie write under stevesevilempire or the polynesian space gazette. I will be freed up mid week so get back to you then ;-) Steve


Josh Karaczewski (joshkaraczewski) | 31 comments E. wrote: "Steve wrote: "E. wrote: "I want to suggest something because I too have noticed that there isn't a lot of interaction going on here. Hopefully this will change because I think we can help each othe..."

I'd be interested in a mutually beneficial blog swap as well. It'd be nice to mix things up from my usual book review / updates on my projects posts. Check out oralrandomly.blogspot.com/ and let me know if you, or anyone else in this wants to give it a go.


message 40: by E. (last edited Apr 20, 2012 01:54PM) (new)

E. Bard (EBard) | 11 comments That sounds good Josh. I've followed your blog for now, so if you want to think about what info you would like to have profiled on my blog let me know (book pic, bio, links etc.). Message me and we can swap when you're ready.


Susann Julieva (susannjulieva) | 4 comments Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first couple of months were so much more than I ever expected. But during the last two months, I've noticed a dramatic decrease in sales. I've been trying to find out why, but I have no idea. I'm not doing anything differently, so I'm completely stumped!
Has this happened to anyone else, and if so, were you able to bounce back? What did you do to make ebook sales go up again?
At the moment I'm mostly using Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads for promo. I've been thinking about making a book trailer, but I haven't had the time. A question to those who have book trailers - do you know if they are actually helping you sell more books?


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments Susann wrote: "Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first cou..."


We are so glad you could join us Susann! Glad to see you a part of the group. :)


Susann Julieva (susannjulieva) | 4 comments Hi Belinda! Great to see you here! :D


Heather Fleener (heatherfleener) Hi. I am Heather Fleener, I published my book on Friday through Smashwords and Amazon.com. I read through various comments above and was wondering if anyone ever moved forward with reviewing each other's works, blogging or linking to other Smashword author's sites? Any ideas? I am doing better with sales on Kindle than I am with Smashwords (more than a 3:1 ratio), which is rather amazing to me, given that I have used coupons to do deep discounts on the Smashwords site as a promotion for the launch.

I was accepted for Premium Catalog distribution too, and I am wondering if anyone has any feedback on whether the expanded distribution channels really helped bump your sales numbers and if there are additional marketing opportunities available directly through those retailers that might be helpful (and if they are, are they a worthy investment of your time).

I am trying to find ways to connect with other authors so that we can help bring each other along. Twitter seems to be good for that (for some reason I have yet to figure out) and I am going to continue to invest in that effort, and am doing much as much marketing on FB and Goodreads as I can, as well as putting links to the book on most sites where I can, but I would be interested in connecting with more authors personally and working on ideas to figure out how to best continue to promote our works.

My Twitter name is HeatherFleener, and I follow all authors that follow me, so feel free to connect with me if you want.

I am looking forward to connecting with you all and hope to get to know you. Chosen by Heather Fleener


Gary Weston | 9 comments Susann wrote: "Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first cou..."


Susann wrote: "Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first cou..."


Susann wrote: "Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first cou..."


Tell me the name of the book and see if i can suggest anything Gary Weston


Belinda Buchanan | 43 comments Heather wrote: "Hi. I am Heather Fleener, I published my book on Friday through Smashwords and Amazon.com. I read through various comments above and was wondering if anyone ever moved forward with reviewing each..."

Hello Heather,

First of all, welcome to the group. It's great to have you with us. Secondly, congrats on publishing your first book!

I can offer you my opinion on the premium distribution. I think it is a good thing, and I have had more sales through there than I have had through SW only. Most of mine come through B&N. So, I believe it works for me, and best of all, it's free! No out of pocket expense for me which is a very good thing.

I don't know of any marketing promotions those affiliates offer, but someone suggested that when you post your book on FB, or twitter that you provide your link to Barnes & Noble, or one of the others, which gives people another option to download your book from.


Barbara G.Tarn (Barb65) | 725 comments Susann wrote: "Hi all! I just joined this group. Lovely to meet you all!
I'm Susann, and I published my first ebook via Smashwords this May. It started out doing incredibly amazing, and sales during the first cou..."


Susan, but also Heather...
I have book trailers of last year's works and no, I don't think they helped sales.
What helped sales was putting more books out. So go write your next book! :)
Someone just discovered me on Amazon UK, bought one novel in August and came back in September to buy all the others. Same with Smashwords, at some point whoever bought any of my titles comes back and buys the rest. So if you want to see your sales go up again, write another book.
Personally, as a reader, I'm wary of one-book wonders... what if I like it and the writer never writes another one?
Happy writing and publishing to all! :)


Heather Fleener (heatherfleener) Thanks for the feedback ladies. I have already posted the preview of the cover for the 2nd book on all my sites to let people know the 2nd in the series is coming in early 2013. It is written, just doing the edits and rewrites now, which takes nearly as long as writing the book! :) Great to connect with you all. Thanks!


Barbara G.Tarn (Barb65) | 725 comments Heather wrote: "Thanks for the feedback ladies. I have already posted the preview of the cover for the 2nd book on all my sites to let people know the 2nd in the series is coming in early 2013. It is written, ju..."

Yay! Well done! :D


message 50: by Steph, Space Opera Diva (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 557 comments Heather wrote: "...I was accepted for Premium Catalog distribution too, and I am wondering if anyone has any feedback on whether the expanded distribution channels really helped bump your sales numbers and if there are additional marketing opportunities available directly through those retailers that might be helpful..."

Hi... I thought I'd add that some of the channels pull reviews from Goodreads, which is useful. You have to make sure the Goodreads book page shows the ISBN rather than Amazon's ASIN though.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Monster Of Silver Creek (other topics)
After All Is Said and Done - A Novel of Infidelity, Healing, & Forgiveness (other topics)
Chosen (other topics)
Turnkey (other topics)