Amazon vs Smashwords Pt II

Back in July I posted my first full-length mystery novel Death on a Dig to Smashwords. I also made it available through Amazon, although not on their Select program which also allows readers to borrow the book. Subsequently I’ve published three short stories to both sites as well.

Death on a Dig, Cover

Murder in the Clubhouse, cover, AAGPBL murder mystery

In the Early Hours Cover for Gwen Madden short story

Amends for the Dead Cover

I like Smashwords and I think their distribution capability is really valuable. There’s a learning curve, but I find it easy to use and there’s lots of help when you take a wrong step. But the reality for me is that although almost all my marketing efforts use links to Smashwords, I sell more on Amazon.

Do people who find a book on Smashwords that they think they would like to read then go to Amazon to see if it’s for sale there? It’s almost as though that’s the case.

Not to mislead people… I haven’t sold a lot of any of these stories, which isn’t surprising to me since I’m unknown as a fiction writer.

My short stories are all over the place. Murder in the Clubhouse is more YA than anything, set in the world of 1940s professional baseball when Canadians and American girls were recruited for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

In the Early Hours is a sequel to Death on a Dig, featuring Gwen Madden.  A family friend has been murdered, his body found on a Toronto ravine park bench. The victim wasn’t a favourite with Gwen Madden, but her daughter Isabel is distraught. The best support Gwen can offer is to find the murderer.

Amends for the Dead, which is offered free on Wattpad [“the best place to share and read stories”], is a noirish present-day short story in which Lonnie Kuhl has to find why his friend was killed before he can find who did it.

Setting every story in a different sub-genre probably isn’t the best way to interest readers, but I feel like I’m still trying to figure out what I enjoy writing the most.

I have enrolled In the Early Hours and Murder in the Clubhouse on Amazon’s KDP Select, which means they’ve been ‘unpublished’ from Smashwords. I’ll let you know if sales rates change.

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14 thoughts on “Amazon vs Smashwords Pt II

  1. Stopped by from IU. Can’t wait to hear what happens with your KDP Select. So many people say Select stopped being an advantage because they changed the free metrics. Now Select offers the countdown deals to entice people into exclusivity. So, I’m curious how that works out.

    Good luck to you!

  2. I was already following you but am stopping by as part of Indies Unlimited Blog Fest to show my support to you and your writing.

  3. S.A. Molteni

    Visiting by way of Indies Unlimited. Nice blog 🙂

  4. This seems to be the way is goes for most authors. Myself included Amazon out sells the Smashwords and yet both do play different roles in spreading our work.
    Indies Unlimited helped me find your site.

    • A good point. I’ve found a lot of interesting authors and web sites through Indies Unlimited too. For the record, I think I first found IU through Twitter.

  5. This seems to be the way is goes for most authors. Myself included Amazon out sells the Smashwords and yet both do play different roles in spreading our work.
    Indies Unlimited helped me find your site

  6. I find that the iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo sales via Smashwords are a good source of income. Give Smashwords a few months before you make a decision, Lois. If you use KDP Select, you won’t be able to sell your digital content anywhere else because of the exclusivity clause.

    (Found you via Indies Unlimited.)

  7. Yes, I realize there is a delay, and if it turns out that there have been sales yet to be reported, I’ll be very happy. I am also not abandoning Smashwords. I fully intend to publish there again, but I want to see whether the KDP Select program has advantages for an unknown author.

    I have considered creating a paperback version of DEATH ON A DIG, and CreateSpace seems to be the best service to use. However, it would be time consuming and right now I’m trying to focus on making some progress with my next book. I suspect that if I created a POD version right now it would just be more procrastination. I appreciate the suggestion, however. Although I’m very pleased with my ebook versions, I would eventually like to have a physical copy of everything I publish.

  8. Keep in mind there is up to a three-month delay before the Smashwords distributors post sales, so you may have sold more through Smashwords than you’re aware of at the moment. I just had a sale roll in last week that was made in the Apple iStore in August. Although like you, I seem to have more sales through Amazon too. Also like you, I don’t sell many books so it’s hard to gauge what’s working when you’re only analyzing ten sales!

    Have you considered creating a paperback version of DEATH ON A DIG? Almost half of my sales are actually of the paperback version (self-published through CreateSpace, which sells through Amazon). Again, that’s not saying much given the number of sales and I’m pretty sure most of my sales are to people who know me. Still, there’s something satisfying about having a physical copy of your own novel on your bookshelf, even if you are one of the few who ever buys it!

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