Smashwords is a self-serve ebook platform. It began in 2008 and has grown from publishing 140 ebooks that year to publishing 276,000 in 2013.
Smashwords has conducted an annual survey of the data from book sales from their service for the past few years. Each survey that Smashwords has shared has revealed interesting information that is helpful for authors seeking to sell more ebooks. This year is no exception.
Some of the interesting findings from this year’s survey include:
- A few ebook titles sell fabulously well, but most sell poorly.
- Readers prefer longer ebooks. As word count drops, sales also drop. Most best-selling ebooks have at least 100,000 words.
- eBook prices of $2.99 and $3.99 are still the sweet spots for fiction ebook prices. Books at these prices yielded the most author earnings.
- Nonfiction ebooks tend to earn more at higher prices. The Smashwords survey revealed that many authors are underpricing their nonfiction ebooks.
- Free still works, but it is losing its punch. Free remains one of the most powerful book marketing tools because it makes it easier for readers to take a risk on an author brand that is unknown or untrusted. Yet, the effectiveness of free is down when compared to the past two annual surveys conducted by Smashwords—largely because so many authors are offering free ebooks.
Every book is unique. These survey results simply show averages. Consider this information as data to help you make more informed decisions about the ebooks you publish.
Want to know more? The slideshow featuring the overall data from the survey is embedded below for you to pursue.