Sadly, I haven’t sold 3,000 books…I’ve sold closer to 2,500. The reason is because I counted a lot of free books in with my Smashwords sales. You might remember me discussing Smashwords when I wrote a post called Comparing Amazon Kindle Unlimited with Smashwords.
Both of those are great posts to look at if you’re interested in eBook sales, self-publishing, and how to get your author platform going. In this post today we’ll continue that trend, and we’ll do so by taking a detailed look at my Smashwords sales for 2014.
I think it’s important to analyze what sold last year so you can figure out where to put your efforts this year. What’s more, you can see areas that need shoring up or areas that should just be abandoned entirely. I’d like to mention that I use ChartGo for these graphs, which is a free site anyone can figure out.
Smashwords Quarterly Sales
Something else that you notice is how much the ESL books take off, specifically Teaching English: 10 Proven Ways to Make Shy Students Talk Now. I actually took that book off perma-free halfway through the year, which may account for the sales boost – people thought it was free, saw it wasn’t, and said what the hell, I’ll pay $0.99. At least that’s what I think happened.
Smashwords Sales Totals
- ESL: 45.8%
- Jonguria: 17.7%
- SEO/Social: 14.2%
- Montana: 10.9%
- Tarot: 9.7%
- China: 0.8%
- Fiction: 0.5%
Wow, that really puts things into perspective, at least for how Smashwords is (or isn’t) working for me. Here are some takeaways:
- It’s a bit distressing to see that 17.7% of your sales came from a book that you now give away for free.
- What’s more, it’s clear that my fiction means absolutely nothing to anyone but readers on Amazon – people at Barnes and Noble, iTunes and everywhere else only want non-fiction from me.
- My SEO books don’t sell that well on Amazon, but do get most of their sales from Smashwords, particularly iTunes.
- My book Ten Minute Tarot never gets sales on Amazon, but does well form the Smashwords distributors.
- Montana history books sell a lot better on Amazon.
- Having a single volume of Chinese history is about worthless…but two to three might do something.
I’d like to show one final graph, and this illustrates how much the subscription services have eaten into my sales…I think:
Looking at these results really makes me think of my strategy. Clearly fiction books would do better for me on Amazon, and perhaps in KDP Select. What’s more, now I can figure out the best books to put on Draft 2 Digital, as I’ve already mentioned I want to be paid monthly…something Smashwords is unable or unwilling to do.
But that’s a post for another day. Thanks for reading!