Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Distribution News from Smashwords

Scottish Heritage Series, Vol. 1

By Dorice Nelson

To become chief of his clan, Gerek Gunn must wed before his 30th birthday, an arranged marriage, but that was how things were done—or so Gerek thought until he met his bride. Catronia has no desire to wed any man and certainly not one known as the "Beast of Battle." In disguise, Catronia flees, only to find herself sharing a crofter's hut with the very man she ran from.

Distribution News from Smashwords

For those of you who are at a loss to tell fans where to find books that will work in their e-readers, we recommend SmashWords. They sell in formats that will work in most e-readers and offer free software that allows their books to be read on many various devices, from both PC and Apple computer screens, through Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Kobo e-readers, and on to most brands of tablets and iPhones or other devices that access the Internet.

Even better, Smashwords distributes our titles to other e-book sellers. So (if we prepare the files right) your titles will appear on many different sales sites, be sold through them, but paid to us by SW.

Shelley has been working for more than a year to get our older titles listed there, especially all our series books. And we will, of course list our new works there as we post them everywhere.

Today, we received the SW Newsletter and are pleased to learn that SW has signed a new distribution deal with OverDrive for library distribution.

Inside: 1. Distribution to OverDrive - Reach 20,000 Libraries!
2. Distribution Deal with txtr
3. Smashwords Shipping Faster to iBooks
4. Preorders to Barnes & Noble Helps Authors Hit Bestseller Lists
5. Ebook Subscription Services - Scribd and Oyster Off to Amazing Start
6. Ebook Publishing in the Classroom


Imagine your indie ebooks available for purchase at 20,000 public libraries. Now imagine no more. Today we announced a massive distribution deal with OverDrive, the world's largest library ebook platform. This is a milestone event for indie authors and small independent presses. It's probably our biggest and most important new distribution channel since we launched Apple iBooks in 2010. Libraries buy a lot of ebooks, and library patrons are big ebook buyers. Authors who sell into libraries are going to build larger readership faster, and this will translate to more retail sales. As we promise in the Terms of Service, all Premium Catalog books are automatically opted in to new distribution channels. In the case of OverDrive, they'll take our entire Premium Catalog *except* erotica. This means they'll soon start selling over 200,000 titles from Smashwords. As always, we give you at least 48 hours advance notice before we activate new channels. Test shipments have already begun, but if for any reason you don't want your books distributed to OverDrive, please opt out from your Dashboard's Channel Manager before Thursday night Pacific time. I do not recommending opting out, but it's a choice we always give you. This will become an important new channel. We're going to create recommend buy-lists to help librarians build their collections. The lists will identify the most popular titles by genre or category based upon sales data we aggregate for books we sell at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other outlets. Learn all the exciting details about OverDrive, and how you can partner with your local library, and how you can drive more library sales here:


No, that's not a typo. Yesterday we announced a distribution deal with 'TXTR, an ebook retailing and e-reading platform based in Berlin, Germany. TXTR is a smaller partner than Overdrive, but they're working on some interesting initiatives which, if successful, could be really interesting. But small retailer or not, every new distribution channel helps you reach new readers you wouldn't otherwise reach. As with OverDrive above, test shipments have already commenced. If you wish to opt out, please do so before Thursday evening from your Dashboard's Channel Manager. Learn the full scoop about TXTR at


 Many Smashwords authors have noticed lately that their books are shipping faster to iBooks than ever before. Price updates for Premium Catalog books are being reflected within hours. Some Smashwords authors have even seen their books appear for sale at iBooks the *same day* they uploaded to Smashwords (this is most likely to happen on Thursdays or Fridays when our vetting queue is the shortest). The cause of the new lightning-fast deliveries and listings? Two pieces to this. 1. The Smashwords vetting team is approving books quickly. 2. iBooks, in recognition of our vetting team's accuracy, has decided to fast track the listings of all non-erotica titles coming from Smashwords. Since we vet the books they don't have to. The implications of these faster listings are huge. It's yet another advantage of reaching iBooks through Smashwords. Learn more at


This came as news to me. We already knew, as I've been sharing for the last year, that one of the biggest reasons to do ebook preorders is that all the accumulated orders credit as unit sales on the same day the book goes onsale at iBooks and Kobo, causing the book to spike in the bestseller lists. Higher rankings in the bestseller list increase the visibility, discoverability and desirability of your book to customers, which creates a virtuous self-reinforcing cycle of more sales leading to more sales. Until recently, it was a common belief that this magical day-one spike didn't happen at Barnes & Noble. That's what I thought, and I was WRONG! Here's how I got my head set straight: After I noticed our bestseller Nicky Charles spiking in the B&N bestseller list the day her preorder activated, I checked with one of my contacts at B&N and asked if they had changed their algorithm. And what do you know?! Sure enough, B&N preorders get the same magic day-one bump in the charts as iBooks and Kobo preorders get. If you upload direct to Barnes & Noble through Nook Press, you can't do preorders. If you distribute via Smashwords, you can do preorders at B&N! You also can earn 60% list on books priced under $2.99 and over $9.99, whereas direct uploaders via Nook Press only earn 40% list for those price points. Oh, and the faster shipments we do to Apple? We're now shipping 5 days per week, five times daily to B&N as well. Now more than ever, you've got great reason to consolidate all your non-Amazon ebook distribution through Smashwords. By consolidating your distribution through Smashwords, you can spend more time writing and less time fussing with direct uploads. Learn more about B&N preorders at


 If you live near New York City, don't miss uPublishU on Saturday May 31. I'll be on hand to present two workshops. The first is an all-new workshop on PREORDER STRATEGY. Learn how to top the bestseller lists with preorders. The tips I share aren't just pie-in-the-sky speculation. Hundreds of Smashwords authors have put my strategies to the test and have gained measurable incremental advantage, and dozens have hit the top-10 bestseller lists. The second workshop is on iBooks merchandising strategies. This will be an updated version of the talk you can listen to on YouTube at Register for uPublishU at View a summary of the great sessions at I'll be there with Jim Azevedo of Smashwords, so please stop by and say hello! We love meeting Smashwords authors face to face at these events.

 6. UPDATE ON SUBSCRIPTION EBOOK SERVICES SCRIBD AND OYSTER  As ya'll know, over the last six months we've added two new ebook subscription services to the Smashwords Distribution Network. I know a lot of authors were concerned these services wouldn't amount to much, but I'm happy to report both are looking like they'll become significant ebook retailing platforms for our authors. We now have two full months of sales data from Scribd, starting from the month of March. Scribd's first month was an all-time record for a new retailer's first month. They followed with a strong April with sales up another 50%. Oyster, now with about five months of sales under its belt, is also showing a lot of promise. Oyster has grown its Smashwords sales 40-50% per month, each month. This is impressive growth for both Oyster and Scribd, and I haven't seen such consistent sequential monthly percentage increases for a new retailer since the early days of iBooks, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. Let's hope these two partners keep it up! I think one or both of these partners could become significant players on the scale of Kobo or B&N during the next three years. Smashwords authors who got in early will have the greatest long term advantage because our 250,000+ titles represent the bulk of their catalogs at the moment. It means our authors are reaping the bulk of the readership exposure. In a few years once these services have millions of titles (and they probably will), the competition for reader eyeballs will be greater. Scribd is also is doing an exclusive promotional feature for the next week showcasing the books of 18 Smashwords authors. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds mighty promising. Thanks to the entire team.