Tuesday, 7 August 2012

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Can You Self-Publish With Smashwords AND Amazon?

I've been reading a lot recently about how great Amazon is. Currently, I self-publish all my ebooks using Smashwords and I find they're okay. I get enough regular downloads to keep me happy. I hadn't considered the possibility of self-publishing with Smashwords and Amazon until yesterday. With more readers, more downloads and sales, more profits, why wouldn't you?

Here are some things you need to really think about before doing this...

According to Smashwords, Amazon is around "2000 times bigger" than them. So Smashwords distribute to everyone but Amazon, you distribute yourself separately to them. That way you're selling to everyone. A few people have said Smashwords will die out soon, replaced by Amazon, whereas others say Smashwords is on the rise and they intend to stick with them until they are at the same level or higher as Amazon.

Smashwords have the upper hand as they distribute your work for you to several places like Apple and Barnes and Noble. However Amazon have the advantage of being hugely-massively-distinctively more popular than any other ebook retailer.

Smashwords allow you to set your ebook price as free, but Amazon do not. I understand both but sometimes it's nicer to be able to have free ebooks to entice readers, and set the rest to whatever price you like, to have the choice. However the more ebooks are free, the less reason readers have to buy ebooks and they will expect and then probably demand ebooks for free. It's tricky keeping everyone happy.

If you post your ebooks to Smashwords and fancy having a go at Amazon too (and why shouldn't you?) you need to know that Amazon don't allow you to post ebooks for a lesser price anywhere else. Meaning if your ebook is for free on Smashwords you can't post it to Amazon. You have to go to Smashwords and change the price to whatever price you are selling it for (or more) on Amazon.

As all my ebooks were free, I changed my series book, Salvatore: Book One to $0.99 (77p!) and posted it to Amazon, just to see how it sells. I've heard of people doing really, really well on Amazon with sales. I'm not too bothered how much money I make, I'd happily post it on Amazon for free if I could to reach out to more readers, but I'll see how it goes and of course I'll blog about it so you can know too.

Let me know if you have experience with Smashwords, Amazon or both!



Smashwords eBooks 

Amazon eBooks