Quick Casey-dawg update: gave her a dose of her medicine last night and she held that down fine. She gave me the stink-eye plenty because she was hungry and I wasn’t allowed to feed her, though. This morning, more medicine, followed by the prescribed amount of chicken noodle soup (run through the blender). She kept that down, so an hour or so later, I gave her a bit more. She threw up a tiny amount, but kept most of it down. As of now (about 8 PM Wednesday evening), she’s had another dose of medicine and two more tiny servings of chicken soup, and all of it has stayed down. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Earlier this year, I started making my books available on Smashwords. I didn’t see any real sales to speak of, but figured SW was valuable as a distribution platform, since they make the titles available to various outlets, including Apple’s iBookstore and Kobo. Meanwhile, most of the sales I’ve been seeing have been through Amazon, with slightly less through Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.
But yesterday I actually started paying attention to Smashwords and how freakin’ cool the site is. I like the way the business is run, and the people who run it seem extremely dedicated and conscientious.
Here’s what really snapped my head around, though: I make a significantly higher royalty on sales through Smashwords than I do through Amazon or B&N.
Don’t get me wrong — this isn’t some anti-corporate, stick-it-to-the-man rant. I buy plenty of stuff from Amazon myself (pre-ordering Jaws on Blu-ray, for instance), and to be honest, I figure wherever someone wants to spend their money is their business. So yeah, on the contrary, this is actually me being blatantly greedy.
Click on the image to see the Smashwords page for the book.
Dig if you will: say you buy a copy of Pete, Drinker of Blood part 6 for 99 cents from Amazon. First off, I thank you very much for spending your money on my work, no matter where you do so. Believe me, I appreciate every sale I make, and so do the dawgs, because they know it all adds up to another big sack of food. Out of that 99 cents spent at Amazon, I get 35 cents.
But check this out (and why I never realized this before is a shining example of how stupid I’m capable of being): if you buy that same 99 cent installment of Pete from Smashwords, I get 56 cents.
Now, that 21 cent difference might not sound like much, but think about how that can add up.
To be fair to Amazon, anything priced under $2.99 on Amazon falls under their 30% royalty rate. Anything $2.99 and higher qualifies for their 70% royalty, so I do pretty well on stuff like Squirrel Eyes or Tales of Misery and Imagination.
But I get 85% at Smashwords. Across the board. (There’s a Paypal transaction fee, which is why that 56 cent amount doesn’t sound quite right for a 99 cent sale).
Something else cool about Smashwords? You can choose whatever file type you prefer. Got a Kindle? You can buy the .mobi file. Nook or iBooks? Choose the ePub file. You can get files for your Sony eReader or your Kobo or just plain .pdf versions, if you prefer.
And once you’ve bought a book, you can go back and download another file type at any time, at no extra cost. Say you’ve got a Kindle and an iPad — well, you can download the same title in two different formats and put ‘em on each device. And each book’s catalog page includes a handy link with easy instructions on how to load the titles on your choice of reading device.
Also: Smashwords uses PayPal, so you’re not handing out your info to yet another online source. It’s all easy as pie.
And you’re helping authors get more of the money for their work.
Mind you, I’m not gonna fault anyone for buying stuff where they prefer to shop. If you dig Amazon or whatever and that’s where you wanna buy things, like I said up above — it’s your business, and if one of the things you choose to buy from Amazon or B&N or wherever happens to be something I wrote, again, it’s very much appreciated. At the end of the day, I’m just happy to sell a book, and I’m even happier if people are entertained by my work.
But if you’re so inclined, give Smashwords a look, nose around, see what’s what. I think you’ll like ‘em, too.
NOTE: I do not own stock in Smashwords and I’m not sleeping with the owner. I just dig ‘em.