Usually, when authors are not satisfied by their Amazon sales, they start looking for other online book trade areas to sell their books. There are dozens of online bookstores where you can publish your book, set your price and try to sell it. However, Amazon is still the most effective online business playground to sell your digital and physical books. I can confidently tell you that Amazon is the best store to sell your books. So what does make Amazon so effective? First of all, we should remember that Amazon did not build its brand in a few months. It took a long time for Amazon to become who it is now. This company is one of the most accurate and hardworking companies in the world. All these reasons make Amazon one of the most trustworthy online stores in the world. Amazon is visited by millions of people around the world. So when you publish your book on Amazon, your book is visible for millions of online customers who potentially may become your buyers. All these factors make Amazon the most popular online store in the cyberspace.
There may be loads of different reasons why you want to abandon Amazon and sell your books somewhere else. It is very difficult to receive customer reviews on Amazon and you won’t be successful if you don’t have any positive reviews. Thus, you won’t sell any of your books. There may be some other reasons for your decision.
Let me tell you one thing. If you are not able to sell your books on Amazon, do not fancy to sell them somewhere else. If all the opportunities on Amazon do not let you make any sales, don’t think that you will make them somewhere else.
There is another popular online bookstore called SmashWords (www.smashwords.com). It does not have such a huge traffic that Amazon has, but I can tell that this service is also very popular. Some of the main features of Smashwords are:
1) DIFFERENT BOOK FORMATS
The main advantage of SmashWords is that a buyer who purchases your book will be able to download your book in any format he wants. It will be available in PDF, epub, word and all other formats. Amazon does not offer readers this option. Digital books on Amazon are available only in kindle format.
2) EASILY MANIPULATED CUSTOMER REVIEW SYSTEM
I do not claim it to be an advantage. I just want to mention this. Customer reviews and an author’s rating can be manipulated and speculated with ease. For example, you may open multiple accounts and buy your books many times. In result, your book may become a bestseller. You may also write yourself dozens or even hundreds of fake reviews and your book will be the most rated book. Usually, book readers won’t believe reviews on SmashWords, since it can be very easily manipulated. SmashWords moderators don’t pay any attention to these problems. You may write a thousand of reviews to your own book by using different accounts, post them in one day and you still can be sure that these reviews won’t be deleted.
So let us return to the main topic of this post. How effective is SmashWords to sell your books? By my own experience, I can tell you that SmashWords is not effective and you won’t make any sales on this online store. No matter how many ratings or reviews you have, SmashWords isn’t an effective tool to make good sales. I have spoken with dozens of authors and all of them tell that they have not sold even a single book on SmashWords. I have also read different authors forums, blogs, and all authors say that SmashWords is not a good place to sell your books. However, SmashWords still exists and there may be some people who spend their money buying on that store. Even though, you have a 1% likelihood to sell some of your books on SmashWords.
The best way to see whether our theoretical predictions are true or false is to practice yourself. It is not a difficult thing to publish your book on SmashWords. It is a matter of a few minutes. Publish your books on SmashWords but do not fully rely on this service. Continue selling on Amazon.