Monday, January 9, 2012

Quick Note on Non-Amazon Income

While not all of Smashwords' figures have trickled through for 2011, and Amazon requires a little digging and math....

I think I can say with some assurance that about 40 percent of my writing income comes from Smashwords and associates right now. (Most of that is Barnes & Noble, with an assist from Apple.) About 60 percent of my income comes from Amazon's KDP.

Since I hear a lot of authors sneering at non-Amazon markets, I thought I would post this bit of information. I would also point out that it isn't because of anything special I do for the other vendors. If you'll notice, nearly all my book links on this blog are to Amazon, for instance. Or Amazon and Smashwords itself, since it's much easier. It takes a while for a book to propagate to Barnes & Noble, and Apple doesn't do direct link to their store, so I very seldom get around to posting the links to them, even though they account for a nice chunk of my sales.

Amazon has all sorts of advantages over other vendors in terms of marketing and sales. They have their lovely algorithm, and a wonderful shopping experience, for instance. But the one thing Smashwords and its vendors have that Amazon does not is the ability of the author to more fully control free books.

I'll admit that most authors are not great business people and don't know how to use sales and special offers and free books to help their income. And I know very well that Amazon has its eyes on a distant horizon that no one else can see. They don't think in the short term and they have different priorities.

But given the stats I mentioned in an earlier post about free books and pricing, I do think that my ability to control the offering of free books is what allows my sales at other vendors to catch up, no matter how bad those other vendors are at marketing.

Tomorrow I'll get on with the posts about writing schedules.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congrats on the non-Amazon sales, Camille! That's very interesting. It sounds like pricing is a key factor for the success there. Thanks for the info.

David Michael said...

Overall, about 20% of my indie author money has come from non-Amazon sources (which includes both KDP and CreateSpace).

I'm happy with any % that is > 0%. Because it's not like putting my books on either PubIt or Smashwords cost me anything beyond a few minutes time. Any sales venue that is easily attained is a good sales venue. Someone would have to be a bit daft to ignore the option of FREE MONEY.


The Daring Novelist said...

Elizabeth - thanks. I'll be posting more data later once the all the sales report data is ready later in the month.

David - Yeah, I don't get it either, other than laziness, or people are too busy being cool to be sensible.

"Passive income" works via lots of little trickles of income.