First an update re: free eBooks: As you probably know, for a few months I’ve had a coupon code on modernevil.com that allows you to get my zombie novel, Cheating, Death, free on Smashwords – instead of hosting the eBook myself, as I do with my older titles. 2 people took advantage in May, 2 in June, and 4 in July. This compares to 50-150 downloads per month of each eBook I host myself. The extra trouble of clicking through to Smashwords, signing up for an account (if you don’t already have one), and using a coupon code apparently weeds out up to 99% of potential readers. In mid-July I put up a comparable code for the Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut, though it wasn’t used in July or August. On August 29th, Cheating Death was listed at online-novels.blogspot.com, and in 3 days (before the end of August) it was downloaded 18 times. So, in the evening of 8/31 I went through and put Smashwords coupon codes (and add’l iBooks links) on the eBook pages of all my already-free eBooks. People are already beginning to use them. September’s numbers may be interesting/different.
Here are the eBook and Podiobook download numbers, as usual giving the total of eBook downloads, the total of Podiobook downloads, and the more-accurate (re: # of people who dl’d a full book) total downloads of the final episodes of each Podiobook, as: eBook/total-PB/final-PB
- Lost and Not Found: 59 / 977 / 27
- Dragons’ Truth: 135 / 671 / 71
- Forget What You Can’t Remember: 88 / 2379 / 75
- Untrue Tales… Book One: 95 / 1927 / 164
- Untrue Tales… Book Two: 78 / 2211 / 136
- Untrue Tales… Book Three: 80 / 928 / 80
- Cheating, Death: 18 / 2852 / 185
- Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut: 0 / 309 / 39
- More Lost Memories (full): 0 / 1523 / 200
- More Lost Memories (ind. stories, eBook only): 1
- Time, emiT, and Time Again: 1 / 644 / N/A
- Total for all titles: 555 / 14,092 / 977
- Total YTD: 4,091 / 162,983 / 11,284
- Total all-time: 12,513 / 343,084 / 22,403
Of note: Podiobooks numbers are WAY off for August. Most titles had up to 40% fewer total downloads, and up to 50% fewer downloads of final episodes versus July, which was already down 10% from June. Untrue Tales… Book One and Cheating, Death were actually flat, and More Lost Memories just finished in August (so was up), plus Time, emiT, and Time Again began in August, so it’s also “up” (from zero) – which means that the “all titles” numbers only appear to be off 10%-22% for the month.
In terms of sales: The only eBooks I moved directly through Smashwords were the free copies of Cheating, Death. “Premium” channel sales via Smashwords have not been updated since I posted last month, so who knows? Amazon says I sold 3 kindle books for ~$10; this is the new 70% royalty rate at work. The same three eBooks would have netted me only ~$5 at the old 35% rate. I’ve begun hearing horror stories from authors who have their books on Amazon and Smashwords “Premium Distribution” where some of the “Premium” vendors (read: Kobo) are cutting your prices, or where metadata miscommunication results in wrong prices, and Amazon’s new system auto-matches the lower price the author never authorized, or Amazon cuts off sales entirely while it investigates. I set my prices identically across all the platforms I offer them (at 1/2 the paperback cover price), which will soon include Amazon, Google Editions, Goodreads, and Smashwords (& thus: Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Diesel, and Sony). I am not looking forward to having to cut any of those channels out because some automated systems want to argue over how little to charge for my books, but if Kobo screws up my sales, I will. The free copies are for people who thing $5.99 is too much for an eBook – the $5.99 copies are the lowest point of entry for people who want to financially support me as an independent creator; no need for a price war, people. You can’t beat free.
Also, while updating my spreadsheet today I noticed there was a miscalculation that effected the numbers I posted last month. The error only effected Podiobooks numbers, and only for “all titles” numbers. I have corrected the post.