Welcome to the 2014 Smashwords Survey, our third annual survey that reveals new opportunities for indie ebook authors to sell more books.
As in prior surveys (view the 2013 Smashwords Survey here and 2012 Smashwords Survey here), we examined aggregated retail and library sales data of Smashwords books and then crunched the numbers based on various quantifiable characteristics of the book.
For this year’s survey, we examined over $25 million in customer purchases aggregated across Smashwords retailers including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Smashwords.com store, Sony (now closed), Diesel (closed), Oyster, Scribd, Kobo, public libraries and others.
This year, we break new ground with more data, including survey questions that explore preorders and series, two categories of inquiry that weren’t possible in prior years. These latter two categories were enabled by Smashwords’ introduction of ebook preorder distribution in July, 2013 and our new Smashwords Series Manager feature which allows us to capture, analyze and share the performance of series books.
The goal of the survey is to identify Viral Catalysts. I first introduced the concept of Viral Catalyst in 2012 with the publication of my free ebook best practices book, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. A Viral Catalyst is anything that makes a book more discoverable and more enjoyable to readers.