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Authors Need More Studies

Posted on 2013-May-10

by BB eBooks Staff

Reader-pleasing Titles

For the record, I studied what Mark Coker of Smashwords said in his survey about shorter titles. The blog title today does not exceed four words hoping that this entry will be categorized as “reader/author-pleasing.” More information on what titles sell at the Smashwords Blog.

Rumored Plan to Buy Nook Media


Having surfed the web to hunt for research materials for my blog, a rumor has it that Microsoft is planning to buy Nook Media. I thought that rumor was blog-worthy to be investigated and dissected. But then I changed my mind when Joe Konrath’s new entry comes along and Smashwords’ epic survey stung my head with viral catalysts and key findings pertaining to an eBook pricing strategy.

Self-publishing Converts


Before going into great length with the epic findings, Alex Sokoloff’s guest blog at Joe Konrath’s writing realm does shed some light on self-publishing for a beginner. Although her testimony is the first one in the list, what makes it interesting is how she reaches out to her fellow authors and extends her advice to the screenwriters’ union. Long before she had her eBooks distributed, her traditionally published route came to a decisive halt when she was foreseeing the end of the road for her profitable career path as a screenwriter.

Study Hard


Alex did not jump right on the bandwagon of self-publishing just because she had expected to earn higher royalties. Business-wise, she saw the change in her professional industry going downhill and had to save herself from working longer hours just to earn less and less income. While submitting the books to publishers, rewarding advances were not sustainable yet, so she kept on studying how to debut her novel via digital publishing. She did her homework industriously and watched her friends in need voicing their insightful thoughts. By the time she almost finished her first self-published book, she had to work against the odds that had discouraged the critical decision she made.

Should’ve Done it Sooner


Her success came around during the first three months after her eBook-only novel was published on Amazon in terms of finance and social media recognition. Her flowing income gave her security to work on the subsequent books in the series. Apart from financial success, being nominated for a literary award along with her traditionally published colleagues is such a tremendous privilege for her. Alex ends her blog entry by referring to Ann Voss Peterson’s sentiment that she did not self-publish sooner.

Major Control from Beginning to End


Joe Konrath stresses the entire control how indie authors can have over their books from book cover design to marketing and promotion. Forget these quality control participation if you are tied to traditional publishing model. The game of waiting to be published and passively watching whatever someone thinks best for your book is not practical and pleasurable anymore.

It’s All about Money, Money, Money…

Today’s blog entry will not be complete without mentioning the talk of the town that Smashwords has recently released on their blog. For those of you who cannot decide which price entry is the ideal number for your eBook, study this survey in particular carefully and take advantage of the findings. For what it’s worth for our dear clients at BB eBooks, I’d like to draw your attention some of the prominent findings for your success on Smashwords and anywhere else. First finding reveals how voters tend to lean against longer books over shorter books. To crack into the Top 100, authors might have to write around the clock to produce a 100,000+ words novel. Less than that, you can still be listed in the Top 250-100,000. However, it depends on what you are willing to share the readers and the word count needs your judgment. Smashwords’ word of advice warns you against bloating the story with extra words.

Shorter Titles Sell

Second interesting finding, shorter book titles are more appealing than longer ones. Bestselling titles score well between 4.2 and 4.6 words (Top 10 - 100). Mark opines that shorter titles can get the reader’s attention more effectively. Top 10 bestselling eBooks on Amazon tell a slightly different story. Most are christened between 2 and 4 words e.g. ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘The Hit’, ‘The Bet’, and ‘Now You See Her’ with the exception of #14 and #15 bestselling titles carrying one word in title as in ‘Real’ and ‘Inferno’.

Amazon 1

Amazon 2

Amazon 3

The Cheaper, the Better

Third finding for indie authors might be the guideline most of you have been waiting to hear. Although it’s undoubtedly obvious that free is always the safest bet to boost your download record, $2.99 is the newly accepted figure that readers are willing to pay. Yet, last year’s favorite $0.99 is still trailing not far behind. $8.00 and ≥$10 tend to attract less traction.

Avoid the Black Hole, Embrace $3.99


The reason I said free is the safest choice brings us to the fourth finding. Although free eBooks help increase “92 times more downloads than books at any price,” lower priced eBooks can efficiently attract the readers. $3.99 is the sweetest spot this time to mobilize unit sales volume replacing $2.99. The price range between $1.00 and $1.99 is a “black hole” that does not lead anywhere. Higher prices from $7.00 to >$10 are less favorable. For more in-depth findings on Smashwords, you can read all the details and presentation slides for your best practice to distribute your books to most retailers.

Do Your Homework


By echoing Ann Voss Peterson’s sentiment that she missed the first train to self-publishing, Alex has learned her done her homework well to study how to maximize her earnings as an author. Little by little, she learns more from her “radical” colleagues and finds her way to success to sustain her career. Joe chimes in the right moment to emphasize how self-assurance can allow indie authors to keep control of their book from start to finish. It is hard work that a single entrepreneur has to deal with; but the labor pays off when your statement of income arrives in your bank account. Smashwords’ detailed analysis gives a valuable insight how pricing strategy can help you decide which pricing strategy can best attract readers and how the word count affects the purchasing decision.

Although BB eBooks is not a retailer, we always present the industry news to our clients’ decision and future self-publishers on our website blog. +1 on Google+ and like us on Facebook. Have a good weekend everybody!

Label: Self-Publishing

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