I decided to review some metrics today during my lunch hour. Yes, like many authors, I still have a day job. Keep in mind that what you are about to see does not reflect my paperback sales, nor the anthologies in which I've participated (one of which has generated more than 10,000 downloads). This is strictly my own eBooks, with data available as of this morning.
Since I started using Amazon KDP (the regular version), 757 eBooks have been either purchased or downloaded there (I have a couple of freebies available).
Now, compare that to Smashwords. I've had 791 direct sales there. However, when you factor in freebie downloads and extended distribution sales, that number leaps up to 3,849. The vast majority of those sales are in ePub format.
That, my friends, is a factor of 5:1 favorable to Smashwords. And this is why I will never consider KDP-Select. I know that some people have had success with it, but I've learned over time that the majority of my readers use ePub technology (I have a fairly eclectic international audience, and Kobo is the most popular reader abroad). It just doesn't make good business sense to cut off 80 percent of my audience!
The majority of books, indie or not, seldom sell more than 100 copies. It makes me feel great to see these numbers (a total of 4,606 eBook sales alone) and know that I've accomplished a goal and exceeded the typical sales rate. It also tells me that my business plan, to make sure that I'm discoverable in as many places as possible, is working. Slow, steady success is a good thing.
Thanks, as always, for being such great fans and friends. I appreciate each and every sale, download, retweet ... all of it.