Indie Epublished Authors: You can now reach 50 Countries via Smashword’s Distribution Channel with Apple!

Happy Hump Day, WG2E-Land!

Last week, Smashwords announced that Apple had added 18 new countries to their distribution, bringing their total to 50 countries. And every single one of those will be a new channel for Smashword’s Authors!!!

Here’s the article from Smashword Founder Mark Coker:

Apple iBookstore Expands Global Reach of Smashwords Ebooks to 50 Countries

Per Coker:

The new countries include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and New Zealand.

Apple now has the broadest distribution for Indie Epublished Books.

Coker goes on to say:

For the month of September 2012, Smashwords authors and publishers yielded fully 46% of their Apple sales from stores outside the United States.  With the launch of these 18 new stores, I expect November will easily cross 50%.  For the month of September, our largest markets outside the US were Australia, the U.K. and Canada, in that order.

I can tell you, personally, where I fit into his statistics…

I make between $150 and $300 per month on Apple (via Smashwords), with highs at $500+. And between 30% and 45% of those sales are in Apple’s international markets. Australia is first for me, with Canada and the U.K tied for second.

I’m thrilled to be able to reach these global markets and the readers that make up their customer bases.

And I love that international authors can publish via Smashwords, whereas they can’t on Barnes & Noble.

This new development is also another HUGE reason to not go Exclusive with platforms like Amazon KDP Select or Nook First. For example, it takes several months to reach international markets via the Smashwords-Apple distribution channels, and each month you’re exclusive, prevents that progress for another month.

Thanks to the Smashwords-Apple channels, 7 of my books so far have hit Apple’s Bestseller Charts many times for the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia markets. :-)

In 2012, I’ll have made around $12,000 via Smashwords with Apple as the second highest etailer in that total. Only B&N beat it (for the three titles I’d distributed to Nook via Smashwords, prior to Pubit going live).

It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: What are your thoughts on this recent development? How many of you are in Apple’s international stores thanks to Smashwords?

The Best of International Ebook Sales Wishes — D. D. Scott

D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing.  You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.

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  1. Jeanne says:

    Sounds great D.D.!

  2. This is good news. I just checked my books and they’ve all made it to the Apple Store. It’s funny. A few of my titles took months to get there, but I see the short story uploaded three weeks ago is already there.

  3. This is a timely post, D.D! I’m traditionally published and just went Indie early this month. My sales aren’t all that great–I think this is because I’m not good at promo topped with a lack of knowledge–and I was thinking about pulling the book from Kobo and Smashwords in order to do the KDP Select program. Your post makes me re-think the idea.

    Only need to figure out how to make more sales now…

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Congrats again, Monique, on joining our Indie Epublishing World! U Go, Girl!!!

      It wasn’t until I did my “First One is On Me” across all platforms that I really began to pick up huge sales momentum across all channels.

      In other words, I made the first book FREE across all platforms, and that made the sales of my other books soar.

      But, yes, the other secret is, that you have to be available on those platforms first! You got it!!!

      • Can you make books free on Amazon without being a part of the Select program? I was under the impression it wasn’t possible to do that.

        • D.D. Scott says:

          You’re right, Monique…now, the only way to make books FREE on Amazon directly is to be in Select in which you get something like 5 FREE Days each three month period.


          Amazon could decide to price match you instead! I went the price matching route, by making it FREE on Smashwords. B&N price-matched in about a week and Amazon shortly thereafter. Amazon doesn’t seem to be price-matching as often or as quickly, but they’re still doing it (see CC’s comment today)! :-)

          • Umm… scratches head… can someone be so kind as the walk me through the process? You can email me here:

            A ginormous thank you to anyone willing to hold a newbie’s hand. :)

          • D.D. Scott says:

            Change your price on Smashwords to FREE. Then all you have to do is wait on the other platforms to match it. Sometimes, it can help to go onto Barnes & Noble and Amazon and click on the links on your book’s page that allow you to report that you’ve gotten the book cheaper somewhere else.

            To make your book FREE on Smashwords, just go into your Dashboard. Look at the Operations Section. Click on Settings and choose to make your book FREE.

            Does that answer all your how-to questions?

          • Thank you so much, D.D!

            I know the mechanics of making the book free, I just didn’t know how to go about the process. I’ve heard people say make the book free on Smashwords and the rest will follow, but when I lowered my price on Smashwords, another Indie author told me Amazon will have a problem with me doing that! I thought since it’s my book I can do whatever I liked with it!! But as I’m new to this way of doing things I decided to err on the side of caution and put the price back up.

            Thank you ever so much for your patience and all of your help! :)

            God bless!

          • Well-well-well… you taught me something new, D.D! I had no idea my books were on B&N! I think I might need to go on a hunt…!

            Thanks again!!

          • D.D. Scott says:

            Your books will be on B&N if you (a) used their Pubit Platform or (b) allowed Smashwords to distribute there for you. I like Pubit because that’s the direct way and owned by B&N itself. Whenever I can go direct with an etailer, I do.

            That said, before Pubit existed, I had four books on B&N via Smashwords so I left them there because they sell sooo well, and I didn’t want to lose all of those reviews and momentum by taking them down from Smashwords and starting over as if they were new books on Pubit.

  4. Patrice says:

    So far I’m not making any money on Smashwords but hopefully that will soon change. This is all great news! I wanted to let you know that I’m reading your box set, and I’m loving your writing. No wonder you’re an international best seller!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Welcome to my Bootscootin’ and Cozy Cash Mystery Worlds, Patrice!!! I’m over the moon you’re enjoying my Boxed Set! I’ll have the second set out over the holidays, which will pick up right where the first one left off!!! :-)

      Here’s the scoop on my Smashwords income: My first year with them, I made a whopping $0.00 (Yep, not a dime from August 2010 thru December 2010!). In 2011, I made $128.86. For 2012, I’ll make over $12,000.00.

      It definitely hasn’t been overnight success, but I’ve made HUGE strides!!!

  5. Julie Day says:

    I am excited. I have just published a short story, so the more places it can reach the better for me. Smashwords is the first place I always upload my ebooks to as it has more distribution channels to go to. Hurrah. Writing ebooks has just become more fun and lucrative for me and all of us.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      You nailed it right here, my friend:

      “…the more places it can reach the better for me.”

      The more platforms you’re on, the more people will find/discover you!!! :-)

  6. Thanks for the great info, D.D.! I plan on doing Smashwords ASAP. I haven’t done it up until this point because I’ve heard their formatting system makes the books look terrible. Do you know if that’s still the case?

    Another great and informative post, as always!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Smashwords formatting is super-tough to get right, Riley! Even my Format Gurus at 52 Novels say it’s a huge challenge and pain in their butts. I would suggest you have your Smashwords files professionally formatted, and even then, very seldom do they make it through the “meatgrinder” program they evaluate files with on the first try. Plus, having someone else do this for you gives you more time to write, especially if you’re a Techno Dunce like me!!! LOL!!!

      • Julie Day says:

        I do my own formatting, although my stories so far are under 10K. I had one glitch this time where I forgot to make sure there were no spaces instead of all being paragraph indented. Took a few seconds to amend, then had to republish. I try to remember to do most of the formatting when I type the work as I go along. Saves time that way.

        • D.D. Scott says:

          You’re sooo right, Julie, that by writing in Ebook Format-style, you save yourself a ton of reworking when it’s time to prepare the file to upload. Well done!!!

          It took me awhile to write without indenting paragraphs and such, but now I think it would be tough to go back to that old way, which really is more work for no benefit.

      • Smashwords is less quirky if you download and follow their formatting guidelines (especially what they call the ‘going nuclear’ cleanup) to the tee.

  7. I upload directly to Apple via a person who has a Mac and we were excited about this, except there’s some tax concerns we’re trying to get answers about before we accept the expanded distribution. In the new license terms with Apple, they state they are not collecting sales tax for a number of the countries and it then falls to the publisher’s shoulders to make sure any applicable taxes are collected. Does anyone out there know details on this? My uploader and I didn’t want to just blindly accept until we understood our responsibilities in the matter.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Smashwords does take care of all of the taxes, and that’s a HUGE plus for sure, Stacey!

      Do you still have to upload to each country individually on the Mac? That’s the other reason I went with Smashwords for Apple, after hearing Bob Mayer and Jen Talty explain that at the time, they were uploading every book 20+ times on Apple, once for each country. Ugh!!!

  8. D.D.,
    Great post-as usual, timely and practical info :) Just curious, do you have novels translated to specific languages if you know a non-English language is more prominent in a given country (or batch of countries- e.g. Apple’s latest Smashwords roster) OR do pub everything in English and let it run as-is to all the various countries of distribution. Not looking for all your trade secrets, just curious if you’ve created a rule of thumb w/ respect to translation cost v. addt’l foreign sales. I know getting it out there is most important, but you’re practical experience goes way beyond that, so I’m just curious if you (or others) have thoughts on it. Have a great day!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      At this time, I’ve published everything in English, Steven. That said, I am considering translating everything into German, French, Spanish and Italian, perhaps as early as next year, just to see if that makes a huge difference in sales.

      I’ve learned that for India and much of South America, English is widely known, read and used. So, I should be okay there.

      Also, I’m considering looking at Japanese translation. Although, English is widely used there as well by the population who use Ereaders and cell phones.

      Great question, and thanks for asking it!!!

  9. CC MacKenzie says:

    Hi, D.D.

    You wonderful woman. Reckless went free on iTunes two weeks ago and within four days was in the top five of eight countries and is still rocking. Across the countries it has over 300 4/5* reviews and sales of my second book are up. Took your advice and see what happens? And Kindle price matched a week later.

    Thank you for everything you do for Indie authors.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      U betchya, CC!!!

      Bravo, my friend! I’m over the moon thrilled for you!!!

      Going with a FREE Ebook is “the” way to get discovered on Apple iTunes!!! Those peeps are used to 99 Cent music downloads and pricey devices, but what’s still outta the park new to them is FREE content!!!

      And cheers to Kindle price-matching. That seems to be getting rarer and rarer for non-KDP Select Authors.

      U Go, Girl!!!

  10. Sibel Hodge says:

    Ooooh, thanks for sharing, DD. This is exciting stuff and can only be good news. Three cheers for Apple and Smashwords :)

    • D.D. Scott says:

      I’ll second that, Sibel!!! Apple and Smashwords are rockin’ when it comes to international distribution!!!

      I think Kobo will be right with ‘em soon too!!! I do really well internationally on Kobo as well!!!

  11. Thank you for the info, DD! :-)

  12. Christina says:

    This is wonderful news!

    I got my very first quarterly statement from Smashwords the other and I’ve made a whopping $7.63. But now things are rolling along and I’m very glad they’re opening up to more countries. I had issues with Smashwords the first time I formatted, but now I write within a template and it’s much easier to get everything done right the first time now.

  13. I have some books up at Smashwords, and I have to say that i just love doing my own thing, having such a large say, and getting a larger chunk of the royalties. I can’t say enough good things about Smashwords, and I’d encourage anyone to give it a go. I certainly plan on publishing more books there.

  14. David Slegg says:

    This is so cool! It’s great to know that there are all these new markets out there to tap into!

    Thanks for the info!