By now, we hope you’ve heard the news that Smashwords and Draft2Digital have come together under one roof to form the most powerful distribution option for wide indie authors, anywhere.
At the end of 2022, we enabled D2D authors to opt into the Smashwords store and participate in the famous Smashwords End of Year sale. (If you missed it, keep an eye out for the next one—these sales happen three times a year and are always huge hits for our authors!)
But there’s still more to come in 2023, and that’s what this post is about.
Over the course of this year, D2D authors will gain access to Smashwords tools that we just can’t wait to tell you about. So instead of waiting, we’re writing this post! Read on to learn more about tools coming soon to D2D authors so you can boost your marketing strategy in 2023.
Note that these tools aren’t available to D2D authors just yet—this is merely a sneak peek. Stay tuned for updates as we roll them out this year!
Coupon Manager is a tool so useful we wish we’d invented it. Thankfully, our new colleagues at Smashwords dreamed it up first! Coupon Manager will give authors the option to create all kinds of coupons directly from your dashboard: % off, $ off, discounts for a particular reader or subscriber group, etc.
You can also meter your coupons, limiting the number of redemptions. For example, you could grant a coupon to the first 100 readers who redeem it. With Global Coupons, you can even put all your books on sale at once with the click of a button!
Coupon Manager will also add your books to the Smashwords store Special Deals section, which highlights all on-sale books in the marketplace. As you grow your audience and cultivate a track record in the store, you can even gain a spot in the store’s Featured Special Deals, upping your odds of getting discovered by your future fans. (Kind of BookBub Featured Deals, but it’s free!)
Author Interviews are an easy way to provide more information about yourself on your bio page, without having to go through the utter awkwardness of talking yourself up, unprompted.
They consist of a series of pre-written questions designed to give readers the information they need to forge a lifelong relationship with you. You can choose a standard set of auto-populated questions or select more unique ones, revealing as much or as little as you like.
It’s like having icebreakers for your bio page—all the information and relationship-building without the agony of deciding where to start!
Smashwords Store Sales
Okay, so Smashwords store sales ARE already available for D2D authors, but we’re so excited that we had to mention it again in this post.
The Smashwords store gets traffic from millions of readers across 180 countries. (For reference, there are 195 countries in the world at the time of writing—so that’s just about the best coverage you’re gonna get.)
The three annual Smashwords store sales create a definite spike in sales for indie authors, so we highly encourage everyone to participate. We kept a close eye on the data this year, and there was no mistaking the moment when the Smashwords store sale began!
You’ll have three opportunities each year to participate in a Smashwords store sale:
- Read an eBook Week (March)
- Summer/Winter Sale (July)
- End of Year Sale (December)
The store will also run a couple of new super sales this year, themed specifically for erotica and romance. If and when those take off, we’ll likely see themed sales for more genres in 2024.
Last, but certainly not least, D2D authors will eventually gain access to the patented Smashwords Pre-Sales Tool.
For those who aren’t yet familiar, pre-sales are different than pre-orders. Think of an ebook pre-order like an advance reservation. Readers buy the book early, but they can’t access, download, or read that book until its official release date.
With pre-sales, a reader can purchase and read a new release before the title has been released to the wider public. Think of it as exclusive access for your most loyal readers.
Most of the time, when authors release a new title, they work backward from a set release date and orient all of their marketing efforts toward that date. Pre-sales enable authors to have multiple release dates, each targeted to different affinity groups.
For example, you could give your superfans super-early access, followed by a second release date for newsletter subscribers, and finally, a third date for the general public. This is a perfect incentive for readers to subscribe to your newsletter and engage with you, their new favorite author!
During checkout, readers will also have the option to give you their email address and subscribe to your mailing list, helping you as an author grow your platform. And the store will help incentivize readers to opt in by allowing you to offer up a freebie at checkout in exchange for that oh-so-valuable email address.
Why these tools are great for authors
Our most important objective is to help you, the indie author, build a platform and readership that YOU control.
We get on this soapbox a lot, but we’ll do it again anyway—social media platforms and big box retailers can change the rules at any time. You could lose access to your hundreds or thousands of subscribers overnight. Normally, retailers hold all the info about the customers who buy your books—and that’s just one of the things that’s so incredibly special about the Smashwords store and the tools that come with it.
The Smashwords store is a retail platform built by and for indie authors and publishers. This store is for YOU. No other retailer can say the same, and we’re dedicated to keeping it that way.
Our aim is to ensure that you have all the tools you need to grow your readership, and these tools will enable D2D authors to do just that. We can’t wait to see what else 2023 has in store.
Want to get your books in the Smashwords store or added to annual sales? Check out this post for more information.