Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You want to know if you should do one, or both, right? I wanted to know the same thing.
I’m going to start with my experience. It hasn’t been much. I uploaded to both to see how things would go. I sold more books on Amazon then I did smashwords. Now that doesn’t mean that smashwords is bad. I still like them. Mainly, because I had more downloads on them than I did Amazon by offering a coupon code. But I couldn’t offer them free on Amazon without being in kdp.
Let’s get more involved in this discussion. Kdp, allows you to offer your books for up to five days free of charge. This can be a great thing. No one has to go to smashwords enter a code in then figure out how to download the book. But if you enroll in kdp, you can only sell on Amazon for 90 days. That means you are taking a chance of losing customers by going the single route.
So which one should you choose? This would be my advice, if you are new to publishing and don’t have a fan base yet, kdp will help you get there. Do it for 90 days then add it on to smashwords. This way, you are getting the benefits of running a promotion in the beginning and after 90 days releasing it to another set of places to sell even more.
If you took my advice and built an authors platform, you should have a decent amount of people you can tweet and Facebook to. This would mean you can upload to both. Even setting up preorders on smashwords
That is something else I want to touch down on quickly. Preorders are a great way to hit best seller in a single day. People go in, preorder the book, then on the release date all those orders go through, making your name jump the list quickly. But if you are new publishing and don’t have a fan base, then you shouldn’t use it. Preorders are great for authors that have a huge fan base, not so much for the first time self publisher.
Smashwords and Amazon both do preorders. But with Amazon, you have to be in the kdp program, which sucks if you are wanting to do both places. Smashwords lets you do it, even if you don’t have the book finished.
One thing I have noticed about smashwords is they are adding things to their platform to help you grow more and more. Amazon lets you do some things but only if you are exclusive to them.
I love smashwords. I do. I mean they do offer so much more freedom. More than Amazon. So then why am I saying to try kdp?
The promotions they do are on site. You put in that you want to run a free promotion, it shows on the site when it’s suppose to. Smashwords allows coupons yes, but, and that’s a big but, you have to have a fan base to give the coupon to. That would be the ONLY reason I would start with Amazon.
Myself, I will try Amazon first, then move on to smashwords. So one round of kdp, will be enough for me.
What about you? Will you try Amazon kdp, or will you put them in all eplatforms from the start?