Los Gatos, Calif. July 13, 2010 -- Smashwords, the leading ebook publishing and distribution platform for indie authors, today announced it published its 15,000th ebook. It passed the milestone around 10pm Sunday evening.
“We’ve experienced strong growth since our launch two years ago,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. “Indie authors and publishers are now publishing over 2,000 new ebooks each month at Smashwords, and some of these indie ebooks are starting to appear in the best-seller and most-downloaded lists at retailers.”
At Kobo Books, for example, four Smashwords books were among the top 50 best-sellers at http://www.kobobooks.com/top50.html as of 8am Pacific July 13, and one, An Inconvenient Marriage by Ruth Ann Nordin, has occupied the top 10 for several weeks. At Apple’s iBookstore, Smashwords books are dominating several of the most-downloaded categories for free ebooks. In Romance, nine of the “Top Free” ebooks are supplied by Smashwords authors, and in Sci-Fi & Fantasy, eight are from Smashwords authors.
By publishing independently, some Smashwords ebook authors are earning more than they’d be able to earn via traditional publishing contracts. Although traditional publishers only pay authors royalties ranging from 5-15% of retail price, Smashwords authors earn up to 85% of the net, which works out to between 42.5% and 60% of the list price when books are sold at major ebook retailers.
One Smashwords author, Brian S. Pratt, earned over $4,000 in the single month of June from just one Smashwords retailer, Barnes & Noble, thanks to strong sales of his fantasy ebooks. Most of Mr. Pratt’s books are priced under $6.00. If these earnings were generated by sales of a mass market paperback, where royalties of 5% of the cover price are the norm, $4,000 in monthly earnings would represent retail sales of over $100,000 in paperback sales.
While Mr. Pratt’s results are atypical for most authors - whether indie-published or traditionally-published - Pratt's results confirm the opportunity democratized distribution of ebooks presents indie authors. The books of indie authors can now appear on the same digital shelf as traditionally published authors.
Smashwords distributes ebooks to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, the Apple iBookstore, and to major mobile e-reading app such as Stanza on the iPhone and Aldiko for Android devices.
“Eventually, the lines between indie and traditional will blur,” added Coker. “The power of publishing is shifting to authors. The rise of indie ebooks also liberates readers to read what they want to read, as opposed to only reading what has been blessed by a big publisher.”
Indie authors and publishers around the world are now publishing over 2,000 titles at Smashwords each month. At 2,000 new titles a month, the Smashwords catalog will reach 25,000 original ebooks by the end of the 2010 and 50,000 by the end of 2011.
Publishing with Smashwords is fast, free and simple. Authors simply format their finished manuscript per the requirements in the Smashwords Style Guide, and then upload their book to Smashwords as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Smashwords converts the book into nine different ebook formats, and then instantly makes the book available for sale at Smashwords.com. Smashwords then evaluates the author’s book for inclusion in the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which is what Smashwords distributes large ebook retailers. In the last few weeks, the Smashwords Premium Catalog grew to over 10,000 titles.
Authors interested to publish and distribute their ebooks at Smashwords can learn more by visiting http://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords
About Smashwords, Inc.
Smashwords operates the world’s leading independent ebook publishing and distribution platform serving authors, publishers, readers and retailers. Smashwords makes it free and easy for the world’s authors and publishers to instantly publish and distribute their books as multi-format ebooks. Smashwords puts authors and publishers in full control over the pricing, sampling and distribution of their works. Authors and publishers receive up to 85 percent of the net proceeds from sales of their works. Smashwords has distribution relationships with leading online retailers such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Amazon, and leading mobile e-reading apps including Aldiko, Stanza, Kobo, FBReader and Word-Player, spanning all major mobile platforms including Android, Blackberry and iPhone. Privately held Smashwords is based in Los Gatos, California, and can be reached on the web at http://www.smashwords.com/. Visit the official Smashwords blog at http://blog.smashwords.com/.