Kindle vs Smashwords Sales Report
I did an analysis on my ebook sales for 2014. These results may interest some authors, especially ones pondering whether or not to use KDP Select.
While my sales weren’t as large as I hoped they would be (they never are!), they were big enough to be able to make valid comparisons.
With Smashwords, I use all their distribution channels except Amazon. Thus, my books appear in B&N, IStore, Kobo, Overdrive and many other ebook sellers.
For Kindle, I use all of their global channels. These options allow me to maximize the number of distribution channels for the books. I made a graphic depicting my distribution channels.
Unit Sales: The units sold during the year break down to 54% Kindle and 46% Smashwords. The numbers are close enough to say the unit sales were approximately 50-50.
Revenue: Here the split was slightly different. Kindle accounted for 57% of the sales revenue while the Smashwords number was 43%.
Average Book Revenue: for Kindle, the average book revenue was $2.51 per book and for Smashwords, $2.27. The difference is due to a different mix of fiction and non-fiction book sales on the sites. My non-fiction books cost more than the fiction books.
- Signing up my books for KDP Select would mean removing my books from the Smashwords distribution channels. This would result in the loss of a large revenue stream.
- There is no logical reason to assume that using KDP Select would increase my Kindle sales.
- If there are any increases in Kindle sales, they will never be enough to cover the revenue lost be disabling the Smashwords distribution channel.
- Based on these results, I cannot see any possible use of KDP Select for my publishing imprint.