Kindle vs Smashwords
My publishing company, Strange Worlds Publishing, uses both Smashwords and Kindle to distribute my ebooks.
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 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.