My Books in Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords

The 10th annual Smashwords Read an Ebook Week starts this weekend, Sunday, March 3, 2019 and runs through Saturday, March 9.

The discounts to be had at Smashwords aren't available at any other store, so now is the time to buy one of my books at 50% off, and Smashwords is the place to go to get that discount.

Read an Ebook Week is a really big deal, and Smashwords is promoting the sale with emails to over one million registered users of the Smashwords Store. When you arrive at the Smashwords store, the interface presents shelves of books organized around different themes. Readers can focus their search by clicking on a favorite book category which then updates the book recommendations within each shelf's theme. Readers can further fine-tune the results by clicking on a price or word count filter. You can find the sale on the Smashwords home page by clicking the "Smashwords Read an Ebook Week" tab, and there is also a promotional shelf on the top of each category's main page.

You can go directly to the sale at the dedicated page here. You'll be presented with the following shelves: "Featured Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Deals", "25% off", "50% off", "75% off", "100% off", "More Free Ebooks", "Recent Read an Ebook Week Purchases," and "Recently Added".

This is Smashwords copying Amazon's reader-powered algorithms to give books that are already big sellers increased visibility during the sale. Each paid sale increases a book's shelf rank, thereby making the book even more discoverable to readers searching in that category.

It sounds great in theory but in my experience such algorithms have never been kind to the niche books I write that are a combination of space opera, military sci-fi, and a little dash of horror. It's the future, though, so there doesn't seem much point bellyaching about it. I'll have to either learn how to get my books noticed by this kind of algorithm, or make my peace with lower sales - probably the latter.

I'm not sure if Amazon does this next part, too, but each sale also places the book into the scrolling "Recent Purchases at Smashwords" shelf which appears on the main Smashwords home page as well as the "Recent Smashwords End of Year Sale Purchases" shelf that appears on the promotion page. This means that each paid sale comes with a boost of additional incremental exposure for a short period of time.

Hilariously to me, when Smashwords told me my books were going on sale, they advised me to promote my participation across social media and on my private email list. I have neither. They have dropped the advice of having a blog and promoting it there. They're probably right. Blogs seem to be going (or have gone) out of fashion. Everything is now podcasts and Twitter.

Anyway, check out the sale. I'm not sure it will do sales of my books a hell of a lot of good, but you might find some nice bargains.

Smashwords also asked me to encourage my author friends to join this "international celebration of ebooks", as if I have author friends... or any other type of friends. They obviously don't know me at all.

On this post I'm using a promotional image created by Rita Toews, the founder of Read an Ebook Week. It and more like it are available for anyone to use