Monday, March 4, 2013

Apple iBookstores in the U.K. and Ireland Promote Self-Published Authors in Breakout Books Feature

Apple's Breakout Books is sweeping the globe, bringing unprecedented merchandising visibility to dozens of self-published Smashwords authors.

Apple’s U.K. and Ireland iBookstores today elevated self-published ebook authors to the top of the store in the latest example of Apple’s successful Breakout Books merchandising feature.  This week’s Breakout Books feature showcases 55 self-published titles, approximately 40 of which were distributed to Apple by Smashwords. 

Breakout Books is an ongoing promotional feature at Apple iBookstores.  Today’s news follows massive Breakout Books email blasts to iBookstore customers last week in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, and a growing drumbeat of Breakout Books features at iBookstores in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Breakout Books feature was first piloted in Apple’s Australia iBookstore in December. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal covered the US rollout last month.

The featured titles are selected by Apple’s merchandising teams in each market, and showcase breakout titles from self-published authors around the world.

The criteria for inclusion is largely customer-driven - selected titles exhibit strong reviews and ratings, and have shown exceptional sales performance.  It means that Smashwords authors who do a great job of wowing readers with their books stand a shot at gaining similar merchandising attention in the future.

The selected titles span recent bestsellers in romance, mysteries and thrillers, general fiction and literature, and sci-fi & fantasy.

To understand the significance of Apple’s Breakout Books feature, it’s helpful to note that such high profile merchandising attention has historically been limited to large, long-established publishers. By placing the Breakout Books feature front and center in the iBookstore, Apple is throwing its tremendous merchandising weight behind the self-published author community, and in the process is helping to level the playing field for all writers.

The increased worldwide merchandising by Apple of self-published ebooks speaks, I think, to the rising importance of indie authors to the future of book publishing and book retailing.  Self-published ebooks satisfy a large and growing segment of the book-buying audience.  These readers appreciate high-quality books at affordable prices.  Most of the featured Smashwords books today are priced around £1.99 (around $2.99 USD), and several of the books featured today are priced at FREE.

39 Smashwords Books Featured in Breakout Books

Here’s a list of the Smashwords books featured in this promotion, in alphabetical order by title.  If an author blogs about their inclusion in this feature, I'll try to provide a link below their name so readers can visit their blog.

A Highland Home - A Contemporary Highland Romance by Cali MacKay
   Cali MacKay celebrates Breakout Books  (here too)
A Tangle With Werewolves by Reese Currie
Afterlife Saga by Stephanie Hudson
   Stephanie Hudson celebrates Breakout Books (here too)
Breathe by Elena Dillon
   Elena Dillon celebrates Breakout Books
Control Room by J. Daniel Sawyer
   J. Daniel Sawyer celebrates Breakout Books
Dangerous Evolution by Gregg Vann
Dazzle (Delaney's Gift #1) by Amber Garza
Easy Bake Coven by Elizabeth Schulte
  Elizabeth Schulte celebrates Breakout Books (here too)
Edge of Infinity by Jeremy Reimer
   Jeremy celebrates Breakout Books
Elfblood by Kyra Dune
End Storm by Maz Marik
   Maz Marik celebrates Breakout Books
Fallen Too Far and Predestined by Abbi Glines
    Abbi Glines celebrates Breakout Books
Harvest Moon by C.L. Bevill
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Just a Little Crush by Tracie Puckett
   Tracie Puckett celebrates Breakout Books
Moon Island (A Vampire for Hire Novel) by J.R. Rain
Needle In The Groove by Jeff Noon
Noah (5th Street #1) by Elizabeth Reyes
   Elizabeth Reyes celebrates Breakout Books
Red Spirit by Humphrey Hawksley
Shudder by V. J. Chambers
Solar Island (A Tara Shores Thriller) by Rick Chesler
Sophie's Secret by Tara West
   Tara West celebrates Breakout Books
Sparks by David Quantick
Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0 by Randolph LaLonde
Taunt (Ava Delaney #2) by Claire Farrell
The Attribute of the Strong by Stephen Sweeney
   Stephen Sweeney celebrates Breakout Books
The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley
   Kirsty Moseley celebrates Breakout Books
The Charmer by Autumn Dawn
  Autumn Dawn celebrates Breakout Books
The Curse of Credesar by Robert E. Keller
  Robert Keller celebrates Breakout Books
The One You Fear and The One You Love by Paul Pilkington
   Paul Pilkington celebrates Breakout Books (here too)
The Penal Colony by Richard Herley
   Richard Herley celebrates Breakout Books
Thirst (Ava Delaney #1) by Claire Farrell
Too Close For Comfort by Adam Croft
   Adam Croft celebrates Breakout Books
Wanted by Kelly Elliott
   Kelly Elliott celebrates Breakout Books
When Summer Ends by Isabelle Rae
Wicked Game by Matt Johnson
  Matt Johnson celebrates Breakout Books

The Breakout Books feature is a permanent, rotating feature updated by Apple over time as new indie books break out.  The feature can be found on the iBookstore at http://iTunes.com/BreakoutBooks. If you're outside the U.K., this will show you the current Breakout Books selection in your local store.

Please join me in congratulating these Smashwords authors on their success.  Their success will open the door for many more Smashwords authors in the future.

19 comments:

Emile Sissac Jr. said...

Of course, this is great news for all involved. Again, much credit goes to Mark Coker and the Smashwords staff for all of the hard work done on behalf of its authors. As for those listed here, I'd like to say "Congratulations!" and be sure to pat yourself on the back! Your self-publishing efforts are obviously paying off so enjoy everything that's coming your way...Best of Success in 2013 and beyond!

Randolph Lalonde said...

I'm excited to be included, and very thankful that my book was put forward. This is a massive boon for self-published authors, and I credit Apple with making the decision to feature us.

Thank you to all involved, our distributors and retailers are partners in our careers, and it's great to see that some of them stand out in their efforts to make those relationships massively beneficial.

Stephen J Sweeney said...

This was a wonderful piece of news to wake up to this morning! I'm flattered to have been selected as a breakout book!

Many thanks to Apple and Smashwords for this, and congratulations to all the other writers!

Richard Herley said...

I'd like to echo every word of Ralph's post. What a lovely surprise!

Richard Herley said...

Sorry -- Randolph! It's been a long, hard day ...

Jeremy Reimer said...

Thank you Mark, and thank you to Smashwords and Apple for this amazing promotion! I got the email late last night from Mark and my wife couldn't believe that he not only sent the email but replied personally mere minutes after I replied back with my blog post!

That's some amazing customer service!

Big Ron said...

This is great news and expected because eBooks are a rapidly growing segment of what is read today. See a related article at: blingbooks.com/shorts/

Rick Chesler said...

Nice article and thanks for the list! Congratulations to all of the authors!

Here's a link to my blog, where I link to this post:

http://wiredkingdomnews.blogspot.com/2013/03/solar-island-uk-itunes-breakout-book.html

Martyn Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martyn Taylor said...

Earlier comment deleted because of a problem with link to blog site, but I want to say it again, this was great news and gave us plenty to discuss over breakfast especially in the middle of my first read an eBook week. Fantastic news for all those selected to be in the Breakout, I couldn't be happier for you, congratulations to you all, and to everyone at Smashwords thanks for your part in our personal writing stories. I posted the news on my own blog
http://martyn51.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/breakout-books.html
and posted a link

Jeff said...

Just wanted to drop a quick note and express my thanks to Mark Coker and his staff at Smashwords for doing a fantastic job. My first book appeared in Apple's Breakout Books section and I couldn't be happier!

I have a mention of it on my own blog!

Jeff said...

That was nice. What a way to market myself. Didn't even mention my book. LOL!

Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy

It appeared in the Breakout Books section last week and much to my delight, it was my wife who discovered it. Many many thanks again, Smashwords!

Jeffrey M. Poole

The Prophecy (Bakkian Chronicles #1)
Insurrection (Bakkian Chronicles #2)
Amulet of Aria (Bakkian Chronicles #3)

Honoree Corder said...

Big congratulations!

Lindsay said...

Congratulations to all the new authors on the list!

Actionwriter Fromtexas said...

Congratulations to all the authors that made the list. How about doing an article/short pub? on how your book evolved into the selection? This would certainly help the rest of us IMHO.

Nathalie Goldston said...

Why aren't free books allowed? Doesn't seem fair.

Mark Coker said...

Nathalie, Apple routinely includes books priced at FREE in these and other promotions. They've always been big supporters of FREE.

Nathalie Goldston said...

If books are picked based on sales, do they choose a free book based on downloads? If so, how many downloads constitutes inclusion in a promotion? I've never seen this mentioned. Just curious.

Mark Coker said...

Nathalie, there's no cut and dry bar. If you're ranking in the top free downloads list, and you're getting reviews of 4.5 stars or more, then you'll probably rise to their attention.