I'm looking at the early sales results for December 25 and December 26 for the titles Smashwords distributes to Barnes & Noble. For these first two days, sales are running about 225% (125% higher) of the daily sales average for November through mid-December (12/29 update: sales are remaining strong. 12/28 sales, three days after Christmas, were 260% of previous 30 day rate, or up 160%).
While it's too early to draw definitive conclusions, I think the numbers speak well for B&N headed into January.
FREE Smashwords books were also popular with B&N customers, racking up hundreds of thousands of downloads in two days. At the current download rate, our authors with free books will yield close to 10 million downloads in the next 30 days from B&N alone.
In the next couple days I should have sales results from the Apple iBookstore, where Smashwords authors were already enjoying a surge in sales over the last two months. Early reports of iOS activations (the operating system for the Apple iPhone and iPad) indicate Santa stuffed a lot of stockings with iPhones and iPads too.
The numbers also speak well for the importance of authors maintaining broad, uninterrupted distribution to multiple ebook retailers. Earlier this month, Amazon played the Grinch who stole Christmas when it convinced thousands of authors to remove approximately 65,000 books from Amazon's competing retailers two weeks before Christmas. Thankfully, only about 5,000 of those books came from Smashwords authors, with most Smashwords authors heeding my warnings (here at the Smashwords blog and also at the Huffington Post) and their own gut instinct that exclusivity is generally a dangerous idea. I wonder how many of these authors will feel duped? I imagine some will do well by their decision, but I suspect most will have shot themselves in the foot.
If the patterns we observed last year hold true again, we'll see a massive stepping up of the sales rates across all retailers in the first few days following Christmas, followed by a week or so of moderation, and then a new normal going forward that is significantly higher than the sales rate for the weeks and months immediately preceding Christmas.
Here are the top 20 Smashwords bestsellers at Barnes and Noble for the two day period of December 25 and 26:
Smashwords Top 20 at B&N (total dollars), December 25-26
- Demon Dark - Penelope Fletcher
- Fate (My Blood Approves Series #2) - Amanda Hocking
- Wisdom (My Blood Approves Series #4) - Amanda Hocking
- Arousing Love - M. H. Strom
- My Blood Approves (My Blood Approves Series #1) - Amanda Hocking
- Mud and Gold - Shayne Parkinson
- Voodoo Kiss (Ancient Legends) - Jayde Scott
- Shotgun Groom - Ruth Ann Nordin
- Fires of Prophecy: The Morcyth Saga Book Two - Brian S. Pratt
- The Witch's Ladder - Dana Donovan
- A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends) - Jayde Scott
- The Queen's Blade II - Sacrifice - T C Southwell
- Immortal - Lauren Burd
- Demon Day - Penelope Fletcher
- Settling the Account - Shayne Parkinson
- Doomed (Ancient Legends) - Jayde Scott
- A Second Chance - Shayne Parkinson
- Warrior Priest of Dmon-Li: The Morcyth Saga Book Three - Brian S. Pratt
- The Mists of Sorrow: The Morcyth Saga Book Seven - Brian S. Pratt
- The Queen's Blade III - Invisible Assassin - T C Southwell