Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Apple iBookstore Names R.L. Mathewson a Break Out Author

R.L. Mathewson's promotional banner
in Romance section of Apple iBookstore.

Our friends at the Apple iBookstore today named R.L. Mathewson a break out author, and launched an exciting week-long promotional program to merchandize her romance books within the store.

For the last few weeks, R.L.'s books have been rising in Apple's store-wide bestseller lists.  As I write this, she holds three of the top 20 slots in their store-wide bestseller list.

We interviewed R.L. Mathewson July 7 here in the Smashwords blog.  Her books had been in the iBookstore for several months, and they were selling a respectable five or so copies a day, and then starting in early June sales suddenly took off. 

In the interview, R.L. credited updated covers as the initial spark for the breakout.  It's likely her improved covers caused more readers to take a chance on her, and then things snowballed, driven by strong reader word-of-mouth and fantastic customer reviews at Apple.  Each of her eight books at Apple average 4.5 stars or greater out of five.

R.L. Mathewson's promotional "brick"
on main Apple "Featured" page
Here first title to break out was Playing for Keeps, which remains today the #8 bestseller in the U.S. Apple iBookstore.  Following the breakout of Playing for Keeps, R.L.'s other titles began rising in the charts as well.

Now that our friends at Apple are putting promotional weight behind R.L.'s titles, she's likely to reach an even broader audience.

The Apple promotion has a few elements to it.  On Apple's Romance page, they created a large banner that is one of several rotating banners. 

On the right side of the banner is a list of rotating "bricks," which are small author-specific promotional images that rotate. Apple create a promotional brick for R.L. that links to a listing of all eight of her books.  Readers who visit  this page for even a few seconds will have multiple chances to discover R.L.'s books.

Apple also placed the brick on their main "Featured" page, which will provide R.L. even greater exposure to Apple's customers.

Congratulations to R.L. Mathewson, and our thanks to Apple for their strong support of Smashwords authors.

Click here to browse, sample or purchase R.L. Mathewson's books at the Apple iBookstore.  


Stay tuned for our next author interview here at the Smashwords blog.  We've got an interview with S.C. Stephens, who has also achieved incredible success at Apple and elsewhere.  Her title, Thoughtless, is currently #18 in Apple's store-wide bestseller list, and Effortless is at #24.


Charles E. Wells said...

Congrats to RL..wow. wish I had the talent to write Romance. My biggest issue is sales reports from the sellers such as Apple.. B&N, everyone except Smashwords. At SW I make a sale and know about it soon after. I can't tell what promotions work for the other distributors though. Can't they be set up to send us an email about a sale as well? Sure would help us figure out what works in the fast changing markets of today. Getting a sales report once a month (or longer) really makes promotion responses hard to figure out.

OOPs.. sorry.. didnt' mean to rant.. once again. .congrats to RL and all the romance authors. Don't forget us poor little Suspense/thriller authors. :)

Chas Wells


Vern at AimforAwesome.com said...

Updated covers did that? That's something most of us could try. - Mike Fook

John Dwyer said...

Well done RL, another Smashwords author hitting the big-time. Just goes to show how important a professional cover is. You only have one chance to make a first impression on a reader. If they see a good cover, they'll probaby then read the book description. If it's a poor cover, they skip on.
John Dwyer, author of High Road to Tibet: Travels in China, Tibet, Nepal and India

Jonathan Gunson - Writer. Illustrator. said...

I suspect R.L. Mathewson has succeeded because she's focusing on what she's naturally and particularly good at.

It also happens to be highly profitable.

Equally, Smashwords continues to be right on the cutting edge of the increasing momentum for change in publishing.

Great work Mr Coker.