Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to Sell Ebooks at the Apple iBookstore

R.L. Mathewson tops Apple iBookstore
charts for second day running
The Apple iBookstore, which last week expanded its global reach to 50 countries, has always been kind to Smashwords authors.  Numerous Smashwords authors have graced Apple's bestseller lists over the last two years, and this week is no different.

Four days ago, R.L. Mathewson uploaded Checkmate to Smashwords.  In under 24 hours, we distributed it to Apple and it went live worldwide in 50 stores.  Yesterday, this contemporary romance hit #1 in Apple's US, Australia, U.K. and Canada stores.  As I write this, it remains #1 at these same stores.

Three days ago, Kirsty Moseley uploaded Always You to Smashwords.  The next day, we distributed it to Apple and it went live worldwide in 50 stores.  Today, Always You is the #7 bestseller in Australia, #20 in the U.S. and #20 in the U.K.

Last week, the US Apple iBookstore ran a special promotion of romance titles priced $1.99 and below.  We suggested they consider Mia Dymond's Playing with Fire, and they included it.

Last week, in conjunction with Apple's iBookstore launch in New Zealand, they named Shayne Parkinson's Sentence of Marriage their "Book of the Week" for both their New Zealand and Australian stores.  Sentence of Marriage is a free series starter.  Shayne's next book in the series, Mud and Gold, priced at $3.99 (NZ dollars), is today the #8 bestseller in the New Zealand store, and #54 in Australia (after the U.S. store, Australia is the next highest earner for Smashwords authors, just edging out the U.K., which is also big for us).  I suggested they consider promoting Shayne because she's one of our bestselling authors at Barnes & Noble.  She's also one of the few authors we distribute to Amazon, where she sells well. I suspected that since she was performing well at our other retailers but hadn't yet broken out at Apple, a dose of pixie dust merchandising love could help launch her to a new audience.  That's what's happening.

The Smashwords authors above aren't the only ones doing well at Apple.  Other notable standouts now in the top 10 store-wide bestsellers include Jillian Holmes, author of Temporary Kiss (#7 in the U.K. iBookstore), Isabelle Rae, author of When Summer Ends (#8 U.K.), S.H. Kolee, author of Love Left Behind (#5 Australia, #10 Canada), and Marie Kelly, author of Billionaire's Revenge (#2 Australia, #8 Canada).

Apple is today the largest retailer for Smashwords authors.  The chart here shows the growth in monthly dollar sales for Smashwords books at Apple.  I omitted the dollar figures, but you get the idea how Apple has grown.  For all its incredible growth in ebooks, Apple is conspicuously mum when it comes to talking about their accomplishments.  Did they do a press release or a press conference on their launch of 18 new stores last week?  I don't think so.  Most authors I meet have no idea Apple is distributing to 50 countries.

I think their low key approach has led many in the industry to underestimate their progress.  My advice to authors:  don't underestimate Apple.  If you're not there, you're missing out.  Every new country they launch represents a new micro-market, an opportunity for you to become a big fish in a small but growing pond. The authors who get out there first and establish footholds today will become the bestsellers of tomorrow. 

All the authors mentioned above?  Keep an eye on them.  They're all headed toward the New York Times bestseller list in the months and years to come if they keep up their great work.

Our relationship with Apple started prior to launch of the iPad in early 2010.  I, like the rest of the world, had heard rumors that Apple was preparing to launch a bookstore, so I got on the phone and called their main switchboard.  Within about a week, I met with a senior executive at our office in Los Gatos.

Keep in mind that at the time, Smashwords was only three people.  It was myself, Bill Kendrick our CTO, and Keri McKie our CFO.  He asked me a lot of questions about our business, my background, and how we ran things.  He told us that Apple was looking to form relationships with a small number of authorized ebook aggregators, their term for distributors.  We had already signed distribution deals with Sony, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, so of course we were interested.  He laid out their integration requirements, and told us if we met the deadline and requirements, we were in, and if we didn't, maybe later.  In this industry, "maybe later" can easily mean never because things change so quickly.  We wanted to be in on the ground floor, so we dropped everything and in two weeks completely reworked how we produce .epub files, we performed dozens of other technical enhancements to our platform and processes, and we met the deadline.  We had 2,200 books on the iBookstore on day one.

Today, we supply approximately 125,000 ebook to the Apple iBookstore, and we're one of a small number of global aggregators supplying books under their aggregator program.  To remain in the program, we must undergo (and pass!) rigorous quarterly audits.

As you might imagine, I've got warm feelings for the team at Apple.  They took a gamble on us early on, and that gambled paid off for everyone, especially our authors.  They've shown our authors incredible support over the last two years. They've also been especially proactive in terms of working with us to identify opportunities for them to promote our authors to their customers.

Below I'll share some tips for succeeding at the Apple iBookstore.  90% of these tips apply to every other retailer.  These tips are based on my personal experience, opinions and observations, and are not endorsed by our friends at Apple.

  1. Read my Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success - My free ebook identifies 28 best practices of the most commercially successful Smashwords authors.  Many of the authors above are poster children for the best practices I recommend.  My Secrets book is all about what you as an author can do to publish professionally.  I underscore in the book how it's critical you publish a book that's as good or better than what the big New York publishers are releasing, and how you can employ my methods (such as pricing strategy) that will give you an advantage over them.
  2. Get there and stay there - Once your book lands at Apple, don't remove it.  In the Secrets ebook, I show charts of how prior Apple bestsellers have developed at Apple.  For many of the charts, you'll see that many bestsellers sell poorly at first, but then something sparks a breakout.  That something might be a new cover image (See our interview with R.L. Mathewson, and don't miss the chart there that shows what happened after she updated her cover image), the release of a new book, or any mix of myriad viral catalysts.

  3. Link to Apple in your promotions - I'm always surprised how often I see authors complaining that all their sales are coming from Amazon, and then I look at their website or blog and see they're only linking to a single retailer, Amazon.  Support all your retailers.  Not just Apple, but Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, every one.  Your blog, website and social media promotions should provide direct hyperlinks to your book pages at every retailer, so your fans can purchase your book at their favorite retailer.  For millions of readers, one of their favorites is the Apple iBookstore.  Use Apple's free Link Maker tool to create direct hyperlinks to your books at any of Apple's 50 stores. Use their Widget Builder tool to create and embed interactive widgets on your web site or blog.   Click here to download Apple's badges and buttons that you can place on your website or blog.    Smashwords author Russell Phillips has also developed some free link- making tools of his own on his Tools for Authors web site.
  4. Sales lead to more sales - Every time you send a buyer to Apple (or any other retailer for that matter) and they purchase your book, you gain five important benefits:  1. You get money in your pocket.  2.  You build your platform, because you get a reader, and a reader is a potential fan, and reader word-of-mouth is your single most powerful marketing catalyst.  Fans give you great reviews, and reviews lead to more sales.  Fans also await your next release, which means you have a built-in audience for your next book (definitely one of the catalysts for R.L.'s huge success with Checkmate, which is R.L.'s ninth book at Apple).  3.  Each sale gives you an incremental lift in Apple's sales ranking algorithms which by my observation is heavily weighted to unit sales.  As you rise in the sales ranking, first in your genre or category, and later in the store-wide rankings, you become more visible to more readers who are looking for a book just like yours.  4.  As you start rising in the lists, you'll grab the attention of Apple's merchandising team, which means they're more likely to give your book an extra promotional boost (more on that next).  5.  Apple's iBookstore, like most other ebook retailers, does automatic online merchandising so that when readers view a book page, they can see other books purchased by people who bought this book.  Each sale to an Apple customer gets your book cycling in their "Customers Also Bought" algorithm. 

  5. How to get the attention of merchandising managers - This is a challenge.  I could probably do an entire separate blog post on this (Next year at RT Booklovers in Kansas City, I'm actually moderating a session on the topic of retail merchandising best practices).  From my experience, Apple's merchandising team works much the same as the merchandising teams at other retailers (though I've got to say, Apple's team is impressively proactive). 

    First, it's helpful to understand their job.  The merchandisers have responsibility for identifying books that are worthy of special promotion, and most merchandisers at Smashwords retailers have a remarkably similar approach.  They're looking for books that will please their readers, and this focus usually trumps the retailer's desire to earn money.  Most merchandisers I've spoken with, if given the choice to promote a $2.99 book or a $12.99 book, will promote the $2.99 book first if they think it'll make more readers happier.  They want confidence that if they recommend a book, that book will deliver satisfaction, and extreme five-star satisfaction trumps 3-star. 

    Merchandising managers have multiple methods of showering promo love on a book.  At Apple, the promotion can come in the form of getting your book highlighted under their "New and Notables" section, as R.L. Mathewson is highlighted this week, or you might be selected for a special promotion such as the $1.99 romance promo mentioned above, or the "Book of the Week," or any myriad other promos they're doing. 

    All the retailers, Apple included, keep their promotional calendar close to the vest.  There's no "editorial calendar" that mere mortals such as myself can access. 

    It's tough to get a merchandiser's attention because they operate in a world where hundreds of thousands of authors and publishers want the attention.  There's simply too much noise.  Nothing gets a merchandising manager's attention faster than a book that is already selling, or a book getting great reviews by their customers.  In this sense, the merchandiser's attention is democratically applied.  If your fans drive you into the bestseller charts, it increases your opportunities for merchandising love.  The most reliable method of attracting the attention of a retailer's customers is to write a great book, give it a great cover image, distribute it to the store, and promote its presence at the iBookstore.

    As I mention in the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, different books break out at different retailers at different times, and often for reasons you can't determine.  Just as each country represents a micro-market for your books, so to does each retailer.  To the extent you cultivate a fan base at each retailer, your follow-on books will have much greater success.  This is one of the reasons I am so staunchly opposed to exclusivity programs like KDP Select.  Audience cultivation is a long term endeavor, requiring nonstop presence, patience and participation (I shared more thoughts on KDP-S in the November 2 Smashwords author/publisher alert). 

    If you've previously sold well at the iBookstore, your next release is likely to get more attention, both because you've developed a fan base among the retailer's customers, and because you've begun building brand awareness among the merchandising team. 

    It was an Apple merchandiser, for example who contacted me and asked if Kirsty Moseley had a new release planned.  Kirsty's prior title, The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window, has sold well at Apple worldwide for months, and continues to do well.  As luck would have it, she did have a new title coming, the above-mentioned Always You.  We coordinated with Apple so they knew when it was coming, and when it arrived they were ready to give it some love.  It's now rising in the charts.

    Another way to get their attention is to get the attention of your distributor's merchandising team, which in our case is me.  If you've previously sold thousands of copies at Apple, and you've got a new title coming, let me know.  Beyond that, I'll find you.  If I see your Smashwords-distributed book is selling well at our other retailers (like the example of Shayne's books), I'm more likely to pitch your book, because your performance across the Smashwords distribution network gives me the confidence I need to pitch you.

    Another method of getting Apple's attention is through social media.  If you're on Twitter, for example, consider incorporating their Twitter address (@iBookstore) in your Apple-focused tweets.  Apple has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, and they will occasionally retweet the tweets of authors (see the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide for twitter tips if you're new to twitter).   To maximize your odds of a retweet, tweet something interesting or compelling or complementary about your readers at the iBookstore, and provide a direct hyperlink to the book at the iBookstore.  Apple, as a massive corporation, is really strict about naming conventions and corporate identity, so if you don't identify them or the store properly, you're unlikely to get a retweet.  For example, the store is called the iBookstore, not iBooks.  They call ebooks books, not ebooks or e-books.  They like to see books referred to as on the iBookstore, rather than in the iBookstore.  Interact with @iBookstore by tweeting at them.  Follow them and retweet them if they tweet something you think would interest your Twitter followers.  Keep in mind that behind their Twitter address is a live person, not a machine, so you want to give them reason to retweet your tweets.  Keep your retweet expectations reasonable, because retweetage is a long shot.   Click here (downloads a PDF file) if you want to torture your brain with Apple's full list of identify guidelines. 

    Finally, if you write a great book that pleases your retailer's customers, those customers will propel your book forward with their reviews and word of mouth.  Also remember that the merch teams at the retailers are populated by book lovers.  They read what they sell.  If they read your book and love it, you're more likely to get promo love.  A little birdie tells me someone at Apple read R.L. Mathewson prior to the store putting their weight behind her and naming her a breakout author back in July.  They probably read her because their customers were reading her.
  6. Support your retailers, maintain positivity - When you walk into a room, do you bring sunshine or storm clouds?  I've written about this topic elsewhere, put it in the Secrets book, and I've been talking about this in my recent workshops. For some reason, a lot of authors adopt an online persona of, "I complain, therefore I am."  Apple has never mentioned this to me, nor has any other retailer, but I can bet that everyone on the merch team has Google alerts on the "Apple iBookstore" search phrase, and if an indie author is out there trashing this or that about Apple or the iBookstore, I imagine it causes their hearts to sink.  If the day comes where they're considering giving you promo love (and 95% of the time, they'll give you the love without giving you advance notice), if they recognize your author name and brand as that [insert explicative] on [insert the name of your favorite author forum] who's always complaining about them, that's not the type of brand awareness you want. 

    New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry said it best, here in his interview at the Smashwords blog:
    Think about a party. If there’s someone who is bitching and moaning and someone else who’s getting folks to laugh and loosen up, which way do you drift? If a kid in a playground is constantly bitching about the quality of the toys, and another kid has turned a cardboard box into a sideshow funhouse, who’s getting more attention? Who’s going to be remembered in a positive way?

    And, even if you are a naturally cranky, snarky, sour-tempered pain in the ass, for god’s sake share that with your therapist or priest. When you go online to promote yourself and therefore your products, try not to actually scare people off your lawn.
Good luck!  I might add more tips later.


Wilson James said...

As always, Mark, you've passed on great advice, great information, and great news about Apple. Success such as you've described helps all of us indie authors.

I've had my own success with the Apple iBookstore, where sales of my Playing the Baseball Card have been leading the sales of all of my books at all the other online outlets where Smashwords distributes my books.

I know that some amazing reviews helped create those sales; a very good reason to keep my books published with Smashwords. In fact, I didn't even know those reviews of Playing the Baseball Card were there until I investigated a very surprising spike in sales when reviewing reports on my Smashwords dashboard. That was truly an exciting and humbling moment.

So, thanks, Mark, for creating Smashwords, and the continuing great advice and assistance.


Alison Pensy said...

Thanks, Mark.

I wasn't sure how to get a link to the ibookstore on my website,so thank you for posting the information. I have never been able to get onto the ibookstore either to see where my books were ranking, and wondered if I had to have an ipad to do that. Sorry, I'm a bit techie challenged :-)

I will try adding that link to my website and see what happens.

Thank you, also, for setting up Smashwords. And for constantly championing us the way you do.

Alison Pensy

ChulaSlim said...

Thank you again for an extremely valuable post filled with useful information.
In the post you mentioned that if we feel a book or book series is top ranked and worthy of promotion to contact you. In the past, knowing how impacted your email address is, I’ve been reluctant to attempt to contact you directly.
To be honest, I’d prefer you focus your attention on continuing to make Smashwords better than the great company it already is. Perhaps it would be a good idea to provide a contact email address exclusively for authors to express their reasons for book promotions on sites like the iBookstore. You or your staff could evaluate the author’s arguments and proceed from there.
I’m so happy I stumbled across Smashwords two years ago. I’m a loyal fan who promotes and defends Smashwords everywhere on the net.
Doug Welch

Leroy Sunshine said...

Well first thing is that Smashwords is not delivering titles on a reliable basis to premium distributors like Apple. I did experience the failures and it costed me.

The second thing is that Smashwords has a "reader sets price" option which is really great. For premium distributors, like Apple, they offer to set a minimum price (at least $0.99) but the reality is that even though, the would send the book as "free" which would result in a lot of loss in sales.

Third thing, we don't know in which stores the books re sold. Yes Apple has 50 bookstores in 50 different countries. But that doesn't mean your title will be distributed in EACH of them From my experience, expect it to be in one or 2 of them only.

A lot of improvements to be done on that side! If they could fix it soon Smashwords would really be a place of choice to publish eBooks. But for now Amazon is still the best IMHO

Carla Krae said...

I sold well at Apple in 2011 and 2010, but 2012 has taken a dive even with new releases. After first quarter, I've been wondering if they changed algorithms.

Yvan, there are so many inaccuracies with your post, it's not funny. Troll somewhere else, please.

Wilson James said...

I'd like to make a comment about reporting of sales at Apple (to respond to a previous comment). The sales report that I access via my Smashwords dashboard shows what countries: ie, Apple country_DE, or Apple country_AU, or CA, or US, etc. It even shows that I made more per book book sold in Germany and Australia than I did for books sold in the US. Nice!

So, I know my books are being sold in the various countries through the Apple iBookstore. Oh, and by the way, all those sales make me very happy.


Leslie Ann aka LA said...

I thought the post was great. I'm always looking for more information on ways to interact with my vendors. It's important, as it's been said, there are tens of thousands of books.

So not only write well, interact well.


Unknown said...

The blog title is somewhat misleading. There's no real "how" going on, but more of a "why."

Also, while I do enjoy the iBookstore and I appreciate my titles from Smashwords being delivered there, sometimes they are rejected and the author has no idea about it until far later. Nor do we know the reason why, which can lead to a lot of frustration. I don't want to make random comparisons, since the two distributors aren't the same, but will tell you why your book was rejected from the iBookstore if it happens, while Smashwords kind of just leaves you hanging.

Another HUGE frustration is the lack of keywords, subtitles, and properly formatted descriptions. No keywords are ported over to the iBookstore as far as I know, subtitles happen randomly on whatever occasion if your book has something akin to it in the title, and the descriptions have absolutely no line breaks when ported over. I don't know if this is a Smashwords problem or an iBookstore problem, but it's very frustrating. If the iBookstore -has- the potential for a subtitle, why aren't we allowed to choose it on our Smashwords publishing platform? The same with keywords. And why do line breaks get completely screwed up when sent to the iBookstore(and Kobo, and B&N, actually). If there is a way to fix this, it would be really nice to know. I know that it doesn't happen if you distribute to the iBookstore on your own, but that requires quite a bit of money compared to Smashwords free distribution, so for most people it isn't worth it.

I don't want to sound like an ingrate, because I honestly really do appreciate the distribution and I like what Smashwords is doing, but it honestly hurts to see your book(s) looking really unprofessional/sloppy when they hit the iBookstore.

Carla said...

Hi Mark. I thought that Smashwords distributed to the ibookstore. Are you saying we should upload our books to the ibookstore ourselves?

I checked to see if I could find any of my books on the ibookstore and nothing showed up though it says in my channel manager that they have been distributed to Apple.

Dovetail Public Relations said...

@ChulaSlim(Doug), thanks for the suggestion. New address created. Address starts with merch and follows with @ you know where dot com. Use it to notify us one week before upload of a new release IF you have previously sold 4,000+ copies of a previous title distributed Smashwords. Upon publication, notify us again. I'll post more at Site Updates a little later. Consider this as a first iteration. I think there's much more we can do to make it even more proactive.

@Yvan - I'm not aware of this being a current or even recent issue. If you have a book that's only appearing in a subset of Apple territories, here's how to report it to our support team:

@Carla - Hmm.. not sure what to say about algorithms. I don't know, and every retailer keeps such things close to the vest. I have observed that sales rank closely tracks short term unit sales, like last 24 hours, which I think is similar to most other retailers. You've got good covers, so that's probably not the issue. Maybe try some temporary price promos, or free on some non-free titles? Good luck!

@J Cloros They don't support subtitles or tags as metadata fields. The line break issue is caused by how we're delivering the descriptions. It's something for Smashwords to fix on our end.

@Carla Smashwords distributes to the iBookstore. If your book isn't appearing in a timely manner, please contact our support team at the "Comments/questions" link you'll find at the top of the Smashwords web site. They can investigate and help you resolve any problems.

Mystery and Mayhem said...

Thank you Mark, for the valuable advice.
While I did manage to create a widget, I can't put it up on my blog because iTunes doesn't have the correct cover for my book, Deadly Trust, and also can't find the books I sell the most of, namely my books under the name of Georgina Lee. So my widget has half my books, and one is incorrect.
So, while your advice is excellent, and appreciated, there are some bugs to work out, unfortunately.

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Barbara, I see your latest cover image doesn't meet the dimensional requirements. If you upload a larger cover image, that should trigger an update to Apple. Here are the new requirements -

If you have any questions along the way, our support team can help.

Cathy Spencer, Author said...

Hi Mark. Thanks for all the information on Apple iBookstore. It's great to have someone like you in our court. I've got my booklinks to Smashwords on my sites, but I will include them to all the stores you Smashwords distributes to in future. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Mark, can you get my download counts working for the Apple store? My book, Success and Happiness - Quotes to Motivate Inspire & Live by has been on their hot list in the self improvement category for several months, but the download counts at smashwords says 0. I wrote to tech support twice. After the first email, i stopped getting any download counts. After the second email I began getting download counts for the others, but still not from Apple.
Atticus Aristotle

romancemarie said...

Hi Mark

I was surprised and delighted to see your blog entry. I am one of those faceless writers sitting at home with no marketing budget or know how relying on hints and advice as given by yourself. I appreciate your mentioning my book Billionaire's Revenge doing so well on ibookstore...I had no idea! When looking further I discovered that 4 of my other books are in the top 100 of the Australian thank you for this mention

Bill Peschel said...

Just installed the iBookstore widget on my website, so thank you very much. There's some good advice here I hadn't seen before.

David Grace said...

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the very helpful information. I have just updated my website to include direct links to each of my books on the iBookstore, something I would not have been able to do without your link to the Apple link maker tool.

Also, thanks for the info on the preferred Apple nomenclature of "on the iBoookstore." I never knew if it should be the Apple Bookstore, the iTunes Bookstore, etc. Now I know and I've updated the text in my website to reflect that.

Keep the faith.

--David Grace

A.G. Claymore said...

Good advice, Mark! With their recent push into 50 countries and their new formats they've shown that they aren't just sitting on their laurels. Apple really seems to be taking a serious approach to the industry. I've tried the 'experiment' with select and saw a bit of a push but it's long past time I started bringing my newer titles to Smashwords. I'd be a fool to ingore the easy access that you provide.
Is there a way to add blog review snippets on the iBookstore, or is there something coming from your end for that?

Unknown said...

I think another good way of enhancing your name is to release a few novels that are free.

The only frustrating thing with apple is that you don't get to see how many downloads you get for the free books.

Unknown said...

Thanks Mark! I was shocked when I read the blog and saw you mentioned me specifically! I actually wasn't thinking that I was doing so well, and when I did some more research, I found that I was. I am so thankful for you and the Smashwords crew for helping me launch my writing successfully!

I am a little unsure about when Apple will update purchases, though... I am showing 0 (zero) on my sales report, but I know that there have been sales on the iBookstore - When can I expect sales to show up on my sales report? Thanks for the help!


Dovetail Public Relations said...

Hi Jillian, congrats on your great success! Sales for the month of October were load this past Saturday, so you should see them in your Dashboard's Sales & Payments report now. I see you're still holding strong at Apple UK with the #20 and #24 bestselling slots store-wide.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much, Mark! I noticed yesterday that my Apple #'s were available and I was shocked! But very happy, too. Thank you for your all your help with Smashwords and Apple; I look forward to continuing to work with you!! :) PS- I am getting ready to release a new book, but I noticed your post from several days ago said only to notify the merch address if we sold over 4000 copies... Should I notify the address? Thanks again!

Karen said...

Thank you Mark for all the great work you do to make it easier for authors to get there work out and specifically on iBookstore!

I am wondering if you will be entertaining iBook Author created books for submission through Smashwords in the near future? I would love to create multimedia rich book and am looking at buying a Mac specifically for this purpose and of course distribution is the concern.

Thanks again!!


Amos said...

Thanks, Mark. After over a year of mucking about I have turned my back on the gelid jungle of agentry and decided to make you my new BFF. Thanks for all the work you've done.


Unknown said...

So much good info, but how things change! Since the original post, Apple has made some changes to their brand guidelines...

It is now iBooks, not iBookstore.
The Twitter account is now @iBooks

Badges and guidelines have changed too:

iTunes, App Store, iBooks, and Mac App Store Affiliate Resources - Identity Guidelines

iBooks Marketing Guidelines (PDF)

Unknown said...

Hi, Hope I am posting this is the right place...?

I am a first time author and currently have my book on amazon, but when trying to sign up to ibooks they said that I cannot hide my real identity. I have written the book 'ONE' under my author name (Brody Magdalene) it is a very interesting book but does have very personal things about my families life so do not feel the customer needs to track down my real identity.

My question is - If Smashwords publishes my book to ibooks will the seller name be my real name or would it be sold under Smashwords identity?

Obviously Smshwords would have all my real information but I just do not understand why the person purchasing my book needs this.

Thans you.

Brody -

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Hi Brody, if you distribute to iBooks via Smashwords, we will only provide them (and all the other retailers as well) your pen name. We make it easy to publish under a pen name, and we're very good about protecting the privacy of our authors. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the Smashwords Support team by clicking the "?" mark at the top of any Smashwords page. Welcome to Smashwords!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for replying and clarifying this for me Mark. I will be uploading my book this weekend.

Unknown said...

HI, I have a question that I am hoping somebody may be able to clear up for me!

I have uploaded an of my book 'One' but also have other formats ready to upload like .mobi and pdf.

My question is how and where do I upload these files of the same book 'One' and link them to the version that is now being distributed by Smashwords?.

Have I missed the opportunity to sell multi formats? Or do I have to figure out how to make a word document to upload so that these files I already have can get remade by Smashwords?

Thanks in advance.


Dovetail Public Relations said...

Hi Brody, you can only upload .epub or a Word .doc to Smashwords. If you upload a Word .doc, we can convert it into multiple formats. If you upload an .epub, we don't convert it to other formats. Learn more at If you have additional questions, please see our FAQ or contact our support team. This isn't the best place to leave support questions.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Ok Thanks Mark.

Unknown said...

Hi, is there any way for me to reach out to the merchandising team? If so, what's the best way to reach them?

Thanks in advance for your help.