Friday, March 1, 2013
Read an Ebook Week Kicks off at Smashwords Sunday March 3
The celebration runs March 3-9. Enroll your books now on the RAEW enrollment link on the Smashwords home page. You can enroll your books to be 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off, or FREE. Your enrollment doesn't change the list price of your book. Instead, it generates a coupon code your readers can redeem during the sale.
The week-long celebration of e-reading is the brainchild of Rita Toews from Winnipeg, Canada. Rita is a soft-spoken mother of two and grandmother of one, and an author and cover designer. I profiled Rita three years ago over at The Huffington Post (click here to read the profile of Rita Toews).
Each year under Rita's volunteer leadership, the Read an Ebook Week website becomes a clearing center for authors, publishers, retailers and device-makers offering special one-week ebook giveaways to help attract new converts to the joys of ebooks. The celebration is also a favorite for device-owners who like to stock up their readers and tablets with deep-discounted books.
Smashwords Read an Ebook Week catalog has become the epicenter of much of the action.
Thousands of Smashwords authors will participate this year, and many will do so without lifting a finger. All free books are automatically included in the catalog.
Each year, the event breaks sales, download and traffic records for our web site. More than a couple times, it crashed the site as thousands of readers overloaded our servers by stocking up on ebooks like there was no tomorrow. Each year, it's a great test of our infrastructure.
Interestingly, although site sales drop off in the weeks after the sale, they always settle in at a higher average rate than before the sale. I think what this means is that the event brings new fans and eyeballs to Smashwords authors.
The promotion benefits from a concept known as network effects (more on the concept at Wikipedia). Although the network effects concept is usually applied to computer networks and social networks, it can also be applied to Read an Ebook Week as well. The more authors who enroll, the greater collection of books, and thus the greater value the collection is to readers, and thus the greater the word-of-mouth excitement. The more authors promoting their participation, the more readers who are drawn in to discover the works of all Smashwords authors. In other words, for every author and reader participating, the event becomes all that much more valuable to the other participants. Do your part, participate, support your fellow authors and readers, and above all, have fun!
Whether you participate as an author, publisher or reader, visit the official Read an Ebook Web Site to learn more. Also visit their banners page where you can download RAEW banners, badges, buttons and bling to promote your participation on your blog or web site. The graphics are available for both English and Spanish.