Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Digital Feedback

I have another client who I’m guiding into digital publishing. This week our conversation was about which of the digital sites to publish on. His choice (because it services so many distributors and therefore reaches so many markets) was Smashwords. My suggestion was to include Kindle in the mix because of the feedback. Kindle gives you daily feedback in terms of sales in almost real time. Every day you can see what’s selling. That is so important when you get into multiple lines of sales or you’re experimenting with a new market or series. Smashwords, on the other hand, doesn’t know itself what’s sold until after the close of each quarter when the distributors send in their reports. Eventually you figure out what has sold (although it’s a difficult process because their record keeping is to say the least primitive) but getting sales information three of four months after the fact is really slow in the digital age. Barnes and Noble’s Nook is no competition for Kindle.I sell 3 to 5 times the number of books on Kindle and I sell a greater variety as well although the feedback when it's there is excellent. Getting real time feedback allows you to make adjustments to your covers or blurbs or prices in almost real time because you can see the results. This holds true for every business. Test and measure. Test and measure. You can’t do that in slow motion in the digital age.

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