Smashwords has added an awesome new feature: Smashwords Alerts. When readers sign up, Smashwords will send them an email alert whenever the authors they’re following publish something new.
To send alerts an author doesn’t need to do anything; they just happen, thanks to Smashwords’ system. To follow and author, readers need to log into their Smashwords account at http://Smashwords.com, then find their favorite author’s page. On the left side, under users who’ve favorited the author,there’s a button to favorite the author and one to subscribe to author alerts. Right now Smashwords has automatically subscribed readers to all their favorited authors, but they can go in and unfollow.
But what if your readers don’t buy books from Smashwords? What if they like Barnes and Noble, or Amazon better? I can’t speak for all authors, but when I publish a book or story on Smashwords, I also publish it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and all the others, so an alert from Smashwords would still let readers know that a new story was out there, waiting for them on their platform of choice – and I wouldn’t need to harvest their email addresses or send that notification manually.
In a business that increasingly sucks time for promotions, networking, newsletters, and more, any little thing can help! I’m encouraging all my readers to sign up for the alerts. whether they purchase from Smashwords or not, and hopefully that will save me some time and get the word out easier about new stories.
What do you think of the new alerts? As an author? As a reader? Are you planning to make use of them, or do you find it just more email for your inbox?
I get so little business from Smashwords, that I don’t think I’ll use this. But hey, if it helps other authors who get more business from Smashwords than I do, then I wish them well in using it.
I mostly have success with freebies on the SW site itself, but i do a fair trade with B&N, who I distribute to through SW, so this may be handy in that regard 🙂
You got a point there.
I think the potential is in letting people know you have a book out. Then they can search for it on one of the other retailers. (I rarely sell anything on Smashwords. Like Joleene, it’s mostly the freebies. I do find Smashwords handy for the coupons so people can download a book at a discount if I’m running a giveaway or if I want to offer a freebie.)
I’m glad for it because I want to know when authors have new books coming out, especially those I’ve favorited on Smashwords. I know this probably sounds bad, but I would use it to know a book is out and then go to iBooks or Amazon to buy the book. I prefer the book to go directly to my iPhone or Kindle. I don’t like to upload it to my device. (I’m lazy that way.)
LOL! I am just as bad!
I’m relieved to know I’m not alone. 🙂 BTW, I pre-ordered your book. I’m looking forward to reading Patrick’s story!
Yay! Ty! I hope you enjoy it!
Honestly, if Smashwords would find a way to upload books directly like Amazon does, I would probably buy a lot more from Smashwords. I think the obstacle there is that the books are in several different formats, so they would have to do separate software for each format. Like if someone clicks on the mobi file, it would be assumed it was going to Kindle. But what about epub? It’s more universal. I think each reader would have to register their device with Smashwords, or something like that. It would be pretty complicated, so I know that’s why it’s not done that way. It’s a shame. I like supporting smaller companies. Now, if Smashwords could improve their author support so it would be like it used to be….
Yes! I know kindle has an “email to kindle” feature that drops the book right on your kindle, and I imagine the others do too. I wish they’d gave you an option for that when you buy a book – like it would just automatically mail it to whatever address you give it, so it would end up on your kindle, etc. Hmmm. I haven’t used author support lately…probably a year or so.
My publisher has an exclusive arrangement with Amazon, but I’m giving serious thought to doing future projects on my own because I’ve always liked Smashwords.
I love their business model!