Smashwords, the popular ebook site, has done some research on the behalf of indie authors everywhere and given us some tips on what does and doesn’t sell in the ebook world. Behold:

It’s a steep curve: Most books sell extremely few copies, a few sell extremely well.

Readers prefer longer books.

The best profits are to be made by pricing your book between 2,99 and 3,99.

The authors who make the most money sell at the lowest prices.

Ebooks which are available to readers for free are read just under 40 times more than paid books.

Books which you can pre-order tend to sell better. Very few authors use this pre-order possibility.

Series sell better than one-off books.

Books with a word count below 50,000 sell markedly less well.

If the first book of a series is available for free this has a marked impact on the success of the series which it kicks off.

Factual books sell for a higher price than fiction. People who buy factual books are less worried about the price of a book. Most people who sell their factual books online do so at too low a price.

And that’s it…So there you are! A few tips from Smashwords to help you get to the most readers and make the best possible turnover doing it. Now off you go and apply that!

Article by Chi Chi Honeysuckle, author of upcoming memoir The Berlin Diaries