Mark Coker from Smashwords has collated the results of a Smashwords author survey, and there's a whole bunch of fancy graphs and juicy data in there. I'll just post the headers for each section, to give you an idea. It's really great information, and if you want to optimise your strategy for selling books you certainly can't go wrong with some Cold, Hard Survey Result Facts.
- Ebook Sales Conform to a Power Curve
- Viva Long Form Reading: Longer Books Sell Better
- Shorter Book Titles Appear to Have Slight Sales Advantage
- How Indie Authors are Pricing Their Books: $2.99 (USD) is the Most Common Price Point
- How Price Impacts Unit Sales Volume: Lower Priced Books (usually) Sell More Copies
- The Yield Graph: Is $3.99 the New $2.99?
- A Closer Look at the Yield Graph Reveals Why Indie Ebook Authors Have a Competitive Advantage over Traditionally Published Authors
There really is too much for me to post without spoilering the lot (yes, spoilering is a word now*), but I found this an interesting comment from Mark:
Already, many successful indies, borrowing from the playbook of publishers, are assembling freelance teams of editors, cover designers, formatters and distributors. Tell me again, what can a publisher do for the ebook author that the author already do for themselves faster, cheaper and more profitability?
In general I'm in the camp of 'assemble a team of freelance professionals to produce a book'. I realise that some authors are capable of being the person who does that assembling, and that other authors are more than capable of doing all those tasks themselves, and I'm also aware that this approach is quite expensive. I think it produces the best books though. Not that I have any evidence of this.
Anyway, read the survey results and Mark analysis. It's very interesting: http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/05/new-smashwords-survey-helps-authors.html
(*send your hate mail to Shakespeare)