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Author Resource Round Table > When You Publish With Smashwords..

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message 1: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments So upon reading about Smashwords to get an idea of how they work and what not I came across this opening sentence under
"What marketing tools does Smashwords offer authors and publishers?"-

"We offer distribution to major online ebook retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple iPad iBookstore, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store, and to all major smart phone platforms via app providers such as Aldiko, Page Foundry, Kobo and Word-Player."

Does this mean when you pulish with them that they automatically have your book available at these places? Do they give you the option to choose which of these places your book can be available?

I notice it says "offer" so I take that as they have these places listed and each are optional? Also as I kept reading it doesn't really specify so I thought I'd ask the masses here on GR for a more clear answer.

Thanks,
Justin


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Povey | 44 comments Right. By default, it sends your book to all of those channels, but you can opt out of any of them.


message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Povey | 44 comments Or all. Also, your book has to meet certain standards (which are basically just cover art size and a working TOC)


message 4: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Jennifer wrote: "Right. By default, it sends your book to all of those channels, but you can opt out of any of them."

Hmm..that's awesome. Barnes & Noble is a given and most publishers make it available there well..at least their website anyway. The ones that are getting me are Sony, Apple iPad, Kobo and any phone app..that sounds amazing.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex Morritt (alexmorritt) | 36 comments What you have to bear in mind is that before you can publish on Smashwords and be visible in all those wonderfully diverse places; you really need to put in the time to ensure that your work meets the stringent requirement of their 'meat grinder' - a system to ensure that your original manuscript does not fall foul of all the minute differences and idiosyncrasies that inevitably crop up when you are dealing with such a broad group of individual publishing options. Good luck :)


message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Povey | 44 comments Yes, but they do provide a guide - which I actually have found also produces files that Kindle likes and look neat, so...


message 7: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2810 comments As long as you follow their guide, your file will be accepted for distribution to all of those places.

If you want it to go to them all, you don't need to do anything. However, if you don't want it to go to any of them - for whatever reason - you have to go in to your "channel manager" and tell it not to distribute to that retailer.


message 8: by J.M. (new)

J.M. Garlock | 41 comments I never had any luck w/ Smashwords. The distribution platforms Smashwords offer are obviously attractive to many people but in my opiion they're somewhat deceptive. Formatting can be tricky. My readers are on Amazon. If Smashwords works for you, stick w/ it. If not, don't waste your time. Prospective buyers go where they're comfortable & where they know they can find the books they want to buy.
J.M. Garlock
"The Centurion Chronicles"


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Parker (michaelparker) | 92 comments I have been with Smashwords for about two years. I have sold two books, I think. (I might have bought those!). My permafree book is always showing a result, but my sales balance has shown the figure of $4.37 almost since inception. Meanwhile I am selling the same books on Amazon, so why not Smashwords? Beats me.


message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Povey | 44 comments People seldom go to Smashwords to buy books. They go there for free books.

I use them mostly to get my books out on the other platforms without having to work as hard.


message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Justin wrote: "Does this mean when you pulish with them that they automatically have your book available at these places? Do they give you the option to choose which of these places your book can be available?"

You are opted in by default, but you can opt out.

I have been with Smashwords since their first year, and I do sell books there. However, the majority of my sales come from the extended distribution (and I am opted in to all channels). My ePub format books outsell my Amazon (.mobi) books by a factor of 5:1, and have done so for years.


message 12: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Holloway | 393 comments Sharon wrote: "Justin wrote: "Does this mean when you pulish with them that they automatically have your book available at these places? Do they give you the option to choose which of these places your book can b..."

Thanks for sharing that, Sharon. I'm in the process of putting all of my books on smashwords and taking them off of KDP select, as this last 30 day contract runs out. I've done this before and always ended up putting them all back on KDP select. I'm going to leave them on there this time. Maybe I haven't given smashwords enough chance. I always felt guilty about cutting nook and all the others out of the loop while on KDP select.


message 13: by David (new)

David Workman | 10 comments Has anyone found a way to advertise your books through the Smashwords "Premium Catalog" distribution channel? In the month that 'Letter from Alabama' has been in the Premium Catalog, I haven't found a way to market on Smashwords, B & N, iBooks, Kobo, etc. Meanwhile, Amazon and IngramSpark editions continue to sell.


message 14: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Justin wrote: "So upon reading about Smashwords to get an idea of how they work and what not I came across this opening sentence under
"What marketing tools does Smashwords offer authors and publishers?"-

"We o..."


Don't take me wrong, I like SW and I like the idea of giving people without kindle (or kindle apps or people who for a reason or another hate Amazon) the opportunity to buy my books. However, so far, SW has only been good to me for giving away free copies. Unlike Amazon, I don't have to buy my own books to give them to people. In the end it can save you a lot of money. But that's about it for me. I can count on one hand my sales from SW and that's counting all the stores they distribute to. I'm starting to doubt it's worth staying out of KDP select. My next publications will be on Amazon alone.


message 15: by David (new)

David Workman | 10 comments Justin, I've begun to wonder the same thing . . .


message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Peggy wrote: "I always felt guilty about cutting nook and all the others out of the loop while on KDP select.
"


My thing is this: someone who has chosen another eReader is not going to be able to discover your books if they're only on KDP-S. The most popular reader outside of the US is the Kobo. Just a thought. ;-)


message 17: by Sharon (last edited Aug 08, 2015 10:01AM) (new)

Sharon (fiona64) David wrote: "Has anyone found a way to advertise your books through the Smashwords "Premium Catalog" distribution channel? In the month that 'Letter from Alabama' has been in the Premium Catalog, I haven't foun..."

Do you have a mailing list? A Facebook page and/or group? A website? Use those to your advantage. My website has a page with a link to every single place you can buy my books, for example.

Also, "pitch" to related groups that might be interested in the subject matter (get permission first). Even a "Now on B&N"-type post will get people's attention.

I was in Paris chatting with a fellow traveler in a hotel lounge and mentioned I was an author. Her first question: "Are your books on Nook?" Marketing is relationship-building. When you talk to people about your books, make sure they know they're widely available across all platforms.


message 18: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) G.G. wrote: "I'm starting to doubt it's worth staying out of KDP select. My next publications will be on Amazon alone. "

Let me give you my perspective as a reader who uses a Kobo: you have just told me that you do not want and/or need me in your audience when you decide to only make your books available on one site. And yes, if I wanted to, I could have a Kindle app. But I don't want to; if I wanted that format, I would have bought a Kindle.

I know this sounds harsh, but that is the message that people send with KDP-S: "You, as a reader, are not that important to me."

As I said, 80 percent of my audience is in the ePub market. I'm not going to cut my nose off to spite my face.

Your business may be different from mine, and that's great ... but I want to share my two cents on the matter anyway.


message 19: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Sharon wrote: "G.G. wrote: "I'm starting to doubt it's worth staying out of KDP select. My next publications will be on Amazon alone. "

Let me give you my perspective as a reader who uses a Kobo: you have just ..."


I understand, and that's why I went with SW to begin with. But now I feel like the ePub users have told me they weren't interested in reading my books. I have absolutely no sale from SW this year so far and the ones I had from previous years are minimal. So what am I supposed to think?

As much as I would love to accommodate the few who bought my books on iTunes, Kobo, and B&N, am I supposed to sit and tell myself, 10 people or so are more important than a chance to be on KU for example? Yet, don't take me wrong, I'm grateful for their support, but I'm not sure it's enough.

You're lucky to have a huge ePub audience and if my experience would be like yours, I'd stick with SW too. ;)


message 20: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) G.G. wrote: "But now I feel like the ePub users have told me they weren't interested in reading my books."

I guess my question, then, is: how have you marketed to that segment of your audience?

I just know what works for me ... and I try to pass it on to others.

I wish you all the best with your business.


message 21: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Honestly, I'm at a total loss when it comes to marketing so I haven't done much of anything. :(


message 22: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Thanks everyone for the feedback and sharing your information and experiences. My books should definitely meet their requirements and while I'm not the best at promoting and marketing(then again who is) I think I could at least get the word out on them on other venues. I look at is as other ways to get books out there and the more the merrier.

I'll be looking into it for sure and hope it'll help and get more readers.


message 23: by J.M. (new)

J.M. Garlock | 41 comments Follow the money. If your sales are on Amazon stay with Amazon. If they're on Smashwords stay with Smashwords. It's not rocket science.
J.M. Garlock
"The Centurion Chronicles"


message 24: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) J.M. wrote: "Follow the money. If your sales are on Amazon stay with Amazon. If they're on Smashwords stay with Smashwords. It's not rocket science.
J.M. Garlock
"The Centurion Chronicles""


It should be noted that one can do regular KDP *and* Smashwords for wider distribution. That's what I (and many others) do.


message 25: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) G.G. wrote: "Honestly, I'm at a total loss when it comes to marketing so I haven't done much of anything. :("

If I may make a recommendation, please read Mark Coker's marketing guide, whichever way you decide to go. It's free: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Also, read this one: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view... . It is well worth the price.

Then start implementing the ideas one at a time. Make sure you are building your platform (FB, e-mail list, Tsu, etc.) so that you are getting your name and books out there.


message 26: by Merita (new)

Merita King (meritaking) | 11 comments I publish my ebook versions on Smashwords as well as Amazon and I've never had a problem with the meatgrinder. If you follow it exactly as the guide says, without any deviation, you should not have any problems. It does distribute to all of those places but, in my case anyway, I don't think I've ever made a sale in any of those places. My sales are from Amazon, Smashwords, and Lulu.


message 27: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 182 comments If anyone's interested, there's a Smashwords Authors Group on Goodreads...


message 28: by Merita (new)

Merita King (meritaking) | 11 comments Steph wrote: "If anyone's interested, there's a Smashwords Authors Group on Goodreads..."

Thanks.


message 29: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Sharon wrote: "J.M. wrote: "Follow the money. If your sales are on Amazon stay with Amazon. If they're on Smashwords stay with Smashwords. It's not rocket science.
J.M. Garlock
"The Centurion Chronicles""

It sho..."


Can you still publish with Smashwords if your book has already been published on Createspace and Amazon? I sense that's what's being talked about but I wanted a more direct response just to be sure.


message 30: by G.G. (last edited Aug 16, 2015 01:27PM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Yes. There's no exclusivity with SW. You can opt out of their Amazon distribution, and any other places you want too.


message 31: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 246 comments As long as you're not in KDP Select you can publish anywhere you want, and through as many outlets.


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Sweet. Thank you Ladies


message 33: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 246 comments I'll just add that I'm very happy with Draft2Digital, the competitor for Smashwords. Great customer service and apparently much easier to upload--no complex style guide--but they don't have a store and coupons like Smashwords. I get as many sales through my D2D outlets (mostly Barnes abd Noble) as Amazon.


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