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Ebook Publishing > Divorcing Smashwords

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message 1: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approved for the premium catalog - until the next time after I fix whatever)and state that stuff is wrong with it. If stuff was wrong with it, why let it pass inspection then? This is the frustrating part. Anyone else going through this? This is the third or fourth time it's happened to me over the last two years and they always manage to do it right when I have either just started a promotion or am planning one(and no one sees my books because Smashwords took them down)I am so pissed I just told them I was pulling all of my books out of there and to cancel my account. I went over to Draft2Digital after it happened last time and opted out of everything else on Smashwords for distribution(except for my free book since there were no errors and that's where Amazon did the free ebook price match thing, so I left it alone) Now they even attacked my free book! It's been nearly a year and NOW they are claiming stuff is wrong with my books despite being approved for premium catalog MONTHS AGO. I wasn't planning to host my current project through their site anyway, but to go to D2D(can you blame me?)but this whole thing has really pissed me off. I also have coupons for a discount off of one of my books in return for mailchimp email signups and now I have no clue how to do this now that I've left Smashwords(I was so angry I didn't think it through). I already announced my promo and I swear to you, they took my books down nearly right after (aaaarrrggghhhh!) Is D2D the only comparable thing out there? Suggestions?

Thanks!

Erica;-)


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Adler | 38 comments I'm sorry to hear you've had such trouble with Smashwords, that sucks. :/ I don't have any experience with Smashwords or D2D yet, but there's a third option. I'm publishing my new book through Pronoun

https://pronoun.com/

They can get your books to Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play. So far I'm really happy with them, they give you the freedom to price your book however you want, their system is easy to navigate and the customer service is fast and friendly. It's worth checking out!


message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Walken (carolinewalken) | 15 comments Thanks for the info, I am currently on Amazon. Smashwords formatting instructions made my head swim. Don't get me wrong, formatting anything hard copy has been a bear for me but .... come on people! This should not take a computer degree!


message 4: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Thanks for the info and for the support. I may look into pronoun. I'm not usually such a hothead but smashwords just gets on my nerves. It really is impossible to get the formatting just right. And then once you do everything that they say, they'll still come back months later and claim that you did something wrong and pull the book down. I should have probably walked away after the second time it happened...


message 5: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments My book sin't out there but I've had no problems with Smashwords. Maybe it was he person you talked too. Maybe try again, and talk to Rayleen at Smashwords.


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Erica wrote: "Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approved for the pre..."


I use both Smashwords and D2D for different pen names/genres. I've only once had a problem where a book didn't make the premium catalog, and it was because the title in the interior didn't match the cover exactly.

However, I don't upload Word documents; I compile ePub files using Sigil. I used to do an additional Word document for Smashwords, because they don't give you an online preview, but I don't bother anymore. I did find their style guide very helpful, however. Have you tried using their Word template?


message 7: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Ken wrote: "Erica wrote: "Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approv..."


No, I haven't. I usually just use calibre and it's not a problem. My issue is the length of time that goes on after it passes with flying colors, that they suddenly come with this nonsense. I have bookfunnel, as far as trying to do something about my coupon issue. I think D2D offers it too. I will have to look into it since I have a house full this weekend. It just grinds my gears though....

Thanks!

Erica;-)


message 8: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Mellissa wrote: "My book sin't out there but I've had no problems with Smashwords. Maybe it was he person you talked too. Maybe try again, and talk to Rayleen at Smashwords."

I already canceled the account, but thanks anyway:-)

Erica;-)


message 9: by Josephine (new)

Josephine Allen | 3 comments I've uploaded six books in Word to D2D, and the only problem I had was with one book when I'd inserted the em-dashes through "inset symbol", and left them as a symbol rather than formatting them to the current text. If you're unsure about this, you can use two hyphens (--) and the magic of D2D converts them to an em-dash.
I love the way you can download them all: epub, mobi and PDF for proofreading. If you find errors, correct them in the Word doc and upload again.
There's no problem with formatting as with Smashwords. D2D does it all.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Pronoun does some similar stuff, they have some nice styles to use and they will add a blank line between paragraphs if you put ** in the word file and if you put *** centred it will insert a nice little graphic.
I need to figure out the blank line between paragraphs for D2D, it's the only bit I'm having a problem with.


message 11: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Thanks for the info. I'm looking into it now. I'm just so angry with how the whole thing went with smashwords because it should really be made easier. I'm pretty computer and I have a severe problem with the persnickety manner in which everything has to be done just to get the files published.

Erica


message 12: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Pronoun isn't blind-friendly either, so I'm stuck with Smashwords. The formating wasn't difficult, and I know they are working on many new changes like monthly payments. You can proofread and update on there, right? I haven't done it, but I'll have a word file anyway, so I can replace it if necessary. I know they mention you can upload revisions to replace the previous version.


message 13: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments My problem with smash words is more so that I upload my files problem free, or at least I think so, and They let it through and then come six or eight months later and just take it down with no warning saying that stuff is wrong. Please keep in mind, this has happened two or three times already. I'm talking about I make a change in back matter that matches the rest of the file or correct a word and it's a hassle every single time to the point that I don't even want to update anything on there. And I can't have that because sometimes changes do need to be made when I'm adding back matter for upcoming books etc. and I need to feel assured that I'm not gonna have a problem when I follow the rules. It's frustrating when you follow their rules and submit your file but it keeps on coming up with all the stupid errors and for the life for you you cannot find what is wrong. It takes a lot of time to have to keep on correcting something over and over and over again when you're trying to market, when you're trying to write, etc. and I just can't do it. I'm six months behind schedule on my current project because I was sick for most of last year and hospitalized and what not and I don't have time to play games with these people anymore. And as I mentioned, they always do it right when I'm in the process of doing a promotion and then people can't find my book(I know that a lot of us struggle with visibility and is last thing we need to have happen)I'm just really fed up with them. I greatly appreciate the advice on here but I'm just really done with them. Yeah I'm definitely looking into her own round and we'll see what happens, but right now I'm with draft 2 digital and so far so good.

Thanks!

Erica


message 14: by Blaque (new)

Blaque Diamond (blaquediamondbooks) | 76 comments I wanted to go with pronoun but when i tried uploading my book, i found that they were not blind friendly. There site has accessibility issues for those of us who use screen readers. I had to cancel my account and go back with smash words. I have never used d to d. Smash words is much easier for me.


message 15: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments What screen reader do you use? Jaws or Nvda? Smashwords is easier. I couldn't keep an account with pronoun either. I didn't even try to upload my book's preorder info, it was hard enough just using the site.


message 16: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Am I the only one in thinking that it shouldn't be so hard? It's ridiculous how many hoops you have to jump through just to get things done. I'm not really familiar with site readers and the like and was not even aware they offered such a thing, which I think is great. Maybe they should have more of them for the visually impaired? Maybe drop them an email and suggest it


message 17: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Smashwords doesn't offer them, there site is just compatible withthem.


message 18: by Blaque (new)

Blaque Diamond (blaquediamondbooks) | 76 comments Mellissa wrote: "What screen reader do you use? Jaws or Nvda? Smashwords is easier. I couldn't keep an account with pronoun either. I didn't even try to upload my book's preorder info, it was hard enough just using..."

I use both JAWS and NVDA but JAWS mostly.


message 19: by Belinda (new)

Belinda A. Allen (belinda-a-allen) | 4 comments My book is on Smashwords. I used their template. I had no problem getting it accepted into the Premium catalogue. I've used Smashwords coupons about three different times with no problems. It's very easy. I plan to use Smashwords for my next set of stories and novel.


message 20: by Christine (new)

Christine Calabrese (christinecalabrese) | 145 comments Hi, I was on Smashwords for about a year, I just never got any traction or sales so I went on KDP Amazon. I have a little ebook on there and am now working on replacing it with a nicr upgrade. I have started out very small to see how this Indie thing works. Done with Smashwords because I did not reach my niche audience.


message 21: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Schwimley (victoriaschwimley) | 161 comments I never count on any sales from Smashwords. In fact, I've read a couple blog posts that said, publishing on Smashwords is how you spot a self-published book. I believe the reason this is happening is that their outside vendors are tightening their requirements. I use Smashwords to give away free books and because they distribute to Overdrive. I have a couple of books on D2D but have never had a sale. All my books are listed on Pronoun, but I'm not selling there. I already had all of them listed when Pronoun came out. I love that they send me weekly reports telling me the current stats of my book. They also notify me any time a review is posted on Amazon.


message 22: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Tightening their requirements, how? I'm stuck with Smashwords for ebooks, and am looking into Createspace for print, and a narrator from the National Library Service to posibly do my audiobook. I'd need someone to do the braille version though.


message 23: by Dan (new)

Dan Burley (danburleyauthor) | 112 comments The very first sale I ever made was on Smashwords, but I hated using their service so much, I soon pulled my book from it. I don't know, I just... I don't like the site. On any level.


message 24: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Am I the only one in the group who likes Smashwords? They have an easy site and great support staff and are blind-friendly! So are Audible and sellfy.com and Inktura.


message 25: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Mellissa wrote: "Am I the only one in the group who likes Smashwords? They have an easy site and great support staff and are blind-friendly! So are Audible and sellfy.com and Inktura."

I have only one complaint about smashwords, and it's that they have made virtually no effort to update either their site or their processes in the last 5 years and more, at least not as far as I can tell.
The site is simple to use once you get to grips with formatting for them, but aesthetically it hasn't changed at all in the time I have been using it. In the mean time you have had sites like D2D and Pronoun crop up which look much better, and which offer daily reports, something Smashwords still seems unable to provide for anything other than sales directly from their site.


message 26: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments They've been updating there site and added some changes like quicker payment. Pronoun and D2d aren't blind-friendly unfortunately.


message 27: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) My experience with Smashwords has not been good. I find it very difficult to find my book, navigate the site. Recently I entered their July discount promotion and spent an hour scrolling through the 'Memoir' category trying to find my book.


message 28: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Is the adult filter on?


message 29: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) Yes


message 30: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Is the memoir adult? If not, then the filter needs to be off.


message 31: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments I don't see how the site is difficult to navigate. Links are labeled. Nicely layed out as there aren't many graphics. The book cover links are even text labeled.


message 32: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) The memoir is adult because some of language where I am quoting conversations is vulgar.

As far as navigating, especially tracking sales is complicated for me. Maybe others find the terminology on the site simpler.


message 33: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments William wrote: "As far as navigating, especially tracking sales is complicated for me. Maybe others find the terminology on..."

I agree that the sales reports are confusing. However, some of that isn't Smashwords' fault, but the delay imposed by getting multiple reports from the various retailers to which they distribute.


message 34: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) Thank you for taking the time to respond.


message 35: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Henry (ajayhenry) | 10 comments Erica wrote: "Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approved for the pre..."


I have to say I am not much interested in the technical side of making an epub or mobi file work. I once tried Smashwords style guide using Hyperlinks for the TOC using Word Docs, and submitting to the 'meatgrinder'; was not happy.

I use Scrivener to create my ebooks. I must be a control freak or something, but I want to see the digital version, both formats, the way I want it (not the way some software hashes it together).

Smashwords rejects books for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the tab spacing is not correct. Mostly it is the TOC (table of contents) not linking to the correct chapters. It is a headache, and chews into lifespace better used for writing.


message 36: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Henry (ajayhenry) | 10 comments A. J. wrote: "Erica wrote: "Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approv..."


PS be wary of writing (long works) in Google docs. For I reasons I don't understand, their format inserts hidden code that onther programmes do not like.


message 37: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Henry (ajayhenry) | 10 comments Mellissa wrote: "Am I the only one in the group who likes Smashwords? They have an easy site and great support staff and are blind-friendly! So are Audible and sellfy.com and Inktura."
I like the flexibility in using Smashwords. The dashboard has key features, such as updating versions. Provided you are familiar with epub files and the problems that can happen, updating books is a breeze.

The problem I think Croker has is that it was once of the first out there. It now looks dated. Another problem I have, and I am open minded, but some books I looked at to review are porn of the sleaziest kind. Hundreds would argue against censoship, but I don't know, maybe that's the niche.

All up a good distributer but needs an update.


message 38: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 49 comments I've not had any trouble, but I haven't sold anything on there either.


message 39: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa | 48 comments Still writing so I haven't sold iether. Are you still writing?


message 40: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) I've tried all kinds of promotions/discounts to no avail with Smashwords. For a book with almost 50 Five Star reviews on amazon you would think that there wouldn't be a paucity of sales on Smashwords. What am I doing wrong there?


message 41: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4270 comments Mod
Let's stay on topic, folks. Not the place for discussing what you do with your royalties, Amazon removing reviews, etc.


message 42: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) There are lot's of "No's" in your Group and since it is your group you are entitled to make them. Frankly however I am not sure that this group is really helpful to authors like myself.


message 43: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4270 comments Mod
Most groups I'm familiar with on Goodreads ask that the members stay on topic. It is respectful to the person who started the topic.


message 44: by William (new)

William Morgenstein (httpswwwthecrazylifeofbillcom) Understood, but my answer tangentially involved Smashwords, which was how the conversation began.


message 45: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4270 comments Mod
The comment that was removed mentioned Smashwords, but then went into what you do with your royalties, how many reviews you have on Amazon, how many Amazon removed, how you feel this is unfair... you were getting off-topic, William.


message 46: by Brian (new)

Brian McMickle | 17 comments I ran into this. I later found somewhere deep in the FAQs or forums somewhere that there is a website that you can go to that runs your eBook through the full file-validator that is used for premium. I don't know why they have this separated. The use of this came with a preface to the tune of "If you are extremely, patient, tedious, and have impenetrable self-esteem, then proceed, otherwise, stay away.

The reason seems to be that the validator spits back a bunch of code errors as opposed to translated user friendly errors. So if you are an avid google-searcher, familiar with software development, and are an expert in MS Word re-engineering and Calibre, then you can do most of this yourself. But it is a HUGE pain!!

I'll look for the link to share with everyone, but in short, most of the errors turned about to be MS Word "functionality" on some of the primative HTML tags they use that do not covert over properly to eBook world, especially when you create the navigation for the book.


message 47: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hausmann | 47 comments Erica wrote: "Hey there!

I have all three of my books on Smashwords. I like the coupon codes you can do, etc but the problem is the way they randomly take my books down (months after it was approved for the pre..."


THX, for reassuring me that I am not the only one wondering what's going on. Though I have no problems, I just recently received a note that my free book on Smashwords was ok and passed inspections even though it was live and people had pulled it for months.

I suspect Smashwords may have a new computer program/system or updated their old one. There was no reason to inform me of anything.

Maybe you could contact them and ask if they use a new system which 'might' (?) cause problems? It's just a guess but I have seen this happening before.


message 48: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Henry (ajayhenry) | 10 comments Brian wrote: "I ran into this. I later found somewhere deep in the FAQs or forums somewhere that there is a website that you can go to that runs your eBook through the full file-validator that is used for premiu..."

I formatted a book in Microsoft Word using Hyperlinks. It took some work and like all coding, one small mistake will take time to find and rectify. I don't have an interest in Scrivener and no desire to promot it, but their compile mode makes life easier. It will format epub and mobi files. Some understanding of how e-book files work is needed and the frist versions of a book throws up surprising results, especially if you are not familar with the 'front material' folder. The down side to writting with this software is editing: the checks are slow, often not showing up until a day after. Better to write somewhere else and cut-and-past into Scrivener.


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