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?'s for the Members of CR > Has anyone ever had a reply from Smashwords?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

So I've had a bad day. We've changed our email address and I've managed (in a total of 1/2 hour) to adjust the settings on facebook, goodreads, amazon, KDP and god knows what else, but can I change it on my smashwords account? Of course not.

After stuffing around for ages (not the first time either) I confirmed that I had to send another email to smashwords to again request a change my email setting. Well I did this a couple of weeks ago. No reply.

So I re-emailed them today. Will I get a reply? There was nothing to indicate that my email had been sent, no acknowledgment that they received it. It was sent into the void.

My old email address expires in a month. I'm figuring I won't have heard back from them by then.

I'm so peeved I'm seriously considering going KDP select for my upcoming novel.

Has anyone ever had any luck in receiving a reply from smashwords? I'm feeling pretty fed up. Surely altering an email address shouldn't be such a big deal?


message 2: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Herfst (stephen_herfst) | 54 comments smashwords kind of sucks (hard) at the moment. Their parser sucks balls ... to be nice


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephen wrote: "smashwords kind of sucks (hard) at the moment. Their parser sucks balls ... to be nice"

It's so frustrating! Why is changing something so little so hard?


message 4: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Herfst (stephen_herfst) | 54 comments It's because it wasn't designed properly. It's probably a three-man team (at the most) that isn't capable of scaling their project properly (I'm in IT btw)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephen wrote: "It's because it wasn't designed properly. It's probably a three-man team (at the most) that isn't capable of scaling their project properly (I'm in IT btw)"

Thank you. I gave a long ahhh, when I read your reply.

It is not a good system. I believe they have a full-time staff of thirteen now? Considering the massive increase that they have seen in the past year, both in ebooks being published through them, and downloads, I don't think that number of staff is enough. But they will have to keep up. I would think that they would be doing quite well now in terms of percentages back.

I recently contacted Diesel with a query about the listings of my books and not only did they reply in the same day, they fixed the problem too!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Smashwords customer service can be extremely frustrating. Once when I contacted them and didn't get a reply for two weeks, I contacted them again, saying it was for the second time, and they responded a few days later. The lady almost seemed annoyed that I was pressuring them for a response, but two weeks without a response is unacceptable.

I wish they would at least send an acknowledgement that they received our emails - even an automated reply would be better than nothing. All I can say is I hope they respond to you this time. Maybe they need prompting every time we ask them something. I guess that's all we can do.

On the plus side, at least Smashwords is good for getting our books on sites that usually only take US residents, like Barnes and Noble. That's why I'll stick with them. As difficult as they can be.

Thanks, Mona


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 27, 2012 04:19PM) (new)

Mona wrote: "Smashwords customer service can be extremely frustrating. Once when I contacted them and didn't get a reply for two weeks, I contacted them again, saying it was for the second time, and they respon..."

Yes, it's very frustrating not getting any response, not even an acknowledgment of my email. How do I really know that they received it? Nothing on the site itself says it's been sent.

I've always been very pro smashwords. I love what they are doing. They are supporting and aiding indie writers in a huge way. But I'm frustrated. My old email address runs out in a month, I won't be able to connect to the site, buy and download books (which I do a lot of!)

I'm also confused, I've had great downloads at B&N, a few at Sony, but although smashwords said they have received the Kobo figures and I know people have downloaded my books through Apple, I'm still not seeing any sales from Diesel, Apple and Kobo. Has any one else received any figures from these sites through smashwords yet?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I should add my ebooks were listed as available through those sites since at least the beginning of December.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I've had a reply! Unfortunately this was to my earlier enquiry, and the email address I asked them to change it to had problems, and we were forced to set up a gmail account!

So now I've had to ask them to change it again (as per my message to them yesterday). It's gone from smashwords stuffing me around, to me stuffing around smashwords! :(


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Georgina Et Al...

I recently received a nice invitation from Smashwords to post my books on their site. Given all this, perhaps not.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Robert wrote: "Georgina Et Al...

I recently received a nice invitation from Smashwords to post my books on their site. Given all this, perhaps not."


No. No, Robert! I take it all back! I've just had a second reply from smashwords, this one to the email I sent only 23 minutes ago. My email address has been changed!

So, very happy again, and good on smashwords. I will be publishing my novel with them too and not going KDP Select.

Georgina.


message 12: by Derrolyn (new)

Derrolyn Anderson I deal with B&N and Amazon directly, and rarely see any sales out of Kobo, Diesel & Apple.
Even though sales there are paltry, Smashwords is invaluable to me! It allows me to distribute coupon codes to pass out downloads in any format, making giveaways to reviewers & contests easy.
I hope they work out the kinks and keep up the good work!!!


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Derrolyn wrote: "I deal with B&N and Amazon directly, and rarely see any sales out of Kobo, Diesel & Apple.
Even though sales there are paltry, Smashwords is invaluable to me! It allows me to distribute coupon code..."


Maybe I haven't had any downloads from those sites then? But I've had people tell me that they have downloaded them from Apple, and one of my stories on Diesel has a ranking, that's changed in the last month, so that seems as if people are accessing it through there.

I agree about smashwords, I use the coupon codes too and I like their stance and philosophy.

All good with me now. I've logged in with my new email address (that they changed again for me today). I think there are bugs because of the huge growth in ebooks over the past two years. It must be hard to keep up.


message 14: by Derrolyn (last edited Feb 27, 2012 06:09PM) (new)

Derrolyn Anderson Yeah, I don't know how in the world you could keep track of e-book sales. Any one of them could "accidentally" forget to post a sale and I'd be none the wiser.
Trust, (but how can you) Verify?


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Derrolyn wrote: "Yeah, I don't know how in the world you could keep track of e-book sales. Any one of them could "accidentally" forget to post a sale and I'd be none the wiser.
Trust, (but how can you) Verify?"


My stories are pretty much all free at this stage, so I've not that fussed. It will all be more interesting when I release my novel. Then I suspect my dashboards will slow down altogether. :)


message 16: by Derrolyn (new)

Derrolyn Anderson Congrats on the book! Keep on keeping on!


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Derrolyn wrote: "Congrats on the book! Keep on keeping on!"

Thanks! Will do. :) Georgina.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm glad you got a response to your email. Maybe they do just need prompting.

With regards to sales figures on Smashwords, I'm sure I read somewhere that there can be a delay with the figures, e.g. they can be reported on Dec 31, but only include sales from October and November (the first two months of the quarter). I'm not sure if this is true, as I haven't been with Smashwords long enough, and it seems that Barnes and Noble and Sony update more often. But I know I've had downloads on Apple in December, because people have left reviews and ratings, even though the report says no sales for me.

For Kobo, it says figures reported through to August 31 for free titles, and December 31 for paid titles. If your books on Kobo are free, you probably wouldn't have download figures yet.

Hope that helps. Maybe someone who's been using Smashwords longer could clarify.

Thanks, Mona


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) In case you haven't heard, Smashwords is having problems with erotica authors because Paypal forced them to change their TOS: http://www.smashwords.com/about/beta
It's now a 13 people team, but it was easier to get a reply when it was only Mark Coker and his wife... I've had replies last year from trainee, that if I was a newbie, I'd have been completely turned off.
They still haven't answered me why one of my books says 2 sales when it's only 1...
Still, I'll stick to them because of the coupon option, because I can check my files (something you can't do anywhere else, yeah, on KDP if you don't skip that stage, and again, the links aren't active in the preview) and because I still love Smaswords. Unfortunately they grew too much for their own good...
Anyway, everything ends well! ;-)


message 20: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 726 comments Okay so I'm sure its been posted somewhere before but since we are on the topic here of Smashwords I was wondering..I went on there and checked it out but it seemed complicated to me, How exactly does it work? Do you sign a contract with them but only you upload your book onto their site? It seems interesting but complicated at the same time with the whole % of sales and stuff..eh Im sure someone here can break it down for me.


message 21: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Highland (brittanyhighland) | 6 comments Justin wrote: "Okay so I'm sure its been posted somewhere before but since we are on the topic here of Smashwords I was wondering..I went on there and checked it out but it seemed complicated to me, How exactly d..."

Justin, I'd encourage you to visit the Smashwords group on Goodreads if you're curious about the site and how it works. There is a great group over there and they love to help and answer questions. Here is the link: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/5....

Best,

Brittany Highland
Publicist, Paul Spite


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Mona wrote: "I'm glad you got a response to your email. Maybe they do just need prompting.

With regards to sales figures on Smashwords, I'm sure I read somewhere that there can be a delay with the figures, e.g..."


Thanks Mona! That does explain it perfectly. :) Georgina.


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments I've been with Smashwords quite a while and like Barbara, I liked it a lot better when it was Mark and his wife and a guy named Bill (who's still Chief Technical Officer but used to be IT everything guy) I used to get same day replies now it's weeks.

Georgina, I had my Phoenician Books publisher's account setup backwards (using Marjorie F. Baldwin's email instead of the Phoenician Books one) back in November and wanted to release the book in December. I was a month early, right? Well, I needed to switch the userIDs and emails and 3-1/2 weeks later got a reply from a "trainee" that was such a canned speech of bullsh*T doublespeak, I wrote to Mark and complained. I mean seriously, given it was nearly a month later, I had to wonder is this REALLY how he plans on running the business from here on out? I asked point blank and asked if that was a real person or a spammer who'd answered me because it sounded so much like a bot-spammer BS message and nothing like the SW I'd come to know, I couldn't imagine he intended for THAT crap to represent his business.

He was a little put off by my suggestion that she was less than businesslike. I'd forwarded him the email chain. He did apologize but it still took simply DELETING THE ACCOUNT to get anything done and THAT took ANOTHER 10 days.

I didn't tell him I was Sarah R. Yoffa. I said I was Marjorie F. Baldwin, publisher of Phoenician Books and a new customer. THIS was how he treated a new customer. Bad. Very bad. He did offer me the option to contact him directly next time which is nice but doesn't help that it was already the middle of January. I started the first contact the week before Thanksgiving. If I had needed to release the book December 31 as planned, he would have lost the customer. Forever. I don't know if he quite "got" that.

For newbies, I still recommend Smashwords but you gotta read carefully and do it right the first time--and do it yourself. Using Smashwords for DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS is the way to go. If you need or want anything else (like sales or customer service) not so much.

-sry


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara wrote: "In case you haven't heard, Smashwords is having problems with erotica authors because Paypal forced them to change their TOS: http://www.smashwords.com/about/beta
It's now a 13 people team, but it ..."


This is an interesting and important issue as it concerns censorship via financial institutions. I can see Mark Coker's point of view, however difficult it may have been for him to reach. This is more than just a paypal issue. If he says no to paypal, all smashwords writers are affected.

However I think it's hypocritical of paypal, I'm sure their services have been used to purchase guns, drugs, and utilised by people funding wars or unrest, you name it.

And if books contain the specific topics mentioned in that smashwords link, it's still not cut and dried. Those books would be read and judged by a panel of sorts--a censorship panel, they would decide whether they are to be published or not.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Brittany wrote: "Justin wrote: "Okay so I'm sure its been posted somewhere before but since we are on the topic here of Smashwords I was wondering..I went on there and checked it out but it seemed complicated to me..."

Thanks, just joined that group.

:) Georgina.


message 26: by Barbara (last edited Feb 28, 2012 12:34PM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) I also stick to Smashwords because it's my only way into Barnes&Nobles, as I'm not American and I do have some sales there - through Smashwords! ;-)
But yeah, like Sarah says, they're getting worse... and now the PayPal problem... it's neverending!
Check this article and its comments: http://selfpubauthors.wordpress.com/2...


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Sarah, the Webbiegrrl Writer wrote: "I've been with Smashwords quite a while and like Barbara, I liked it a lot better when it was Mark and his wife and a guy named Bill (who's still Chief Technical Officer but used to be IT everythin..."

I thought it an interesting co-incidence that I posted my complaint on GR one night and had a reply from smashwords the next day.

I like smashwords for many of the reasons pointed out by Miracle Jones in his/her blog.

'Smashwords we love you for your motorcycle'
http://fictioncircus.com/news.php?id=...

And I'm an Australian, we love our underdogs, right up until the time they get too big, then we cut them down to size (don't like that part!). I'm going with smashwords. I also self-publish through KDP, but I'm not going KDP Select. I don't want anyone getting too big or monopolising the industry.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Justin wrote: "Okay so I'm sure its been posted somewhere before but since we are on the topic here of Smashwords I was wondering..I went on there and checked it out but it seemed complicated to me, How exactly d..."

And here's the smashwords forum.
http://z15.invisionfree.com/smashword...?


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Justin wrote: "Okay so I'm sure its been posted somewhere before but since we are on the topic here of Smashwords I was wondering..I went on there and checked it out but it seemed complicated to me, How exactly d..."

Not difficult, once you get the hand of formatting. No contract but the formatted copy uploaded onto smashwords and converted into all the epubs cannot then be downloaded and used on other sites. But you can use you original formatted book and go with KDP too (not Select, that an exclusive deal, you aren't allowed to publish it elsewhere for ninety days).

Your book, in all cases, is always yours, you can remove it, alter it, put a new cover on, at any stage. You own copyright. Percentages back from smashwords are very good.


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments Barbara wrote: "I also stick to Smashwords because it's my only way into Barnes&Nobles, as I'm not American and I do have some sales there - through Smashwords! ;-)
But yeah, like Sarah says, they're getting worse..."


Wait, Barb, are you sure you cannot use Pubit! to gain access to B&N's Nookstore directly? I'm pretty sure you CAN. It might be US-Citizen only but I don't know.

http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home

worth looking into anyway, right?

-sry


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara wrote: "I also stick to Smashwords because it's my only way into Barnes&Nobles, as I'm not American and I do have some sales there - through Smashwords! ;-)
But yeah, like Sarah says, they're getting worse..."


I posted a question about this issue:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...


message 32: by Barbara (last edited Feb 29, 2012 09:27AM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Sarah, the Webbiegrrl Writer wrote: "Barbara wrote: "I also stick to Smashwords because it's my only way into Barnes&Nobles, as I'm not American and I do have some sales there - through Smashwords! ;-)
But yeah, like Sarah says, they'..."


yep, Sarah, is US citizens only at the moment... but if they go international, selling the Nook through Waterstones in the UK, they might open to foreigners...


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments Barbara wrote: "yep, Sarah, is US citizens only at the moment... but if they go international, selling the Nook through Waterstones in the UK, they might open to foreigners... "

Bummer! I know that Kobo books (which are also ePub format, aka the Nook Book format) and GoogleBooks are both open to non-US citizens. I wonder if one or both of them would be a solution/alternative to Smashwords for non-US citizens?

Just brainstorming here, NOT saying not to use SW. I love SW. Despite the whole rigamarole crap I went through with Phoenician Books, I LOVE Smashwords!! Just figured I should say that explicitly ^)^

-sry


message 34: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Hey all;

I've been in touch with SW a few times and always got a prompt and helpful answer, though that was a few months back so may be before it was quite so mental over there.

Justin, you don't sign contracts with SW - they are a distributor and you are your own publisher so all rights remain with you. You only read and okay the Terms of Service (or whatever they're calling it today) which is basically like the agreement when you get a new computer programme. It sets out in fairly simple terms what the deal is. Which is the same idea as a contract but in this sense it's an agreement of how they will distribute it and pay you, and what you agree to do or not do. But if you don't like it you can leave SW tomorrow and there's an end of it - if you "unpublish" your books (which is the term they use) they don't keep the files or sell any more of them.. Only the previous ebooks that you have already sold will remain in the posession of the people who have bought them.

Hope that clarifies?

JAC


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments Cannot stress it enough, Smashwords is a distributor and NOT a publisher. You can be both author and publisher for your own books or someone else can publish you and distribute your book in eBook form using Smashwords but Smashwords is NOT ever going to publish you or do anything else for you.

They do not design covers - Mark does keep a list of people who design covers (cheap)

They do not write copy - Mark does keep a list of people who can write sales copy for you (not so cheap)

They do not design book pages on bookstore sites (like Amazon's Kindle Store or B&N's Nook Store) but you can access/alter your page after your book has been distributed there and do whatever you like to it.

They do not collect money for sales made in bookstore sites (like Amazon's Kindle Store or B&N's Nook Store). This is the single-most MISunderstood point of all. Let's make up an example to explain why you might MISTAKENLY start thinking they are not paying you.

Smashwords distributes your book to Stores A, B, and Z. Your book sells 3 copies at Store A, none at B and 10 at Z. You Store A pays

Smashwords once a quarter; Smashwords pays you within 30 days of receipt of funds. Store A doesn't send money for your 3 books that were sold until the very last day of the 3rd month (or later because they CAN get away with it and the publishing industry is notorious for being "late" with payments to others) so Smashwords has not received any money. They cannot pay you what they have not received. Once they received your money for the 3 books, they deposit 60% or 70% of it (depends what the agreement was with Store A) into an Accounts Receivable in your name. Then at the end of each 30 days period, each Accounts Receiveable is transferred by Smashwords into an Accounts Payable and pretty much paid out within 24 hours. I usually get my SW payments *ON* not after the last day of the payout month but it could be delayed due to paypal or weekends or other banking issues. I trust them to pay me "immediately" because they always have for over a year now.

Store Z, where you sold 10 books, pays Smashwords once a month but they don't organize their payments by author or by title so Smashwords has to spend time sifting the money into the correct Accounts Receiveable accounts--and then it's another 30 days for you to get into the Accounts Payable status.

Obviously Store A and Store Z are screwing you over but everyone seems to think it's appropriate to say something like Smashwords won't give me my money!! These remarks are the epitomy of the ignorant, naive or patently foolish author who also probably believes he is going to make a million dollars OVERNIGHT. I wish I could sell these people something--because they probably buy just about anything shiny, too.

I'm sorry if I sound really condescending here but the way some people talk about Smashwords as though it's another Amazon Kindle Store is just ridiculous (in the absurd way, not the so good I can't believe it way)

Given how much Mark pours into trying to help Indie Authors establish themselves and evolve into Indie Publishers in their own right, I'm not sure where these people get off putting him down. He doesn't do it all for free but pretty damned close (Smashwords takes only a 10% fee off the top which is NOT a lot--Kindle takes 30% plus additional fees in the future) and he tries to help the supporting industry (to wit: his lists of people to help you get your book edited, formatted, covered, sold and managed)

And now I'm back off to my sucky day job to go make my aching back and feet throb a little more :-( I cannot wait to get my book out and start selling!! I'm going to make a million dollars overnight and quit this stupid job (LOL)

^)^


message 36: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Kristufek | 181 comments And now I'm back off to my sucky day job to go make my aching back and feet throb a little more :-( I cannot wait to get my book out and start selling!! I'm going to make a million dollars overnight and quit this stupid job (LOL)

Good luck with that! I'm glad I'm working with you then if you're making millions overnight, means I can squeeze you for a nice dinner LOL. :)


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Smashwords have updated the sales figures for the various channels. Apple is still saying nothing for me, but I think I know why.

I searched online, and read a comment on a blog where someone said he emailed Smashwords, and they told him they don't report Apple free download figures. I guess this must be true, because my book was definitely downloaded when it was free for 2 months. Hopefully next time Apple reports to Smashwords, I'll have some figures, now that I'm charging for my book.

Thanks, Mona


message 38: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 726 comments J.A. wrote: "Hey all;

I've been in touch with SW a few times and always got a prompt and helpful answer, though that was a few months back so may be before it was quite so mental over there.

Justin, you d..."


It does, you explained it well and I understand it now. Sounds simple to get into and out of if one wished to. thanks J.A


message 39: by Sarah (last edited Mar 01, 2012 02:59PM) (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments Tricia wrote: "And now I'm back off to my sucky day job to go make my aching back and feet throb a little more :-( I cannot wait to get my book out and start selling!! I'm going to make a million dollars overnigh..."

Oh, absolutely, Tricia! I'll take the whole FR circle out, fly everyone to somewhere nice :) Maybe Nice, France! Just as soon as the check arrives *wink*

((just kidding in case anyone new who doesn't know me is reading this))


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Sarah, the Webbiegrrl Writer wrote: "Tricia wrote: "And now I'm back off to my sucky day job to go make my aching back and feet throb a little more :-( I cannot wait to get my book out and start selling!! I'm going to make a million d..."

I'm in! :)


message 41: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Yoffa (webbiegrrlwriter) | 501 comments Georgina, you're not reading in my FR circle--or not this book ;-) I have a friend with a place in Nice and have been wanting to "research" Marseilles for purposes of the Russian Bratva (mob) drug/gun/human trafficking through Marseilles in competition with the "Sicilians" (mob who were the original Mafia) The 2 groups have been battling it out since the 80s and apparently Marseilles is still the place for shipping people (to Tripoli) and guns (everywhere) but not so much for the drug trade anymore.

I doubt I'll ever really get to go stay with said friends on the French Riviera but it's a nice goal. A grrl's gotta have goals ;-)


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Sarah, the Webbiegrrl Writer wrote: "Georgina, you're not reading in my FR circle--or not this book ;-) I have a friend with a place in Nice and have been wanting to "research" Marseilles for purposes of the Russian Bratva (mob) drug/..."

Oh...Gate-crashing allowed? :) Too right to goals.


message 43: by chucklesthescot (new)

chucklesthescot I asked a question and had a reply a few hours later. And even better, my question was properly answered! That doesn't happen on amazon depending on who you get!!!


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