iPad or kindleWith recent developments in ebook publishing and marketing, namely by Amazon with KDP Select and Apple with iBooks Author, there is no doubt of the direction in publishing for ‘Indie’ authors. These companies want your books exclusively. In a way it had to happen sooner or later. Why would these companies invest millions in an ebook marketing platform and allow us ‘Indies’ to offer our books all over the place? You must be crazy. Independence is just not compatible with corporate profit. And don’t be fooled by Apple’s little toe in the water with just text books. Their next move will surely be aimed at popular ebook genres and in direct competition with Amazon.

So when we have all decided which one of the two giant platforms we will be tied to to publish and market our books, we will unwittingly sign the death knell for independent publishing and along with it, platforms such as Smashwords. Sad but true.

Smashwords was exactly what I wanted when I started publishing my books in ebook format. One platform where I could distribute my books to all of the online ebook vendors. Direct sales on Smashwords were always expected to be low as they couldn’t supply a one-click delivery method. I accepted that, however was happy to have my books distributed to Apple iBooks, B&N, Sony, Diesel and others. But the writing was on the wall some time ago when it became obvious that Smashwords were never going to be accepted as a supplier by Amazon. Smashwords did not and will not ever fit into Amazon’s corporate plans. Why would they when Amazon are deadset on monopolizing the ebook market.

The only competitor that can possibly stop Amazon’s monopolisitc aims is Apple. But what a savior! All that one can hope for is a duopoly. Hardly a garden for ‘Indie’ author publishers. So is the ‘Indie’ dead?

Hopefully, not yet. But certainly not in a very healthy state. As for Smashwords? I have a bad feeling that the prognosis is sadly similar.

Smashwords vs Exclusivity
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45 thoughts on “Smashwords vs Exclusivity

  • 20/01/2012 at 3:20 pm
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    Great topic! can i ask something? is it even remotely possible for “Indies” to sell their books on their websites? is this even possible? with paypal perhaps? or is this even feasible for an author to set up with different countries and tax structures to adhere to? just a thought!

    • 20/01/2012 at 3:26 pm
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      Sure Kat. It’s easy to set up online bookstores on your own sites. There are many free tools to do this. The problem is the traffic needed to generate sales. But all take a cut of some description, so after all your work you end up with only a slightly better return per book than say Amazon.

      Then there is your point about tax, and regs in different countries. This is where Smashwords shine. One vendor, one payment source. Unlike Kindle who separate payments from each of their individual stores. Crazy and complex.

    • 20/01/2012 at 4:10 pm
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      I’m doing this on my site at the moment. As soon as we’ve worked through the bugs, I’m going to consider opening the shop for other writers to sell their books on my site too.

      • 20/01/2012 at 4:19 pm
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        I suspect we’ll start to see a lot of this pop up: sites that offer eBooks in multiple formats (basically like Smashwords) and are advertising to indie authors. Many already exist but they aren’t marketted well to the general reading public. I think the result will be two things: 1) there will be a saturation of eBook stores and many will fold because there are too many options and only the best will survive (not a bad thing), and 2) places like Amazon, B&N and Apple will start to include file “security” on the eBooks (so that a Nook will only read an epub file that was generated by their converter) to force exclusivity.

        • 20/01/2012 at 4:28 pm
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          As an indie author, I’d do my best to give the best deal around, possibly even free if I can figure out a way to have each author upload their own books and insert their own bank details into the system so the money will go directly into their accounts, not mine first.

          It’s just the formatting and converting that’s got me stumped – are there any free converters out there that actually work well?

          • 21/01/2012 at 11:27 am
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            Caliber works fine, Vanessa. I know it converts a html manuscript to lots of different eBook formats. I haven’t fed it a Word file, though. But I think it works with those as well.

          • 21/01/2012 at 11:32 am
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            Thanks for that – I’ll check it out :)

  • 20/01/2012 at 3:23 pm
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    I agree with you that Smashword’s days are numbered. It’s too bad. Not that I get very much in the way of sales from Smashwords, but as you pointed out, they do help with distribution. Also, I use them for my ISBNs because I get get them cheaper on Smashwords than purchasing them myself from Bowker.

    If they are smart, they’ll see the writing on the wall and convert themselves to a service site. They do have a nice manuscript conversion engine that can quickly convert a book to multiple eBook formats. With a little cleanup and maybe some additional formatting options (book cover and other graphics inclusion, auto-generated table of contents, etc.) I’d pay for that service.

    • 20/01/2012 at 3:44 pm
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      I couldn’t agree more Miles. One online service that is lacking is high quality ebook layout and formatting. Kindle’s Word to Kindle eBook converter is absolutely terrible. The announcement by Apple yesterday regarding iAuthor may also be a step towards providing tools for better quality ebook publishing for indie authors.

      • 20/01/2012 at 3:58 pm
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        What do you think of Smashwords’ formatting with their Meatgrinder?

        • 20/01/2012 at 4:08 pm
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          I’ll put in my 2 cents. It’s finicky. I’ve had to re-format Word documents because it doesn’t like the use of multiple styles. Everything I submit to Smashwords now uses only the Normal style and all formatting is done manually. Even then, I’ve seen additional page breaks and some font changes in some of their converted formats. Also, the table of contents doesn’t always work. Like I said in my reply earlier, if they could improve on that, they’d have a market for a paid service.

          • 20/01/2012 at 4:11 pm
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            I also have problems with the table of contents linking, even though I always do it EXACTLY the way their style guide advises. It’s a tad annoying, I agree.

      • 20/01/2012 at 4:25 pm
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        Both Amazon’s Word conversion and Kindle’s meatgrinder have their quirks (Meatgrinder’s inability to handle styles being the most annoying by far), but I’ve managed to get good results from both with my books. The trick is just being aware of those quirks and using a clean Word layout as your starting point. I posted some guidelines a while back at my blog that other people have used with good results, at least according to the feedback i’ve gotten. Check them out if you’re having problems (or drop me a line if a problem you’re having isn’t covered). http://insaneangelstudios.blogspot.com/2011/05/format-follows-function.html

        • 20/01/2012 at 4:30 pm
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          I generally don’t have issues either, due to following their instructions to the T, but at the moment I have a TOC problem that just isn’t going away, which is annoying since they accepted the exact same book previously, and ALL I changed in the book was literally one word!

          • 20/01/2012 at 4:54 pm
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            Keep in mind that Smashword’s Meatgrinder is a one-size-fits-all converter. You can’t expect it to do a spectacular job. The problem, as Derek pointed out, with the ebook marketplace is exclusivity. The A-holes (Amazon & Apple) want things done their way. Even with the release of Kindle Fire, which supposedly supports CSS, the conversion is still toward the lowest common denominator version of Kindle. iPads support epub, but only Apple’s version (fixed-layout) via their iBooks. (The Nook gets around this and supports both formats on the iPad.) The only way to get an ebook to look the way you want it (on each platform) is to get inside and tinkering with the formatting. Depending on where you want your work to be viewed you’ll need an epub for Apple, a prc/mobi/kf8 for Amazon and an epub for everyone else. If you need formatting help, let me know.

          • 20/01/2012 at 4:57 pm
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            I’m considering getting some help just for that one book… How much would you charge to do the TOC?

          • 20/01/2012 at 6:10 pm
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            All things depend upon complexity. Smashwords TOC (as you mentioned above) or something else? Drop me an email. I might do it just for karma points.

          • 21/01/2012 at 11:38 am
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            Mail sent – thank you!

  • 20/01/2012 at 3:33 pm
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    I certainly hope Smashwords doesn’t go under – I loathe the idea of being forced to decide which distributor to use when I can currently distribute to a number, which obviously increases overall sales. This is exactly why I decided not to publish anything with a publisher after publishing my first book with one.

    • 20/01/2012 at 3:40 pm
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      I agree Vanessa. However, there is a larger game being played out right now, and we are really just pawns and cheap content providers. Amazon have made it clear what direction they are heading. Exclusivity. And with that goes our independence.

      • 20/01/2012 at 3:54 pm
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        I just hope that the other big ones don’t follow in their footsteps. There is always the chance that they won’t. I heard about Amazon doing this – at the moment, you can still choose to not be exclusive and still distribute with them, but if they insist on exclusivity, I think I’ll have to do some heavy research to figure out a way around that if at all possible – I really don’t like being pushed into something like this that basically takes away all the rights I currently have to do what I want with my books.

      • 20/01/2012 at 4:31 pm
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        PS: I know what you are saying and I also know that you’re not wrong, but I don’t have to like it! I’m the type of person that will do almost anything to avoid being pushed into this sort of corner. I suspect a lot of indie authors are the same in that regard – your book is your baby, and nobody likes being told how to raise their baby.

    • 20/01/2012 at 3:57 pm
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      I’ve bookmarked that page – thanks for sharing!

  • 20/01/2012 at 3:58 pm
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    The Internet started as freedom of expression. With sopa and the changes in the ebook industry changes it seems like, we are only free to roam the cage!

    • 20/01/2012 at 4:00 pm
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      It really cheeses me off!

  • 20/01/2012 at 5:51 pm
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    Hi Derek, I’ve been reading about our pending demise for almost four years now.

    The only people who can kill Smashwords are our authors through the decisions they make. Despite Amazon’s full frontal attack of KDP Select, and despite them convincing thousands of authors to remove thousands of books from Smashwords and all other distribution and retail channels, we continue to grow and thrive.

    We’re publishing more titles today than when Amazon announced KDP Select. We had a blowout December with records sales across all retailers, record earnings for our authors, even though thousands of books disappeared right before Christmas thanks to KDP Select. My thoughts on KDP Select here: http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/amazon-shows-predatory-spots-with-kdp.html

    Our authors’ record December made the month a record for Smashwords as well. It was our most profitable month ever. Smashwords has been profitable for 15 months straight. As I mentioned in my annual year in review at http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/smashwords-year-in-review-2011.html we’re reinvesting these profits to build staff and expand and improve our distribution capabilities. We’re an ebook distributor, and we think we offer indie authors the most compelling distribution services. Distributors save authors valuable time. At the cost of giving up only 5-10% of the retail price (and in some cases, a distributor pays more than going direct), distributors provide centralized metadata management, aggregated sales reporting and payments, simplified year-end tax reporting, and the freedom to spend more time writing. Apple and B&N, our two largest retail partners, have always offered their own direct upload platforms, yet many if not most authors continue to use us and other distributors. Unless Amazon manages to destroy all other ebook retailers, then distributors such as Smashwords have a bright and increasingly important role to play in helping indie authors reach a global readership.

    2012 will surely be an exciting year, and all signs point to it being another record year for Smashwords authors by any metric. We will remain 100% focused on helping our authors do well because when they do well, we do well.

    • 20/01/2012 at 6:18 pm
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      Thank you for your positive reaction Mark.

      I read you piece a month or so back regarding KDP Select – http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/amazon-shows-predatory-spots-with-kdp.html – where you said:

      ‘The new Amazon KDP Select program strikes me as a startling example of a predatory business practice. Amazon has the opportunity to leverage their dominance as the world’s largest ebook retailer (and world’s largest payer to indie authors) to attain monopolistic advantage by effectively denying its competing retailers (Apple, B&N, Kobo, Sony, etc) access to the books from indie authors. ‘

      This is precisely where I see the danger ahead.

      As I said in my post, ‘Smashwords was exactly what I wanted when I started publishing my books in ebook format.’ I should add, I still do.

      The advantage of having international distribution without the earnings being separated by country, as is the case with Amazon, is one of the great features of Smashwords distribution. Along with of course, distribution to Apple, B&N and Sony.

      However it is clear that Amazon are attracting a lot of authors to their KDP Select program, and like many I have put my toe in the water with a couple of books. I will be interested in seeing the results. A bucket load of sales? Or perhaps more likely, a bucket full of books given away for free.

      I know my blog title was provocative and certainly wasn’t intended to be derogatory towards Smashwords. But I do hope it generates discussion and raises the important issues facing electronic publishing in the coming months.

      • 20/01/2012 at 6:55 pm
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        I agree that Smashwords offers great services. ISBNs, distribution, the Meatgrinder, etc. But what gives Amazon the power to make their demands is that they have very high traffic. Everyone knows what Amazon is and where to go to find eBooks for their Kindle. I’m glad to hear that Smashwords is still doing well, but I must also honestly state that it was my lowest sales channel. I’m not convinced that the general reading public thinks to head there (or even knows they exist). I wish more did because Smashwords sales were my most profitable. But readers just didn’t head there when Kindle and Nook versions were available from their respective sites.

        I could certainly market more toward Smashwords, but the problem I have with that is that I’m then asking my readers to go to a site with which they are unfamiliar, download a file to their computer, transfer that file to their reader device, and lose features like auto-synch to multiple devices (which Kindle only allows if you purchase from Amazon). I want readers, so I need to make it as painless for them as I can.

        I’m not saying I agree with Amazon/Apple, but if I’m going to build a fan base, I need to have my books where more people are likely to see them. And this is where KDP Select might help. Sure, I’ll have less paid sales, but more sales of any kind means I’ll appear more in that nice little “other customers bought” window. Any way I can pop up on someone’s screen is a benefit to me at this stage.

      • 20/01/2012 at 7:48 pm
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        Derek, I appreciate your support of Smashwords. You might consider changing your title to something less provocative, because as Niki’s comment demonstrates (hello, Niki, and thanks for your support!), the first response many readers will have is that SW is toast, or is going out of business. The blood in the streets narrative always makes for good headlines. In today’s ADHD world, many people read headlines and nothing else.

        If authors want a hint of what an Amazon-dominated world might look like, look no further than the royalty rates paid by Audible. Audible, which was acquired by Amazon, has a near-monopoly on audiobooks. Or look at how they’re starting to turn the screws on big publishers by demanding more coop dollars: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/49874-is-amazon-pushing-publishers-to-brink-on-terms-co-op-.html Or, simply look at the terms and conditions for KDP and KDP Select.

        I realize you and most authors recognize the value of having a competitive ecosystem where all the Apples, B&Ns, Sonys, Kobos and others can thrive, and I also realize many authors are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Amazon today is the dominant channel. When they have the power to show an author’s book some juice (however distasteful that juice may be), it’s tough to pass up the bird in hand. I don’t fault authors for experimenting with it, I understand and sympathize with their motivations.

        Most people don’t even realize that Amazon has started penalizing their own KDP authors who don’t participate in KDP Select. If KDP Select participants receive sales rank benefit for borrows, then their books rise above non-participating KDP authors. Amazon bragged about the benefits of this collateral sales boost in their press release.

        My big point about KDP Select is indie authors have more power than they realize. Indies are the future. Authors will be the ones who determine if Amazon will dominate or not. Today’s decisions made by indies don’t matter today, but today’s decisions will impact the evolution of this industry 5 years from now when (as I believe) it will become clear to everyone paying attention that big publishers have lost control and indies are in charge. Amazon understands this too. They’re brilliant. Theirs is a strategy of making authors more dependent upon them. The author will think they have independence, all the while they’re giving up rights in exchange for real and perceived program benefits. Amazon’s strategy is a strategy of attrition where winners take all, and the outcome is achieved years from now, not today. They realize if they can slowly whittle away at the catalogs of their competing retailers, then they slowly steal more of their competing retailers’ customers, and that drives more sales to Amazon, which drives more authors to go exclusive with Amazon, and the cycle slowly plays out until ultimately retailers drop away, the weaker ones succumb to the inevitable bust phases of the boom and bust cycles of this market, and fewer new Amazon competitors will be formed from this day forward.

        As long as Smashwords is in business, we will fight for a thriving retail ecosystem where there are many many retailers all working on behalf of authors to attract readers to their books.

        • 20/01/2012 at 8:04 pm
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          Without trying to sound too blunt or jerkish (as a writer, I can make up word, right?), what is Smashwords doing to promote itself to the general public? If I tell the average “man on the street” that my book is available on Amazon, they know what I’m talking about. If I say it’s on Smashwords, I’m likely to get a quizical look (at least that has been my experience).

          As I said earlier, I’m glad that Smashwords is doing well, and I appreciate their services, but I’m also in this game to sell books, and Amazon has my highest numbers by far. I attribute that to 2 things. First, the book goes directly to the reader’s device without extra steps. And, second, Amazon is a household name.

          If I look at my writing as a business, it’s in my best interest to distribute my product through the channel that will reach the most consumers.

          • 20/01/2012 at 8:27 pm
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            D., I think a lot of authors misunderstand Smashwords. Although we operate a small retail operation at Smashwords.com, it it not our primary focus. We created our retail store in our early days (we launched May 2008) before we entered distribution (October 2009) because our authors needed a way to sell their books. Many of our authors continue to send readers to Smashwords.com, using us as their their personal transaction processing platform, because we offer multi-format books and the highest royalty rates (85% net). It’s a tool for our authors, but it’s not the primary selling channel.

            We consider ourselves a distributor, not a retailer. Amazon is a retailer. As a distributor, we rely on our retailers to draw readers to the books. They’re the ones investing millions of dollars (some, hundreds of millions) to draw readers to their platforms. Every time Apple advertises their devices, they’re attracting readers to the iBookstore. Every time B&N runs a TV ad, and every time a customer walks into a physical store, B&N is driving them to the Nook. These two are doing awesome jobs of driving readers to their ebook stores. I’ve seen some authors criticize Apple or B&N or (name any non-amazon retailer) for not doing as good a job of marketing books as Amazon. It’s a false comparison. Amazon has more bookbuying customers than anyone.

            Authors, too, have the power to drive customers to each retailer. I encourage all our authors to provide links on their blogs and web sites pointing to every retailer. Let the customer decide where they want to shop.

          • 20/01/2012 at 8:45 pm
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            “Amazon has more bookbuying customers than anyone.”

            Exactly. I might not like it, but as a business (and if I’m going to take indie publishing seriously, I have to look at it as a business, not just sitting behind the keyboard and sending my words into cyberspace), I’m going to choose to reach the most customers.

            I would guess that my Smashwords sales were about 1%, if that, of Amazon, including those that Smashwords distributed to other sellers. And B&N was maybe 10%. And, yes, I did include links to all sites. It might seem down and dirty for Amazon (and outside of my business, I agree) but it’s also my best chance at exposure to the masses. Sad, but true.

        • 20/01/2012 at 8:20 pm
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          I agree Mark. The title in hindsight is provocative, but was not intended to burn Smashwords or spread blood in the streets. I will change it to something less threatening though as you’ve asked.

          But from the number of comments received, which is way above normal for one of my posts, I think it has opened the door for some honest feedback and in general unearthed a groundswell of support for Smashwords.

          In fact I would go as far as to say Indie authors really want Smashwords to survive, succeed and be the first point of call when they publish a book.

          But I was drawn to a comment from D. Mile Martin:

          ‘I could certainly market more toward Smashwords, but the problem I have with that is that I’m then asking my readers to go to a site with which they are unfamiliar, download a file to their computer, transfer that file to their reader device, and lose features like auto-synch to multiple devices (which Kindle only allows if you purchase from Amazon). I want readers, so I need to make it as painless for them as I can.’

          One can argue about Amazon’s tactics, but at the end of the day, readers have voted.

          I know when I published my very first book with Smashwords, there was a note I recall reading on the Smashwords site about expected sales to be very low. This has been true. But the comment above I think needs to be addressed by Smashwords. The focus is on formatting, publication and distribution, but it is true that few readers know anything about Smashwords. Or about loding a file to their devices.

          Is this the ‘missing link’ that Indies want from Smashwords?The connection with readers?

          • 20/01/2012 at 8:45 pm
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            Derek, re: Mr. Martin’s comment about people not knowing Smashwords but they do know Amazon, my take is, “Of course more people know Amazon than Smashwords.” They’ve been in business almost 20 years, we’ve been going almost four. Everyone is new and unknown once. I think the traffic chart I posted at http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/smashwords-year-in-review-2011.html gives a good indication about how our customer awareness is trending.

            One very valid criticism we’ve received is that Smashwords.com is more author-focused than bookbuyer-focused. This is true. As I noted in my year in review post, our authors are telling us they want us to improve the features of our own bookstore. It’s clunky, some might even say ugly. The user interface is certainly in need of a refresh. Although the customer experience of multi-format is a strong positive, our discovery features need to be improved so readers can more easily find books that match their tastes. We’ve already started doing this. In my year in review, I told people we would expand the categorization options and revamp our algorithms behind our bestseller lists to prevent gaming. These two pieces have already been completed in the last three weeks (we changed the bestseller lists just yesterday, with more tweaks on the way). Folks will continue to see improvement in the retail operation in the coming months, though our #1 development priority will remain distribution and supporting our retail partners.

          • 20/01/2012 at 9:03 pm
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            Very happy to hear about your progress with improving your bookstore Mark. I think this will really go down well with Smashwords authors.

            In that vein, perhaps you could give your thoughts about the connectivity issue.

            Would it be possible for Smashwords to develop a simpler method for book buyers. I’m thinking here of the recent ‘Send to Kindle’ idea.

            I know I can send anything directly to my Kindle with my email address. Could something like that be incorporated into a Smashwords purchase? Or ‘click here to import to your iTunes library’?

            I maybe dreaming, but is there a possibility to make a reader’s purchase a little easier as I know from experience few readers know, (or can be bothered) uploading manually to their devices.

    • 21/01/2012 at 11:53 am
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      Hi Mark. Thank you for posting here – I was actually going to post on the Smashwords blog to ask about this, because I admit it freaked me out a tad.

      I agree that authors hold the power here, and as far as I’m concerned, I will never give it. Even if forced at some stage, I’ll find another way – there is ALWAYS another way if one looks hard enough. However, this said, I’m pleased to see Smashwords did so well over the holiday season and is still growing despite all the authors who have fallen into the exclusivity trap. I understand that Amazon makes it attractive and that it does gain authors more exposure if they participate fully, but at the end of the day, having all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Hopefully this blog post and others like it will open authors’ eyes to all the pitfalls.

      I know Smashwords is focussed on distribution rather than retail, but I still spread the word as much as possible, because I also feel that more readers need to know about Smashwords – not to mention that yes, it’s great that authors earn more from direct Smashwords sales.

      I agree with Derek – I want Smashwords to not only survive, but continue to thrive, and will do anything in my power to aid that.

      I also think that Derek’s ‘send to Kindle’ idea is brilliant – I’ve had a few readers ask me how they can get my books onto their Kindle, and I was unable to answer them.

  • 20/01/2012 at 6:44 pm
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    Whew, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions reading this blogpost, and the comments that followed. For a South African author like myself, it would be a monumental disaster if Smashwords had to go under. Smashwords allows me access to markets such as B&N and iTunes etc that as a South African, I cannot directly deal with. Thank you, Mark, for weighing in on the discussion, and putting my fears to rest. It took me just a split second to flick Amazon’s KDP Select offer aside. My sales on B&N is higher than anything I’ve had on Amazon, so why would I shoot myself in the foot? Ja, and of course, I have a real problem with anyone trying to force me into a corner.

    • 20/01/2012 at 8:00 pm
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      Thanks, Niki. I’m hearing the same from many Smashwords authors who are starting to earn more from the Smashwords distribution network than they earn from KDP. Amazon’s still the dominant earner for most, but that could change depending on the actions of indie authors. Exciting times ahead!

    • 21/01/2012 at 11:55 am
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      I’m also a South African author and most of my sales come from Barnes & Noble too – the same applies to another SA writer friend of mine, who actually makes enough on her books now that she no longer needs to work. Without Smashwords, that may change for authors like her, which would be a crying shame.

  • 21/01/2012 at 3:26 pm
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    I’m glad I came to this discussion late, because I can see the various points of view, including Mark Coker’s. I was going to say that it would be foolish to give up on Smashwords, because if Mark has one quality that many developers don’t have, it’s flexibility and a talent for innovation. I started with SW six months ago, and it’s been my only outlet. Sales haven’t been amazing, but I didn’t expect them to be because my novels are for a small niche market. I haven’t used Amazon at all. I’m now thinking about entering that market, giving Smashwords a several months headstart with each book as I finish them. I will *never* give Amazon exclusive control over my books.

    Smashwords authors could do a great deal more to support the site than just list their books. My writing blog has a SW section in the sidebar with links to the free informational downloads, the FAQ, and the unofficial SW forum. I read a lot of blogs and whenever I see misinformation about Smashwords, I leave a comment correcting it. I’m also in the planning stages of a little book to help writers make the most of Smashwords. In my blog’s other sidebar, under my book covers, I have the buy link to SW, with the statement: Smashwords books are DRM-free and available in multiple formats.

    I believe that Smashwords will live, evolve, and thrive. It isn’t Smashwords vs Amazon, or even Apple. For most writers, it can be Smashwords *and* Amazon. Apple is going for the textbook market, and really isn’t even relevant to novelists or most nonfiction writers.

    • 21/01/2012 at 4:00 pm
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      Thanks, Catana, for going above and beyond. The Smashwords community is all the better for your contribution and support.

    • 21/01/2012 at 4:32 pm
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      Thanks for your comments Catana.

      While writers surely want ‘Smashwords and Amazon’ it is something that Amazon clearly are trying to change because using SW also means distribution to Apple, B&N and Sony. This was the point of my post and not an attack on Smashwords.

      In an ideal world, every indie author would and should support SW. But in reality Amazon deliver such a large percentage of most author’s income from book sales they cannot walk away. It is Amazon’s KDP Select that has made authors choose one or the other. As Mark Coker has said, this is a predatory move.

      The one shining light however has been in reading Mark’s comments on this post and entering positively into the discussion about making SW more ‘reader friendly’. This I believe is something that would make SW not only a great authoring and distribution service, but also an alternative storefront we can direct our readers towards.

      Quite simply, if SW can deliver even a modest increase in sales for authors, KDP Select may not look so attractive.

  • 22/01/2012 at 2:58 am
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    Thank you for giving me so much to think about. So much to digest and work my way through.

Comments are closed.