With 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.