Smashing Out Of Smashwords

If you’re self-publishing your own material, you no doubt have come across the ebook distributor Smashwords. They have been a pioneer in the book distribution side of things. That I appreciate. I think we all should appreciate that. But I have to be honest-the only reason why I’m listed with Smashwords is because they distribute to Barnes and Nobles and iBooks. Recently they added the option of uploading EPUBs which was a good first step. But it’s limited and, for lack of a better term at the moment, lame in its implementation. Yes, it is in beta so you can expect glitches and so forth. However, there are other issues that peturb me.

Take for instance the LONG amount of time it takes  to get listed with some of the distributors. I know this is on Smashword’s side of things and I’ll tell you how I know in a moment. Suffice to say that it is rather annoying.

Add to that the EPUB option not working so well. Currently, you can upload an EPUB but it won’t list samples. Yet, they tell you it’s very important. So, it seems to me that if it was so important that it would be a preferred format so you can list samples. However, they still want you to upload a .DOC file to put it through their conversion tool called the Meatgrinder. Now, I don’t know about you but the very name unsettles me. I don’t want any of my writing going through any Meatgrinder. Not only because the name bothers me but because it doesn’t convert well for the different formats which ends up making your offering look like…well…that it went through a meat grinder. This includes the EPUB.

With my plans being what they are this year for my writing goals, I knew that I had to find an alternative. I’m coming up on my third offering with the release of my short story The Gift. I already have an account with Amazon for Kindle and Kobo. I just needed something for iBooks and Barnes and Noble and I’d have approximately 90% of the market covered which is fine. Sony, Diesel, and the other various small retailers are so miniscule that not having them at this juncture is negligible at best. If I want to add them later, I can do that.

So I began searching and found what I’m looking to be my alternative to Smashwords. Enter Draft2Digital.

Draft2Digital is a distributor like Smashwords and distributes to the same major retailers, including iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes&Noble as well as Amazon and Creatspace though the last two are going through somewhat of a growing pain and the moment. They do not have a storefront which I personally like. They’re concentrating on one thing which is book distribution. Less is more.

But the big bruhaha is that they accept EPUBs as uploads along with .DOC. This is significant for those of us who like to format our own books.We don’t have to upload a separate file to be converted to go to the rest of who they distribute to. They will use the EPUB as the main file.

Then there’s turn around. How long will it take them to submit the book.I’ve heard from authors that they’ve had theirs’ submitted within 12 hours. I had to wait approximately two weeks or more to get my stories submitted through Smashwords. At the moment I have those same two stories uploaded and submitted to Draft2Digital. I’ll keep you updated how long it takes them but if it’s anything like 24 to 48 hours, I’m sold.

A couple other perks:

  • They have direct deposit and Paypal as payment options.
  • The have sales tracking that is very close to being real time.
  • They pay every 30 days (Smashwords is quarterly)
  • They are talking to Sony, Diesel, Google Play (which I am geeked about personally), Ingram, Goodreads (loving this as well), ARe, and Omnilit in terms of expansion.
  • Their interface is smoother and easier to understand. Great for beginners.

Does this mean that I will drop Smashwords? Not entirely. For free listings on Barnes & Nobles, Smashwords, though slow, is still the option to go for. But for Apple iBooks, I’ve found a new place. If you’re just starting out with ebooks and independent publishing or you’re looking for something better, give Draft2Digital a try.

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