I’m back on #Smashwords (want to know why?)

Some people swear by Amazon, especially Kindle Select. Some won’t touch Amazon with a barge pole. I don’t fit either of those models. I don’t like the idea of Amazon becoming a monopoly and frankly, I like Adobe Digital Editions (free here) and the way it displays epub content. So when I was forced to self publish (the story is here) I decided to go for Draft 2 Digital, which allows me to consolidate sales to several outlets in one place. I’d never made many sales at Smashwords anyway, so I made that choice. Here’s the story.

What changed my mind? Two things. I noticed a few searches on my blog for epubs by me. And secondly I went looking for a book myself; Jack McDevitt’s Echo, for those interested. It was published a year or two ago, but I’d missed it. So I ended up at the Amazon site, where I’d bought McDevitt’s later book, Firebird. Mind you, I’d winced at the price. $7.99 for a paperback and around $12 for an ebook? The major publishers need to take a long, hard, serious look at themselves – but that’s another story. To my absolute consternation, Echo was not available in kindle. Don’t believe me? See here. So I went to the Penguin site, where I couldn’t buy through Paypal and was expected to give my street address even though it wasn’t needed. Then I went to Barnes and Noble and after several tries which resulted in system errors, discovered I couldn’t buy the book because I don’t live in America. FFS, didn’t we go through all this? Isn’t it time publishing caught up with the rest of the world???

So then I did a Google search – ‘Jack McDevitt  epub’. And received a flood – a deluge – a tsunami – of pirate torrent sites offering free downloads. This got me to thinking. Maybe if I wasn’t an author myself I would, in desperation, have downloaded a free book. Maybe people don’t know that Nook, Sony, Kobo etc all offer epubs that should work on any platform that supports epubs. If people put in ‘greta van der rol epub’ I’d rather they found Smashwords than a pirate site. So I loaded my books back on Smashwords. I still publish to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple through Draft 2 Digital. I’ve found ‘Channel Manager’ on Smashwords, which allows me to opt out of distributing to outlets that already have my books. But they’re there on Smashwords for you to enjoy. Here’s my page.

And here are a few SPECIAL deals

picture of Supertech coverSupertech is on Smashwords for free.

picture of cover for A Victory CelebrationA Victory Celebration will be free for the month of July – just enter coupon code SW100

IAC Cover smallThe Iron Admiral: Conspiracy is 1/2 price ($2) for the month of July – just enter coupon SW50

You’ll see a list of my other books down the left hand side of any of those books.

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For those interested, I DID find Echo as an ebook on Amazon (Here it is) Please note there are no reviews on this novel. There are lots on the other editions. Maybe Penguin made an oopsie.

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About Greta van der Rol

I'm an author of fast-paced, action-adventure novels, mainly space opera - although I've been known to write in other genres. I live not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoy photography and cooking when I'm not bent over the computer. I have a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping me in my writing endeavours.

Posted on 1 July 2013, in On writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. That’s a very interesting argument in favour of Smashwords. I’m still there, because they haven’t pissed me off enough to make me move.

    Incidentally, the best way to make people find your books in EPUB format is to write a blog post with the title of the book and EPUB in the title, and then put all your links in the body of the post.

    For the same reason I have a post with my name and “torrent” in the title, because that’s what people tend to search for. Thanks to the gods of SEO, my blog post end up first if they search for that.

  2. your comment made me do a search for Toby Neal epub. EEEK. i’m exclusively Amazon but that’s no obstacle to the pirates! I wish I hadn’t done that. >.<
    I tried the multiple distribution thing and found it 1) a lot to keep up with 2) Amazon's sales were by far the strongest. 3) if B &N (and these other distribution channels) want to prevent Amazon's "monopoly" they should be more author and customer friendly.
    We'll see what the future brings but I'm always interested in what other prolific and successful writers are doing. keep us posted!
    Aloha and friendship

    • Thanks, Toby. Yes, I’m afraid we’ll have as much success with pirates as Canute did with the tide. And I wish I was a fraction as successful as you. Looking forward to Twisted Vine.

  3. I did not know about Draft 2 Digital. I’m sending the link to my CP who’s self-pubbing an urban fantasy novella series. Smashwords made her want to pull her hair out and she was never able to get the book formatted where they would take it.

  4. I’ve had no problems with Smashwords – with the one story I published on there, that is. Rachel – if you need help with formatting for Smashwords, I can help out on that. I do, though, kindof wish I’d limited distribution, as it’s now *everywhere* including places I never thought to see it! It *is* a free short, so it doesn’t bother me too much, but yeah. I think too many people just don’t understand computers/the internet, and then they go for the *easy out* option of Amazon. *sigh

  5. Sigh. Like Toby, I did the Google search. And Like Toby, I’m wishing I hadn’t. 🙂 Good luck with your new strategy!!

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