Smashwords plus D2d

Big News for Indie Authors: Smashwords and Draft2Digital to Merge

In March, these two ebook publishing and distribution services will merge under the Draft2Digital name. The idea is to combine the best parts of each company so as to offer a superior service for authors.

I watched a livestreamed Q&A session on YouTube today. I understand it was recorded so may be viewed after the fact on the D2D YouTube channel.

Just for information: I have published ebooks with Smashwords since 2010. I have never used D2D, but I’m excited by this development. Here are some points I gleaned from the hour-long session. Note that I may have misunderstood some details.

  • Royalty payments to authors will be via the D2D system, so include way more options besides PayPal.
  • One of the things that persuaded Mark Coker of Smashwords to be in favour of the merger is the fact that book sales on D2D are bigger than on Smashwords, even though D2D has fewer books available.
  • D2D authors will be able to take advantage of selling their books in an improved version of the Smashwords Store.
  • Smashwords authors will be able to use D2D’s superior formatting tools. They have a template-based system that’s largely automated. It includes automatic inclusion of back-matter as specified by the author. Those who love Smashwords’ Meatgrinder will still be able to use it, though (I think).
  • A really exciting option at D2D: Ebook conversion to POD print book, including creation of print covers from ebook cover images. Anyone who has ever struggled with print book formatting (that would be me!) should be delighted! I think this one is still in beta. More info at: Draft2Digital.com/PrintBeta/
  • One of the D2D presenters (Kris Austin or Kevin Tumlinson) said their POD process is the easiest of all and superior to Amazon KDP. In addition, their distribution network is broader than KDP’s Expanded Distribution.
  • It sounds like a lot of details still need to be worked out, but on the whole this looks like a positive development for indie publishers. As Mark Coker said, it’s based on the premise that authors should be at the centre of the publishing universe. Also, consider that these companies’ sole focus is publishing and selling books and only books, not a zillion other products.

More info HERE

28 comments

  1. Kind of ironic because I’ve pretty much given up on Smashwords – I didn’t sell a single book over there last year. I’ve never used D2D although I’ve had it recommended to me. And frankly, I’m about published out. My creativity is drying up fast in my old age. I may publish one more book (if I can ever get it edited down to size) and that will probably be all, although I hate not to complete Robbin Nikalishin’s life.

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  2. Sounds promising. I think I’m going to try Kindle Vella with my current WIP, and then maybe I’ll look i nto D2D for what comes next. I might experiment with a previous book first.

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  3. An interesting development, Audrey. I must admit my downloads on Smashwords have been disappointing for the last few years, and my books are free. I shall see how things develop.

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  4. It certainly was illuminating. πŸ˜€ … I’m going to have a bit of a play with D2D, see what the templates look like etc … it’s nice that we’ll have the option to either format ourselves (with the meatgrinder) or use a template … among so many other (potential) nice things. πŸ˜€ … after the dust settles, of course. πŸ™‚

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  5. I publish all my ebooks on D2D and have since 2016 and they’re pretty good. I do publish directly with Amazon, too, but you can do it through D2D, if you prefer. I especially like how easy it is to set up a promotion, and how good they are with notifications. I’ve never published my work on Smashwords, and I’m excited to see D2D growing. You’ll be in good hands. I still haven’t taken advantage of all the opportunities to expand my publishing options, like audio books, but I plan to do so.

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    1. I think we’ll be able to publish through both Amazon and D2D, unless we want to go exclusively with Amazon for KU and the other “perks.” I imagine most indies would want their paperbacks available through Amazon, but if we also go with D2D’s POD service, we just wouldn’t opt for Amazon’s Expanded distribution.
      So many choices! Which is a good thing!

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  6. Thanks for the info, Audrey. This sounds like a great development. I have my books on Smashwords too and hope the transition runs smoothly. Better sales would be awesome. My print books are only on Amazon, so I’ll definitely look into expanding that. Happy Writing!

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  7. I’m most excited about an alternative source for POD paperback books. My “sales” on Smashwords have been fading away for me over the last several years. Right now on Smashwords 3/4 of the books I give away are via Apple. I’ve got nothing to lose with this merger. (And I’m moving more than twice the number of books Apple & Smashwords are moving for me on Google these days.)

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  8. I had heard about the merger but didn’t know any of the details. So basically the D2D engine will be used for Smashwords treasure trove of books?
    I have used D2D, and their engine is great. Unfortunately I never made a single a sale, and then Apple and some other retailer insisted that I should have a ‘first name’ and a ‘last name’ – apparently ‘acflory’ was unacceptable…so I left.
    I’ll be interested in seeing how the new distribution entity evolves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think it’s a positive development. It looks like sales, and even free downloads, are declining. Too many books?
      I don’t think Apple, B&N, etc. are going to change their requirements as a result of this merger. Some of the discussion in the Q&A was about how erotica is handled for the various bookstores. Since I don’t write that genre, I tuned out the details, but the message was that the distributor has to deliver books that meet the retailer’s standards.

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  9. as a longtime Indie, I’ve been waiting since the announcement of the takeover to experience the differences. June and still waiting. That said, it is long overdue and it was a lot down to Smash’s awful ‘meatgrinder’ that prompted this. D2D just got it right. I’ve a lot of respect for Mark Coker and his team but something drastic was required. One thing I saw was royalty payments. I hate the paypal method. At least Amazon slip me a few Β£ directly into my account now and then which I prefer and the blurb says there will be different payment methods so I hope this will be an option. but with 35 + books / stories under my typewriter ribbon I’m now more interested in other creative things. I still keep an eye on proceedings though.

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    1. Yes, I’ve been wondering when the actual merge will happen, such that we Smashwords authors see some different options. I haven’t had too much trouble with the Meatgrinder, but I gather D2D’s overall process is more streamlined.
      Thanks for your comment, gary!

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