Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital and a bonus

If you self-publish, you've probably heard some debate over whether to use D2D or Smashwords. If
you are thinking of self-punishing, you definitely want to be up on the debate.


There are many, many different sites to upload your books (think B&N.com, Amazon, iTunes, etc). For a small percentage of sales, D2D and Smashwords will deliver your book to many of those sites for you. Smashwords has been around for years. D2D is the new guy on the block.



Why would you give up a bit of your sales to them?
It's simple. It takes time to upload your books-time you could be using to WRITE, your #1 job. And it can save you a ton of hassle. thanks to Humblehandmaid for the pic.






Here are the basic differences as I see it.

Distribution:
Basically, you upload your book to either D2D and Smashwords and then they send it to the places you tell it to.

Smashwords delivers to 13 sites, D2D to 8.

Both distribute to Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Page Foundry, and Flipkart

Above and beyond that:

Smashwords delivers to Oyster, Baker and Taylor Blio, TXTR, Baker and Taylor Axis 360, Overdrive (libraries), and Flipkart

D2D- Tolino, Createspace


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Uploading ease:

Smashwords: The document must be formatted according to the free Style Guide available on the site. Then the meat grinder pushes it out in a bunch of different formats. If you don't want to do this yourself, there are people who will guarantee results for $35 bucks. Awesome deal or slog through the guide a few times and become a pro and do it yourself for free.

D2D: It's pretty easy and you can even upload a pretty crude word document, but the results are sketchy if you don't do pre-formatting like Smashwords has you do.

Support

Smashwords: email support only. I've heard grumbles about them taking forever to get back to people. I haven't had that experience. They've been extremely helpful and quick-within hours of asking the question I have answers and great help. No phone support

D2D: Phone and email support: Super supportive and fast.

Payments

Smashwords pays every quarter-so every three months. A lot of people don't like that. I don't mind.

D2D pays monthly

Highlights:

One feature I really love on Smashwords that is not available on D2D is coupons. You can make your book free or discount it with these coupons. The great part is that only the people you want to get the discount get it. What does that mean for you? You can have the regular price everywhere and then give your street team or friends a coupon code that gives it to them for free or a discount. You can tailor your sales that way. I use it for giving out eArcs too. So handy and your reader can choose any of their formats to download it in.

Maybe I'm partial because I met Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, in New York last year and thought he was pretty darn amazing, but I truly love the quality of service I get from Smashwords.

I hear over and over again that people like the ease of use of D2D better than Smashwords. Also, the feature to modify links for each vendor is a great addition to D2D that Smashwords does not now have. I haven't had a problem with Smashwords in over five years and love them. You must decide what's best for you, however. You may love Smashwords like I do, or your heart might beat for D2D like so many others.

In the end, both take 10% of your profits, both have up to date sales information and reporting (although I do like D2D's dashboard better), both offer pre-orders, both let you price your book for free, and both offer isbn's. So pick your poison. Try both and see which fits you better.

Which service do you use, Smashwords or D2D. 
What do you like best about them?
Did you get your free book and ridiculously cheap audio book?



1 comment:

Melanie Macek said...

I used to have my books on Smashwords. I had 0 sales over a 14 month period and found my books on several pirating websites.

Since I switched everything to Draft2Digital, I've surpassed the number of sales I had last year just in the first three months AND have already gotten paid.

Just from personal experience, I wouldn't recommend Smashwords to anyone.