Originally Posted by Hitch
I am not "unwilling" to deal with their issues, and I am not using their BETA software. Clients are. Not the same thing, at all. Anytime you think you can tell clients NOT to upload a file somewhere that takes their fancy, knock yourself out. Quite bluntly, I'm not here to do SW's work for them. They requested test ePUBs nearly what, 8 weeks ago; I presume that after that Alpha, they presumed that their Beta was ready. What it sounds like is that their Alpha isn't even finished.
If they're running ePUBs through the Grinder, this should not be happening. If they are only validating the ePUBs, this should not be happening. So: WTF is happening? Some half-baked in-between?
Of course I'm irritated, because their Beta is interfering with my actual work. And, for anyone that has NOT been paying attention, who does make books professionally, now this means--pay attention--not only a Kindle book, but now THREE ePUBS; one for Apple and its incredibly bloated cover size, plus the display-options file, so as to ensure that the fonts display, plus all the added coding to make simple things like "center" happen; one for Nook, and now one for Smashwords, since they won't let it "pass Go" without the big bold text "SMASHWORDS EDITION" on the copyright page (forgetting even the absurd font issues). if you think that fonts throw SW a curve, I can't wait to see what happens when they trip over the display-options file for Apple.
They should have kept the testing Beta closed (for professionals only, to submit files) until they had garnered enough ePUBs--if they really wanted material for testing, they could have found HUNDREDS of ePUBs right here on MR--until they had the biggest kinks worked out. That my client's file failed, with almost NOTHING in it, is not a good sign.
Everyone on this forum has been bemoaning how the retailers and distributors are driving the various ePUBs further and further apart; Apple with ePUB3 and multimedia and other standards peculiar only to it; Nook with its endless hyphenation and other bugs, and now Smashwords, for which, it seems, not only will we have to go through the trouble of making a new ePUB with its self-glorifying text on it (which is nothing but that, as it gets paid by ISBN, not title nor name nor anything else), but we'll have to make a completely less-than-even-vanilla ePUB that looks like someone uploaded--wait for it--a Word file.
I think I'm going to hang out a sign in our FAQ/KB, etc.: NO SMASHWORDS FILES until they get their act together. Making one MOBI and three bloody ePUBs is 1 too many ePUBs for me, and most of my clients already have distro to Apple and Nook; if they want SW, they want it for the other even smaller eBook retailers than Apple.
I'm definitely not a professional ebook creator so bear with me a little. I am interested in what you're talking about with Smashwords from an academic point of view.
If you make a Smashwords edition - fitting all their criteria, do they pass on that work automatically for B&N and iTunes? Would that make it so you'd only need one ePub?
I hope that's not an extraordinarily stupid question, but I thought that was meant to be one of the advantages of submitting to Smashwords. If it's not that simple, then I wonder what the advantage of Smashwords actually is for content creators. I always thought Meatgrinder looked a bit painful for someone unless they were going to get the advantage of all distribution channels (iTunes, B&N, Amazon etc..)