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Old 08-17-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
Johneltin
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Does Smashwords really give a stuff??

Here's an email I just sent Smashwords out of utter frustration:

After weeks of constantly re-submitting, re-uploading my book and receiving the same old error message to do with 'copyright page' I emailed the 'support' and received this: Thanks for the clarification. You may be receiving that in error. I have passed this information on to the vetting team so they can re-review this book for you! Raylene

They fixed it - no apology, but it was fixed.

I edited my book a few days later - making no change to my PERFECT copyright page and immediately received the same old 'copyright page' error.

I emailed Raylene again last Tuesday and though I've received a reply ("I'll ask the team to look into it"), nothing's been done.

I can do no more that set my copyright page EXACTLY as instructed in your style guide, but still you exclude me.

Why should it be so difficult? Why do you keep frustrating me week after week - wasting my time and energy? Why such rotten service? John
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:23 AM   #2
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Maybe they are understaffed? Seems like they wanted to help but failed to follow up properly.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:46 AM   #3
Johneltin
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Thanks for the reply D, but over all those weeks I've been getting the same error message and I would have expected them to try a permanent solution to the problem which (they say) is at their end.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:25 AM   #4
Hitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johneltin View Post
Thanks for the reply D, but over all those weeks I've been getting the same error message and I would have expected them to try a permanent solution to the problem which (they say) is at their end.
I can confirm:

Although we don't do uploading, we've tried to generate a variety of "SW" ePUBs. We've changed copyright pages (nuking "proper" copyright pages and replacing them with that dreadful SMASHWORDS EDITION text all over what formerly was a lovely title page); we've dumbed the ePUBs down; we've done everything we can think of, and our clients still get little snarky emails telling them--wait for it--to upload their files AS WORD FILES.

No wonder 52N and eBA are charging $50 or $60 a pop to make a SW epub; it's not the making, it's the constant changing to guess at what their incoherent and useless error messages mean. I'm changing my pricing page; I don't mean to frustrate my clients, but I'm saying "hell, we'll give you a Word file instead, that look like SW says that they want it to look--utterly boring and vanilla and like some teenager's book report--and you can tweak it to make them happy." It's ridiculous; by the time we've had the file back for the 4th, 5th or 6th time--for no apparent reason--we're out of pocket by 100% more than the paid price.

I (mostly) don't mind making ePUBs to a given retailer's standard, assuming it's reasonably well documented; but this is an exercise in futility. I don't know why SW elected to do this (accept ePUBS) if they intended to be deliberately obfuscatory and obdurate, and to try to dumb-down the ePUBs to naught more than a Word file in the first place. Obviously, they realized that they were losing business to direct uploads at Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc.--but how much more business do they think they're getting by upsetting clients and prospective publishers who've paid good money for a perfectly valid ePUB that can't intake at SW?

It's truly absurd. They either need to get their act together or just go back to taking Word files that look like 9th-grade book reports. I'm certainly not going to get ulcers over it; we tried a number of books, and, surprise! Now we're making Word files for those customers. I'm certainly not going to sit there and remake and remake ePUB files to hit some moving target that's not even documented. That way lies madness. The rest of the retailers are quite enough brain-damage, thanks very much.

FWIW.

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Old 08-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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There seems to be a routine:

Upload epub to SW.
Get a rejection.
Mail SW.
Get an apology, book goes through.

Possibly this could be automated? :-)
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #6
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I finally received an email from Valerie at SW after I sent in a link to this thread. I thought I was on a winner because she 'fast tracked' my book - all errors or imaginary errors and genuine teeny-weeny errors I may have made in my SCORES of FRUSTRATED attempts to 'fix' that problem COPYRIGHT page - trying every kind of variation - even copying/pasting from the SmashWords style sheet.

Book accepted for PRIME CATALOGUE - yippee!!!

Then... I made the mistake of wanting to change just a couple of words in the 'description' - surely there will be no problem with Valerie on my side, AND I NEVER TOUCHED THE COPYRIGHT PAGE OR ANY OTHER PAGE! Guess what? immediate rejection because of that: Book removed from prime catalogue because of 'error in copyright page', again ...... and again and again and again and againand again and againandagainandagainandagainandagain

Last edited by Johneltin; 08-23-2013 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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+1 on Hitch's comments above!

Wow, and I thought it was just me getting that damned "copyright notice" errors repeatedly. If their vetting software can't parse something that simple they should just shut that portion OFF until they fix it.

Their lame font size restriction is a pain too for Chapter or title page font sizes that often exceed 18 points.
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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(Very) dumb question, since I'm not in 'The Business' ---

What is SmashWords?


I have a Kindle (for personal reading) and have enjoyed using Sigil to make books more readable on it. I know that Amazon has the ability to publish (probably has quidelines), but it's never been an issue for me

Just curious ...

Paul
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phossler View Post
(Very) dumb question, since I'm not in 'The Business' ---

What is SmashWords?
https://www.smashwords.com

Smashwords is an eBook retailer/distributor/aggregator which offers an outlet mainly for self-published authors.


From their About page...
Quote:
About Smashwords

Welcome to Smashwords! Smashwords is the world's largest distributor of indie ebooks. We make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers.
FOR AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS AND LITERARY AGENTS, Smashwords offers the fastest and easiest option for distributing an ebook to the world's largest ebook retailers. We provide free tools for marketing, distribution, metadata management and sales reporting. At Smashwords, our authors and publishers have complete control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works. Smashwords is ideal for publishing novels, short fiction, poetry, personal memoirs, monographs, non-fiction, research reports, essays, or other written forms that haven’t even been invented yet.

FOR RETAILERS, Smashwords offers a catalog of over 200,000 vetted, well-formatted ebooks from over 60,000 authors and publishers. We work with our retail partners to help them efficiently ingest and sell our titles.

FOR READERS, Smashwords provides an opportunity to discover new voices in all categories and genres of the written word. Once you register, the site offers useful tools for search, discovery and personal library-building. Most of our books are affordably priced, and many are free.
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