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Old 11-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
Nate the great
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Smashwords coming to the Kindle Store on 25 November

This was just announced on their blog:
Quote:
Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement to supply ebooks to the Amazon Kindle Store.

The news follows other important Smashwords distribution agreements we announced in the last three months with Barnes & Noble, Sony and Shortcovers.

I'm so pleased to call each of these retailers a valued Smashwords partner, and I look forward to working with them to showcase our fast-growing catalog of nearly 5,000 independently published ebooks.

Our Amazon agreement marks an important milestone in the evolution of Smashwords. We launched in May 2008 as an ebook publishing platform for indie authors. In May of this year, we expanded the platform to support small publishers. In the last couple months, we've transitioned to a full-fledged distributor of ebooks capable of serving authors and publishers around the world. We're just getting started.

press release
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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According to this article Smashwords will pay authors and publishers 42.5% of the digital list price (set by the author) for book sales through Amazon. This is a bit more than Amazon pays the author. It seems to me that if you want to publish your own book then Smashwords may be the way to go for the ebook side.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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How good is Smashwords' ePub and MOBI formatting? Do they have a TOC, and will the Kindle TOC include waypoints?

Is there any way on the Smashwords site for a reader to find out that an ebook is in the Premium Catalog?
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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On the dashboard there is a column for premium distribution. If your book is not already approved, there is a link to submit it for approval. This is on the author's dashboard. I don't think there is any way for a reader to see whether it is or not.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
How good is Smashwords' ePub and MOBI formatting? Do they have a TOC, and will the Kindle TOC include waypoints?
Quality is usually fairly low, like with most straight-conversion tools.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
How good is Smashwords' ePub and MOBI formatting? Do they have a TOC, and will the Kindle TOC include waypoints?

Is there any way on the Smashwords site for a reader to find out that an ebook is in the Premium Catalog?

You can get a pretty good idea of formatting by checking out samples. I know the formatting is improving (the first two books I put up, I had to make several changes--the last one, I made one change to get things looking the way I wanted.) The problem, of course, is that some authors/publishers spend more time trying to make it look good--and it can be hard to do. I still don't like the way my books appear on the Adobe reader--the "legal" parts look smushed. But if I fix it for that reader, it gets messed up for some of the other readers. So the reader itself--the way it chooses to display and interpret the file--actually affects the way it looks. I can look at an epub file in three different readers--and that file looks different in each one.

As an author, Smashwords support has been VERY good, and VERY responsive. What I like most is that they are working their tails off to partner, get the word out, and generally run a good business.

As a reader, I'd like a few tweaks (like a forum, a longer book description, and I'd like reviews that don't happen to have a star rating to show up as a review on the book pages. Right now if there is a review, but no star rating, it shows on the main page as no reviews available.)

As a reader, I really like that some small publishers are putting their stuff out there--and I love the sample feature, of course. I also like the 'prude filter." Yeah, I admit it. I use it. I've found and enjoyed a few books by Indie publishers as well.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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This is excellent news. Note that you get paid more by going through a third party than by going direct to Amazon - crazy, eh?

Now as soon as Smashwords implements a way to bypass their auto conversion routines, Smashwords will be perfect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
This was just announced on their blog:


press release
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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I did download one book from Smashwords that ended up all underlined. Lousy conversion routines.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:30 PM   #9
khalleron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
This is excellent news. Note that you get paid more by going through a third party than by going direct to Amazon - crazy, eh?

Now as soon as Smashwords implements a way to bypass their auto conversion routines, Smashwords will be perfect.
I know. I'm going to all this trouble to learn how to typeset a book - I'd like to be able to upload an ebook that looks as good as the pbook.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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I've downloaded a couple of books from Smashwords and they look fine. No underlining.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:39 PM   #11
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Personally, I'm opting-out of the Amazon store, as I did the B&N and Sony store through Smashwords. As I already sell my books in formats that can be read on their readers... as I can fully control the look and formatting of the books... and as I can't afford the advertising costs that would bring my books to anyone's attention on those sites... I can't see the point of putting my books in there, to make one or two sales a year and only get 40% or less of the gross.

Not that I'm recommending that to anyone else, unless you happen to have a website of your own where you format and sell 5-6 formats of your own books. I'm just sayin'.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Personally, I'm opting-out of the Amazon store, as I did the B&N and Sony store through Smashwords. As I already sell my books in formats that can be read on their readers... as I can fully control the look and formatting of the books... and as I can't afford the advertising costs that would bring my books to anyone's attention on those sites... I can't see the point of putting my books in there, to make one or two sales a year and only get 40% or less of the gross.
Hrmmm... interesting strategy, but I'm not sure I agree with the theory. From what I've seen, a large chunk of Kindle users ONLY use Amazon for their ebook purchases. Not selling on Amazon could cause you to lose quite a few readers.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:53 AM   #13
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As an aside, I created an export filter for Scrivener to create Word doc files for Smashwords (Word is their preferred input format).

If you use Scrivener, you can get it here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?p=643143 and try it out. I sent a copy to Marc and he says the result is clean enough to work well with their formatter.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:56 AM   #14
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Perhaps it would be worth your while putting one or two of your books through smashwords with a very low RRP, which also include text pointing to your web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Personally, I'm opting-out of the Amazon store, as I did the B&N and Sony store through Smashwords. As I already sell my books in formats that can be read on their readers... as I can fully control the look and formatting of the books... and as I can't afford the advertising costs that would bring my books to anyone's attention on those sites... I can't see the point of putting my books in there, to make one or two sales a year and only get 40% or less of the gross.

Not that I'm recommending that to anyone else, unless you happen to have a website of your own where you format and sell 5-6 formats of your own books. I'm just sayin'.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:20 AM   #15
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I've swapped a few emails with Smashwords recently as my own wee house sets out to convert 100 titles to various ebook formats (we currently offer only PDF), and I've been more than impressed.

Their 'meatgrinder' conversion process is, they admit, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out), but they go to great lengths to encourage publishers to go the extra mile and provide perfect source material. It's a tedious job when you're talking about so many titles, but well worth getting it spot on ... and, my experience so far, is that there's no shortage of generous and sound advice from the Smashwords team.

Cheers. Neil
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