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Old 03-25-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
anamardoll
Chasing Butterflies
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Smashwords Help

Can anyone help me with Smashwords? I'm about to pull out my hair.

I have a message that says:

This book requires modification prior to inclusion in Smashwords' premium catalog.

And then there's a rambly form page of zero usefulness that is clearly a form letter even though the bottom claims we reviewed your book and provided you notes on how to fix your problems.

Where are these notes??

Most of all, I'm concerned by this statement in the form letter:

Quote:
************************************************** **
*** Next, follow it with the Smashwords License Statement ***
************************************************** **

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
I am not okay with putting that notice in my novel. My novel has a Creative Commons copyright -- it very specifically can be given away to other people.

Am I correct in understanding that Smashwords will not feed my novel to Kobo, Sony, Diesel, etc. if I don't implement their copyright clause instead of my own?
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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Yes you do.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
anamardoll
Chasing Butterflies
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Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
Yes you do.
ARGH. Really? Really?

Why does Smashwords feel the need to dictate my copyright notice to me?

Is there an email address where I can actually explain the situation to them? I hate being in a position between having to tell my Kobo shoppers this. I really, really, really do not want to put this 'if you share a book with your spouse you are crapping on an author's hard work' statement, because I do not agree with it.

I don't like my distributer dictating content.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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There is an email address on the site, but you won't get anywhere. They refused my A.C.A.B. title because it was all in uppercase. Looks daft as Acab.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
anamardoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
There is an email address on the site, but you won't get anywhere. They refused my A.C.A.B. title because it was all in uppercase. Looks daft as Acab.
Is it a computerized check or by sight? If computerized, I could stick it in with a notice that it does NOT supersede my Creative Commons copyright.

I hate this, though! It looks so unprofessional, just like their insistence that the copyright notice be on the first page. That looks so unprofessional to me.

I sent them an email. I really hope they can make an exception. I'm not comfortable with the idea that spousal book sharing is theft.

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Old 03-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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If you're distributing it for free, there's a different license agreement you can use. Its somewhere in the style guide.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
Is it a computerized check or by sight? If computerized, I could stick it in with a notice that it does NOT supersede my Creative Commons copyright.

I hate this, though! It looks so unprofessional, just like their insistence that the copyright notice be on the first page. That looks so unprofessional to me.

I sent them an email. I really hope they can make an exception. I'm not comfortable with the idea that spousal book sharing is theft.
I believe they require it, but you can put a notice immediately after it that declares that this is actually a creative commons title and you're ok with sharing it.

I have no idea how the premium inclusion works with feeds to other sites--I can't imagine people who get books from Amazon would like a notice that says "please return to Smashwords to buy additional copies." Maybe it needs to be EXACT so their program can strip out that part before feeding to other stores.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Got this from the Style guide, under "21c - Add a Smashwords License Statement below Copyright".

I presume the "it's up to you" part means you can use a standard CC license. But yeah, I guess an email's the best way to clear this up.

__
If your book is free, it should still have a license statement. It’s up to you. Do you want
to grant readers the right to redistribute the book for non-commercial purposes, or do you want to restrict the book to their enjoyment only and invite them to ask others to
download the book on their own at Smashwords? Here are two potential suggested
license statements for free books:

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your
friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial
purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this
book, please return to Smashwords.com to discover other works by this author. Thank
you for your support.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. Although this is a free book, it remains the
copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage
your friends to download their own copy at Smashwords.com, where they can also
discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #9
Elfwreck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keloff View Post
Got this from the Style guide, under "21c - Add a Smashwords License Statement below Copyright".

I presume the "it's up to you" part means you can use a standard CC license. But yeah, I guess an email's the best way to clear this up.
Premium books may have more restrictions that aren't covered in the style guide.

(I absolutely hate false copyright statements--ones that say "no part of this book may be reproduced by any means w/o permission." Grr.))
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Premium books may have more restrictions that aren't covered in the style guide.

(I absolutely hate false copyright statements--ones that say "no part of this book may be reproduced by any means w/o permission." Grr.))
Don't think so. The only one I can remember is the requirement that every price end in 99 cents, and that's just to prevent some of the catalogs from marking it up to the next highest 99 cents.

Last edited by teh603; 03-25-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:37 PM   #11
anamardoll
Chasing Butterflies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keloff View Post
Got this from the Style guide, under "21c - Add a Smashwords License Statement below Copyright".

I presume the "it's up to you" part means you can use a standard CC license. But yeah, I guess an email's the best way to clear this up.

__
If your book is free, it should still have a license statement. It’s up to you. Do you want
to grant readers the right to redistribute the book for non-commercial purposes, or do you want to restrict the book to their enjoyment only and invite them to ask others to
download the book on their own at Smashwords? Here are two potential suggested
license statements for free books:

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your
friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial
purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this
book, please return to Smashwords.com to discover other works by this author. Thank
you for your support.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. Although this is a free book, it remains the
copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage
your friends to download their own copy at Smashwords.com, where they can also
discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
My book is not free. It's just free to share, and I give it away free to anyone who asks for a copy. But it's priced 2.99 on Smashwords.

Like Elfwreck, I abhor false statements in books. "Licensed for your personal enjoyment only" is utterly incorrect and completely ignores the very concept of Fair Use, as well as my overarching CC license.

I've sent off an email, but am not hopeful for a resolution. Am considering the following:

Quote:
The following "Smashwords Edition, License Notes" statement is required in all novels by the Smashwords distributer. This statement does not reflect the views of the author and does not alter or change the Creative Commons copyright. Please contact the author with any questions.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
My book is not free. It's just free to share, and I give it away free to anyone who asks for a copy. But it's priced 2.99 on Smashwords.

Like Elfwreck, I abhor false statements in books. "Licensed for your personal enjoyment only" is utterly incorrect and completely ignores the very concept of Fair Use, as well as my overarching CC license.

I've sent off an email, but am not hopeful for a resolution. Am considering the following:
Which variation of Creative Commons are you using? I am not at all certain that the "free to share" and "not actually free" conditions are consistent. Do you have any specific examples of Creative Commons being used in the manner you want?

Are you happy for someone to place the ebook on their website to make it easier for their friends to download a copy? IF this is the case then I get the impression you are trying to achieve what the software industry calls "donationware", where users that like the software are asked, but not required, to make a donation to the creator. Since software ends up being distributed from many places the creator generally places a donation link on their website (paypal or similar), sometimes with a suggested amount. Assuming your book directs readers to your website this might cover what you had in mind - and perhaps Smashwords would permit your book to have a statement to this effect beneath the license (ie. not as a license condition, but as a request from the author).
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:50 PM   #13
anamardoll
Chasing Butterflies
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Which variation of Creative Commons are you using? I am not at all certain that the "free to share" and "not actually free" conditions are consistent. Do you have any specific examples of Creative Commons being used in the manner you want?
My book is "free to share" because I am using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks License. It is "not actually free" on Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, etc. because it has a list price there of $2.99 as a tipping option. Not everyone can use Paypal, so this method provides the most options to my readers.

You can still sell your work under a Creative Commons license, if that's where the confusion lies.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
My book is "free to share" because I am using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks License. It is "not actually free" on Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, etc. because it has a list price there of $2.99 as a tipping option. Not everyone can use Paypal, so this method provides the most options to my readers.

You can still sell your work under a Creative Commons license, if that's where the confusion lies.
I've seen Paypal interfaces that do not require signon, they simply provide the creditcard service for the seller (most recently on one of the writing software sites I was looking at, I think). The "tipping option" sounds much like the donation system on some software I've seen ... except that, from what you say, Smashwords don't currently support such a mechanism.

Yes you can still sell your work, but to quote that link you provided: "However, all Creative Commons licenses allow others to distribute your work under Creative Commons for free (and possibly for payment.)" As long as you are aware of that, then it's obviously your choice. From what I've seen on these forums you are not alone in wanting to distribute your ebook in this manner, perhaps some sort of group approach to Smashwords would see them take seriously the idea of this third method of distribution.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Which variation of Creative Commons are you using? I am not at all certain that the "free to share" and "not actually free" conditions are consistent.
Public domain works are free to share, and plenty of places charge for them.

There's no contradiction between "cost is X" and "you're allowed to copy & distribute it for free if you want." It means that someone could, presumably, acquire it without paying if they looked around a bit first. But the author's not obligated to tell everyone there's a free version available, just like authors selling hardcovers aren't obligated to direct people to the paperback version or library editions of their books.
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