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Old 01-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #1
VydorScope
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Testing the so called Smashwords curse

So despite the aggression of some members here against Smashwords, I have stated time and time again that the general reader does not care. I was told time and time again by some members that having the "smashwords" label on my books has been hurting my sales.

So I put it to the test. I removed Smashwords from all of my books, and I went direct to Kobo, B&N, and Amazon so that there was no trace of Smashwords anywhere in those stores.

Guess what? I monitored sales for q4 2012 and there was no statistically significant difference in the sales, at all. I believe now I have the evidence of my personal experience that most readers do not care if Smashwords is your publisher or not. (with the release of book 4, I have reinserted the Smashwords label as my publisher, even though I am still going direct to Kobo, Amazon, and B&N.

I will stick with Smash, at least for now.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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The author is the brand that is either known or unknown, or perceived favorably or not. The author's brand is what matters to the reader. Readers don't care about the publisher or in our case, the distributor. I'd argue, however, that there's incremental benefit to the author brand by being associated with, and distributed by, Smashwords. Our books are hitting all the bestseller lists (10 of top 40 bestsellers at Apple iBookstore in Canada today are Smashwords - https://twitter.com/markcoker/status/291591448468520961 ) and we're always working to create new opportunities for the authors we distribute.

Our Premium Catalog formatting requirements are stricter than the requirements of the individual retailers. I think this means that to any extent the Smashwords brand means anything to a reader (and I'd argue it means little - the author is king), the millions of Smashwords customers at our retailers that know our name know that a Smashwords title is well-formatted.

Last edited by Smashwords; 01-16-2013 at 03:51 PM. Reason: removed extra "know"
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #3
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For the record: My experience, having in been a Smashwords author since 2010, agrees with Mark's comments.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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Is it wrong that this is the first time I've heard any mention of a "Smashwords curse"? The only complaints I've head about it were people not liking the internal ePub coding, someone who didn't like Smashwords' ISBN service, and then someone whose dream was to sign with a big publisher and felt that I should be honored to grant a big publisher exclusive rites.

Nothing about a curse anywhere in that. Someone mind filling me in?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Is it wrong that this is the first time I've heard any mention of a "Smashwords curse"? The only complaints I've head about it were people not liking the internal ePub coding, someone who didn't like Smashwords' ISBN service, and then someone whose dream was to sign with a big publisher and felt that I should be honored to grant a big publisher exclusive rites.

Nothing about a curse anywhere in that. Someone mind filling me in?
I am being a bit dramatic with "curse" but if you look through old posts you will see people posting things like "the reason you are not selling better on Kobo is because of smashwords" and things like that. So "curse" is my summary of all that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
I am being a bit dramatic with "curse" but if you look through old posts you will see people posting things like "the reason you are not selling better on Kobo is because of smashwords" and things like that. So "curse" is my summary of all that.
Y'know, those comments sound like the kind of thing a big publisher would do if they thought they could get away with it. Undermine the smaller ones and prop up your own failing model.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #7
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Never heard of the curse. I had read of some disappointments, but I figured I'd take my chances. So far, I'm happy. (Not ecstatic, but happy. )
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Oh I am happy enough with Smashwords. My only real complaint is how slow they are. The reason I am staying with directly pushing to Kobo now that I have it set up is because it takes Smash MONTHS to fix listing mistakes. By going direct it only takes DAYS. Same with B&N.

Right now I have vol4 sitting in the review queue at Smash, but while I wait on that process my book is already selling at Amazon, Kobo, and B&N. In the past its around 4-6 weeks from when submit an ERROR FREE book to Smash and when it STARTS appearing in stores. Some stores take upwards of 8 weeks. Contrast that to the 24-48 hours for directly releasing.

Again they are great to work with just very slow.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
[...]Again they are great to work with just very slow.
Given my experience with BookBaby, I'm guessing the problem is not all at Smashwords but with the end resellers. From BookBaby it was less than two days until my book appeared on Amazon, Kobo took a few days more, B&N took several weeks, and iBookStore still isn't showing it (except as available through Amazon).
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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I don't understand how my calibre epub copy looks perfect and the one from Smashwords has weird bolding. I used the same rtf copy of Word 7.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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I'm very happy with Smashwords. I think it's an excellent company that truly cares about writers.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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So I do not know if it was the fault of this thread or not... but my book made it through Smashwords and into Apple in like 3 days time. No one else has it that Smashwords sends too.. but that shatters my previous experiences of 4-8 weeks before it makes it to stores. Maybe things are looking up there now?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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Wondering if it could be a timing thing. Maybe they (whether Smashwords or Apple) process in batches and you got there in the right time for the next batch processing.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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It is ill advised as well as misguided to mention "curses."

To do so is to draw attention from that which is best left alone.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:07 AM   #15
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My most recent ebook went through to all Smashwords outlets very quickly -- much more quickly than the previous ones -- except for Barnes & Noble, which dragged on for weeks and weeks. And then they still didn't put up a description or my bio -- in fact, they still don't have them. But I assume the folks at Barnes & Noble have their hands full with the Fictionwise assimilation.
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