Just so you know, I do have part two of The Lord’s Tale up on some platforms. However, I’m not sure what’s going on with some of those (actually, one of those), so if you see that it’s available, you can try purchasing it, however I can’t guarantee there won’t be changes to it after you buy it. Might be best to wait until the official announcement here before buying a copy.
Finally, I will be unpublishing my stories on Smashwords. All of them. The reasons are many and varied. Here are some:
- In spite of the fact that real-time reporting and monthly payments are possible, they still pay quarterly.
- There is an amazing delay between when a sale occurs through a distribution channel and when they report how much was earned from that sale.
- They misrepresented themselves by announcing through the AutoVetter that some sort of mention of their site was required on the copyright page. (I used “Smashwords Edition” for mine.) Passing the AutoVetter was required for the Premium Catalog. They later announced that this had always been optional…for those who complained. The rest of us had no idea it was optional at all. (Mentioned at The Passive Voice as well as on the site, now that it will no longer be flagged by the AutoVetter.)
- Though they announced that all books, except erotica, would be available through Overdrive in a matter of weeks, my books did not appear. I’m not the only one who has found this to be true. It turns out all books distributed by Smashwords were put into a virtual ghetto, (also see here and here).**
- Smashwords lists itself as the publisher at Overdrive and Scribd. To their credit, they come right out and say they aren’t a publisher and that it doesn’t affect anything legally when it comes to copyright but that’s not the point. The point is, they aren’t a publisher. They are a distributor*. Big difference. They should not be listing themselves as such without giving the author a chance to put in an alternative, if they have one.
There’s some other things, but those are the big ones to me. And the biggest of all isn’t something I can really fit in a bullet-point: Smashwords is being associated with a certain kind of indie publishing. Not a good kind, either.
I appreciate Mark Coker and all he’s done. I do. But I’m going in a different direction with my publishing plans.
All my titles on Smashwords will be gone by December 31st.
(Note: next post will be on lessons learned in 2014 and what I hope to do in 2015.)
*Correction: They’re not even that. I apologize for getting my terms confused. When it comes to making deals with distributors like Apple and Scribd and so on, they’re an aggregator.
**Update: ebookbargainsuk let me know in the comments section that 160,000 of the 200,000 titles Smashwords submitted are now in Overdrive’s public catalog. Also, it appears the issue wasn’t with Smashwords but with Overdrive.