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A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature : General Questions & Discussions • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

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gesler0811
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A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby gesler0811 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:10 pm

You live and you learn, I guess. I thought the Smashwords Preorder feature sounded like a good idea, but I wouldn't do it again. I just want to share my experiences, in case anyone else is thinking of going that route.

The Smashwords FAQ clearly states that only Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo support the preorder feature. I get that and I'm not knocking them. However, I think they could have done a better job articulating that the other channels (like Amazon) won't even get the book at all until after the release date. In other words, even though my book has been on Smashwords for preorder for weeks, and B&N and Apple have had it listed for some time, Smashwords has never even distributed the book to Amazon yet. It could be days or a week or longer depending on the distribution schedule.

So, I just want to share my lesson with others. If I had it to do over again, I would not have done preorder. I would have quietly released the book on Smashwords, waited until it showed up at all the channels, and THEN announced that it had been released. I liked the idea of hyping the release date, but a lot of people are very confused today wondering why it's available in the nook store but not the kindle store. And there's really no way to explain it intelligently without explaining Smashwords' distribution process, which is WAY more info than they need. And since kindle users make up the majority of eReader sales, the preorder kind of becomes a moot point.

My advice: Don't choose preorder.

FYI - My book is on sale now at B&N / Apple / Smashwords (But not Amazon, :D )




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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:35 pm

Newsflash - Smashwords does not deliver books to Amazon, except for a tiny amount. Amazon has been playing the 900-pound gorilla since the beginning, so you have to upload books yourself to Amazon.
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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby gesler0811 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:37 pm

Interesting. It's listed in my dashboard as a distribution channel, and the little note indicates it will ship on or after the release date. So you're telling me, essentially, to ignore that and go over to kdp and do it myself?

EDIT: I'm also using createspace for the print edition, and they have an option to relay the cover art and interior document to kdp, so I suppose I can do that with minimal difficulty.




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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:20 pm

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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby gesler0811 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:51 am

I went the kdp route, uploaded everything last night, and the book is already listed and I've already made my first kindle sale. Yippee.

Thanks for the advice. I opted out of the Amazon distribution channel on Smashwords. I now have eBooks listed at barnes and noble, apple, and amazon. I don't know what the hold-up is with Kobo, but I don't really care. In my view, I've got the big three covered.

I actually just got my approval from createspace today that all my documents passed their print inspection. I ordered my proof copy today and should get it March 5. To say I'm beyond excited would be an understatement. I don't know how I can be expected to go to work that day!
Last edited by gesler0811 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:09 pm

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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:20 pm

Followup - today I e-mailed Amazon and Diesel (e-books) about problems with my book listings - my newest book and its stats had never shown up on my Amazon author page, and the cover image of that book was missing the title on the Diesel site, plus some of the other listings included "garbled" symbols, as when something like a curly quote is translated to plain text.

Amazon fixed the problem within hours of my notice. Diesel asked me to e-mail a .jpg of the correct cover image, and within AN HOUR had both the cover image and the garbled text problem taken care of.

Kobo? I've been waiting since December 5. I can't wait until they absorb all of SONY's listings next month.
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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby gesler0811 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:15 pm

That's nuts about kobo. Until you shared your experience, I thought maybe I was suffering from some kind of kobo curse. Now I guess I see they are just that unresponsive. Sorry about that for your sake. Like I said earlier, I had never even really heard of kobo before I got on smashwords, so I'm not really worried about when (or if) they ever get around to listing my book. But December 5 - February 26 is a very, very long time. Pretty unprofessional, I'd say. And that's putting it mildly.




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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:22 am

Supposedly Kobo is the big dog in Canada, as far as e-book sales go, so the lack of response on their part is troubling. Maybe the start date of December 5 is not truly accurate, as that's the date that I uploaded the novel to Smashwords. But iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and others had it in their catalogs within a week or ten days. I sent a second request to Smashwords several weeks ago (their response was that they'd resend the info to Kobo immediately), and my author listings still do not include the new book and indeed include three other random listings of books. I have to wonder what's going on with Kobo, especially when I compare Diesel's and Amazon's customer service record to Kobo's.
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Re: A Note about the Smashword Preorder Feature

Postby pls » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:17 pm

And more, this time with Barnes & Noble.

You may not realize it, but B&N allows review comments WITHOUT a customer making a purchase of a book. In fact, that's their policy.

So imagine what could happen when kids discover this … um … feature? Right - they pick out a title (like a couple of mine) which have few or no reviews and use them as a free, online chat room, sometimes posting much more information about themselves than should be available to the general public. And we're talking underage types here.

A couple of months ago I discovered that one of my titles was replete with "reviews" and ratings, and I reported them. All the reviews, including one legit review were removed. Today I discovered another "review" and decided to report it via live chat to a B&N rep. We'll see how quickly it all goes, but he promised the faux reviews would be removed within 24-48 hours, including two others under another book that I'd reported a long time ago but never got action on.

So - after 48 hours - if these kiddie kommunications are gone, a gold star for B&N, too.
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