Self publishing is becoming mainstream, especially in the fiction markets. I don't need to tell you that. What you might be wondering, if you're planning on publishing some fiction of your own this year, is which online distribution service to choose. There are several to choose from of course. There's the Amazon KDP program for instance, which has enjoyed significant popularity over the years and which was once the obvious choice for any self published author.
Smashwords however, is starting to make a serious impact on the e publishing market. Here are five reasons why a new author might want to use Smashwords for their ebook in 2013.
1. Smashwords offers distribution throughout all major e book markets. Publish with Smashwords and you'll get free distribution to Amazon, Nook, the iStore, the Sony store, Barnes and Noble, Library Direct, Diesel and more. This gives you a global reach superior to any other online e-distributor. They also provide a storefront on their own site, so if you want to sell a book in a limited run to a limited audience, you can also opt out of global distribution. You always have total control over where your ebook is up for sale.
2. Smashwords offers a superior author cut. Amazon's KDP service offers a 35% cut on a 99 cent ebook. Smashwords offers a 56% cut. This doesn't apply to ebooks sold through their retail partners, but to books sold through the Smashwords store.
3. Smashwords has consistently sought out new partners and cuts Smashwords specific deals with those partners. Smashwords authors who published prior to Christmas 2012 experienced a significant lift in sales through the iStore, whilst many who published with KDP experienced an ongoing slump.
4. Smashwords customer support is very impressive. Smashwords is run by a very small team, just twenty people, but they are pretty quick on their customer support. You'll usually receive a reply within 48 to 72 hours and it is never an automated response. Unlike other e-publishers, which seem to go out of their way to avoid contact with indie authors and quite often outright ignore them, Smashwords has friendly, personalized service.
5. Smashwords is a friend to authors. It is, without a doubt, the most authorcentric e-distributor for ebooks. Smashwords has consistently advocated on the behalf of indie authors, both with other e book retailers, with PayPal and with credit card companies. Smashwords continually aligns its priorities with those of indie authors, which cannot be said of all e book retailers, especially Amazon KDP, which appears to be skewed by its loyalty to the rest of the Amazon empire.
If you're interested in more comparison between Smashwords and KDP as a publishing platform, check out: Should You Publish With Smashwords or Amazon KDP in 2013?
Share your thoughts and experiences!
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on March 30, 2014:
Very useful information here. Thanks for this great hub.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 23, 2013:
This is very useful and I have shared it!
dashingscorpio from Chicago on February 17, 2013:
Voted up and useful!
I actually published my book: My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany) through Amazon's CreateSpace and enjoyed working with them every step of the way from book cover design, to editing, and press release/promotions. They also offer free expanded distribution to other booksellers as well. My book is available in both print and through Kindle. I do believe I'd have to use something else to for Nook. The Kindle app is a very popular download for iPad users. There are two options regarding Kindle pay out one is 35% and I believe the other is 70%. I don't recall if it is tied to the price of ebook or if it is the size of the data. Needless to say it sounds as though Smashwords is a viable alternative!
Thanks for the information!
BikingtotheMoon on January 31, 2013:
Does this mean you are writing a book? I'm excited.