Author Topic: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering  (Read 20633 times)  

Offline Susanne O

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I recently took the majority of my books out of Select,having seen my sales dwindling alarmingly since the start of KU, and went wide. I decided to give D2D a go after having previously uploaded my books on Smashwords, which was the only option when I started e-publishing in 2010.

With Smashwords I have never sold more than a handful while doing very well on Amazon. I thought this was because there weren't that many people using devices other than the Kindle for e-book reading.

BUT... only a week after uploading nine of my fifteen titles with D2D, I'm seeing sales way beyond expectation.

I also uploaded the books  on Smashwords,only to use Overdrive. After nearly four weeks I still see the good old 'will be shipped', which used to be the case with all outlets when I used Smashwords. D2D, on the other hand can get a book out with the major stores within a day, if not hours.

This has me wondering how D2D can do what Smashwords can't? And how they can answer e-mails and fix problems so quickly.

 I didn't really believe all the glowing reports. But now I am convinced.

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    Offline setherd

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 11:56:15 am »
    Interesting. Does anyone else have similar experiences?
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    Offline ruecole

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 12:06:36 pm »
    I uploaded my titles with D2D back in 2013 when they were in beta. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about them.

    I uploaded one book to Smashwords last summerr, shortly before KU launched. I pulled it after three weeks and it still hadn't shipped!

    Rue

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    Offline Vermicious Knid

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 12:27:33 pm »
    Interesting. Does anyone else have similar experiences?
    Yep. Coker's operation is severely lacking compared to D2D. At D2D my books get listed fast and when I need them taken down that happens immediately too. Smashwords couldn't care less about how fast they distribute or take down my work. D2D payments are done right the first time. D2D document conversion never fails. D2D support is fast and courteous and best of all helpful. Smashwords support is contemptuous and rude and sloooooow.
    This has me wondering how D2D can do what Smashwords can't? And how they can answer e-mails and fix problems so quickly.
    I think it boils down to respect. D2D respects authors, and Smashwords, well, they have every appearance of holding authors in contempt.

    Offline Vaalingrade

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 01:30:09 pm »
    D2D really benefited from having Smashwords go before it. Most of the bennies the other platforms give authors are because Coker negotiated with them.

    Thing is, Smashwords hasn't really progressed all that much. Even with their own store, I noticed that I sold really, really well for about a day before new books buried mine and they became almost unfindable.

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    Offline ruecole

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 01:36:17 pm »
    True, but that doesn't mean authors should be satisfied with bad service any more than they should be satisfied with some of Amazon's antics just because they created KDP and basically the whole self-pub revolution. ;)

    Rue

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    Offline Vermicious Knid

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 01:37:09 pm »
    Thing is, Smashwords hasn't really progressed all that much.
    This is very true and seems to be the source of many of their issues.

    Offline JB Rowley

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 01:43:56 pm »
    This has me wondering how D2D can do what Smashwords can't? And how they can answer e-mails and fix problems so quickly.

    I agree, D2D offer a spectacular and speedy service.

    Offline Andrew Ashling

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 02:00:57 pm »
    I was one of the beta testers. Never looked back. Friendly, speedy and they go the extra mile.

    SW's "meatgrinder" seems to be a piece of Frankenstein software consisting of parts of OpenOffice and Calibre, kept together with scripts. You can still find dozens of threads on this board alone by people who went insane trying to use it. Coker resisted allowing uploading in epub, long after most vendors accepted it and long after Amazon converted epubs without a hitch, insisting everybody use the meatgrinder. On D2D uploading a new book to several vendors takes me around seven minutes.

    I'm actually sorry to have to say all this, because I have a tremendous respect for Mark Coker for all he has done for the community. Alas, as they say, there you are...












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    Offline JB Rowley

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #9 on: January 17, 2015, 02:17:21 pm »
    You can respect Coker and still find his business beyond awful.

    I'm a huge D2D fan. One of the happiest days of my publishing career was when they implemented B&N freebies and I could pull the last of my books off of Smashwords. Never again.

    Thanks. Didn't know about freebies on B & N.

    Offline ufwriter

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 02:21:03 pm »
    Oh, this sounds like a good alternative. What format do you use to upload into D2D?


    Offline Abalone

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #11 on: January 17, 2015, 02:25:26 pm »
    D2D is fantastic and I love the support staff. One of my first emails with support consisted of "I hope I'm not talking to a robot" and the support tech shot back a funny reply asking me if I wanted to pretend we were robots to make the transition more smooth. Love it.

    Very sad they lost their partnership with the might God, Amazon.

    Offline Amyshojai

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #12 on: January 17, 2015, 02:28:53 pm »
    Hmnnn, I've got an account with D2D but haven't yet done anything with it. Have a couple future projects pending, this is good to know. Hmnn again...

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 02:45:42 pm »
    D2D for the win, that is all.

    Offline Cliff Ball

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #14 on: January 17, 2015, 02:48:58 pm »
    Oh, this sounds like a good alternative. What format do you use to upload into D2D?

    You just upload your Word doc and they convert it to epub, mobi, and pdf
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    Offline Vaalingrade

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #15 on: January 17, 2015, 03:02:27 pm »
    True, but that doesn't mean authors should be satisfied with bad service any more than they should be satisfied with some of Amazon's antics just because they created KDP and basically the whole self-pub revolution. ;)

    Rue

    ...which they  didn't do in any way. But your point is correct.

    Smashy needs to step up their game.

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    Offline ruecole

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #16 on: January 17, 2015, 04:26:41 pm »
    I've heard that line of reasoning used in defence of Amazon before, which is why I used it.

    Rue

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    Offline 75814

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #17 on: January 17, 2015, 04:28:44 pm »
    I've just moved my stuff to D2D. I still keep books on Smashwords because there are a few outlets on there that aren't on D2D (very, very small ones I've never heard of before) and hey, it doesn't really hurt to have them there. I put up a pre-order on Smashwords for a book that came out on New Year's Day. As of last week, it still hadn't gotten out of premium distribution review. That's when I pulled it and went to D2D. Up at B&N the very next day.

    I have a lot of respect for Mark Coker, but his platform leaves a lot to be desired.

    Offline Dom

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #18 on: January 17, 2015, 04:29:26 pm »
    With Smashwords I have never sold more than a handful while doing very well on Amazon.
    BUT... only a week after uploading nine of my fifteen titles with D2D, I'm seeing sales way beyond expectation.

    Susanne, glad to hear about your success, but you're not suggesting the sales are a result of the distributor, are you? One thing you left out is where you're actually selling (apple? scribd?)? On the point of ease and speed of distribution, I 100% agree. Just used Smashwords for the first time yesterday and I was shocked (in a bad way).

    Offline anniejocoby

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #19 on: January 17, 2015, 04:46:24 pm »
    I need to weigh in on this, too. I'm surprised that Smashwords is even still in business. I uploaded "Broken" to them around May of last year. One month went by, and it never posted to Nook or Apple. Period. I sent numerous emails, all with a reply of "it will be there soon, I promise," and nothing happened.

    In June, after the book wasn't posted at all for a month at Smashwords, D2D started offering the option of uploading freebies to Apple and Nook - so I went that route. About two days later, my book was up.

    So, yeah, I'm never going through SW again. The meatgrinder experience is bad enough, but the slowness in distribution is inexcusable, IMHO. I had a bad experience with the meatgrinder, too - I changed a cover of a book that had been up on SW for months. Nothing else - just the cover. Suddenly, the book didn't pass the meatgrinder. NOTHING HAD CHANGED! It took me hours trying to find out what was going on, and I finally was presented with the nuclear option of putting the document into RTF or whatever, which takes out all the bolds and all of that. Not doing it. I sent that one through D2D, and it was smooth sailing.

    That said, I now upload direct everywhere but my freebies on Nook. I'll still use D2D for all my books, though, just because I've suddenly started making money at Scribd. I think I made over $300 there this month, so that was a happy surprise!

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    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #20 on: January 17, 2015, 05:27:31 pm »
    I held a self publishing class today, and I recommended Draft 2 Digital over Smashwords. With the .doc conversion, speed in uploading to sites, higher sales from better placement, prompt payment and service, it's the clear winner in the battle of the aggregates.
     
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    Offline sela

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #21 on: January 17, 2015, 05:44:11 pm »
    I held a self publishing class today, and I recommended Draft 2 Digital over Smashwords. With the .doc conversion, speed in uploading to sites, higher sales from better placement, prompt payment and service, it's the clear winner in the battle of the aggregates.

    This for sure. I do respect Mark Coker and all he has done for Indies, but seriously dude. Update your website and fix the problems with slow uploading and price changes -- and that meat grinder! How is it that D2D can convert a doc to a Mobi, ePub and PDF in like 30 seconds and SW can't? How is it that D2D can get a price change quickly but SW can't? I love D2d's prompt payment and stats and fast personal customer service. I thought about going direct to retailers but D2D makes it so easy I figure it's worth the extra slice.
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    Offline WillemThomas

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #22 on: January 17, 2015, 10:16:54 pm »
    D2D's monthly payments is one of the main reasons I use them. I'm still amazed Smashwords is incapable of doing this (or even wants to).

    Offline Susanne O

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #23 on: January 17, 2015, 11:13:38 pm »
    Susanne, glad to hear about your success, but you're not suggesting the sales are a result of the distributor, are you? One thing you left out is where you're actually selling (apple? scribd?)? On the point of ease and speed of distribution, I 100% agree. Just used Smashwords for the first time yesterday and I was shocked (in a bad way).

    Most of my sales (so far) are in Scribd, B&N and Apple. Never sold anything through Scribd before. Is it the result of the distributor? Well, my experience tells me it's a contributing factor,if nothing else.

    The only seller I have ticked in Smashwords is Overdrive as my local library gets their books from them. Still, after a month it says 'will be shipped'. Very irritating...
    « Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 11:36:37 pm by Susanne O'Leary »

    Offline jhanel

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    Re: Draft2Digital and Smashwords - the contrast is dazzling yet bewildering
    « Reply #24 on: January 17, 2015, 11:35:13 pm »
    I recently took the majority of my books out of Select,having seen my sales dwindling alarmingly since the start of KU, and went wide. I decided to give D2D a go after having previously uploaded my books on Smashwords, which was the only option when I started e-publishing in 2010.

    With Smashwords I have never sold more than a handful while doing very well on Amazon. I thought this was because there weren't that many people using devices other than the Kindle for e-book reading.

    BUT... only a week after uploading nine of my fifteen titles with D2D, I'm seeing sales way beyond expectation.

    I also uploaded the books  on Smashwords,only to use Overdrive. After nearly four weeks I still see the good old 'will be shipped', which used to be the case with all outlets when I used Smashwords. D2D, on the other hand can get a book out with the major stores within a day, if not hours.

    This has me wondering how D2D can do what Smashwords can't? And how they can answer e-mails and fix problems so quickly.

     I didn't really believe all the glowing reports. But now I am convinced.

    I have had VERY limited success with Smashwords, mainly with my first release, back when Smashwords was a new-ish thing. In the last three releases, I've sold twenty copies.... total.

    I'd never even HEARD of D2D until this post. I uploaded my copies, art, info and blurb within minutes, and it is currently publishing. I **DO** love Smashwords' coupon system (I use that alot), but if this can generate a few more sales than SW, I'll delist my books and re-list them through D2D. I'll update this thread in a few weeks with sales stats.
           
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