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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to make the move off Select with Nolander. It's had three runs, with 32,600 given away total. I think the free market for the book is pretty well worked over, for the time being.

I'd like to get the book up on the other sites as quickly as possible to capitalize on any word of mouth it gets coming off this latest free run, which was good one. So I'm thinking I should try to publish directly on the various platforms instead of going through Smashwords. Do you guys agree?

Any advice on the other sites? Pitfalls to avoid? Quirks of their publishing processes? Drawbacks to working with them directly?

Sorry, I know these questions are vague. When it comes to the other sites, I don't know enough to know what I don't know, if you know what I mean!

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

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As long as you're in the US, as you appear to be, the only good reason to put a book on B&N via Smashwords is if you want it to be free. Otherwise, using PubIt is your best option-- you get paid more quickly, and you can see a report on your daily sales. Some people have been having issues with PubIt lately, where the book gets stuck in processing permanently (I keep getting an error message, but in my case the books have all gone through), and if that happens to you, you might have to go with Smashwords instead. But I would certainly try to start with B&N.

For iTunes, I use Smashwords. It takes a while to get listed. I think you can upload directly if you have a Mac.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MegHarris said:
As long as you're in the US, as you appear to be, the only good reason to put a book on B&N via Smashwords is if you want it to be free. Otherwise, using PubIt is your best option-- you get paid more quickly, and you can see a report on your daily sales. Some people have been having issues with PubIt lately, where the book gets stuck in processing permanently (I keep getting an error message, but in my case the books have all gone through), and if that happens to you, you might have to go with Smashwords instead. But I would certainly try to start with B&N.

For iTunes, I use Smashwords. It takes a while to get listed. I think you can upload directly if you have a Mac.
Thanks, Meg!

Yes, I am in the U.S.

I do have a Mac, though I don't use it (old laptop my MIL gave me). I should be able to find my way around it well enough.
 

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I always said, "Never again!" to Smashwords after I had such a hard time delisting stuff and getting no help at all from customer service; but now I have book permanently stuck at B&N for 2 months, and I've tried about 10 times to upload to iTunes but the books never show up.

There is no happy ending to this story, I'm sorry to say.  It's why all my books are still only at Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ellecasey said:
I always said, "Never again!" to Smashwords after I had such a hard time delisting stuff and getting no help at all from customer service; but now I have book permanently stuck at B&N for 2 months, and I've tried about 10 times to upload to iTunes but the books never show up.

There is no happy ending to this story, I'm sorry to say. It's why all my books are still only at Amazon.
Good lord. What a pain! This is why I've avoided the other sites so far -- just didn't want the hassle.
 

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I had trouble getting onto Kobo through Smashwords. Eventually I just did it myself.

The others weren't too bad. But I recently changed my price and I think it's going to take aaages for it to filter through to B&N etc.

I think it's good for Sony, Itunes etc but for B&N and Kobo I'd consider doing it directly.
 

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I had trouble getting onto Kobo through Smashwords. Eventually I just did it myself.
Interestingly, my books have been going onto Kobo quickly. The other sites aren't as prompt. But I understand iTunes looks over erotic romance more carefully, so if it takes a while for me, that's probably the reason.

But I recently changed my price and I think it's going to take aaages for it to filter through to B&N etc.
I try really, really hard never to change prices once a book is on Smashwords. It seems to take forever for it to get changed on all the various sites.
 

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I used to utilize Smashwords to get to B&N, but finally gave up on them out of frustration.  It just took too long for them to get updates to B&N (far more so than their other retailers). So far, it's been a good experience going direct.  I'm thinking of doing the same with Kobo.  I'd also go direct with Apple, if they someday made it easier for non-Mac users.

It's not that I want to dislike Smashwords. I really like what they are trying to do. However, it's harder to justify putting up with their shortcomings (delays, reporting, website, etc.) when their retailers continue to make it easier to go direct. In fact, I think if Smashwords doesn't address these issues, they risk becoming an irrelevant aggregator.     
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! Sounds like going direct is the general recommendation.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I seem to be having better luck, formattingwise, uploading a .doc file to PutIt than an .html file. The .html generated a ebook with scattered screwed-up justification (random paragraphs all centered, etc.).

Will a .doc file do the trick? Do most of you guys convert to epub and upload that?
 

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A word in the other direction..... All my books have gone to B&N via PubIt, but I've also uploaded to Smashwords, which, of course, sells thru B&N as well. Oddly, I sell waaaaaay more books on B&N via SW than I sell on B&N directly. And I do mean waaay more. I don't know why there's such a difference, since it's the same book, at the same price, but that's how it is for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jena H said:
A word in the other direction..... All my books have gone to B&N via PubIt, but I've also uploaded to Smashwords, which, of course, sells thru B&N as well. Oddly, I sell waaaaaay more books on B&N via SW than I sell on B&N directly. And I do mean waaay more. I don't know why there's such a difference, since it's the same book, at the same price, but that's how it is for me.
Wait, I don't quite follow how this works. Do you mean people find the book shopping on SW and then use a link from SW to B&N to buy it? I doesn't actually end up being listed twice on B&N, does it?
 

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Becca Mills said:
Wait, I don't quite follow how this works. Do you mean people find the book shopping on SW and then use a link from SW to B&N to buy it? I doesn't actually end up being listed twice on B&N, does it?
I don't quite know how it works, since it's the same book, but it sells so much better through Smashwords. I'm wondering if maybe the B&N site sells only for Nook, but maybe via SW they can buy it for iPad, tablet, or some other device. Otherwise, no idea.
(Oddly, one of my books does appear twice on B&N's website, not sure why. But it's only one out of four, so I think it's a holdover from when I changed price or something.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jena H said:
I don't quite know how it works, since it's the same book, but it sells so much better through Smashwords. I'm wondering if maybe the B&N site sells only for Nook, but maybe via SW they can buy it for iPad, tablet, or some other device. Otherwise, no idea.
(Oddly, one of my books does appear twice on B&N's website, not sure why. But it's only one out of four, so I think it's a holdover from when I changed price or something.)
Huh.

Well, after the PubIt form locked up over and over, forcing me to fill in/upload everything over and over, there are now two copies of Nolander stuck in "processing." PutIt never did return anything but an error message when I tried to publish OR save.

I have to say, I'm not impressed with PubIt. Not in the least.

ETA: Kobo, on the other hand, was a total breeze. So if Kobo can create a glitch-free publication platform, why can't B&N? I don't even see a way to delete my account from PubIt and start over. I just have to wait and see whether the double submissions of the book make it through processing, and if so, what they look like and whether I can get rid of the double. Infuriating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Suzanna Medeiros said:
It's been almost 3 weeks since Dancing with the Duke has shipped from Smashwords to B&N and I'm still waiting for it to show up there. If I could go direct, I would!
Well, I did try to go direct, and I think I'm going to end up in the same situation as Elle, as I got no indication at all that the platform saved or published the data correctly. So I'll do Smashwords, too. Hopefully the book will eventually be available to Nook owners one way or another.

The question with Smashwords seems to be how many times it can produce the "Internal Server Error" message. Up to six, now. Why are these sites so bad?
 

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My rule of thumb: always upload directly to a retailer's site if you can. For those requiring a middleman -- iTunes, Sony, Diesel, etc. -- I use D2D and Lightning Source. My D2D uploads made it to iTunes practically overnight. Now we have an alternative to clunky SW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, James and JR, for suggesting D2D ... working on that now. Thanks to everyone else who helped as well -- a frustrating day made better by friends! I'll wrap the thread with an emblematic image:

 
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