Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just saw this in the Smashwords alert today:

As we mention at the Smashwords Distribution Information page at http://smashwords.com/distribution we offer limited distribution to Amazon. At present, we're only distributing around 200 titles to Amazon, whereas we're distributing nearly 150,000 titles to most of our other major retail partners such as Apple and Barnes & Noble.

If your book has earned over $2,000 across the Smashwords distribution network, we invite you to join other bestsellers such as JD Nixon, Shayne Parkinson and Mia Dymond who have consolidated all their distribution through Smashwords. This service is best for writers of genre fiction and series, and for authors who don't update their pricing frequently. We limit the Amazon distribution to Smashwords bestsellers because the uploading and management is completely manual for us, just as it would be if you upload direct to Amazon.

The royalty terms are somewhat similar to other retailers. Amazon has two royalty tiers, 70% and 35%, depending on the price and geography of sale. This means we pay 60% list and 30% list depending on the applicable tier (so we earn either 10% or 5% of list price as our commission).

The sales and payments will flow through to your Dashboard's Sales & Payments Reports screen just as they do for other retailers.

Please click the "comments/questions" link at the Smashwords web site and let us know you're in the $2,000 club and would like to be considered for distribution to Amazon.


That's just so funny to me. So they're limiting the distribution (in exchange for their cut) to the bestsellers...in other words, the people who will earn them the most. Which makes sense from their standpoint, but makes no sense from the standpoint of the author. Authors who have earned at least $2000 through Smashwords and their retail partners are likely going to earn at least that much or more through Kindle sales, which means they're potentially giving up a decent chunk of change by "consolidating all their distribution through Smashwords" to use their own words.

It makes sense to use Smashwords (or their new competitor D2D) for those stores you can't get to easily on your own such as Apple if you don't own a Mac, or B&N if you don't live in the US. But KDP? KDP is simple and doesn't require that you buy any special software or live in a particular country. Why would I want to "consolidate" my distribution through Smashwords and give them 15% for Amazon?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
I've earned a good deal more than $2000 overall through SW, but whether any one of my books has earned that much or not, I haven't the faintest idea. (I doubt it, but who can tell with SW's weird accounting?) Anyway, I really can't see why anyone would want to go through SW rather than directly through Amazon. There just doesn't seem to be a reason to give up any additional earnings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Amanda Brice said:
Why would I want to "consolidate" my distribution through Smashwords and give them 15% for Amazon?
For one thing, they'll pay me through Paypal rather than having to deal with cheques in foreign currencies.

But that probably wouldn't justify my paying them an extra 15%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MegHarris said:
There just doesn't seem to be a reason to give up any additional earnings.
Exactly.

The only reason I could see using this would be for having a perma-freebie at Amazon where you don't want to play the price-matching game. It would be useful there. But for books you're actually setting a price for? Why give up the additional earnings when you can easily do it yourself (and get paid much sooner!)?
 
G

·
I personally upload direct to Amazon, but some folks want a single centralized distributor for all of their books. That is what Smashwords is. I suspect the threshold has more to do with people abusing Smashwords as just a place to give away freebies or try to manipulate Amazon into price-matching to free. Assuming they really do have to manually upload the files, that is a lot of work to do just so people can constantly pull books down and put them back up. If Amazon isn't allowing an automated upload process, that would mean every time an author changes their price, the price would have to be manually changed on Amazon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Assuming they really do have to manually upload the files, that is a lot of work to do just so people can constantly pull books down and put them back up. If Amazon isn't allowing an automated upload process, that would mean every time an author changes their price, the price would have to be manually changed on Amazon.
So, those two-hundred books they've managed to upload to Amazon are the reason it takes SW customer "service" three weeks to respond to emails? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Amanda Brice said:
Why would I want to "consolidate" my distribution through Smashwords..?
Fair question. Some of our authors would rather spend their time writing their next book as opposed to managing their books at multiple retailer platforms. I think this is why the vast majority of our authors who have the choice to upload direct to retailers like B&N or Kobo still opt to distribute though Smashwords. You upload one file once and we send it out. If you want to change your price, update your cover, fix a typo in your manuscript, or modify your categorization, you do it once at the Smashwords Dashboard and we propagate the change out to everyone. We offer lower payment thresholds ($10), and the time-saving benefit of consolidated year-end tax reporting.

What we don't offer is the joy of real-time sales reporting. I know that's important to a lot of authors, and for them they'll want to continue going direct to Amazon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
Edward M. Grant said:
For one thing, they'll pay me through Paypal rather than having to deal with cheques in foreign currencies.

But that probably wouldn't justify my paying them an extra 15%.
Yo, Ed. If you're in Canada, Amazon now does direct deposit with the exception of Brazil (or maybe Japan - one of them). No more cheques!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for responding, Mark.

Will the ability to make a book free work with the books in the Smashwords $2000 Club? And will it be like with other opt-in programs, where the opting in goes for each book individually?

In other words, can an author who otherwise uses KDP for the rest of her books still use Smashwords to push a freebie to Amazon, provided she's earned at least $2000 in royalties through Smashwords in the past?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,072 Posts
I assume this would be worth it only for international authors who prefer to get their money through paypal. You don't have to wait ages for a check (if it even arrives), you don't have to wait ages for the bank to approve the check (yeah, some banks do that and take their time), and you might even lose less money if your bank takes a huge fee for checks. Otherwise, I don't see the point. Oh, and you can't check your sales every twenty seconds. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Assuming they really do have to manually upload the files, that is a lot of work to do just so people can constantly pull books down and put them back up. If Amazon isn't allowing an automated upload process, that would mean every time an author changes their price, the price would have to be manually changed on Amazon.
Julie, yes. It's completely manual for us, whereas our distributions and metadata updates are automated for all our other retailers. Before this week, the "$2,000" club was the "$1,000" club. We raised the threshold because until we have an automated solution for Amazon, it's not something we can offer to everyone. If an author wants to change their prices frequently, this $2k club is not a good idea. They should go direct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Quiss said:
Yo, Ed. If you're in Canada, Amazon now does direct deposit with the exception of Brazil (or maybe Japan - one of them).
Thanks, I didn't realise that. They keep bugging me to buy from amazon.ca instead of amazon.com now, but I hadn't seen anything to say they'd changed the payment system at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Amanda Brice said:
Thanks for responding, Mark.

Will the ability to make a book free work with the books in the Smashwords $2000 Club? And will it be like with other opt-in programs, where the opting in goes for each book individually?

In other words, can an author who otherwise uses KDP for the rest of her books still use Smashwords to push a freebie to Amazon, provided she's earned at least $2000 in royalties through Smashwords in the past?
We'd prefer to represent the complete list, rather than individual titles, otherwise it gets too complicated. It definitely wouldn't be worth our manual effort to rep only perma free titles. :) An author can achieve perma-free price matching without participating in this offer. Going through us wouldn't garner any additional advantage toward achieving a free price match. To go perma-free at Amazon, enroll your KDP title in the 35% royalty level, then publish the same book at Smashwords, get into our Premium Catalog priced at FREE, and then wait for the book to go live at our retailers. Then report it to Amazon. No need to coordinate with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I figured it would be a full catalog thing, not piecemeal by book.

MarkCoker said:
An author can achieve perma-free price matching without participating in this offer. Going through us wouldn't garner any additional advantage toward achieving a free price match. To go perma-free at Amazon, enroll your KDP title in the 35% royalty level, then publish the same book at Smashwords, get into our Premium Catalog priced at FREE, and then wait for the book to go live at our retailers. Then report it to Amazon. No need to coordinate with us.
Right, but doing so is technically against the Amazon TOS. But sending a book through Smashwords directly wouldn't be price matching (which is against the TOS), because the book would just be priced free by Smashwords.

Anyway, you answered my question, so thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
742 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
but some folks want a single centralized distributor for all of their books.
Isn't that basically what the Dystel (or whatever) agent was offering to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
You know, if anyone wants me to upload their books to Amazon after they've done all the hard work of production so that I can have 15% for pressing "publish," I'm happy to volunteer.
 
G

·
CB Edwards said:
Isn't that basically what the Dystel (or whatever) agent was offering to do?
SW is a distributor. Dystel is an agent. The job of a distributor is to distribute books to retailers. The job of an agent is to sell your book to publishers. Dystel continues to market itself as an agent, then charges their agent percentage to upload your books to Smashwords.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
SW is a distributor. Dystel is an agent. The job of a distributor is to distribute books to retailers. The job of an agent is to sell your book to publishers. Dystel continues to market itself as an agent, then charges their agent percentage to upload your books to Smashwords.
They're charging 15% and then uploading once to Smashwords? Wow. What a service! That . . . Smashwords already provides for a cut.

So they do nothing but stick their name on your publication page and take 15% forevermore? I'm in the wrong line of work.

Scratch that. I can sleep at night, so maybe not.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top