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Sarah Woodbury said:
It is an antiquated system, but that is not Smashwords' doing. It is the way Barnes and Noble pays all its publishers. Harper Collins is getting paid quarterly exactly the same way.
It's not just the quartly payments that bother me, so much as how slowly smashwords informs us on how much we've earned from each affiliate. It's frustrating not knowing how well or badly we're doing at all these places. I see no reason why these figures can't be more transparent, I mean if B&N can show what we're earning daily on the pubit forum then why can't they inform smashwords on what we've earned during the course of one month. Could it be that these places earn interest on the money they don't have to give us for three months, after all they don't have to wait very long to be paid when a costumer buys a book.

Carl
 

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Payment threshold is $10 if you use Paypal, and $70 if you request a check.

It would be nice to see the payments go from a Quarter to the say the 60 day model that Pubit & KDP use. Remember money has to be held back for charge backs for Credit Card purchases, which can be a huge pain to deal with. In all the money is there, its coming and you just have to be a little patient.
Arigato,
Nick Davis
 
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There's soooo many things just flat out wrong in the posts above.

Smashwords is not "sitting on your money". They don't have it. Simple as that. Just because B&N reports sales figures for May to Smashwords doesn't mean they have sent the money. I can view my sales reports from yesterday on Amazon. Does it mean I magically have the money? Smashwords gets paid by retailers quarterly, and then pays its authors. This is simple, basic, and something you've agreed to when you uploaded to Smashwords. If you want faster payments, then harass B&N, Kobo, and the iBookstore to pay Smashwords more often.

As for faster reports: they're working on them, but again, why act like this is Smashwords fault? Having a system like Pubit report your sales immediately is not the same as creating and shipping a single giant report to, what is in a sense, a publisher (Smashwords). They report the info when they get it. I guess if you want to you could claim Mark isn't being annoying enough to convince these other websites to give him more frequent info, but even the slightest bit of research shows Mark's voracious when it comes to this stuff.

Earning interest on money? Really? I mean, there's conspiracy theories, and then there's this. Why not claim Mark just rolls around on the cash naked during those three months? About as plausible. Anytime you're getting a company to hand over money it's a grueling process, and for all these grumblings about Smashwords, just imagine Smashwords trying to get their money from what is now seven companies they've set agreements up with? For crying out loud, Amazon UK was what, two weeks late paying us this month. Were there cries of outrage and claims of devious plans, coupled with accusations of getting buried in the new digital age? Please.
 

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Hi all,

Patrick, you weren't paid because your sales weren't payable yet.

We've always been transparent about how payments work. You'll find the policies and payment schedules here in our FAQ: http://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq#Royalties and you'll find further details in your Sales & Payments management screen here: http://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/salesReport

We pay quarterly, based on all proceeds we've received on your behalf as of the last day of each calendar quarter. These proceeds come from sales at our small Smashwords.com operation, and also sales from our distribution network. The vast majority of our sales come from our retail distribution network because ebook distribution is a primary focus for us.

All of our retailers pay us on different schedules, but they all pay on a timely basis. As noted by David, retailers will report sales to us before those sales become payable to us. We report these sales to you before they're payable to you.

For those interested in the nitty gritty, we load two types of reports into your sales & payments manager. The first is the sales report. The second chunk of data we load reflects payments that have been received on your behalf and credited to you.

Here are the most common reasons authors are NOT paid in a quarterly payment round:

1. They're signed up for paper checks, and their balance owed to them (which means retailers haven't paid us by end of quarter) doesn't exceed the $75.00 threshold
2. Authors gave us the wrong mailing address, or wrong PayPal address. These unclaimed payments are credited back to you for the next payment period.
3. You'd not owed the money yet.
4. The US author hasn't provided us tax ID information
5. The author outside the US hasn't opted in to a specific payment option (30% IRS withholdings; defer until W8BEN submitted to qualify for reduced or zero withholdings)

I agree with some of the ideas here for where we need to improve, specifically:

1. Faster sales reporting: For certain retailers who can support it, later this year we'll start reporting sales information much much faster. Timely sales information is important so you can gauge the effectiveness of your marketing, pricing and promotions.

I somewhat agree with faster payments. The upside of faster payments is you get paid faster. We like paying authors because it makes authors happy, and happy authors keep us in business. The downside is that the payment processing is an incredibly complex endeavor. We have multiple retailers, each of which reports sales differently and on different schedules. Some have VAT, some don't. Some pay different percentages based on location of sale, or price of book. Their sales report spreadsheets are all different. It's a time consuming process (i.e. expensive manual manpower) to integrate the data, normalize it, fact check it, and then report it back to you quickly and accurately. We process these payments in batches. It requires weeks of collective man (and woman)-hours to pull it off. I think we do a great job of it. It takes us the same amount of time to process these batches whether we do it weekly, monthly or quarterly. So from a resource point of view, we can do it four times per year or 12, yet 12 is triple the work, which equals time not spent doing more important things that will yield you greater benefit.

There's another downside to monthly payouts, and that's fraud exposure. We've been able to limit fraud on Smashwords for the sole reason that we have three months to catch the fraudsters before they're paid. Fraud is a threat to authors as well as Smashwords.

Like any profitable business, large or small (and this includes self-published authors, since you're a business too), we are resource-constrained. We make resource allocation decisions every day. Our guiding principle at Smashwords is: "what can we do today that will yield the greatest benefit for the greatest number of Smashwords authors and publishers?" We balance short term and long term. We have nearly 500 items on our development roadmap, so we're constantly re-prioritizing as new opportunities arise. If we were to divert resources to monthly payments so some months you get paid a few weeks weeks earlier (a good short term benefit), it would limit our ability to do other (I would argue) more important tasks, such as faster sales reporting, opening up new distribution opportunities so you can reach more readers, working with our current retailers to help them ingest & update our books faster & more accurately, and as another poster noted here, faster Premium Catalog approvals (this is our next big priority: doubling the size of our vetting team).

That said, I wouldn't rule out the possibly of faster payment cycles in the future. As we develop systems to pay faster and more efficiently, this becomes an option. For anyone who's been following Smashwords for the last two or three years, you know we're always working to enhance our service for the benefit of our authors and publishers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks for the info, Mark.  Makes sense now.

I guess I've just enjoyed the monthly payments from both Amazon and Pubit, but have yet to receive payment from Smashwords in 6 months.  Guess that's how it goes, though.  Sounds like I-Books, Kobo and Sony are the actual late-payers?

 

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Half-Orc said:
There's soooo many things just flat out wrong in the posts above.

Smashwords is not "sitting on your money". They don't have it. Simple as that. Just because B&N reports sales figures for May to Smashwords doesn't mean they have sent the money. I can view my sales reports from yesterday on Amazon. Does it mean I magically have the money? Smashwords gets paid by retailers quarterly, and then pays its authors. This is simple, basic, and something you've agreed to when you uploaded to Smashwords. If you want faster payments, then harass B&N, Kobo, and the iBookstore to pay Smashwords more often.

As for faster reports: they're working on them, but again, why act like this is Smashwords fault? Having a system like Pubit report your sales immediately is not the same as creating and shipping a single giant report to, what is in a sense, a publisher (Smashwords). They report the info when they get it. I guess if you want to you could claim Mark isn't being annoying enough to convince these other websites to give him more frequent info, but even the slightest bit of research shows Mark's voracious when it comes to this stuff.

Earning interest on money? Really? I mean, there's conspiracy theories, and then there's this. Why not claim Mark just rolls around on the cash naked during those three months? About as plausible. Anytime you're getting a company to hand over money it's a grueling process, and for all these grumblings about Smashwords, just imagine Smashwords trying to get their money from what is now seven companies they've set agreements up with? For crying out loud, Amazon UK was what, two weeks late paying us this month. Were there cries of outrage and claims of devious plans, coupled with accusations of getting buried in the new digital age? Please.
David, try reading my posts before replying to them. I said I see no reason why B&N couldn't report what we are making I never said anything about smashwords other than I'm disappointed that the figures are not more transparent. I've gone out of my way to recommend Smashwords to everyone who's enquired, so don't turn this into an attack thread when there's no attack happening.

Carl
 

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Patrick Skelton said:
Sounds like I-Books, Kobo and Sony are the actual late-payers?
Actually, no, none of them are late payers. Most of the retailers generally pay 30-45 days after the close of each calendar month. If we receive those payments by the end of each quarter when we close the books, they're credited and payable to you in that quarterly payment round, which usually 30 days after the close of each quarter.

We also load receipts of payments in batches, so between batches, there are payments we've received that aren't noted, but you will *always* have those payments noted/reflected/up to date/credited by the time we pay out each quarterly payment.

Long story made short, we always pay what's owed when it's owed. :)

@ericbt: Yes, we've considered direct deposit, and would like to add that as an option some day. Our bank doesn't have a good solution, so this isn't top burner right now for us.
 

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MarkCoker said:
@ericbt: Yes, we've considered direct deposit, and would like to add that as an option some day. Our bank doesn't have a good solution, so this isn't top burner right now for us.
Yay! The sooner "some day" comes, the better. At least from my perspective. That's one of the things I really like about Amazon, (and probably the only thing I think is better than Smashwords). I'm not surprised you've already been looking into ways to make it better for us. Keep up the great work.
 

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They will cut you a check once you've hit $75.00.  I think the other person who posted is correct - they pay quarterly.  Pay Pal is $10.00.
 
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