HomeDiscussion GroupsSelf-Pub USmashwords Not Performing Well

10 replies and 6 participants in topic. Last update: 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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Smashwords Not Performing Well

Posted by: Theresa M Moore  •  January 31, 2019

This may seem like a rant, but I am disappointed with Smashwords’ vetting process and have closed my account. When I uploaded revised files and covers to update the books on the premium catalog, I suddenly started getting “modification” requests to comply with whatever their guidelines are. They talked about formatting having been corrupted, the font size being “incorrect” for the Normal designation in my files, and other issues which I could not see. Yet, when I examined my files for the “corruption” they discussed I found nothing wrong. Also, since I did not put a link on any chapter 1 in the ToC, they told me I had to put a link there even if chapter 1 is the first item in the file after the ToC. I checked these files several times before I simply gave up on them.

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PublishDrive Might Be Able to Help!

Started by: PublishDrive  • 

Hello Theresa, Have you considered distributing your ebooks through PublishDrive? They are a top-notch, global ebook distribution platform that is free to use and offers access to all the major channels including Google Play Books and DangDang in China. Fees apply only when you sell books. They just announced a robust, integrated suite of marketing tools including Amazon’s Sponsored Ads. This allows you to run ads for your books on Amazon right through the PublishDrive platform. Visit Also, try out their free-for-all ebook conversion tool at Hope this helps.

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Started by: Theresa M Moore  • 

Thanks, but I have found open source software which allows me to publish my own ebooks. I have the choice of generic e-ink formats which make it possible to sell them direct from my own site, Besides, I have also published all the fiction ebooks on Amazon through their KDP site. Global distribution has been a disappointment since Barnes & Noble closed their Nook Press platform, and Amazon is squirrely where nonfiction is concerned. This way I can maintain more control over where my ebooks go and how.

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Found a better way.

Started by: Theresa M Moore  • 

Since I blogged about it, I have been at work with Draft2Digital, where I was able to see what was being done with my files, and so far the distribution is excellent. I have also bought an SSL certificate for Antellus. The new url is now I have submitted the url to Google and Bing, each of which have their own protocols about listing. I have had to close several classified ads accounts because their rules don’t include https. I am looking for other sites which may be more amenable to a listing in https. I have updated the links to my site in my book listings on BookWorks, so I hope people will take a look.

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Started by: Theresa M Moore  • 

Update: I have also unpublished my ebooks from Amazon’s KDP for lack of sales. This is not unusual. I have spoken with others who have done the same thing, since it appears that Amazon wants to become its own publisher and gives its own books favor over other independents. Since I did not sell anything there I’m not losing by ignoring Amazon completely from now on. Meanwhile, sales at Draft2Digital have picked up. I am glad I switched.

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Started by: BookWorks Team  • 

Thanks for the helpful update, Theresa, and good for you for being proactive in finding the right retailer for your book. Glad to hear D2D sales are picking up!

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Started by: Scott De Buitléir  • 

Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been having serious issues with the manuscript for my latest book and Smashwords. I write in Google Docs, and then have to download my work as a .docx file. When Smashwords say they don’t accept Word’s TOC set-up, it dumbfounded me. PublishDrive has really helped me for everything except the title page metadata, only because my surname has an accent in it. Otherwise, it’d be perfect.

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Started by: PublishDrive  • 

Hello Scott, so glad to hear that PublishDrive is working for you, and thanks for trying us out! Happy publishing…

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Started by: – Ebook Formatting & Conversion Solutions  • 

Generally, Smashwords meatgrinder does not produce the quality output which we expect. Initially, it accepts but it will provide trouble on the later stage. I recommend you to upload the formatted “Epub” format that will provide no issue forever.

Hope it helps. Thank you.

Profile photo of Tony Academia-Causes Jones
Started by: Tony Academia-Causes Jones  • 

Had similar experience the exception being uploaded files were deleted by smashwords due to copyright infringement attempts that were reversed.

Profile photo of Theresa M Moore
Started by: Theresa M Moore  • 

After a few months of working with Draft2Digital I found that after a time the sales dropped off. I don’t think this is D2D’s fault. I think part of it was that the marketplaces I was trying to reach were not keen on nonfiction books in general, since the ones they objected to involved some internet research on my part. Since I wrote the things whole cloth myself it did not make sense to continue. So I took them down. After another couple of months of no sales, I took my fiction books down too.

Like with Smashwords, they were quite willing to accept my docx files for conversion. At the rate I was going, it made better sense to just sell the epubs from my own site instead of being blocked from the market. It’s not quite censorship but it is the closest thing to it. Restraint of trade seems to be a common issue these days.

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