Monday, 2 June 2014

Movers and Shakers in the Digital Publishing World

Well, Smashwords certainly are shaking up the publishing world, to the benefit of indie authors and publishers I hasten to add. Three years we thought long and hard before jumping into the ePub world with Smashwords. I make no apologies for devoting much of this post to the latest developments as results speak for themselves.

Digital Distribution.   

Why choose Smashwords for digital distribution? Quite simple really. We could submit a cleanly formatted Word document for their special software to convert to the ePub format and auto-vet for errors. We would then validate the ePub file and correct any errors at our end while it was going through the manual vetting process to ensure that it met retailer's quality submission requirements - in particular Apple. The software converted to other formats for reading on personal computers for example but it was the nitty gritty problem of ePub and distribution to major retailers which was the key. No going through a range of aggregators (the people who upload to different retailers.)

Providing that all stringent quality formatting requirements are met, the titles automatically go into the Smashwords' Premium Catalogue. This was our goal, as from there the title was shipped to major global retailers such as Apple (who carry out their own quality checks) Barnes & Noble for Nook, Kobo to name a few. It was such a cause for celebration when the first titles appeared and have continued to do so.

Since then (2011), the Smashwords reach has spread dramatically with distribution agreements to libraries and, more recently, subscription channels such as Scribd. (whom Mark reported had improved their Copyright Protection Systems, removing unauthorised copies of books , Oyster, and more recently to e-retailer who also power the e-book store for Foyles, a large UK bookseller. We have already broken through into the Scribd subscription market. At $8.99 USD per month, subscribers have access to a mind-boggling range of titles to browse or download. Click here. (The first book with the hunky male isn't one of my titles!)

Little fishes.

Being a small fish in a big pool, it is heartening to find that our global reach for e-books stretches as far as it does and this would not have been possible without the innovation of Mark at Smashwords. We are actually finding the Kobo is our biggest selling ePub retailer with Just Us Two:Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery consistently topping our chart in Canada, New Zealand and GB.. Overall, through the various distribution channels to which we upload all titles in formats such as print, Kindle, Adobe *pdf, ePub,we are reaching as far afield as China, Australia, Japan, as well as US, Canada UK and Europe. 


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