Thursday, March 28, 2013

Smashwords No More

I'm pretty disappointed in Smashwords. They asked me to unpublish Myadar's Snare because they don't allow serial novels. Which makes no sense at all. I don't see the difference between allowing someone to publish a series of novels and a serialized novel, other than the length of the works. But Smashwords says they don't consider a part of a serialized novel to be a complete work (even though they publish novellas all the time), and it is therefore against their terms of service. These are the people who also publish porn, (unlike Amazon). But when it comes to serialized novels, no no.

I contacted Amazon to be sure they didn't have a similar policy. After all, I suppose I could be taking crazy pills. They informed me that they have no problem with publishing parts of a serial novel. So there.

I am so annoyed with Smashwords that I've unpublished everything I have with them. I know, it probably is a little, "Imma take my ball and go home!" The thing is, this policy of theirs is bad business. No one stands to lose in the scenario where they allow me to publish my novel's episodes. If people like the first and want to buy the second and third and so on, they get to read these installments faster than they would if they had to wait for me to finish editing the whole thing to publish it all at once. (I do intend to offer that as an option eventually.) Meanwhile, if folks purchase the parts, that means both Smashwords and I would benefit financially.

Ultimately the best thing about Smashwords was that they made it easy for me to generate coupons to give away books, but I've realized I can just upload files in various formats right here, and I don't need them. The majority of my sales happen on Amazon, followed closely by B&N (I read the B&N policy, and while they don't prohibit serial novels, they do prohibit including links in your book, which I find weird as well). It's a pity, though. I liked Smashwords because it felt more like working with an individual's business rather than a monster corporation like Amazon. In this case, though, the logic of the big corps wins over the crazy of the little guy.

I'll be updating this blog to reflect the change soon. Look for a new page with free books to download.

Have you ever come across a baffling business practice that made you want to stop working with that business? How did you handle it?

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