Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital
The hardest part of Indie Authorship..or at least one of the hardest parts is the publishing process. Formatting, set-up, publishing can be such a headache – and my biggest issues have always been when trying to publish through programs like Smashwords. When I mentioned this to other authors, they either nodded in commiseration, or they quickly responded with: “Try Draft2Digital, I love it.” This led me to research and this is what I came up with. I hope it helps you make the decision. I am currently moving over to Draft2Digital.
- Cost: $0
- Commission: 15% via Smashword Sales, 10% Catalog sales
- Store: Yes
- Formats accepted: .doc, .epub
- Formatter: You
- ISBN: Provided (free)
- Distribution: Apple, Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera (formerly Page Foundry), OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, Axis 360, Tolino, Gardners
- Coupons: Yes
- Discounts: Yes
- PreOrders: Preorder on Smashwords
- Payout: Quarterly
- User-Friendly: Dated, Messy, Hard
- Notifications: Failure notifications
- Updates: Vetting and processing have not been updated for awhile
- Style Guide: 170 pages on how to format for Smashwords
- End Matter: Styled to fit their style guide, this can be hard because there can be no links to specific stores
- Other Books: Reformat and upload eBooks each time you publish a new book
- Cost: $0
- Commission: 10%
- Store: No
- Formats accepted: .doc, .epub, .docx
- Formatter: Them
- ISBN: Provided (free)
- Distribution: iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Inktera (formally Page Foundry), Scribd, 24Symbols, Tolino
- Coupons: No
- Discounts: No
- +PreOrders: Preorder with vendors
- Payout: Monthly
- User-Friendly: Modern, Clean, Easy
- Notifications: When your book goes on each platform
- Updates: D2D is trying to “break-in” so they are staying fresh
- Style Guide: D2D does it for you, requires Word Doc with Chapter headings in H1 and body text in Normal
- End Matter: D2D automates
- Other Books: One-click updates
AS YOU CAN SEE — Draft2Digital has a lot more positives over Smashwords. While Smashwords is the leader in eBook distribution and really the Original Gangster of indie publishing. It publishes the MOST and has the biggest distribution list, (which is their biggest PRO) it has become bloated and lazy in its leadership. Smashwords has stayed the same, and younger, hungrier sites have come onto the scene. This works for Indie authors because now they have options. Options that take less of a commission, have fewer rules for formatting, will help you more on your path, and actually will automate a lot of these task for you.
The winner out of all of this, in my opinion, is the automated back matter. The BIG hassle with publishing is the “Other Books” section. After each book published, if you want to stay current, you have to add each book to your back matter. This means adding it in your eBook, reformatting, and then uploading ALL of your books. D2D automates this. Win. Win. Win. You’ll still have to do this for KDP – which is a HUGE drawback, but at least you get it in the other stores.
Another HUGE pro for D2D is the monthly payout, versus the quarterly payout of Smashwords. Oh – and yeah they format your eBook for you, instead of wading through a 170-page style guide via Smashwords.
Overall, I think D2D takes the win on this comparison.
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