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Draft2Digital: A new contender steps up

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

There’s a new alternative to Smashwords and Bookbaby. It’s Draft2Digital  and it looks pretty good so far. From what I’ve read, it’s kind of like an updated Smashwords without the catalogue. The idea is to publish across platforms (currently fewer than SW, but including kindle) with less fuss. (Read: No style guide. You use yours!)

To review how I feel about Smashwords: The website looks dated and  univiting; the gift coupons for promotional purposes are awesome and all  other retailers should steal that brilliant idea; for the casual browser, the inability to avoid porn is unfortunate; it’s a destination for writers looking for a cheap and relatively easy way to upload to a lot of platforms (except kindle) but it’s not a destination location for readers to shop.

Speaking of stealing good ideas, Smashwords would also benefit from adopting one-click buying and more current accounting. I respect Mr. Coker’s pioneering and he’s done a ton for the digital publishing revolution. I wish the site would adapt to change faster. I’ll still have stuff on SW in the future, but maybe through a limited selection of retailers or just for a listing on the site itself. My hope is that, with more competition, SW will improve on the fronts I’ve mentioned.

To review how I feel about Bookbaby: The price up front is higher; their payments and tracking are convenient; they’ve been slow to respond to me;  any change costs, and not a little. I’m withdrawing from Bookbaby to implement a new strategy.

Draft2Digital might be a big part of that new strategy and I’ll certainly try them out. I’ll still want to deal with Amazon directly, but from what I’ve heard lately, it might be the easiest thing for me to do to publish on Kobo.

Perhaps the most interesting thing for me is D2D says they can make publishing to CreateSpace easier. I like CS, but there is always a time-sucking problem and I’d be happy to have someone solve it cheaply. From what D2D promises, it’s evident they have more humans involved in the process compared to the fully automated model of Smashwords’ meatgrinder.

A service that makes publishing easier with human checks and balances done inexpensively? Wow. Early reports are good. If they can deliver satisfactorily and consistently, it’s more than just a question of competition for SW and BB et al. It’s that they can save me time and heartache so I can concentrate on writing the next book instead of struggling with logistics of publishing the last book. I like more tools and powerful weapons in my backpack for whatever struggle may come.

To learn more about Draft2Digital, click the Scoopit! link below. Thanks to Passive Voice for the heads up about this new service. ~ Chazz

See on www.draft2digital.com

Filed under: publishing

3 Responses

  1. Glynis Smy says:

    Sounds interesting. I am disappointed in Smashwords, I honestly thought I would gain more sales with such vast amount of outlets available to me via the catalogue. I sell more on Kindle via Amazon. I have been debating whether to leave SW, as you say, they look dated, and I think, drab. D2D sounds intriguing, I will take a look, thanks.

  2. Jim Self says:

    SW is good for getting your stuff out there free. I’ve had a couple of free books downloaded 150 times in the last three weeks with zero promo (one of those came out three or four days ago). I’ve had no sales for paid books during that time though, so SW looks like little more than a good way to force price-matching on Amazon. Unless you care about getting onto Sony, Diesel, those others so obscure I can’t remember their names?

    • Chazz says:

      Thanks for your comment Jim. I’d planned to do the price matching thing with one of my books. However, I’m told Amazon doesn’t do that automatically anymore. A friend tried it, sent Amazon three emails and finally got a reply saying, “We do that at our discretion.” From what I’ve heard, they are either doing that a lot less or not at all.

      Good point about the more obscure platforms. I for got I was on Diesel. My first e-reader was a Sony, but the interface was so awkward by comparison, I just stick to the ease of the kindle. Kobo is on its way up with its improved interface and getting into more markets, but Amazon is king for the foreseeable future. One very popular author said about 20% of her sales came from Kobo, most was from Amazon and anything else was negligible. Another midlist author reported decent sales from Barnes & Noble recently (for however long they last.) The common wisdom seems to be: Flee KDP Select’s exclusivity. I’m going to try something strange very soon and start with the Apple platform and expand from there. It’s a transition time of experimentation again, from pricing to positioning. Interesting times (which, by the way is a Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.) We’ll soon see ho wit shakes out as the great migration across platforms continues and more people try Draft2Digital.

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