Writing with Robin Van Auken

Why I Broke up with Smashwords

Fall In Love with D2D

Excuse me, please, but this is a “Rant Post.”

I’ve been struggling with the dreaded Meatgrinder at Smashwords for years. In fact, it’s been a battle since I self-published my first novel, DISTRACTED.

The problem with the Meatgrinder is, it requires you to upload your book as a Microsoft Office file, with no formatting (or minimal). Smashwords also doesn’t allow external links within the book, especially if the links hint at sending readers to alternative bookseller sites.

Let me ‘splain. No, no time. Let me summarize: I have a free book, WEST WIND, and I have placed an advertisement in the front and the back of the book that send fans to my website to download yet another FREE BOOK (Yes, it’s DISTRACTED, the book I mentioned above).

Well, Smashwords hated the idea because the advertisement used an image of my book and small logos of all the various book formats and outlets I offer (Android, iTunes, Nook, Kobo, etc.). I tried to comply. I removed the offending bookseller logos, but then Smashwords complained about the link. It was the same link I used on my copyright page: www.RobinVanAukenBooks.com, but they still kept rejecting the book.

Not to mention, they rejected the book several times because of improper formatting. I use Scrivener, which compiles my books for multiple outlets (epub, pdf, mobi, etc.), so I couldn’t do much about the formatting errors the Meatgrinder encountered. I stripped all of the formatting, using a Text Editor, and resubmitted, time and time again. No dice. Smashwords kept rejecting me, even though I removed all offending links, all offending images, stripped all formatting.

I got the same response over and over, that the link was unacceptable, even though it was changed. I was convinced they weren’t really checking the file, just rejecting it out of hand.

Many of my books were not available at iTunes or Kobo for many months as I wrestled with making my files compliant with Smashwords. I lost patience and searched for alternatives.

Enter Draft2Digital a new ebook distributor that takes a file and cranks out the epub, pdf and mobi eBooks, then distributes them to the same outlets as Smashwords. Not only that, but D2D doesn’t take as much off the royalties! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! The process is speedy and easy, both protocols I appreciate.

If you’re having trouble with your ebook conversion service, be it Smashwords or BookBaby, or your cousin’s son, consider Draft2Digital. So far, I’m happy with the service, and I noticed immediate results. Royalties are coming in again, and my books are moving up the charts.