Should I use Draft2Digitl or Smashwords to Promote my Book?
The following study was carried out over four weeks with the same book listed on two separate platforms. Both Amazon and ebook selling platforms were assessed.
There are newly emerging platforms that offer distribution to various websites, such as, iTunes, Barnes and Nobles, Kobo, and countless others. They also suggest that you are likely to gain a more significant profit margin. But is that really true?
The truth is that the platform the book sells on decides how much money goes back to you and after taking their cut, they forward it to the platform you are using. Therefore, after their percentage from your book is received, the platform you are using also takes their percentage, and you get the remainder of the profit from the sale. Although it may sound like a great deal, in reality, the amount of income you are getting is likely to be less than these platforms advertise. Draft2Digital is one of these popular platforms and offers 70% of the profit that they obtain from your book sales, but how lucrative is this really? Smashwords is another popular website that distributes your book to a variety of sites. Unlike Amazon, both of these platforms allow you to price your book at any rate– including perma free.
I investigated both Smashwords and Draft2Digital intensely and here is what I found:
Draft2Digtal has superior customer service. You can call them, and if you shoot them an email, they are quick to respond. Also, your books are published within minutes on the third party platforms they provide. Smashwords, on the other hand, takes days to confirm publication and for them to distribute your manuscript to their other booksellers, you must pass their process. It is a relatively straightforward process to pass, but there are many steps that you have to take into consideration. While Draft2Diftial immediately assigns an ISBN number, Smashwords requires you got through a process they call Smashwords Premium Catalogue. After a day or three even, if you do not pass the authorization, you must begin again with hopes that the changes you made will escalate the book to Premium. It may sound complicated, but they have an automated email that will inform of any glaring mistakes and how to correct them.
Draft2Diftal, in my opinion, had a much easier user-interface and the advantages are superior to Smashwords. They offer different styles of formatting, a higher royalty, and you can quickly select which platforms you want to send your book for sale.
Despite Draft2Digitals user-friendly interface, higher royalty, and almost immediate exception into bookstores (They include most of the ebook sellers that Smashwords does) they come in second in usage. Smashwords is well known, and despite what some people think of the problematic operating process, they are more popular. I personally prefer Draft2Digital.
However, is it better than Amazon? The answer is simple: “NO!” This probably surprises a lot of people, and many authors might say, “Oh no, that is not the case.” (This is about an author’s first book but still- be careful) The truth is that social media is an excellent way to begin and give books a boost but the secret— the real secret— is ebook advertising platforms. (This especially applies to non-fiction books) These will further your book after the initial campaign in social media. However, this becomes a problem for books that are not exclusive to Amazon because almost all of these platforms (most of the best too) cater to exclusive Amazon books. Finding websites that will advertise your book for Itunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Amazon (non-exclusive) is a hard sell. Effective marketing through Smashwords and Draft2Digital, among others, is not easy. You should focus your efforts on Amazon. NOW THERE IS A CATCH!
This is mostly true for your first book as you break out onto the market. (There are always exceptions, and I am going to mention one) However, as you begin to work on your second book, it might be wise to take it off of exclusive so that you can offer it for free while you are writing your second or third book. You should even place it for free on your website. Why could this technique be valuable? If the reader falls in love with your first book, there is a good chance they will come back to purchase your next manuscript.
OF course, other things can affect this process– the type of book. However, for the vast majority of published books– Amazon exclusive might be wise for your first book!