This morning, I was watching Dale Roberts’ channel on YouTube. His latest episode, “Massive News about KDP Alternatives,” concerned the acquisition of Smashwords by Draft-2-Digital and how that could benefit indie authors who want to have wider distribution options for their work (the opportunity to receive over 80% royalties vs. Amazon’s tiered model being just one of these).
Having used D2D in the past, I immediately had a slew of questions. Who wouldn’t?
Of course, after firing these off to Dale in the comments section, I thought, ‘Gee, why not just ask the folks at D2D?’ So, I did, and am awaiting a response.
Here are my questions, in no particular order. If you’re considering wider distribution for your work this year, maybe you have some of the same questions, too.
- Do they plan to add new interior template options for e-books? Currently, D2D offers quite a few based on genre, but they’re all fairly generic.
- Do they allow authors to add line art to their work like KDP does? This could be anything from a decorative flourish to simple black-and-white illustrations. Canva is a great resource for these and they really add a little more personality and pizazz to your work. At present, I don’t think D2D has this option. It’s a little frustrating, especially if you want to maintain product continuity among retailers.
- The Vella (and Simily) question: Amazon allows authors to publish their Vellas as e-books within a certain time frame. But if authors also leave the Vella version on that platform, Amazon still allows prospective customers to read a few episodes for free. The same is true for Simily.co, a subscription platform, although they’re set up more for short stories, and I think they allow 5 free reads per month. Free is problematic among certain retailers, however. They might refuse to sell your work in their stores. I know, because it’s happened to me before. So, the question: Will authors have to remove work from platforms like Vella and Simily?
*Note: this doesn’t affect e-books already on Amazon. As long as you honor the 90-day KDP select period and don’t renew thereafter, you’re free to publish wide and leave your work on KDP.
Last but not least… Yeah, I went here:
- Do they plan to offer anything similar to the KENP reads royalty? Sorry, but had to ask. For me, this is a big deal, as I make a substantial portion of royalties from this percentage-per-page-read “extra” royalty that Amazon provides. Although it might be a great experiment to go wide on D2D for six months or maybe a little longer, ultimately, I’m really on the fence about this.
So, as I said, I’m waiting for their response and will be happy to share it, if you’re interested.
In the meantime, what have your experiences with D2D or Smashwords been? Is it worthwhile? Are you happy about the acquisition or not? I’d like to hear your thoughts!
And, if you aren’t familiar with Dale Roberts and his work, he’s a prolific author who has a slew of videos about every aspect of self-publishing imaginable: cover art, marketing, advertising, demystifying Amazon (and other) ads, and so forth. Lots of great advice! If you’d like to watch the video, here you go! Enjoy! Catch you later!