Sunday, April 5, 2015

Adventures in Self-Publishing - Draft2Digital

I had the opportunity to use Draft2Digital, and there are some elements I like which give it an edge over Smashwords.

I found the interface friendlier, and the conversion process was much friendlier.  There is also an feature where it will auto-add certain elements to the converted file, such as a copyright page, title page, etc.  Draft2Digital did not like my Table of Contents, even though Amazon and Smashwords processed it with no issue.  They have their own TOC generator, but it's pretty basic and can't be fiddled with much.  I can see folks fighting with this feature.

The main reason I switched to Draft2Digital is that I can have multiple pen names per account and per title with no difficulties.  Smashwords really needs to implement this.

I never have problems with Smashwords' meatgrinder, but they have never accepted one of my covers the first time around.  Each time I've submitted one, there's some new rule that wasn't there (or wasn't enforced) the last time.

Draft2Digital gets the books up in the stores quicker, if only because I haven't had to spend the extra day or more messing with Smashwords approval process.  Smashwords has had some issues in the past with slow uploads to the stores, but they've been doing much better for me lately, taking about a day.

Draft2Digital pays monthly as opposed to quarterly at Smashwords.  As written out, the formula for royalties differs, but the payout is about the same - for a $2.99 title, the author royalty is $1.78 at Draft2Digital and $1.79 at Smashwords.  This may vary depending on cover price and venue.

What I really, really like about Draft2Digital is that not only do they show on their website where a book is in the publishing process, they provide direct links to the product page and send you an email letting you know it's there.  With Smashwords, obsessive people like me have to keep doing title searches at each venue to see if it's been published.

Smashwords has its own storefront, and has a few extra venues that Draft2Digital doesn't (well, pretty much just Oyster), but you can do like I do and sign up for both services, making sure to check that the sales channels don't overlap.  I'll talk about this later, but for me, Smashwords is a distant 2nd place to Amazon, coming in ahead of both B&N and iTunes.

Draft2Digital does some kind of prescreening for naughtiness and won't distribute some titles to Apple, Kobo, or Scribd, but Barnes & Noble seems to be ok.  The process is automated, as one of my titles got rejected within minutes of being submitted.  In my instance, it was for having the keyword "memory loss", which got it flagged for being "nonconsensual".  They sent me an automated email explaining their policy, the broad reason why it was blocked, and links to the appeal process, all of which I found very transparent.  The website won't let you just resubmit changes of a particular book to those blocked retailers once they've been rejected once without going through the appeals process, though you can make changes in general to less prudish retailers.

Draft2Digital has a payment threshold of $10 for paypal, $25 for check.  They also do direct deposit, but it doesn't say what the threshold is for that.  I suck at selling books at Draft2Digital as badly as I do at Smashwords, and have yet to be paid at either, but again, not their fault.

No comments:

Post a Comment