From author and TPV regular M. C. A. Hogarth:
The bad news: in one month I’ll be shutting down my Smashwords account. If you’ve bought something from me there, now’s the time to make a back-up!
The good news: If you have wanted to buy my work from Kobo or the Apple store, my work is shipping there in big clumps. I think most of my work’s already made it to Kobo, in fact.
But Jaguar, Why? Several of you have asked this question. The answer, in brief: I hate the Smashwords interface. I hate that they are fussy about uploaded documents and have mysterious/inexplicable delays shipping my work to retailers. I hate their quarterly payment schedule. I despise their customer service. Or lack of thereof. And I dislike that they have this quasi-retailer face (more about that later).
Some people have had good experiences with Smashwords. My experience with them, from the moment I started using them, has been a struggle. I have never thought ‘oh, right, I’ll just get this to Smashwords, no problem.’ It’s always ‘Oh, LORD, not the Smashwords part of this process. Why can’t it be as easy as NookPress or the Kindle dashboard??’
. . . .
Some people have asked why I want to leave at all? Can’t I just keep the account open and stop uploading things there? And the answer to that is ‘sure, I could,’ but it creates far too much accounting overhead. As long as I have a Smashwords account, I need to continue keeping tabs on whether they’re paying me on time, whether I’ve gotten a W-4, what’s there that’s not somewhere else, etc. Not to mention baseline computer stuff like ‘has anyone hacked my password,’ ‘has Smashwords changed their terms of service,’ etc. They also have this habit of automatically opting you into new distribution channels, so I’d have to keep track of that.
Finally, I like to update/tidy up my older books as I have the time. Keeping them on Smashwords gives me one more place I have to upload to. I just don’t have the time anymore. I probably never did, I was just better at ignoring my overtaxed schedule’s cries for mercy.
Link to the rest at M. C. A. Hogarth and thanks to Liana for the tip.
Here’s a link to M.C.A. Hogarth’s books
PG has to admit that he long ago gave up on Smashwords because of many of the reasons mentioned. Policy questions like quarterly payments can be a judgement call, but the thing he disliked the most was the crude author interface and the Meatgrinder. It just never seemed very technically sophisticated to him.
It’s really tough to compete against Amazon, but priority one should be to come close to Amazon’s sophistication on the screen.