My Thoughts on Draft2Digital...

Recently I've been struggling to try and get Helen's short story collection up onto Smashwords, with less than sterling results. Now, in case anyone out there isn't familiar with Smashwords, they use an entirely different format style than say Amazon's KDP. By the same token, they also have a wide distribution that includes Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo, Scribd, and a host of other sites which includes distributors for public libraries.

Now after successfully getting our first book up on Smashwords, I created a template to make things easier for future submissions. And until recently, this template worked every time. I would simply change a few details like title, year of publishing, etc. then I would simply copy and paste the new manuscript into that template. 

However, this time something went horribly wrong. We kept getting messages that there were problems with the formatting of the document and at one point, I even uploaded the corrected manuscript onto Smashwords under an existing title of a completely different book, which of course led to more messages about the formatting being incorrect. Well, in this particular case, I still had the original formatted file that had been accepted by Smashwords a few years ago, and resubmitted it to the correct title. Unfortunately, I got a message back saying that file was now incorrect as well. Long story short, I discovered that MS Word has some new autocorrect features and changes that were altering the old template I'd created that made in incompatible with Smashwords requirements. And try as I might, even using the Nuclear Option on the original document, issues kept cropping up with ever submission to Smashwords.

At this point, we were considering dropping Smashwords and losing their numerous distributors and going exclusively with KDP. Then I read about a e-book publishing option for indie authors called Draft2Digital. I had only vaguely heard of them in passing so I didn't know much about them. Still, I checked out their distributors and lo and behold, they had just about all the same ones as Smashwords, including some I'd never heard of before. But that wasn't all! I also discovered that they and Smashwords (since they had so much in common) were in the process of merging into one company.

So, I decided to check them out even further. Long story short, I signed up with Draft2Digital and have taken 2 books down from Smashwords "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" 

 

and "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time". 




*FYI, "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At" was the book where I screwed up the interior with the wrong file.

I was also able to get Helen's book "W. I. T. C. H. Hunters Forever" uploaded onto Draf2Digital as well. 


Now you might be asking, "Was it worth the effort?" To which I reply, "Absolutely YES!" 

You see, Draf2Digital (D2D) is much easier to work with than Smashwords and even KDP in many respects. Their system does all the formatting for you. And I do mean all! You can take an unformatted manuscript and upload it to D2D, and it will create a working table of contents for you as well as offer some pretty nifty options to make your book's interior even more intriguing to the reader. There are little themed designs that can be applied to the beginning of every chapter, as well as within the chapter itself if you have a change of viewpoint/scenery taking place.

They will also supply you with an option to have a pre-submitted author bio that you can plug in with every new book, with an option to update that bio whenever you wish.  Plus, a lot more. You still have room for a dedication page, introduction, acknowledgements, etc. as well. 

Also, you they give you the opportunity to have a 'Teaser' section for one of your other books, as well as an "Also by This Author" section. It's very easy and upload a book and get it up and running with them. 

Now I will admit, I had a learning curve of how to use all the options and make changes to the manuscript at first (but I couldn't help but play around and experiment). But once you've learned them, you can literally be ready to go within minutes. 

Where I recently struggled with Smashwords for over a week, I got books up and running on D2D within less than a day.

As far as percentages go, you will get 60% on every sale (30% goes to the distributor and 10% goes to D2D), the same as on Smashwords. But for the simplicity of use and the extra options, I really think going with D2d was a no-brainer.

What about any of you? Have you had experience with D2D and what were your feelings about it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below so we can all learn from each other.

Until next time, stay safe and keep writing my friends.




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