Below is an excerpt from the Smashwords blog highlighting service milestones for the year 2014. The full article has some background and 2015 plans as well.
Among our service milestones for the year:
- New distribution channels – We added new distribution partners including OverDrive, the world’s largest ebook supplier serving over 20,000 public libraries, and Txtr, a European retailer. New partners Oyster and Scribd were brought fully online.
- Faster distributions – Working in close partnership with all our retail partners, Smashwords dramatically increased the speed and reliability of our distribution systems in 2014. We’re now shipping multiple times daily to most of our retailers, and near-real time to iBooks, where, for example, and it’s not uncommon for authors to upload a book to Smashwords and see it appear at iBooks the same day. Faster distributions of new titles and metadata updates give our authors more control over their publishing.
- Faster sales reporting – We improved the speed of sales reporting. In May, we introduced our Daily Sales tool which provides next-day and same-day sales reporting from iBooks, Barnes & Noble, OverDrive and Kobo.
- Added EPUB 3 support – Smashwords now accepts EPUB3 files as part of our Smashwords Direct feature. EPUB3 gives authors and publishers greater language support and text layout options, including right to left reading and vertical reading.
- We helped more authors realize their full potential – Smashwords authors bring us their talent, and we give them tools to help realize the full potential of their talent. Multiple Smashwords authors hit retailer bestseller lists in 2015 as well as national lists such as New York Times and USA Today, aided in part by the power of Smashwords preorders to iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and also supported by enhanced metadata tools such as Smashwords Series Manager which improves series discoverability at retailers.
- Diversification pays off – Our broad distribution network helped authors and publishers diversify their exposure to an industry-wide slowdown in ebook retailing. Strong merchandising support for Smashwords authors by our wonderful colleagues at iBooks combined with sales growth from new distribution partners FlipKart, OverDrive; Oyster and Scribd helped many Smashwords authors and publishers have a great year.
- Diversification pays off again – Authors who fully distributed their titles with Smashwords were partially insulated from the dramatic sales drops many Amazon authors reported following the introduction of Kindle Unlimited. If you know indie authors who only upload to Amazon, invite them to diversify their distribution with Smashwords.