“Smashwords”? Or is it “Smash my plans”?
I would normally not write this until the whole process of investigation, query and (hopefully) resolution was complete. It is, however, something which I’m truly angered by. Looking at my Smashwords Dashboard, which is a daily habit, I have again discovered some of my ebooks have been removed from their “Premium catalogue”! This means that they won’t be distributed to partner bookstores, like kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, and so on. I’m not sure how that works, as they had already passed muster and been distributed to these places! In fact, some have been there since late last year! So why, in the first place, have these books been reviewed again? They had already gotten through the Smashwords “Autovetter” and human review, and declared perfectly acceptable! Up to 9 or 10 months ago! Whatever the accuracy of the cause for retraction might be, this behaviour can only be described as mystifying. As to the cause? Well, it’s the same in every case. Puzzlingly, the declared problem only applies to some, not all, of my books. Why is that puzzling? Well, the simple answer is that every single one of my book manuscripts was created using the same software! Software designed specifically to produce Word doc files that meet the format demands of Smashwords!
I believe a friend has made a very important observation. It applies to just about every online ebook publishing site out there, for a variety of reasons! They seem to forget that 50% of the company’s business relationship base is the authors! Without authors, they have nothing to sell! It doesn’t matter how many readers visit them, or how many “partners” (I.e. retailers) they have! Without us, they have no product. They should think on that!
Now, I have to go back to waiting for answers from various quarters. I hope that the response I receive from Smashwords is a whole lot more polite than the last time I raised an issue with them!
The indications seem to be that a single setting in Jutoh may have caused this problem. However! I maintain that no such problem would have existed for the books concerned if they hadn’t suddenly been reviewed again. So it would seem that something has changed in the “Meatgrinder” formatting software used by Smashwords and they decided, for some very strange reason, to revisit some books that had already passed muster! Indeed, I can honestly say that I haven’t heard of anybody else facing this extra work!
A Question of Numbers
You’re probably sick of my fascination with statistics! Please bear with me for a very short entry, though.
The blog is up to almost 10,400 views since its birth! From a mere trickle of comments on posts, we’re closing on 1,400. The number of direct Followers has risen to almost 500, and a further 1,400 on Twitter, 400 on Facebook (for the Imagineer-ing page) and 30 on Tumblr (rounding the figures). I also have nearly 240 Friends on my personal Facebook page and a considerable number more than 500 contacts on LinkedIn. I’ll not go into followings on other networks! As anticipated, average daily numbers declined during the Summer months. As a trained statistician, I wouldn’t make any real assumptions of views of the blog based on a year’s figures. In fact, I’d prefer to have ten years of data!
As an aside, no, I’m not one of the modern statisticians who seem to think that it’s worthwhile quoting figures based on a handful of survey respondents, like on the majority of TV ads! They should be ashamed! Any statistician knows that any sample below a certain level is absolutely no use. 90% of 138 means absolutely nothing! Even if it does make a product sound good! Just come back when your sample size is in the thousands!
I’d just like to issue a big Thank You!