I've been trying to take down a title on Smashwords now for about three weeks, with no results. Sure, I got assurances that they would take it down, but nothing happened. The problem is that Smashwords titles appear on many web pages as offers from many different merchants. At the moment, B&N lists the title three times. I have unpubbed two of them, but the third was put there by Smashwords and B&N cannot take it down.
It looks very much as though you are trapped if you put anything in the hands of Smashwords. I have no idea how to track down and remove all the different offers,
Meanwhile, my Smashwords sales are pathetic, while I could get some Amazon support and increase my sales there if I had control over the title.
I'd heard there are difficulties, but at the moment it looks absolutely impossible. I frankly see no reason to ever use Smashwords again.
My publisher says it sometimes takes a while for titles to be removed, not just from there but from other places as well.
As for sales, they put one of my books up a while back now, and I don't think there have been any sales from that venue. At least, none that I know about.
This has been dragging on a while. How is one to know that anyone actually takes down titles? Every time I look, the title is still up there, or a complaint from Amazon says so. Some writers claim to make good money with Smashwords; others say you must be on as many platforms as possible. I have yet to see proof any of this is true. It seems to me Smashwords is responsible (both for taking the title down everywhere they placed it and for offering decent sales.)
B&N aren't exactly helpful either. They don't even bother to answer emails at all.
I did get an answer from B&N (saying that they had nothing to do with the Smashwords listing).
You were lucky. The UK site tell me to contact the US and give me an email addy that the US refuse to even acknowledge.
Ah, I've been dealing only with Amazon.com and from the U.S.. Same with the other contacts. This is tricky stuff. God knows what's going on on the international sites.
You have probably already done this, but have you opted out of all the publishing channels on your smashwords dashboard?
I know even after you have done that it can still take a few weeks for everything to happen.
I'm curious about this as well. My publisher has me on smashwords but we are talking about trying the KDP select.
Let us all know how it is going.
Thanks. I had no idea I had to opt out of channels beyond simply removing the title from sale on the dashboard. I'd better take another look. If Smashwords wants to stay viable, it needs to get on the ball. As it is, Smashwords formatting has cost me extra. I don't think I have recouped the expense even a year later.
Excellent discussion. I think my next title will be Amazon exclusive.
I think there's a time lag because booksellers take a 'feed' from their distributor's database (Nielsen?). So let's say Nielsen - or whoever - take it off their database, but if B&N don't refresh their feed for a month, the book still shows up. When the feed of books is refreshed, then those books that have been taken off disappear from the B&N listings.
I had this same problem with B&N via Lulu - i.e. a book was made 'not available for sale' from my Lulu account, withdrawn, but was allegedly still being published by them and was available on B&N. In the end I had to get both Lulu's and B&N's tech people involved ... though from memory I don't think B&N actually did anything.
I published two titles direct to Amazon and used Smashwords for other venues. I took both titles down from Smashwords so I could take part in KDP Select. It took a long time for Smashwords to get the titles down. I think Smashwords has very few staff people. I paid a formatter to do my latest book, a biography of hardboiled writer Dan Marlowe, so I had mobi and epub formats that I could publish directly to Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. This is a better situtation, but it cost me several hundred dollars for the formatting (I did the book in POD, also), so this is not for everybody. I'm glad Smashwords exists, but in my opinion it is a kind of junky fall-back solution.