Skip to main content

The Permanent Man Blog #16 - Stinkin' Smashwords

UPDATE #2: While my complaints below are still valid, I found a workaround that allows me to offer The Permanent Man on iTunes, and Barnes & Noble again ... and for pre-order.

UPADTE: The day after I posted this, Smashwords enabled a Series Manager function on their site. This allows authors to label their books as part of a series. Which makes the below complaint more valid and Smashwords' stance on serialized fiction quite confusing.

Everything has been going swimmingly with The Permanent Man series. I'm on pace to meet all my deadlines ahead of schedule, meaning each episode will release when intended.

But I hit a snag today. After successfully submitting four episodes to Smashwords and Smashwords accepting them for wider distribution to Apple and Barnes & Noble (which allow me to offer the episodes for pre-order), Smashwords has now asked me to unpublish everything I submitted. This includes episodes five through seven that I sent to them.

Why, you ask?

Because apparently, Smashwords doesn't accept serialized fiction. Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, wrote a blog about this and why it is the case. Among his reasons, it was that readers don't want unfinished works. All stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. The non-acceptance of serialized fiction leads me to think Smashwords assumes the writer is releasing the story in chapters that make up a novel.

The Permanent Man is not like this at all. I was very careful to make sure each episode can stand on its own. Granted, they do have a grander story arc that covers 13 episodes. And maybe this is Smashwords issue.

But don't trilogies do the same thing? Aren't they standalone stories with elements woven throughout each of the three novels that tie everything together, oftentimes reaching a single goal in the last novel that the first one initiated?

I think they are. In fact, that is serialized fiction in my opinion. And since it is such, that would require Smashwords to ask those authors to remove their books, including my Miscorrection Trilogy.

But that won't happen. It seems this pet peeve of Mark Coker's relates to the fiction being in the form of short stories of 8,000 to 10,000 words or less. That's a problem. But novels of 100,000 words? They'll take that.

I'd like to know Mark's thoughts on John Scalzi's The Human Division. That is serialized fiction released on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and other popular e-book retailers. Would he have accepted The Human Division on Smashwords if Scalzi self-published it?

It's a double standard.

Don't get me wrong, I believe they should prevent "serialized" fiction that is simply a chapter from a novel from being accepted. That would lack a complete story. But I do believe they should accept serialized fiction that has a story with a beginning, middle, and end. This policy of theirs is quite annoying, especially since they were accepting my books for distribution for the past month but suddenly stopped.

What does this mean for The Permanent Man?

I'll no longer be able to offer the episodes for pre-order on iTunes or Barnes & Noble. Also, the series will not be available at all on iTunes.

Mark Coker claims he doesn't want to be a gatekeeper. But that's exactly what he's doing with this policy.

I say, let the readers decide they don't want the serialized fiction, Mark. Not you.


Popular posts from this blog

Unspoken Stories Discounted August 18-23, 2014

Starting today and running through August 23, 2014, Unspoken Stories is being discounted off the regular price. Normally, the e-book costs $2.99. But starting today, it is only $0.99. It's best to get in on this deal early because the price will slowly go up over the days leading up until it is full price again.

A collection of five science fiction short stories that reach beyond the mind.

Includes the following stories:

Copy Bird: Bill is trapped and lonely. He breaks free of his prison and finds something he doesn't expect.

Going Home: Promises are important to keep, and Commander Patrick Murphy never wants to forget that.

Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban: What if the government banned coffee? See what happens to Josie Dorri when they do.

The Present: Miles Gray has a good life, but doesn't realize it. Often, a trip through time is all that is needed to open up a person's eyes to how good they have it.

Running To Keep Her: Neil is obsessed with exercise and eating right, bu…

How to Make a Face Mask

The United States' president and some governors are now recommending people wear a face mask to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They're also asking that the N95 masks be reserved for healthcare workers as they help those who are suffering from the virus.

In light of this, you might be wondering if you can make one yourself?

In the video below, my wife demonstrates how to make a reusable face mask for you and your family. Though this won't guarantee prevention of the spread of the virus, it is in line with what we're being asked. Every little bit can help!

Quaratined or Stuck at Home? Here are some free books.

The global crisis regarding the COVID-19 virus (or coronavirus) is affecting anyone and everyone. Whether you get the virus or not, in some way, our lives are being impacted. Schools are closed. Parties discouraged. Social distancing encouraged. Entire countries in lockdown. Toilet paper being bought up like it's gold. The list goes on and on.

Pretty stressful stuff for sure. Something out of a movie or book. Something none of us have ever experienced to the point that it might be surreal.

You probably find yourself stuck at home right now, looking for something to do. Netflix, Disney+, video games, books. Those are probably keeping everybody company.

I'd like to give you something to occupy your time while you wait this thing out. So, starting today until the end of the month (or possibly longer depending how all of this goes), you can read any of my books at no cost. This option is available through the Smashwords website using the coupon code listed below. (This coupon cod…