Combined Company will Publish and Distribute 800,000+ Titles from 250,000 Authors and Publishers
Draft2Digital, LLC and Smashwords, Inc., two pioneers in ebook self-publishing, announced that Draft2Digital will acquire Smashwords. Draft2Digital and Smashwords are key catalysts behind the dramatic rise of self-publishing over the last fourteen years. Their publishing platforms enable 250,000 authors and publishers around the world to publish, distribute, market, and manage over 800,000 ebooks and 11,000 print on demand paperback books.
The combination is expected to yield significant benefits for authors, publishers, retail and library partners, and readers.
- Draft2Digital authors will gain access to the Smashwords Store and its myriad exclusive book marketing tools, including Smashwords Coupons, self-serve merchandising, Author Interviews, and the patent pending Smashwords Presales tool for book launches. Sales at the Smashwords Store have grown consecutively each of the last five years, with December 2021 sales up 20% over December 2020. Draft2Digital’s erotica authors can look forward to expanded distribution enabled by Smashwords’ proprietary erotica certification system, which allows retailers to carry erotic romance and mainstream erotica with greater confidence.
- Smashwords authors will gain access to new tools that simplify print and digital publishing and drive greater success. Among these tools are D2D Print, the company’s Print on Demand service for paperbacks (currently in beta, which authors can join at https://draft2digital.com/printbeta/); improved metadata management tools for better book discoverability at retailers; automated end-matter for series books; payment splitting for co-authors and collaborations; and more payment options, including direct bank deposits.
- Retailers and libraries served by the companies can expect greater title selection and unmatched merchandising recommendations. The new, merged company will offer retailers, subscription services, and libraries unprecedented data-driven insights into the world’s largest dedicated catalog of independently published books. This represents a unique and first-of-its-kind offering that Draft2Digital believes will improve the publishing industry.
- Customers of the Smashwords Store can look forward to an improved store experience and an increased selection of books from the many great authors and publishers distributed by Draft2Digital.
What’s Coming Next
The acquisition is expected to close on March 1, 2022.
Authors and publishers of both companies can continue utilizing their current platform of choice with the understanding that over time the authors and publishers of both companies will gain access to a common dashboard, common distribution outlets (including distribution to the Smashwords Store for current D2D authors), and an expanded suite of new and improved tools for book publishing, distribution, and marketing.
Additional FAQs about the acquisition can be found at:
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Draft2Digital is the world’s leading publishing platform for self-published authors and independent presses. The company offers a broad suite of free and powerful automated and self-serve tools that authors and publishers can use to build and grow their publishing businesses. This includes tools to simplify ebook and print publishing, distribution, metadata management, and marketing. Following its acquisition of Smashwords, Draft2Digital will serve more than 250,000 authors and publishers that collectively publish over 800,000 books worldwide. Visit Draft2Digital at https://draft2digital.com or follow on Twitter @Draft2Digital.
About Smashwords, Inc.
Founded in 2008 by Mark Coker, Smashwords was an early pioneer in ebook self-publishing. The company’s platform made it possible for writers to professionally produce, publish, and distribute ebooks at no cost. As a distributor, Smashwords was the first to open multiple major retailers and library ebook services to self-published authors, and worked in partnership with sales partners and payment processors to establish systems, standards, and professional best practices to foster a thriving ecosystem of indie-friendly booksellers and libraries. As of December 31, 2021, Smashwords was publishing 590,000 ebooks supplied by 150,000 authors, publishers and literary agents. The company was originally headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif, and most recently based in Pacific Grove, Calif. Visit Smashwords at https://smashwords.com, or follow the store at @Smashwords.
FAQ Regarding D2D/Smashwords Acquisition
Who is Draft2Digital?
Draft2Digital is known for being “self-publishing with support,” and since 2012, the company has established a positive, glowing reputation in the author community. D2D is known for building tools and resources that answer indie author and publisher needs, with beautiful and functional design and responsive customer service.
Draft2Digital has an exciting Print on Demand solution for indie authors called D2D Print, now in beta (visit https://draft2digital.com/printbeta/ to be included in the beta). Smashwords founder Mark Coker thinks D2D Print will prove to be just as disruptive to print publishing over the next few years as Smashwords was to ebook publishing 14 years ago.
Q: What’s the name of the merged company?
A: The two companies will operate under the name of Draft2Digital. In the near term, Smashwords will continue to operate under its current name. Over time, Draft2Digital will become the name of the publishing platform, and Smashwords will remain as the brand for the Smashwords Store.
Q: What will the combined company look like?
Following the acquisition, Draft2Digital will represent a combined 250,000 authors and publishers that use the company’s tools to publish, distribute, and manage over 880,000 ebooks and 11,000 print books (and growing). The combined company will employ over thirty people across the United States and Canada, and will maintain its corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Q: What happens next for the authors and publishers of both companies?
A: As of March 1, 2022, if you’re an author or publisher with either Draft2Digital or Smashwords, there’s nothing you need to do; it will be business as usual. Over time, publishing and distribution systems for both Smashwords and Draft2Digital will be integrated onto the Draft2Digital website.
As a result, authors with either service will gain big benefits:
- New sales partners will become available to authors
- D2D authors and publishers will be able to list and sell their books in the Smashwords Store.
- D2D authors will also gain access to exclusive book marketing tools from Smashwords, including Smashwords Coupons, the patent-pending Smashwords Presales tool, Author Interviews, and self-serve merchandising in the Smashwords Store.
- The Smashwords publishing platform operations and publisher Dashboard will be merged into Draft2Digital’s, with the goal of preserving the best capabilities of each.
At each stage of the integration, we’ll aim to make the transition as smooth and effortless as possible for our combined authors, publishers, store and library partners, and readers.
Q: Is the new Draft2Digital Hiring?
A. Yes! New growth means new opportunities!
Know any great software developers or customer support professionals who want to join our growing company? Visit https://draft2digital.com/careers to learn more.
Authors & Publishers
Q: How will the acquisition affect my books in distribution?
A: We will work with our sales partners to minimize any impact on book listings, listing web addresses, and reviews.
Q: Each company distributes to sales outlets not reached by the other. Will I have access to all sales channels?
A: Yes! Once our distribution systems are merged, authors will be able to opt-in to any and all sales and library partners currently offered by either Draft2Digital or Smashwords.
Q: Each company’s ebook publishing process is slightly different. How will the process change for me if I prefer one or the other?
A: We’re combining approaches to give you more options and flexibility!
Both companies allow authors and publishers to upload a professionally designed .epub file. However, the way each company handles conversion from Word or RTF files is a bit different.
We will be preserving both the granular flexibility of custom manuscript styling from Smashwords and the streamlined, automated professional layout and templates from Draft2Digital. This means that authors and publishers get the best of both worlds, with options to use either method.
Q: Can you summarize the unique tool sets of each company that you anticipate making available to all authors?
A: Yes! Both companies offer robust tools for:
- Sales reporting
- Tax reporting
- Metadata management
Smashwords authors and publishers can expect to gain access to:
- Simpler publishing tools; tools for automated end-matter
- Books2Read Universal Book Links (UBLs), Author Pages, Book Tabs, and Reading Lists
- D2D Print for POD paperbacks (visit https://draft2digital.com/printbeta/ to be included in the beta)
- D2D Payment Splitting for co-authors and collaborations
- New payment options, including direct bank deposits
D2D authors and publishers can expect to gain access to:
- The Smashwords Store
- Smashwords Coupons
- Smashwords Presales
- Self-serve merchandising
- Author Interviews
- The Smashwords erotica certification system
Q: What does the acquisition mean for existing store and library partners?
As the leading distributors of independently published ebooks, both companies have always worked in close partnership with major ebook retailers and library platforms to help them list, promote, and profit from the amazing diversity of indie ebooks.. We help our authors succeed by helping our sales partners succeed!
Q: Is the new Draft2Digital looking to expand its distribution network to new sales partners?
Absolutely! As a distributor, we’re always looking to support promising new booksellers and bookselling models. Given the size of our catalog, we can give new sales channels the critical mass they need to build businesses around our authors’ books. Draft2Digital and Smashwords have rigorous qualification procedures to ensure that new sales partners meet our high standards and requirements.
Potential sales channels can ask to be connected to the Draft2Digital Operations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Questions? We Want to Hear from You!
Contact us! https://www.smashwords.com/about/contact/1