Until recently, Smashwords ‘shipped’ new book releases, new book updates and metadata updates to Smashwords retailers (Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Baker & Taylor, etc) on a once-weekly basis. As promised in December, in the last couple weeks we’ve begun increasing shipment frequency for the retailers that can support it.
About one week ago, we began doing once-per-day shipments of new Premium Catalog titles and metadata updates to Kobo. This means you can make a price change at Smashwords today, and itll be reflected at Kobo likely within a day or two.
Today, we pushed the envelope even further by commencing near-real-time shipments to the Apple iBookstore. This means you can change a price from your Smashwords Dashboard and the new price, in multiple currencies, will reflect across Apples 32 iBookstores, often within an hour of your change.
Price updates will appear the fastest, especially at Apple. New book deliveries or other book updates are subject to processing times at each individual retailer. The holy grail – which wont be achievable anytime soon – is true real-time or near-real-time updates across all retailers from your Smashwords Dashboard. Its the direction well always drive toward. We know Smashwords authors and publishers appreciate the power, convenience and time-savings possible when they can centrally manage all aspects of their ebooks from the Smashwords Dashboard. Faster deliveries mean faster time-to-market, and greater control over metadata and promotions.
These faster shipments are made possible by a development initiative here at Smashwords that has been underway for many months. Its also made possible by the great work of our retail partners who share our same commitment of putting the power of publishing in your hands. In the months ahead, we hope to increase shipment frequency at other retailers once they give us the green light. Our new shipment systems are technically capable of shipping real-time.
In the old world of publishing it took a book 12-18 months (or longer) to reach market. In this new world, authors, publishers and literary agents we serve want faster time-to-market, and more control.
On a related topic, were increasing staffing in our vetting team to enable faster Premium Catalog approvals (were backlogged now). Ian, the latest member of our vetting team, starts Wednesday.
My thanks to the 44,000 authors, publishers and literary agents around the world who use Smashwords to publish and distribute over 125,000 titles. With your support, todays exciting development is just the latest of many new developments to come at Smashwords in the months and years ahead.
If you haven’t yet partnered with Smashwords, visit our How to Publish and Distribute with Smashwordspage to learn how to reach more global readers.