Choosing The Right Distributor: Smashwords vs Draft2Digital

David Gaughran

swvd2dSince I started self-publishing in 2011, Smashwords has been the overwhelming favorite for savvy self-publishers who wanted or needed a distributor to reach non-Amazon e-bookstores. However, a new competitor called Draft2Digital launched a beta version of their service earlier this year and has been gaining popularity. In July, they hit 1,000 users, 10,000 titles, and 1,000,000 books sold.

I’ve been getting lots of questions about Draft2Digital, and experimenting with them myself, so I thought it was a good time for a side-by-side comparison as there are distinct pros and cons to each service. But before we get into that, let’s look at the question of whether you need to use a distributor at all.

The virtues of going direct

In my experience, it’s almost always advantageous to go direct where you can. Benefits include faster payments, up-to-date sales figures (crucial for measuring the effectiveness of any marketing), more direct control of…

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