Smashwords is getting faster, but… The Saga of the Special Editions

After reading that Smashwords  sped up the approval process for the premium catalog, I decided not to upload a separate NOOK version of the Special Editions through PubIt, but instead let Smashwords distribute it to Barnes and Noble to see if they really were faster.

The answer is yes and no.

I uploaded the books on the 14th and by the 17th – three days later! – I was approved for the premium catalog. This is quite a change from the month it took for Ties of Blood! But, approval isn’t shipping. Despite the fact that books are supposed to ship to Barnes & Noble every Thursday or Friday, mine sat for a week and finally shipped on the 26th – nearly two weeks after it was approved – and as of this posting the books still do not appear on, which means my official launch will either be incomplete or will have to wait some more.  EDIT: On October 2nd they finally showed up on B&N’s site, almost a week after shipping.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Uploaded – Sept 14
  • Approved – Sept 17
  • Apple – shipped  Sept 17th – (visible sometime between Oct 15th & 28th)
  • Barnes & Noble – shipped Sept 26th, visible on their site Oct 2nd
  • Diesel –  shipped Sept 19th – was listed on their site by Sept 26th (maybe sooner)
  • Page Foundry – shipped Sept 24th
  • Sony – Shipped Sept 27th (listed on their site Oct 2nd)
  • Kobo – shipped Oct 25 (listed on their site Oct 28)
  • Baker-Taylor – still not shipped as of Oct 28

Bottom line? Yeah, they’ve gotten faster, but if you want to let Smashwords handle all your distribution, and you want it shipped by release date, start  four weeks early.

What are my plans? I intend to let Smashwords handle all versions, though I think I will upload to PubIt initially as I have had no problems with having a Smashwords version and PubIt version, and in fact sell a handful of PubIt versions even after Smashwords shows up, though I always sell more SW copies. Example:

  • September B&N sales through SW=72
  • September PubIt sales =14

And PubIt pays monthly, as opposed to SW quarterly, so it puts a little money in my pocket in the meantime.

, if you’re interested in the extended editions then get the links from my Amaranthine Special Edition Page.`

Leave a comment


  1. I wondered about Smashwords’ upload time to B&N. I just put a book on SW to see how fast it’ll go to B&N, and now I wonder if I should opt out of B&N because I think I have more Nook readers than Kindle readers. I’d rather go through SW since it’s one less thing I have to deal with to upload to B&N.

    Thanks for letting us know what your upload time to the different channels is!

  2. I was approved by smashwords in about three days as well. The only problem with them that I have is, I originally published a very early edition of Three Hoodies with them a couple of years ago. Even though the new version is only a few weeks old, the publication date remains the same; so nobody has looked at it. Of course it could just be because nobody likes it.

    • You might try archiving or unpublishing/deleting the original one and starting over – though you will lose any stats you’ve already earned.

      • Yes, I tried that. Maybe I should just come to terms with the awful fact that no one wants to read it. sob.

  3. Thanks for this info Jo, interesting to see the comparisons between these formatts. Glad that SW prem catalogue timescales have vastly improved! PS Like the covers for your combined 1+2 and 3+4 books, very cool! D

  4. I think what would confuse me is the amount of choice there is out there at the moment – a post like this is great for me because if I do finally ever get to the point of actually wanting to upload anything I’ll be able to come back and see what your experience has been!!

  5. My latest upload has been approved the day after! I haven’t checked the shipping, though…
    And I still have to go directo to Kobo for those shorts without ISBN…
    Indie publishing is a second job, LOL!

  6. Well, this is good to know. Kind of false advertising.

  7. Hi Joleene. I found you while searching my frustration with Smashwords/B&N. My new release shipped from Smashwords to B&N on Sept. 26. The book is still not showing at B&N! I had to cancel paid advertising targeted to Nook readers because my book isn’t there. Did I read your comments correctly? You finally went through pubit, and the next day the SW edition showed up, too? Was that a problem to have two editions of the same book? If not, I may do the same. … P.S. Love your hamster. 🙂

    • I haven’t had any toruble with double versions – my last five books are that way (if you count the two special editions) because I wanted to release pubit at the same time as the rest. The interesting thing is I will sell a handful of pubit versions (i used the same document so they look identical of each book a month, but will sell more of the smashwords version (when B&N gets around to reporting to SW that is – which is slow. we’re still on Sept 27th for the reports, so having some that pubit sells (where I can get the numbers for those sales pretty much right away) kind of lets me see what’s selling, anyway 🙂

      • Thank you so much. I appreciate the information. If B&N doesn’t have my book listed by the end of the month, I’ll send it up myself. I don’t want to go into the holidays without it. Congratulations on your book success. Your book trailer is very well done, and I have you on my growing list of WordPress authors to discover more about. 🙂

        • If you don’t have a PubIt account yet be sure to do it about a week before you want it to show up. I got held up on the “account approval” for some reason and had to wait (on the first book) even after the book was approved because the account wasn’t.


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