Unofficial Marketing tools - widgets, readers and stores - created to display Smashwords books.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are these official?
No. Smashwords are aware they exist and were consulted during development. This does not mean the tools are official.
- Who created these?
The tools were built by a group of Smashwords users, who thought it was a shame there were not more ways to promote Smashwords books, and got together to create some. All the developers have donated their time.
Coders: tirial, cias, ruaria
Ragged Angel Ltd - A small publisher specialising in RPGS, and more recently ebooks, for bandwidth and hosting.
Vamp Lit Publishing - specialising in undead fiction, for extra testing
- What happens if Smashwords goes down?
The existing tools remain useable and live: they are served from cache until Smashwords becomes available again (this includes the RSS feeds). Widgets with third-party sales links, e.g. Barnes and Noble or Kobo, can still make sales. However, new widgets created during when Smashwords is down will not display content until Smashwords is back up as they have no established cache.
- What is the "Under Maintenance" message?
This message means that both the cache and Smashwords are unavailable and a feed cannot be found. It is most commonly seen on widgets when they are first set up, since if Smashwords cannot be accessed there is no cached version to fall back on. In this case the system will continue to check until it can establish a cache.
- Why aren't the tools in Flash?
Because no Flash developers have volunteered. If anyone is interested, please let us know.
- Can I develop something using the RSS feed engine?
Sure! Drop us a line and we'll give you details and the schema - as long as the tool is going to be free. (If you want to charge authors to use it, then we'd suggest you speak to Smashwords and get their opinion.)
- What is a beta test?
Once widgets have been tested in a closed enviroment by a test team, (an alpha test) they can be tested by a chosen group of user/volunteers (beta test) and then made available to people as test versions (an open beta) and then finally get made into production versions. These tools are currently in the open beta stage.
- Why do some of these tools have referral links?
Because serving these widgets requires a substantial amount of bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money. Rather than requesting donations, or charging for tools, the referral link seems the fairest method. That way the users only contribute if the tools are actually benefiting them.
It costs about $7 a month in bandwidth currently to provide the widgets. By comparison, the referral links bring in less than $1/month. If takeup continues we may need to change our approach. (e.g. In March 62,000 widgets were served - we'd expected a couple of hundred...)
- Can I have...?
Use the contact form to submit new feature requests. The developers are volunteers so we don't guarantee they will be done (or technically possible) but we'll look into them.
- How can I support the tools?
If you use the tools, please give this site a mention on your blog or website. Backlink images are available if you prefer.
These are unofficial tools supplied for use by Smashwords users. No guarantees or responsibility are taken for their use. They may be withdrawn at our discretion.