Smashwords eDelivery Out of Beta, No Longer Supports the Kindle

For the past 6 fswtodb[1]weeks the indie ebook distributor Smashwords has been beta testing an automatic delivery solution, eDelivery, that enabled customers to send ebooks to their Kindle or their Dropbox account.

Smashwords ended the beta test today, but the eDelivery service is only about half as useful as I had hoped. They have unfortunately had to drop support for emailing ebooks to your Kindle. Here's how Smashwords phrased it in the email they sent out today:

Unfortunately, due to Amazon policy, we will not be able to release Send to Kindle at this time.

I don't know if it is true or not but it certainly sounds plausible. Amazon is often inscrutable to the outsider, and they have in the past blocked 3rd party services like Lendle and Findings. It's possible that Smashwords couldn't get the feature approved by the relevant parties at Amazon.

But never mind what we can't do; instead let's look at what we can do. Smashwords customers can now have their ebook purchases synced to a Dropbox. It takes a little bit of work to set up, but once it is readers will have a personal cloud library akin to the Kindle Cloud.

Yes, it was always possible to upload the files yourself, but I'm lazy so I appreciate the automation.

You can find instructions on how to set it up here.

About Nate Hoffelder (11379 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Smashwords eDelivery Out of Beta, No Longer Supports the Kindle

  1. O’Reilly has send to Kindle and dropbox functionality. I love it. I think they launched it about 9 months ago. So, it’s not that Amazon doesn’t/won’t allow it. Though, of course, allowing one publisher but not another is a different issue. It’s a shame, though, because it would be useful across a broad range of publishers and authors. On the other hand, since you have to allow the publisher to authenticate via your send to Kindle account, maybe there was a security hurdle SW could not manage. Rank speculation there.

    • Yep. That would fit with the 2 examples I named. Amazon is known to allow one service while blocking a similar service. They’re inscrutable.

    • Sadly, we removed the Send to Kindle feature because Amazon’s lawyer demanded it. We developed this feature as a free and convenient service for Kindle owners. The vast majority of usage would have been for our free books. For all of Jeff Bezos’ talk of putting the customer first, this was not a customer-friendly action on their part.

      I don’t know why O’Reilly is allowed to do it. Now that O’Reilly is outed here, maybe they’ll be the next ones to get the phone call from Amazon. Maybe this is the start of a purge. That would be unfortunate as well.

  2. Has O’Reilly changed? When I used it last (it has been a while!), I could send to my Kindle, but only because I had white-listed the O’Reilley email address it told me to white-list. Do you not need to do that step anymore? Was Smashwords trying to get Amazon to do a mass approval so no one had to do the white-list step?

    The DropBox thing is cool, though. In some ways, Amazon and Smashwords are alike. Neither one is standing still; they are always working to expand features and make their platform more attractive.

  3. We updated edelivery today and added a bunch of new features. Details on mobileread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2762962&postcount=27

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Progress Report–Rite of Passage | Side Quest Publications
  2. Smashwords: An Indie Author Guide

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