Smashwords and BookBaby are competitors. These two companies both publish and distribute ebooks by self-published authors and small presses. Smashwords appeared on the scene first and currently has more authors and books in their database than BookBaby.

BookBaby, like any good business, is seeking to gain more of the market share for publishing and distributing ebooks. They are well aware of their competition in this endeavor. Rccently, BookBaby sent out the following headline in their enewsletter:

We won’t ‘Smash’ your words, we’ll ‘Baby’ them.

Ouch. Sounds like a creative direct attack on their competitor. In the article, BookBaby is promoting that they are currently the only ebook distributor that is offering real-time customer service and support for its authors.

What do you think? Is this a good marketing strategy? Or is it too antagonistic with the potential to backfire?

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5 thoughts on “Ouch!

  1. Ummm, no. Smashwords and Bookbaby aren’t competitors because they aren’t in the same business. Bookbaby can use any advertising techniques it wants, but as long as it charges for services that aren’t even part of Smashwords, and for services that Smashwords offers free, they’ll never be competitors. That’s like comparing apples and egg salad. They’re not even in the same category.


  2. I believe that any two companies competing for the same consumers (in this case authors and small publishers) are competitors. While Smashwords does not “charge” for their service, they do keep a portion of sales from ebooks they distribute, while BookBaby charges an upfront fee, then the author gets 100% of the funds from the ebooks they sell.


  3. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that. One major difference is that because you’ve paid Bookbaby to do stuff for you that you could do for yourself if you’d take the time to learn, you may never see any profit on your book. Yes, Smashwords takes a cut, as does, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, but every time they sell one of your books, you make money. It’s an entirely different business model, and they not in competition because they cater to completely different types of writers. Authors who prefer to do their own publishing work aren’t potential customers for Bookbaby, and authors who would rather just write and let someone else do the rest aren’t potential customers for Smashwords.


  4. What a great play on words! I think it’s a great marketing spoof! It effectively lets a potential client know that they’ll be pampered. If I was going to convert a book into an Ebook and heard about the rather difficult method Smashwords uses to accomplish it – I’d be persuaded to be “babied” instead. Just my opinion. 🙂


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