Smashwords introduces erotica checklist, custom global pricing and mechandising deal

Ebook distributor Smashwords has introduced a series of new features, including setting custom prices by country, a merchandising opportunity in the Smashwords store and new classification requirements for erotic fiction.

The new pricing tool can be used to set custom prices for any of 246 countries and 152 currencies. Smashwords says the move will help authors who run international BookBub ads, want to price their books for a local market, or who want to normalize their pricing amid currency fluctuations.

You can read more about ebook global pricing control at the Smashwords Blog.

The new automated merchandising for the Smashwords Store is called Special Deals. Create a coupon, choose the public coupon option to make the coupon visible to shoppers on the Smashwords Store and your book is automatically enrolled in the ongoing Special Deals site-wide promotion. A Smashwords Coupon does not change the price of your book at other retailers.

Further merchandising details can be found at Smashwords. View the complete announcement at the Smashwords Blog.

The new classification requirements for erotic literature follow a clampdown by an increasing number of retailers on ‘taboo’ erotica..

Smashwords says all the major retailers want what’s generally considered as ‘mainstream erotica’ but their policies on taboo erotica are more nuanced. Last month, Barnes & Noble, a retailer that has historically been the most permissive of the big retailers, joined iBooks and Kobo in prohibiting certain taboo erotic fiction.

The company adds that conventional book classification systems such as BISAC, upon which Smashwords, retailers, authors and publishers rely, have fallen short when it comes to the classification of taboo erotica.

As a result, Smashwords authors and publishers of erotic taboo fiction have been forced to classify their books under mainstream erotica classification codes which do not adequately describe their books. This causes taboo erotica to be mixed in with mainstream erotica. It makes it difficult for retailers and readers to discern which books contain which themes.

Smashwords says if retailers can’t trust what’s in the books, they can’t accurately select the titles that conform to their listing requirements. Several retailers put all erotica titles through special screening which can prevent or delay listings in their stores. Some mainstream erotica and romance authors have seen some or all of their books disappear from retailers after the retailer accidentally concluded one or more of their books contained prohibited themes.

The solution from Smashwords is for authors to complete a short checkbox questionnaire where they can certify which taboo themes, if any, apply to their book.

Authors and publishers with erotic titles already at Smashwords will be asked to certify each of their backlist titles as well. For authors with large back catalogues of erotic works, there is a bulk certification tool that enables faster certification of up to 50 books at a time.

Smashwords will use this enhanced categorization information to control which taboo topics retailers and library partners receive and which topics are prevented from going to a particular retailer.

You can find full details about the erotica requirements at the Smashwords blog.