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Smashwords Outage Last Weekend

Dan Holloway, author of the highly rated Songs from the Other Side of the Wall informed me that Smashwords had experienced an outage for several hours over the weekend. He was concerned the timing was particularly bad as it coincided with the time our weekly email digest of ebook releases gets sent out.

I asked Smashword’s founder, Mark Coker what had happened. Here is his response.

We had two separate outages Sunday, each caused by the same problem, though it took the second outage for us to verify the exact cause (a single author’s attempt to publish a bad file caused Meatgrinder to go haywire, causing a crash on each of her two upload attempts). The author was probably not as badly affected as they think. Despite being down for a just over 50% of the day’s hours, the site’s traffic dropped only 18% from the previous day, according to Google Analytics. I think the impact was mitigated because half the downtime occurred while the US was sleeping, and by around 2pm Pacific the problem was resolved.

Smashwords has always been a very reliable service. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of any serious outage.

On the positive side, Smashwords have just announced a distribution agreement with Sony, allowing Smashword authors to publish their works at the Sony eBook store. This comes just 4 weeks after a similar agreement was reached with Barnes and Noble.

3 Responses so far

May I add that Mark kept us informed through twitter and acted promptly and professionally.

I am very excited by the Sony deal, as well as that with Barnes and Noble.

I noticed that, but I thought it was just my computer behaving badly as usual. It didn’t last for very long though.

Hi, I have only just discovered Smashwords and was completely caught out when the site went down. I am in the UK and for me, at least, the site is still down.

It’s quite frustrating to read of it as a past event that didn’t last, when I am still getting nowhere with attempts to read the site.
I don’t mind buying my Kindle books from Amazon, but am glad there are alternatives like Smashwords, as well as the option to get the book in formats other than the Kindle default.

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