Privacy Statement for Smashwords, Inc.

Smashwords has created this privacy statement to explain our commitment to privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this site.

Our 100% privacy promise to you: Smashwords is committed to protecting the privacy of our visitors and members. We will never sell, rent or share your personally identifiable information to anyone. You always control your communications preferences.

For all web site visitors, we collect your IP addresses, browser type, page views, clickstream and usage, and sometimes third parties (such as Google Analytics) may provide this service for us. This information helps us continually optimize the performance and usability of the site; display content and advertising that matches visitor or member interests; protect authors, publishers and customers against fraud, and make automated book recommendations.

Non-member Activity
- It is not necessary to become a registered member to enjoy some of the content on Smashwords, although without membership your viewing options and community participation may be limited. For example, without membership you will not be able to purchase books, post reviews, publish material on the site, receive payments for your work, create profile pages, or track your favorite authors.

Smashwords Member Activity - Smashwords members are allowed to access all public areas of the site. We store cookies in your browser to help you personalize your use of the site and so you are automatically logged in to the site each time you visit (unless you manually logged out during your last visit). Members can post reviews, purchase books, publish books, and take advantage of the site’s complementary book marketing tools. When you register for the site, our registration form requires a valid email address so we can contact you about your account and respond to your customer service requests. We ask you to create a unique Smashwords password so we can protect access to your account. We ask for demographic information like zip code and whether you are over or under 18 years of age. We use your zip code to present you with geographically relevant information, and we use age to prevent children from viewing inappropriate adult content. We record several details related to your usage of the site such as reviews you’ve posted, books you’ve published, books you’ve sold, author pages you’ve browsed, books you’ve sampled or purchased, commissions you’ve earned, and books and authors you have favorited. We do not disclose your personally identifiable member information or usage to third parties except when processing purchases, payments, or for fraud and abuse detection. However, any information you voluntarily upload or post to the site, such as books, book reviews or personal profile information, becomes publicly available to other users of the site. When you create a personal profile page, your email address is shielded from visitors.

Smashwords allows member authors to publish their works under assumed “pen names.” Under no circumstances will Smashwords reveal the author’s true identity to customers or site visitors.

Authors who wish to sell their works on Smashwords are required to provide more detailed registration information, such as real name, a postal mailing address, a phone number, and possibly tax ID information to comply with State and local tax codes. Smashwords will only use this contact information to fulfill our obligations to you, and will not sell or rent your information to third parties.

Smashwords Email Policy:
Registered members will receive occasional emails from Smashwords summarizing site news and feature updates. Smashwords authors/publishers will receive email alerts when they sell a book, or when their book is reviewed, or when Smashwords sends out exclusive Author/Publisher alerts.  After you purchase a book, we may send you an automatic email reminder to review it. We may add additional event triggers or email alerts in the future. Members may opt-out of these updates, or subscribe to other updates, at any time by adjusting their communications preferences at Smashwords does not allow third parties to send emails to its members. Member email addresses are never revealed on the web site by Smashwords. Smashwords prohibits its author members from engaging in spam email to promote their books. See the Smashwords Terms of Service for more information.

Advertising on the Smashwords Site:
Although Smashwords does not currently run advertising, we may run ads in the future. If we run ads, we will do our best to make them unobtrusive, and when possible, informative and targeted to your specific interests. We will never use pop-up or pop-under ads because we think they’re annoying.

Children's Guidelines
Smashwords is not marketed to children. Like any ordinary bookstore, Smashwords hosts books that may contain adult themes and situations not recommended for children. We take multiple steps to ensure this content is not presented to children. First, we ask a member’s age range at registration. Young adults and children under age 18 are blocked from viewing content that contains adult situations or content deemed to be objectionable to children. We have three means for identifying potentially objectionable material: 1. We allow authors to specify if their works are suitable for children. 2. We allow members to flag works they believe are unsuitable for children. 3. We warn members of potentially objectionable content before they click through to it.

Children, should they wish to join, are allowed to become members. The above online information we collect from children is the same we collect from all members, and will only be used to respond directly to the child's request and will not be used by Smashwords for any other purposes without prior parental consent. If Smashwords learns that a child has posted information that would allow others to personally contact the child, Smashwords will immediately remove the information.

Smashwords provides users the opportunity to opt-in and opt-out of receiving email communications from Smashwords. For members who have specifically requested to receive communications from Smashwords, they can cancel the communications at any time by clicking on the links contained in the email or by adjusting communications preferences at

This site gives users the option to close their account and to not receive future communications or receive our service. Members who wish to close their Smashwords account can do so by clicking the "support" link at the bottom of any Smashwords page.

This site gives users the option to change and modify information previously provided by going to the member profile page.

Cancelling Your Membership
To have your account closed, click on the customer support "?" link at the top of any Smashwords web page, or the "support" link at the bottom of any page.  Be sure to log into your account before making this request so we can authenticate the request.

Contacting Smashwords by Postal Mail

We don't recommend contacting us by postal mail.  If your matter is urgent, or if you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with Smashwords or our authors, please contact our support team by clicking the "support" link at the bottom of any Smashwords web page.  For postal deliveries, our mailing address is listed below.  Please do not use postal mail to send us paper books, query letters, customer support inquiries, books on disks or general questions.  All written correspondence should include an email address, otherwise we cannot respond.

Customer Support
Smashwords, Inc.
15951 Los Gatos Blvd., Ste 16
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Dates of most recent updates:

March 3, 2014 (added clarification regarding postal communications to encourage communications through our online channels)

October 26, 2012 (added mention of Google Analytics, fraud detection systems)

December 5, 2009