Friday, April 12, 2013

Smashwords and Publishing

Someone I know said they'd never heard of Smashwords. Up until 2011, I hadn't either.
Smashwords is a distribution site rather than a publisher and there are several books up on the site, created by the site's founder which will mention things to do to publish your book and get at least a few sales. Smashwords Style Guide
Smashwords Marketing Guide
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

I'm not trying to replace his words with mine and you can find out more about the history of the site from Mark Coker in his blog and throughout his books.

Some people don't care for the automated system or distributing through Smashwords. I'm not one of them.
I've published a few books under other names by using Smashwords and practice does make perfect in this respect. It will probably be a headache if you have trouble working within the confines of conventional formatting and you shouldn't double space or press enter too many times at once. Still, it does get easier and the instructional books are pretty fast reading.

Here's how it goes to publish a book on Smashwords. You read the style while scanning your manuscript. You might read the marketing book or about ebook publishing success before continuing; Then you press Publish and get sent to a page that's one long form.
First fill out the title of the book. Next is a short description of your book contents (400 or fewer), then a long description, (4000 or fewer)

After that it's just a game of fill in the blank. Book Language, Price (Free or reader sets price are options as well as charging a sum.), how much of the book is free to read before buying,Genre, tags, formats to convert the file to, cover art and, finally, the file itself.

This is still daunting to me but I was surprised before I downloaded a book.

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