So this week, just a couple of days ago, I signed up with Smashwords and published In The Time Of Dying through them as a cross-platform eBook, completely DRM-free, and I gotta say, it couldn’t have been easier.
All you have to do is sign up for an account – completely free – then read their formatting guidelines. It’s very important that you follow the formatting guidelines to the letter, in order for your eBook to work in all formats and have the professional, readable image you’re striving for.
The guidelines are a snap for anyone at all familiar with writing. Honestly, it’s just a matter of stripping your document of all the formatting garbage that Word has piled on, which can be done two ways:
Follow their step by step process to identify formatting issues and alter them one at a time.
Copy and paste your entire Word .doc into Notepad and then back again to Word, then add the required front copyright notice and edition page. Notepad, or Wordpad will strip all the formatting right out of a document for you.
After that, you simply log in to your Smashwords account, publish your document, add a cover and some descriptive information, chose how much of your work will be offered as a free sample – the default was 50 percent, but I switched mine to 25. I figure if they wanna read it for free, it’s on the webpage.
In your Smashwords account, you can upload a profile image, and type in your biography, even direct people to your website or your Lulu account where they could purchase hard copies of the work.
You also set the price, just like Lulu they’ll show you right away what portion they’re keeping, so you can adjust the price accordingly. And since it’s a non-exclusive contract, I kept the eBook price there the same as at Lulu, so neither are in competition for price.
After that, it’s just a matter of giving Smashwords some payment information – they’re perfectly happy sending money to your Paypal account – and you’re set.
You can view how many times your sample has been downloaded, how many sales you’ve made, and you’ll get to see what other author profiles were looked at by people who’ve read yours.
It’s interesting, useful for us Indy authors, and I was making sales the very next morning. If your work qualifies (and in order to qualify you simply follow the format guidelines, provide a professional-looking cover art and own the work) then you’re listed in the Sony e-reader catalog.
But the best part about Smashwords is, not only do they create an eBook for the Kindle, the Sony eReader, the iPhone and Smartphones, they’re also – all – completely DRM-Free. Eventually I plan to have all of my novels available through Smashwords, so they’re more widely available and freely distributed.
When you’re an Indy, you need to utilize every avenue available for marketing and getting your novel out there, to the reading public, making the purchase of your book as effortless as possible. So far, Smashwords seems to be a fine addition to any Indy tool box.
Power to the People!
Make Love, Not War!
Did I just step in cat yak?