Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Self-Publish Your eBook on Smashwords

Smashwords writes on their website How to Publish on Smashwords: "It is easy as 1-2-3"

  1. Sign up for a free account.
  2. Format your manuscript as a Word .doc document. (Not the new .docx document)
  3. Click Publish.

Certainly, there are some other steps involved, like choosing the price for your eBook, the distribution channels, checklists for iPad eBooks, etc. but Smashwords has excellent FAQ pages and free downloadable and printable guides which make it easy to get your eBook published.

Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, wrote an article on Smashwords' Blog with 32 Links to Author pages who report about their experiences with Smashwords and give further advice how to publish and distribute via Smashwords.

You can follow Mark Coker's Tweets @markcoker on Twitter.

After reading the FAQ on Smashwords' Support Page it is recommended to download (free in lots of formats) and read the detailed guides

- Smashwords' Style Guide (How to format your eBook?)

- How to publish for Apple's iPad Bookstore (you will learn that your eBook needs a ISBN for the Apple Bookstore and other Apple Rules for Pricing, Royalties, etc.)


- Smashwords' Book Marketing Guide (30 simple Do-It-Yourself Marketing Tips for your eBook)


Smashwords pays out in general 85% for your books sold on Smashwords. If your eBook is sold through other channels like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony - the payout for your eBook is 60% of the suggested retail price, which you set for your book. Find here more details about payments & royalties at Smashwords.

At present (Dec.31, 2011), Smashwords has 92,000 Titles from 32,000 Authors published (almost tripled in 12 months). See graphic from Smashwords' Blog.

(Smashwords,Inc. 2011)
Mark Coker: "2011 was the year indies proved they can out-publish, out-compete, out-distribute and out-sell the large publishers. Look no further than the bestseller lists at major retailers to see how the indie insurgents are scaling the lists. A few have even landed in the NY Times ebook bestseller list. We’ll see more of this in 2012." 

[...] "The practice and professionalism of self-publishing grew by leaps and bounds in 2011 as indie authors collaborated. The best indie authors and small presses are publishing books of equal or higher quality than traditional publishers, and they're doing it faster, smarter and less expensively. Because the indies are earning 60-80% of the list price as their royalty, they're earning higher profits while producing a product that is more affordable and more accessible to more readers around the globe than ever before."

Smashwords' plans for 2012
- Re-categorization of the Catalog and turning attention to the retail side of Smashwords for a better discovery and customer experience.

- Adding new distribution channels.

- Faster sales reporting.

- Faster Premium catalog Approvals. 

- Give Authors more and better control about aspects of publishing, distribution, and metadata.

Just in case, you didn't know yet: "It's free to publish and distribute with Smashwords!"

Did you self-publish with Smashwords? Please, let us know about your experience with Smashwords in the comments to this post.

6 comments:

Anne-Maree Gray said...

I do publish with Smashwords. It does take a little work to get the format correct; especially with Word 10. Gah! And the dreaded docx format (what were they thinking to change it now?) But I have found them to be pretty helpful, relatively quick to answer any problems I have had.
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AMGray

Jamie said...

Being from Canada it is a lot harder to be an Indie publisher. Without smashword I would have almost no choice for a format of my books. Now if I could only get my sales up to the same levels as I am seeing on Amazon and this would be awesome!

herocious said...

My book used to be on smashwords, but it wasn't getting any activity, so I enrolled it in Kindle Select, which has sure helped find readers. But I don't know what's the best route to take in the long run.

How helpful has smashwords been for others here, not just the 32 linked authors?

Sandra Nachlinger said...

My book is on Smashwords (and Amazon). To make sure I didn't have any formatting surprises, I used their "Nuclear" option and followed each little step. Although it was a lot of work (tedious), I'm pleased with the results and have had positive feedback.

By the way, there's also the issue of creating a book cover. I used my digital camera and Photoshop, but that might not work for all.

Unknown said...

I just published my book last month and it took my some serious and tedious times in formating and modifying to finally get in the Premium Catalogue, and now the book's been shipped to Apple, Kobo, and Barnes&Noble,yet to be shipped to other retailers. It's some work, but the staff is so efficient, and the guidelines are very helpful. I hope the book is well received. :)

Julie Day said...

I used it for the first time last November and it took me a few days (half an hour each day) to get it right, then I had to tweak it after they said I had some changes to do for the catalogue. But I found when I did it the second time this year, it only took me half an hour to do it and it was accepted straight away. Now I try to do some of the formatting when I type up the story to start with (eg paragraph indent) to save time later.

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