Smashwords is a platform for e-book publishing and distribution. As the world’s largest indie distribution network, it offers its titles in various formats so e-books can be read using any device.
Smashwords not only publishes your work on its site and its micro-sites, it also lists the title with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iPad Store — the three main sites from which people buy their e-books.
Why Use Smashwords?
Smashwords is great because it’s the cheapest way to get your title in front of the most people. The publishing process is relatively user-friendly and the time to market is incredibly fast. It takes minutes to publish with Smashwords.
When you become a Smashwords author, you are given your own profile page that you can connect to your website, blog and social media sites. It also shows up in Web searches, so if you keyword optimize your page and make the content interesting, you can get some exposure there.
One of the things that makes the site unique is you have total control over the final product. Absolutely everything is up to you. You can even update your e-books if you find a typo or simply wish to reword a sentence.
Our Smashwords Experience
We launched on Smashwords a few weeks ago. It takes some time to feature on their premium list — a list you really need to be on. The key to appearing on the list is proper formatting. Following the Smashwords’ style sheet details is a must as is having a flat cover image — those two items held up our acceptance to the site.
Find someone who knows how to format properly — Smashwords will supply a list of recommended people. It’s not expensive and using the service saves a load of time and potential grief.
How to Be Published
Although I said it was relatively easy to publish with Smashwords, the truth is, there are other self-publishing platforms that make it much easier.
Smashwords has an eight-step publishing process that’s a little bit complicated at first, so I suggest downloading and reading the guide the site offers its new members. It will teach you some good tips and techniques.
When formatting, I suggest you choose the nuclear method. This means copying your book into Notepad and then copying it back into the original file to get rid of funny coding.
Promoting Your Book
Smashwords does a lot of your promotion for you. Your book will be listed with the retailers mentioned above and your book’s page on Smashwords and its micro-sites appears in search engine results.
One thing that is truly unique about Smashwords: you can issue promotional coupons. You can use coupon codes to offer a discount on your book. For example, you could post the coupon code for your book on Facebook for your fans or list members. This is much better than lowering the price, because you can use it as an offer for your fans.
Smashwords also allows you to show your potential readers a sample of your book. This option is great because people are much more likely to make a purchase if they’ve read a few pages and enjoyed it.
Another feature that sets Smashwords apart is the many different formats it publishes in. It automatically transfers your file into nine different formats so anybody, anywhere and with any device can read it.
Smashwords offers a variety of options for publishing and promotion. It’s a great tool for selling your e-books and getting your name out there as an expert author in your niche.
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