THINKING ABOUT USING SMASHWORDS? HERE'S WHAT I'VE LEARNED




I've seen many self-publishing authors post questions on social media that go something like this:


"How do I pick a self-publishing service? Do you have any recommendations?"


Usually I answer by providing this link: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/best-self-publishing-services/


The Alliance of Independent Authors maintains this list of author-services providers. Of course, not every provider is on that list (I'm not), but it's a useful thing to check if you're considering working with a specific company or individual. It's particularly helpful for avoiding bad apples, such as Author Solutions.


Personally, I chose Smashwords as the service to publish my own book. So far, it's been a great experience. Here's what I've discovered over the last several weeks of working with this platform:



Pros

  • Free to publish

  • Distributes to many popular ebook retailers (such as iBooks, OverDrive, Barnes and Noble, and others)

  • Generates multiple types of ebook files for you at no cost

  • Straightforward to set up your profile and royalty payments

  • Lots of great ideas for marketing in the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide and Smart Author Podcast (both free)



Cons

  • Only publishes ebooks, not hard copies

  • Doesn't distribute to Amazon—you have to publish there separately

  • Takes a lot of work to format your MS correctly so the automated ebook formatter doesn't have any problems (which is why I offer formatting as one of my services if you decide to publish with Smashwords)

  • Even if you follow all the formatting guidelines, weird things might still happen. For example, Smashwords and I are still trying to figure out why certain headings in my book display correctly in some file types but not in others.



Overall, I highly recommend Smashwords for when you're ready to publish.


In the meantime, how can I help you along the way? Email me at storyengineer7 AT gmail.com and let me know. 


Write on,

Candice


(Thanks to Frank Holleman for sharing their work on Unsplash.)

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