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Smashwords - how easy is it to publish on it?

edited March 2013 in Writing
I was thinking of publishing my novel on smashwords and wondered how easy and effective it is. Also how does it work, ie will I be able to keep an eye on sales reviews etc.


  • I know a few TB's have used smashwords.
  • pbwpbw
    edited March 2013
    I like it.
    You get stats on your dashboard. You can see how many views your book has had and how many downloads.

    Uploading and working with the site is virtually instant, but you do have to take care formatting the file. There are certain key "no-nos", especially with respect to Microsoft Word, but once your manuscript is ship-shape, it's pretty plain sailing.

    Without wishing to demonstrate what to do with eggs and how to suck them, make sure you have a decent cover. Some people have really pony cover designs with blurred titles and all sorts and they can be impossible to read as a small icon.

    And yes, the reviews are right there, on the book's page.

    Good luck.
  • Very easy.
    Download the style and formatting guide and work through it. It looks a bit daunting at first but really it's very straightforward.
    And it is really simple to keep track of all your stats via your dashboard.
  • If you want Smashwords to distribute your book to Apple, Sony, Kobo etc, stick to the formatting Guide exactly! I spent an hour the other day having my book sent back to me with 'autovetting errors' (which means they won't distribute it) and the problem was that on the first page where they want 'Smashwords Edition', Word had autocorrected to 'Smash words Edition'. Their autovetter couldn't recognise the word Smashwords from that and so said that it wasn't there.

    They will tell you in the guide to 'nuke' your manuscript ie. copy it into Notepad to get rid of all Word formatting and then paste it into a new document and reformat. That looks like a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it. Word puts in all sorts of things you can't see over time, but it shows up when Smashwords format it for the different ereaders and then it's rejected.
  • As the others have said, follow the guide and you'll be fine.
  • At first dealing with Smashword’s dreaded Meatgrinder was intimidating & I did have a few false starts. I also read numerous blogs written by people who sounded like they knew what they were talking about. It was a waste of time. Much ado about nothing because I figured it out. Here’s how to format a book to Smashwords. Note: I only write fiction & nonfiction. I don’t use tables or graphs or put in photos or get too fancy. I try and adhere to the KISS theory (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    Use WORD. If you don’t have it, buy it. If you use Open Office or Word Perfect you’ll have major problems & if you do manage to solve them it’ll take forever.

    In Find and Replace enter ^t in the Find box. ^t is the symbol for tab. That’s what most people use to indent the first line of paragraphs. Leave the Replace With box empty. Click on replace.

    In Find and Replace enter.. and Replace with . Smashwords likes one space between sentences. Repeat if there are two spaces between end of sentence and new paragraph.

    Delete spaces between paragraphs. Use single spacing not 1.5 or 2.

    Make sure title page and License Statement is exactly the way Smashwords wants it. It’s in their free, downloadable Style Guide.

    One more thing: WORD 2013 has a file extension of .docx. Smashwords won’t recognize a docx file (I have no idea why). Save your file (document) as WORD 2003 which has a .doc extension. Smashwords likes that extension and will accept it. Smashwords will be happy and so will you.

    Make sure cover image is the size Smashwords wants. The correct size is also in the Style Guide. I’ll save you some time. Minimum width is 1,400 pixels and the height should be greater than the width. 1,600 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels high is a good dimension.

    The choice of letting Smashwords assign you an ISBN number or using one that you’ve bought is up to you.

    Submit. Piece of cake.
    J.M. Garlock
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