Self-Publish Your Book at Smashwords

First Things First

So, you've written a book. Not only a book, the great American novel. Or, the end-all, be-all of reference books. So, you're done, right? No.

I've heard people say that the hard part about writing a book is writing the book. I don't believe that. Writing the book is the easy part. Getting it published and then actually selling copies is the hard part.

Smashwords makes the publishing part easy! More than 30,000 writers and independent publishers publish on Smashwords. That equates to more than 85,000 books! This makes Smashwords the world's largest ebook distributor.

What is Smashwords?

Smashwords is an e-book publishing company founded in 2008 by Mark Coker. The idea behind the company is that anyone can write a book and upload it to Smashwords and it is converted into multiple e-reader formats (including: Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone & iPod Touch, among others). The best part about it is that this service is FREE. Yes, I said FREE. It costs nothing to upload your book.

You can sell it for as much as you want or offer it FREE. When your book is published at Smashwords, you earn 85% of the proceeds. If your book is purchased through a retail site like Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, etc., you earn 65%.

FREE Stuff from Smashwords

Smashwords offers numerous FREE services when you publish your ebook with them.

♦ FREE ISBN

♦ FREE ebook conversion to nine different formats

♦ FREE marketing tools

♦ FREE unlimited updates

How to Publish at Smashwords - Step by Step

Steps to publishing your book at Smashwords:

* Write the book.

* Proofread the book.

* Let as many other people as possible proofread the book.

* Have a professional edit the book.

* Make corrections.

* Read Smashwords Style Guide

* Re-read Smashwords Style Guide

* Make changes to the book following the Smashwords Style Guide

* Design (or have someone else do it) the cover

* Follow the directions at Smashwords to upload your book.

* Market your book to everyone you know and even more people you don't know. Smashwords has also published The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide to help. There are great suggestions in there.

The Downside

I have (so far) only discovered two things I don't like about publishing at Smashwords.

1. When I uploaded my book, I was #1049 in the queue, meaning that there were 1048 people ahead of me to publish their books. It took six plus hours for my book to be uploaded.

2. It also takes awhile for your book to be reviewed for possible inclusion in the Smashwords Premium Catalog - something you really want to have. It took me about 12 days for approval and I was anxious the whole time.

Have you tried using Smashwords to publish your book?

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My Thoughts

I think it's definitely worth it to give Smashwords a try, especially if you don't have a lot (or any) money to put up front to publish your book.

To SELL your book, you have to market it. Read everything you can about easy ways to market your book and actively pursue it.

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Smashwords E-Publishing

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Comments 30 comments

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 3 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Good idea about the review capsule - thanks!

I wasn't too sure about epublishing before I tried it but I really like Smashwords.


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 3 years ago from United States

Great information. It has been a while since I've thought about epublishing but you are reminding me I ought to try it. Consider adding a review capsule to the hub.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Pamela. Get busy!


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Thank you for this information. Voted up and awesome. I will have a look at Smashwords. I have several 'things' I'd like to work on.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Enlydia. Best wishes on your books!


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 4 years ago from trailer in the country

Hi, Nice to meet another Smashwords writer...I just put two books up there in the last week or so. I also have a few on Lulu, and about ten on Amazon...Just started the ebooks this year in January. It's a lot of fun, isn't it?


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Good luck with your book, Kristine! I appreciate you're stopping by.


Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I sure could use this information. I am looking to publish my first e-book soon. Thank you for this information. Voted up!


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, randomcreative, and good luck!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I have thought about publishing an e-book and am so glad to have another resource for this process. Thanks for sharing all of your insight about Smashwords!


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Marcy. I feel good about my experience so far!


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

I'm exploring epublishing, and have read a little about Smashbooks. This is a helpful and easy guide from one who has been there. Thanks! Voted up and useful.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Teaches12345! I appreciate your comments!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this information. I was looking for answers to my questions on e-book publishing. I will look into this option.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Rebecca. I appreciate your positive feedback!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I have heard of Smashwords very briefly. But the information you have given here is SO helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Good luck, Mona. I'm still waiting to be added to the Premium Catalog. Through my marketing techniques, I've sold a few copies of my book. Very exciting.


Mona Germain profile image

Mona Germain 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Practical and fair assessment with good hints. I had already signed up, just playing round the site. Now I am over here too trying to learn the ropes --lots of steps!! LOL


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thank you, Maria. I definitely recommend looking into Smashwords. Good luck with your project.


Marla Neogra profile image

Marla Neogra 4 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

This was an excellent, to the point page and I am happy you chose to publish it. I have been playing around with the thought of publishing my writing for years but have not found the best platform for it. Thank you for this free option!


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

You're welcome, Sophie. I hope it works out for you.


Sophie's soap box profile image

Sophie's soap box 4 years ago from Australia

Thank for your advice. I will have a look at these websites, etc.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, sweethearts2. I appreciate your support.


sweethearts2 profile image

sweethearts2 4 years ago from Northwest Indiana

Great useful advice, I intend to follow. Voted up


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Suzie. I think it's well worth it. Good luck!


Suzie ONeill profile image

Suzie ONeill 4 years ago from Lost in La La Land

Thanks for your input. I've actually been working on an e-book that I intend to publish through Smashwords. It's nice to get an insider perspective!


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks for commenting, Naima. It is very convenient.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Website, you are so right. Editing is extremely important and I should have mentioned it. I'll correct that right away. I really appreciate your comments.


Website Examiner 4 years ago

I find this interesting. Smashwords is the service that I often refer to, for the reasons you have mentioned and also because they make authors issue promotional coupons. You emphasize proofreading and design, but I did not see any reference to the importance of editing. Only one person can edit a book, usually not the author, and a poorly edited book - even if it has been proofread - may not be so positively received by reviewers, which will then impair the sales potential. Free is nice, but also incites some people to release their work prematurely. Good luck with your book!


Naima Manal profile image

Naima Manal 4 years ago from NY

I think this is a very useful platform for anyone interested in publishing a book. The convenience that Smashwords offers is enough to inspire someone to write a book! Thank you.

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