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Self-Publish Your Book at Smashwords

Updated on November 8, 2013

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?

See results

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

Comments

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  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    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

    Virginia Kearney 4 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Pamela. Get busy!

  • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

    Pamela Kinnaird W 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Enlydia. Best wishes on your books!

  • Enlydia Listener profile image

    Enlydia Listener 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

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

  • Kristine Manley profile image

    Donna Kristine 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, randomcreative, and good luck!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

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

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Teaches12345! I appreciate your comments!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Rebecca. I appreciate your positive feedback!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    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 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

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

  • Marla Neogra profile image

    Marla J Neogra 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

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

  • Sophie's soap box profile image

    Sophie's soap box 5 years ago from Australia

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

  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, sweethearts2. I appreciate your support.

  • sweethearts2 profile image

    sweethearts2 5 years ago from Northwest Indiana

    Great useful advice, I intend to follow. Voted up

  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

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

  • Suzie ONeill profile image

    Suzie ONeill 5 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
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks for commenting, Naima. It is very convenient.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image
    Author

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    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.

  • profile image

    Website Examiner 5 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 5 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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