Smashwords is the world's largest distributor of self-published ebooks. 350,000 authors have published with Smashwords for these great reasons:
1. Pays you 85% royalties on direct sales.
2. Converts your ebook into every file type for any possible e-reading device.
3. Distributes your ebook for sale to other retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor, Library Direct, Oyster, Scribd, Flipkart and OverDrive while handling the finances.
4. Allows you to generate ebook discounts for any amount and time frame. Perfect for gifting books or creating sale events.
5. Design an author profile with photos, videos, links to your print books, interview and more.
6. It's a free service. They only make money when you sell ebooks.
Smashwords is ideal for authors who want to save time and money.
The course is taught by Jason Matthews, bestselling author and Udemy expert for self-publishing topics.
Everything you need to:
Smashwords pays a whopping 85% royalty to you on direct sales, plus they convert your other file types for every possible reading device. Smashwords also distributes your ebook to major retailers around the world. Every author should include Smashwords in their publishing plan, and this course shows you how.
Here are the URLs listed that appear in the videos. There are other link sections later (repeated) for cover design topics, ePub conversion, payments, taxes and site updates.
Here's a quick rundown of the most useful formatting tips before we implement them.
Let's put those tips to work in an example MS Word document. This is a great way to format ebooks.
This is a handy list for all your possible elements of front matter and the chronological order they're typically used.
See how Smashwords recommends making your Table of Contents, by inserting bookmarks at the proper locations within the text and hyperlinks in the TOC that send a reader to those bookmarks. This method creates your NCX file upon conversion.
Here's a second method for creating a Table of Contents that works great if you plan to upload an ePub file to Smashwords. We'll use MS Word's Reference tab, Heading 1 settings, and the Insert Table of Contents feature. This method is also preferred by Amazon Kindle should you decide to format a version for KDP Amazon or other retailers.
After the basics, knowing some special formatting tips will make your ebook stand out with aesthetics and fun functionality. Plus you can also hire out wisely if you decide you'd rather pay for a professional formatter.
Knowing the specifics for cover design required to pass inspection will help your ebook make the premium Catalog and be eligible for distribution to major retailers.
Reference this handy list for reminders and suggestions regarding your ebook cover.
Get some great ideas for hiring a cover designer.
You may want to check out some cover template sites if you want to try making one yourself.
For the adventurous types who really want a do-it-yourself book cover, here are some great sites, programs and tips to know about.
Here's a handy list for places to get images and programs for working with them.
This decision divides authors, so take your time and decide how you'd like to upload to Smashwords.
For those who want to upload an ePub file to Smashwords, Calibre is a free and awesome tool for converting MS Word .docx to ePub.
Validate your ePub file before uploading to Smashwords. If it passes inspection at Epub Validator, it's much more likely to pass at Smashwords. If it doesn't pass inspection, you'll be given a list of errors along with their location in the text so you'll know what needs fixing.
This is exciting because you're ready to publish! Let's fill in the content boxes and upload your documents properly.
After uploading to Smashwords, make an ISBN decision (free or provide your own?) and check the quality of your ePub conversion if you uploaded MS Word .doc.
Here's how to upload an ePub file or to update a new version and also how to download Adobe Digital Editions for another way of checking how you ePub file looks on e-reading devices.
Through the Channel Manager of your Dashboard, make sure to check the Distribute or Opt-Out buttons for each of the distribution partners to determine which retailers will sell your ebook.
These will be important for getting paid and staying up to date with new developments.
Smashwords is unique for giving authors the ability to make coupons of any value for readers. It's a great way to share or promote your ebook with special deals.
Fortunately Smashwords gives authors plenty of way to shine. It's a great idea to fill out as much information about you as possible. Readers enjoy that.
Questions and comments can be left here in the course or through my direct email. Plus my blog has money saving coupons for other Udemy courses on topics in self-publishing.
Jason Matthews is the author of multiple titles, both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been translated into 8 languages and his self-publishing lessons have been viewed by students in 123 countries.
Jason works with writers around the world and teaches many courses on self-publishing topics (listed below).
He lives in San Luis Obispo, California. He's a skier, soccer player, beach lounger and loves a game of chess or scrabble. He can be contacted through his websites and social media links.