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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Publishing on Smashwords : Self-Publishing Markets • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
Page 1 of 2

Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:11 pm
by Oldtimer
I feel like the new girl entering the class late in squeaky shoes. Also, I'm not sure whether I should be posting this here but, as I'm writing mainly about formatting, here goes.

Last night I finally published my short novel on Smashwords, after three other aborted tries, and I thought other forumites might like to know of my experience.

First, I checked my manuscript to make sure that every darned 'carriage return' (as we used to call it) was necessary and that it started a new paragraph, and used page breaks to define chapters. I had chosen to indent my paras by 0.3 inches. I used no italics and only emboldened the title (not in all caps) and chapter headings. I did not attempt to create a Table of Contents. Font? Garamond 12pt.

Then I went on to try to publish. I must have spent over half an hour, selecting the right 400 words for my short synopsis (they called it that, but I did not reveal the ending), then once again, I twiddled my thumbs for over ten minutes watching for a "Please wait" message to go away after I had chosen my main category: Fiction. Nothing seemed to be happening so I went down the page, indicated that my novel had adult content, typed in tags, and agreed to 20% free sampling. Then I was asked what kind of format I wished to publish in. Most of the boxes were already checked so I left them that way and uploaded my cover image. I had created it as a JPeg, 1400 pixels wide by 2100 pixels tall. After that, I uploaded my manuscript and pressed "Publish". I was immediately thrown back to Stage 3: Choose category. A second selection box had opened and needed input. For my secondary category I selected Romance, waited again for another sub-category box to appear but - again - nothing happened so I completed the rest of the page, just like I did before, and - just like before - I was thrown back to select a sub-category and I chose Adult.

This time, after I pressed "Publish" it actually went through and I landed on the ISBN page. I selected the free one offered by Smashwords and chose to receive a check in payment when I had earned $75 ... optimistic as ever. At $2.99 a copy it will take quite a while before enough copies of my book have been bought to make me that rich. Congratulations followed, plus two long e-mails telling me what to do next. I was told to check for AutoVetter error messages but, according to my book page, I didn't have any. What a relief!

By then it was two o'clock in the morning and I stumbled back to bed, intending to finish off whatever I had to do today. Apparently, though, I don't have anything to do except wait while my novel is being reviewed for inclusion in the Premium Catalog. That can take several weeks. Full of curiosity, I downloaded a copy in EPub to see what the pages looked like and was pleasantly surprised. Every chapter started on a new page, just as I'd hoped, and I couldn't spot any glitches. I was a bit disappointed with my cover. Increasing its size to meet Smashwords' criterion made it look less bold, but this was my first attempt at a cover so, all in all, I didn't feel too badly.

There you go, folks. That's what happened to me. I hope my experience will encourage some of you to try the Smashwords route. As pls has told me, time and again, it is easy, but - being an old dog - I'm wary of learning new tricks. Ha! Nothing to it! :D

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:45 am
by pls
Congrats, Dorothy. Now all you have to do is to wait for the book orders to roll in … from Smashwords, B&N, Sony, etc. Well, that and check your Dashboard every day to see how many books you've sold.

Next: Publish on Amazon for the Kindle.

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:20 am
by Oldtimer
Sombody bought a copy! This morning! I'm now $2.21 richer. Wow, I'm so happy. :D

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:31 am
by TerryRodgers

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:35 am
by updog

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:54 pm
by wondo
Selling the first one is a great feeling. Congrats, Dorothy. I think I sold one of my books on the first day I published it.

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:16 pm
by Oldtimer
This has been a great day. I now learn that my book has been approved and will be in Smashwords' Premium Catalogue. I don't know how much difference that will make but it sounds pretty good! :)

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:21 pm
by pls

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:39 am
by kankowitz
Dorothy, very happy for you!

I have many questions about doing this myself. I signed up for Smashwords yesterday...but I'll start another thread so as not to steal yours away.

Re: Publishing on Smashwords

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:54 am
by Oldtimer
This isn't MY thread, Karen. Don't you think it would be better if all the posts relating to the mechanics of publishing on Smashwords were in the same place? That way we get to know what to do or not to do to make the process easier. I'm hoping to put two more novels on Smashwords (one needs a major edit and the other hasn't been written yet!) but I'll be keeping my beady eyes on this thread for tips and advice.

And thank you everyone for your congratulations. It's a great feeling to sell a copy straight away. :D I expect that was beginner's luck, but at least I haven't scored a duck!