Publish on Smashwords

Smashwords can be a bit challenging. Their “meat grinder” converts your WORD file to several eBook formats and isn’t the best piece of software on the planet.

If you haven’t already, create an account.

You may need a PayPal account to get paid by them. If you don’t have one, look around and see what other arrangements they may have available.

  1. Make a copy of your original ms and call it “My Title Smashwords” or something similar so you know it’s the Smashwords version.
  2. Insert your Smashwords cover image in front of the manuscript. You may end up with two covers in some formats, but a few don’t use the big one you’ll be uploading, so you’ll want to make sure the customer gets at least one image.
  1. Make sure there is no text that is larger than 16 points. That usually means the title has to be reduced and perhaps changed to a different font. If you choose to have a pdf version in the conversion, you’ll need to be fussy about the fonts because they’ll probably survive the conversion to pdf.
  2. On the copyright page, include the phrase, “Smashwords edition”, usually on the second line (after your name).
  3. Make sure all pictures (like your picture on the author page) are formatted “in line” with the text.

Okay, you’re ready to publish the book.

  1. Click on “Publish” in the top bar.
  2. Fill in the blanks.
  3. Yes, they have a pre-order program. I haven’t used it, so you’re on your own.
  4. You’ll need two versions of your description (back cover blurb). The full version and a shortened version (up to 400 characters and spaces). Make the short one enticing enough to get people to click to the book’s sales page off a search list.
  5. I prefer to set the price. 99-cents has to be entered as 0.99 or it will choke.
  6. You get two categories. Try to get as close to the Amazon categories as you can unless you feel adventurous.
  7. “Adult Content” means PG-18 or greater.
  8. You can have up to 10 tags. You’ll have to enter them one at a time instead of pasting the entire list at once (it will use it as one phrase including the commas).
  9. Step #5 is where you tell it what formats you want to produce for customers. I usually uncheck the last two (Plain text and online reader).
  10. The cover image is, again, the big one.
  11. The rest is obvious.

Now you wait, and wait, and wait.

Hopefully, it will make it through the grinder with no errors. If you have errors, good luck sorting them out. Some are easy, some are designed to drive you insane. There will also be a later review that may pop up within a day or so from a manual review.

Now, go to your dashboard (one of the options in the top bar). Click on the Channel Manager.

  1. Work your way down to your book.
  2. Opt out of Amazon (you’ve already done that yourself. No reason to share your profits with Smashwords.
  3. I opt out of:
  • Library Direct
  • Baker-Taylor Axis360
  • Scribd (they used to be a torrent site)

You can make your own decisions.

  1. Go to the bottom and Save the Changes

Now go to the ISBN manager from your dashboard. Go to the new book and get a free ISBN number. Don’t use this number anywhere else; just for Smashwords. It’s just for your EBOOK through SMASHWORDS.

You’re done! Logout is at the bottom of the page (go figure). You don’t have to log out if you don’t want to, just close the tab. You won’t have to log in the next time. LOGOUT IF YOU’RE NOT ON YOUR OWN COMPUTER.


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