When I first heard about Smashwords, I wasn’t impressed with the name. Nonetheless, I had read great reviews about it, so I decided to check it out. This was several years ago when I decided to self publish my books. After two experiences with vanity publishers – one was great; the other one not so good – and learning more about indie publishing, that route seemed the way to go.
There is, of course, Amazon KDP, another excellent self publishing platform for indie authors. Not everyone likes Amazon, though. Some customers won’t purchase there, for ethical reasons. The recent cuts in referral commissions has Amazon affiliates in uproar, which may result in many canceled accounts, who knows …
As the famous saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are many other platforms that do just as well, or even better, and I must say that Smashwords offers all the tools an indie author needs.
Background on Smashwords
This company was founded in Los Gatos, California, and it is a platform for self-publishing e-books. It has been operating since 2008.
The founder and CEO is Mark Coker. He founded Smashwords to change the way books were being published, marketed, and sold. He has written several books to help the author with Smashwords marketing and style guides. If you want to know more about the founder, his profile is available on Smashwords.
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How Do You Self Publish?
You can publish your e-book for free. The process is easy. You upload a Word document or PDF, but before you do that, make sure it is formatted and edited.
If you’ve never formatted a book before, the first time can seem daunting, but after a few times you’ll get the hang of it. There is, of course, the easier option of letting someone do it for you. At a low price you can pay a professional to format your book.
Your uploaded document goes through the “meat grinder” where it is checked for any formatting and spelling errors. After it has passed that test, it will be checked by a real person. The process doesn’t take long.
You can also upload your book cover. If you have your own book cover, you need to make sure to have the required pixels that Smashwords requires.
After you have published your book it will be distributed globally, which means that it will be displayed on major book retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Fnac, Hive, and so on, except for Amazon.
And there’s more.
What Does Smashwords Offer?
The list is pretty good.
- Daily sales reporting
- smashwords pre-sales
- audiobook production and distribution
- Pricing manager
- Smashwords interviews
- Coupon manager
- Smashwords alerts
- Centralized media data management
And more, as you can see here.
- It’s free
- It’s easy to use
- User manuals
- Much help available
- Great help desk with quick response times
- Book sales platform
- Author interviews
- Helpful author tools
- Global e-book distribution
I just found one. There is a lot of information on Smashwords, which is a good thing, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming when you’re looking for some specific info. I would not list this as a big con, though.
Do I recommend Smashwords? Yes, absolutely. I’ve had nothing but good experiences on this platform. I signed up with them many years ago, but after I opened an author account with Amazon, I forgot about using Smashwords, yes, shame on me …
I’m beginning to realize that Smashwords – despite being a large company – is still very customer oriented. They care about their authors and readers. You can’t say that for many big businesses, can you?
If you’re an author and you would like to try Smashwords, I’d say, go for it. I will definitely revive my old account. I just had a look, and there are several books I have not published on there yet. I have much work to do.
If you have any more questions about Smashwords, please let me know. I’ll be happy to help.