Smashwords Authors discussion

Julie Raust
This topic is about Julie Raust
64 views
Marketing > Help for the newbie, please...

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Raust | 5 comments Hi Everyone,

I am a new author and have recently begun sending my book out to reviewers.

I know this sounds crazy, but I only read on my Blackberry Kobo app and have little experience with Kindle and Nook etc.

Here's my question...
What exactly do reviewers mean when they ask for the Kindle version (epub? or pdf? or somthing else?)?
And what about when they ask for the mobi version, not sure what that means either?

I don't want to look foolish asking them to explain, however, I have no doubt someone in this group may be willing to help the newbie.

Thanks in advance...
Julie :)


message 2: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments Hey, Julie. This is a good place to ask questions and get answers.

Many eBook apps and readers read the ePub format. Kindle uses the .mobi format. If you pull up your book page on Smashwords, you'll see a list of available formats for downloading. When someone buys your book on Smashwords, they can download the format they prefer. If someone asks you to email a certain format to then, you can download the desired format to your computer and email it to them.

I hope that helps.


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie Raust | 5 comments Thanks! I definitely does.

I really appreciate it!


message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments I haven't yet finished my book but still working on it. I have 2 questions at least so far.

1. When you publish on Smashwords does your book automatically go to B&N, Amazaon as well? How does that work exactly?

2. When you are ready to publish do you already need to have a book cover? Again how does that work?

With all the technology in this day and age I am constantly still stumped when it comes to doing things myself. I appreciate any help.


message 5: by Raine (new)

Raine (rainew) | 4 comments Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. When you publish, you should have a complete book including the cover because once it is finished, it is a complete book and a good cover is a very important marketing step. I recommend downloading the Smashwords Style Guide (free) to help you format your book. I found it very useful and it made the upload easy (after a few hours work that is :).


message 6: by Denise (last edited Sep 03, 2013 05:09PM) (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Raine wrote: "Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. When you publish, you should have a complete book including the cover ..."

Thank you. Where do you suggest getting a book cover from?


message 7: by Raine (new)

Raine (rainew) | 4 comments Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. When you publish, you should have a complete book includ..."

I have a friend who is breaking into doing covers while I'm breaking out as an author, I can pm you his email if you like, or you can do a search online, or you can design your own if you a photoshop style program.


message 8: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Raine wrote: "Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. When you publish, you should have a..."

oh no no no on me designing my own, that type of stuff is not my thing at all.

yes please send me his email, I'm not to that phase yet and if feels as if I will never get there but I just keep pressing on.


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie Raust | 5 comments Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. When you publish, you..."

I used Cover it! Designs for my last book and had a great experience.


message 10: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Julie wrote: "Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Denise&Ebony wrote: "Raine wrote: "Smashwords will automatically distribute your book to several retailers which you can find on your dashboard channel manager. ..."

Thank you.


message 11: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Julie, consider using a public domain photo of a painting by a master painter and then using a simple program like Paint or paint.net to add your title and your name.


message 12: by Barbara (last edited Sep 04, 2013 09:47AM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Or you can find free pictures on Morguefile (http://www.morguefile.com/) or check these posts: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/0...
and
http://bestsellerlabs.com/7-free-phot...

Also, Smashwords doesn't have a distribution to Amazon, so you'll have to go direct to KDP (but don't do Select, or you'll have to give Amazon the exclusivity).


message 13: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Barbara wrote: "Or you can find free pictures on Morguefile (http://www.morguefile.com/) or check these posts: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/0......"

Really! wow, thanks for the info on Amazon and lincs as well.


message 14: by R.E. (last edited Sep 04, 2013 07:53PM) (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 6 comments I use photoshop elements...and it's only 70 dollars. They also have a youtube video on how to make covers...check out mine. The book is called "memoirs of a slave" hope that helps


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments by the way, I think on Mark's list there are also cheap cover artists - request it at Smashwords! :)


message 16: by I.E. (new)

I.E. (ievc) | 19 comments JosDCreations does my covers.


message 17: by Samreen (new)

Samreen Ahsan (sam_a_canada) | 13 comments I would like to provide some feedback too. I hope it would help you. First, for your cover design, I would suggest to hire a proper graphic designer - although it says - never judge a book by its cover (though this term is used on humans) - but when you are buying a book, you check the cover and read the synonpsis and it has to be good in order to make it sellable. Free images would not help you in future if you are publishing it on a large scale. There are some policies in Barnes and Nobles for cover design, having a liscened image. Shutter Stock, Corbis, Master file, there are some websites which sell good, liscened images. Provide the synopsis to the designer so that he/she may have the idea of what the book is about, it would enhance the creativity. The designer would create your file in vector graphic so that if in future if you like to have it published in paperback or hardcover, you can still use the same cover design as for ebook. This vector graphic also helps for designing magazine adverstisements.

For the Kindle version, it means your file should either be in .MOBI or .AZW. Almost every book reader has a Kindle app (amazon ID) on their smart phones, and it is not mandatory to have Kindle device. If someone asks for your Kindle version, means they either ask if your book is published on amazon or if you have .MOBI or .AZW version. Kindle also supports .DOC or .PDF. If you want to send your book, you can ask the person his/her kindle email address which is available on their amazon profile under "manage your kindle". It would be like xxx@kindle.com. Ask them to add your email address to "Approved Personal Document E-mail List". This way, you can send your Kindle file or even a PDF, directly to their app and then can read through kindle app. This would help them read through the app and manage the bookmarks.
There are softwares (e.g Calibre) to covert your .doc file to ebook (.mobi or .epub), in whatever format you want. Mobi version is for iphones, ipads, ipods. But every third reader has an amazon id (kindle app) installed so better to go for .epub version.

Another quick way to create your epub with book cover is to upload the book on Kobo and download it on your file.
I hope that would help you. If you are looking for a designer, I can give you her email.


message 18: by Ammara (new)

Ammara | 1 comments For book covers and other graphic design work please feel free to contact me at info@logodesignfort.com
To see my portfolio check my Facebook page www.facebook.com/Logodesignfort


message 19: by Ted (last edited Sep 19, 2013 04:02PM) (new)

Ted Summerfield (ted_summerfield) | 144 comments Barbara wrote: "Also, Smashwords doesn't have a distribution to Amazon, so you'll have to go direct to KDP (but don't do Select, or you'll have to give Amazon the exclusivity)."

Smashwords distributes to Amazon under the terms set by Amazon years ago; author must have a minimum sales of $1,000 per month per book from Smashwords site itself before distribution to Amazon.

The $1,000 sales figure set by Amazon is not the total per month sales of an ebook through Smashwords, only the total sales of an ebook on Smashwords site itself.

As few authors on Amazon have an ebook selling a $1,000 a month it was a safe bet by Amazon that not too many authors on Smashwords - an unknown company compared to Amazon - would reach the target.


message 20: by A.L., Stormy Chronicler (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 998 comments I would NOT complain if I had $1000 a month on sales:)


message 21: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments It's okay, A.L. I would complain if you had $1000 a month in sales.

My complaint would have nothing to do you and your fine work, you understand. It would be solely due to my complete and utter failure to reach those numbers. I would then console myself by stating that success is not necessarily measured in dollars. I would hastily add that it may not even be measured in downloads, likes, or reviews.

Eventually, I would resign myself to the fact that while numbers may not lie, they are frequently spiteful and mean. I would gaze up at your unattainable sales volume, sigh, and apologize for complaining. Hey, maybe my work will increase in value once I'm gone. I dream of the day my heirs will cash in and have enough money to split a cheeseburger.

I said it was a dream.


message 22: by A.L., Stormy Chronicler (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 998 comments Hahahaha:)


message 23: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Has anyone had their ebook later transferred to print?

Were you able to use your same cover design that you used on your ebook?

Who did you go through for print?

Was it difficult or easy?

Please be detailed in your answers. Thank you


message 24: by Barbara (last edited Sep 26, 2013 12:10AM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Yes, Denise, I have the longer books also in print form. I started using Lulu back in 2009 since I used it for my graphic novel which as a European format (A4-A5) that wasn't available on CreateSpace at the time. This year I'm slowly doing the CreateSpace editions, since Lulu is now partnering with scammer Author Solutions. AND Amazon has added BookMatch - which ties your e-book to the POD, and it's easier to have the POD version on Amazon through CreateSpace...

This is a post I made in another group about it:
"My Lulu shop: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/barb65
Some covers from Lulu: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...
(using their cover wizard template or image only)
A post with some of my printed books pics: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com...

UPDATE JUNE 2013: my attempts with CreateSpace (vs.Lulu)! :)
http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com... "

As for covers - I used the same cover art for the books and e-books. The latest Star Minds by Barbara G.Tarn I did it slightly differently, since I put the same art front and back (while the others usually have a neutral back same color of the frame). If you want more infos, PM me on Goodreads! :)


message 25: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Borders | 22 comments Denise -

I have had my books made available in print, using Snowfall Press. They are very affordable and the quality of the books is good. They have a program to make books available to the major online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other smaller retailers,
With some slight modifications, I was able to use the same cover as my ebooks. The reason the modifications were necessary is due to the different size requirements. That was accomplished fairly easily - as was getting the books formatted for printing. They have detailed instructions that helped a lot. It takes a little time but isn't that difficult.
The only problem I had was getting the cover to look right once printed - the picture comes out dark and almost blurry because of the format they use - and one I wasn't used to. Also, to get the right kind of file you must have either Adobe Pro or GDoc Creator. Adobe costs about $140.00 and gives excellent results. GDoc is free but the results may be less than favorable. (Other software does exist but does not seem compatible with Snowfall's printing system. Eventually, I managed to get a decent looking cover, but it cost a little money printing all the proofs and having them shipped. They do have a list of people who can provide services and most are not expensive.
Overall, I am happy with my experience with Snowfall Press, they are very nice to work with, friendly and helpful, with great customer support.
To give you an idea of the cost, one of my books, a 326 page standard size paperback, costs $4.18 to print one copy, shipping costs vary according to region, for me shipping is around $2.25 for this book. There is also a per book fee from Snowfall, .80 cents for one copy. You can order as many books as you like and the printing cost stays the same (per copy), the per copy shipping costs and fees are reduced.
Hope that didn't confuse you too much! You can check out the website yourself, they probably explain it far better than I. www.snowfallpress.com


message 26: by Ubiquitous (last edited Sep 26, 2013 01:47PM) (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments Hey, Denise. This is a great question. Here's my experience with Print On Demand (POD) via CreateSpace. Not everyone has the same experience with this service and we don't all have the same needs.

I started with my eBook version in multiple electronic formats. A couple of months after releasing the eBook, I investigated POD options. I chose CreateSpace because the basic service is free, the process looked simple, and I could do all of the work myself. (I don't pay for anything if I can help it...)

I had created the cover for my eBook, so I modified it for the print version. I included more of the background image in the shot, cropped it to the right size, and fit the picture to the CreateSpace design template. It took a fair amount of work. Since I'm not a graphic artist, it took me more time than it would take someone who knew what they were doing. Once I had the image right, I placed my title and author text on the front cover, spine, and a blurb on the back. That took me a while to get right. All together, I probably spent about 15-20 hours on the cover. (I know. I told you I'm not a graphic artist.)

Formatting the text took a little time as well. I made a copy of my eBook Word document to modify the formatting. I inserted a Table of Contents, added page breaks at each chapter, and formatted text for odd and even pages. I used the CreateSpace margin suggestions as a starting point and adjusted until I was satisfied. I think I probably spent about 10 hours formatting the text.

Once this was done, it was a simple matter to upload the text and cover. I ordered a proof copy so I could see the finished product. The colors on the cover came out a little darker than they appear on screen, so be forewarned.

I priced the book so I would make a little over $1.00 per copy at Amazon. Pricing is always a matter of debate and there is no one right price. You're going to have to feel your way on that.

Amazon linked the CreateSpace paperback version to my eBook automatically. I've sold a few paperback copies, but most of my sales are for the eBook version. At the very least, the pricing of the paperback makes the eBook look like a much better deal.

I hope all of the advice from folks here is helpful. I know this can be daunting to someone who is just getting started. Hang in there. You'll be fine.


message 27: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Thank you so much, I'm still working on my book. Yes it is all very helpful. It scares the crap out of me but still helpful.


message 28: by A.L., Stormy Chronicler (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 998 comments Barbara wrote: "Yes, Denise, I have the longer books also in print form. I started using Lulu back in 2009 since I used it for my graphic novel which as a European format (A4-A5) that wasn't available on CreateSpa..."

Oh I didn't know that about Lulu. :(


message 29: by A.L., Stormy Chronicler (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 998 comments The formatting on CS is a bit of a p in the a, over a certain size the template guidelines don;t seem to work and it screwed the margins... it might have been the fact that their template suggest inches and my version of word is cms... but even after I cahnged that it still had issues.

There template covers are a bit disappointing but I may just try and use the blank one next time if I can work out how.

Not too bad - one thing if you don't live in the US the postage for author copies is prohibitive. If you want the cheapish postage it takes a month to arrive. The quickest way is proof online, let it go live then buy it on Amazon with the free postage option. It still works out cheaper and quicker.


message 30: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Has anyone had a cover done with their picture on the back? If so how was it done and was it simple?


message 31: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments I didn't include my picture. If I were to add it, readers might pay extra to have it removed...

Depending on your comfort level, it's a reasonably simple process to copy and paste a picture on top of your back cover. You may spend some time resizing, moving and fussing with it, but it's not too difficult. When you're done, save the finished version as a single picture.

If you're not comfortable with this, you might want to have someone help you.


message 32: by Marla (new)

Marla Bradeen (mbradeen) | 49 comments Hi Denise. I included a picture on my print book's back cover. I self-publish the print version through CreateSpace, and I upload my own .pdf file as the cover so it's rather easy to arrange everything the way I want. I just had someone take a picture of me on their iPhone and email me the picture, and I inserted it into my cover file.

For the cover file, I created a Drawing file in OpenOffice (OpenOffice is free software that's similar to the Microsoft Office suite of products). You'd set up a single one-page file for your book cover, which would include the front, back, and spine of your book. The dimensions would depend on the size and length of your book. Then you can just copy and paste pictures or add text and arrange everything however you like. Once you're finished, you can export your file as a .pdf document, which you can upload directly into CreateSpace as the cover file.


message 33: by Ted (new)

Ted Summerfield (ted_summerfield) | 144 comments Denise, Libre Office is the same as Open Office only more stable.

I used to use Open Office but switched to Libre Office a couple of years ago.


message 34: by Denise (new)

Denise Jewell | 17 comments Thanks for all the responses, I think I will put it on the inside of the back cover now that I think about it, but still considering more options. I'm still a few months away from my hopefully finished deadline.


message 35: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasstolte) | 5 comments Hello all,

I have a book in peer review right now (still digital). At this point, I'm looking at publishing. I've heard good things about Smashwords (i.e. free to publish, grinder, etc). Bad thing is no kindle/amazon support (yet).

This is the first I've seen any real discussion on CreateSpace (an Amazon co.). I checked out their site, looks good. They show prices for printing and shipping and some tools. The one thing I couldn't find was pricing for membership for authors. I assume shoppers get free membership (anything else these days is stupid).

Can anyone tell me more about CS author membership pricing?

Thank you in advance.


message 36: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 260 comments Thomas wrote: "Hello all,

I have a book in peer review right now (still digital). At this point, I'm looking at publishing. I've heard good things about Smashwords (i.e. free to publish, grinder, etc). Bad th..."


Do Smashwords, and do your own KDP (Amazon) regular (not the Select program). That covers all of your bases.

There is no cost to publish via CreateSpace, unless you want extended distribution (which I recommend). That's $25, and gets you into B&N and several other places in hard copy.


message 37: by Marla (new)

Marla Bradeen (mbradeen) | 49 comments Thomas, I second what Sharon suggested, except perhaps about electing to enroll your book in the CreateSpace expanded distribution option. I can see how it would be beneficial to have your paperback listed in more places than Amazon, but personally I don't think I would sell enough copies to cover the $25/year cost.

CreateSpace offers professional assistance to format your book that they charge for, but I found it fairly easy to format it myself and just upload the final files. The only thing I pay for is ordering copies of my own book, and author copies are sold at cost (plus shipping).


message 38: by Heather (new)

Heather (clockwork_wings) | 15 comments Is it per year? I thought it was one flat price...


message 39: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 260 comments Heather wrote: "Is it per year? I thought it was one flat price..."

My impression is that it was one flat price as well.


message 40: by Heather (new)

Heather (clockwork_wings) | 15 comments I checked again, it doesn't say anything about a yearly fee that I've seen, however you will have to pay again if you need to make changes.


message 41: by Marla (new)

Marla Bradeen (mbradeen) | 49 comments Sorry all, I looked again too and couldn't find anything about the $25 expanded distribution cost being an annual fee. I'm not sure why I thought otherwise. Now I will have to reconsider signing up for it!


message 42: by Marla (new)

Marla Bradeen (mbradeen) | 49 comments CreateSpace just announced that the expanded distribution option is now free. How is that for timing?


message 43: by Heather (new)

Heather (clockwork_wings) | 15 comments Free forever? It needs to be free for awhile...I'm not done with my novel yet...


message 44: by Marla (new)

Marla Bradeen (mbradeen) | 49 comments Heather, as far as I could tell CreateSpace intends for this to be a permanent change rather than a promotional offer. I could be wrong or they might change their mind.


message 45: by Barbara (last edited Nov 10, 2013 08:35AM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments The 25$ distribution fee is gone. I will get mine refunded soon - I got an e-mail from CreateSpace saying they will refund me the latest fee I paid for my still unpublished latest book. So yeah, should be forever, but not retroactive (I still paid it last year).


back to top