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message 1: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McDonald (httpwwwgoodreadscomtriciamc) | 19 comments Has anyone had any dealings with Smashwords? I keep hearing about them and wonder if it is worthwhile to sign up.


message 2: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McDonald (httpwwwgoodreadscomtriciamc) | 19 comments Catherine - Thanks for the feedback.

Did you have someone else get your books in "shape" for Smashwords, or did you do it yourself? I printed out the information on how to do it and just that scared me.

I found a guy who said he would do the work to make my book fit their guidelines, but he wanted $300. That seemed excessive.

And I am an American resident, so hopefully it will be easier.


message 3: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McDonald (httpwwwgoodreadscomtriciamc) | 19 comments Great idea about a geeky teenager. I have a geeky nephew that might be interested in attacking this project.

Thanks again.


message 4: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) I love Smashwords! Through them, I was able to get my e-books listed on Sony, B&N, Kobo, and Apple's iPad store. It's like anything else, you still need to do a lot of promoting. But I do love the fact that, unlike Kindle, you can create coupon codes or even give a book away free for a limited time.

J, I'd like to have your Indian deliver me some curry! Seriously, $300 to format your book is ridiculous. The instructions are easy to follow. The first time will take you longer, then you'll quickly become a pro!


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie | 54 comments I love Smashwords, too. Can't say I've sold much, but I'm still learning how to do marketing. I had no real trouble with formatting, and my only complaint was that the pdb version came out a bit garbled. That's of the dozen or so formats Smashwords creates.


message 6: by Cliff (new)

Cliff Ball (cliffball) | 28 comments I like Smashwords for the fact that I can get my novels in Apple, Sony, and all the others. About the only time I've sold anything on Smashwords itself is when I have a free coupon for the novels.


message 7: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 21 comments Smashwords is great because it coordinates distribution to a bunch of different stores, and takes only a small cut of the profits. Awesome for a first-time author like me who is mainly trying to get his name out there.


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Tricia wrote: "Has anyone had any dealings with Smashwords? I keep hearing about them and wonder if it is worthwhile to sign up."

I have my six books available for download with them. I like the way they have forwarded the books on to other sites like eg Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other sites that I hadn't heard of and will manage any sales. It's difficult for non Americans like me to sell in the US. My website is www.authorsden.com/laurellamperd
Laurel


message 9: by Valmore (new)

Valmore Daniels (valmoredaniels) Smashwords provide avenues to many retailers to whom I would not normally have access.

I love the ability to generate coupons. :)


message 10: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Valmore wrote: "Smashwords provide avenues to many retailers to whom I would not normally have access.

I love the ability to generate coupons. :)"


You are the first person I've heard who uses the coupons. How do you use them? Do they mean more sales for you. Laurel


message 11: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McDonald (httpwwwgoodreadscomtriciamc) | 19 comments Yes, I'm wondering what the coupons are, and whether they help with sales.


message 12: by Valmore (new)

Valmore Daniels (valmoredaniels) You can use the coupons for different purposes. For example, you could offer a 100% discount to a reviewer so they could download the book at no cost in exchange for a review (I don't count this as a sale, though).

Or, you could offer a 50% off discount to another group of people (say, co-workers, etc). Or you could do a coupon for the people who follow you on facebook as a thank you.

And yes, every time I offer a coupon, people use it. I would say over half of my sales on Smashwords come from coupon use. Quite a few of my fellow authors utilize coupons to great effect, and most of them post those coupons on their websites so everyone can benefit.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (westofmars) I'm another happy Smashwords author. I've got three books with them so far and at an 85% royalty rate for direct downloads, that can't be beat.

I love the coupons. They allow me to offer free copies for review, and so I can participate in Operation e-Book Drop, which offers free e-books to deployed troops (not all of them American, either!). Plus, when the site runs a promo, like July's Summer Sale or March's Read an e-book Week, I've jumped on the promo thing and really sold a TON. Making your books free helps, I'll admit it...

I've also been very happy with their responsiveness. Any problem has been addressed very quickly and resolved easily. (Even the night iTunes wasn't letting me upload Trevor's Song, for some reason)

Definitely don't pay to have someone format for you, especially THAT amount. Take your time and learn how to do it right -- it's a useful skill. Best of all, when I've had formatting issues that weren't Smashwords-based, my problem solving led me to going over the style guide again and voila. There was the answer I needed.

Good luck!


message 14: by David (new)

David | 1 comments Hi Tricia, I find 'Smashwords' very good. Great site, well formed and helpful. DO please try formating your own books. It might look scary, but it does work. You must use microsoft word (doc file)to upload. Then down load your story in HTML(the first 'block'on the 'who is going to carry your book) onto your computor to check it's OK - if not OK, you can alter it and send it in again. My first try didn't work, so don't be scared!!!
If you are really stuck, e-mail me at david@davidmoreton1.wanadoo.co.uk and I will try and help. Good luck, David


message 15: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McDonald (httpwwwgoodreadscomtriciamc) | 19 comments Thanks David. I'm going to give it a try, but if I start pulling my hair out, I'll give you a shout.

And thanks to everyone else for sharing their experience with Smashwords.

~Tricia


message 16: by Guido (last edited Sep 01, 2010 08:11PM) (new)

Guido Henkel (guidohenkel) | 130 comments I'm no longer actively supporting Smashwords. They generated virtually no sales and it wasn't worth the effort, really. I am serving all my distribution channels directly, like Amazon, Kobo, Apple, so I really have no use for them. There is not a single distribution outlet they cover that I cannot reach directly.

In addition, I have never been happy with the quality of their auto-generated output. The concept of generating an eBook from a MS Word document makes the hair on my back stand up.

As a result of their meatgrinder approach some of the file formats they generate are plain out broken - like their Palm books - and others are simply watered down versions of what they could really be. Since they never allowed me to directly upload my hand-tweaked eBook files I was never really excited about them to begin with.


message 17: by Indieauthor (new)

Indieauthor | 1 comments Just to see what all the hype was about, I recently joined smashwords. However I am not thrilled with how the meat grinder turns books out. I have reformatted the word doc, to almost a plain format.

Will let you know if it works itself out or not. Has anyone else used coupons for generating reviews?


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (westofmars) I use coupons for review copies all the time, Indie. It's so easy, it costs nothing, so if the person on the receiving end never reviews the book, all I'm out is the ten seconds it took to send the coupon.

I've also had really big payoffs, too, with people doing more than posting reviews.


message 19: by Selena (new)

Selena Blake (selenablake) | 6 comments Has anyone used smashwords to distribute a free copy to the kindle?


message 20: by John (new)

John (jaymack) | 38 comments Susan wrote: "I use coupons for review copies all the time, Indie. It's so easy, it costs nothing, so if the person on the receiving end never reviews the book, all I'm out is the ten seconds it took to send the..."

Susan, can you tell me how you use them? Do you just email people you think might be interested and offer them a coupon for a review? Also, I've seen comments that indicate some authors give a free coupon for a review. I was thinking of doing 50% off, but maybe free is better. I have two books on Smashwords, and I'd like to get more reviews.


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (westofmars) John,

For reviewers, I have a standing policy that anyone who would like a free e-book for review needs only to request it. I'll also sometimes see people on Twitter who are asking what to read next, so I'll offer them a freebie coupon. What they do with it from there is up to them.

As I said before, since it costs me nothing, I have nothing to lose.

And yes, if you'd like reviews, don't ask people to pay. They won't. It is so easy anymore to get freebies from publishers and other authors, don't put yourself at a disadvantage.

And finally, no, I don't e-mail people blindly. I spend a lot of time, via my Win a Book blog and other book communities, getting to know the book bloggers. If I feel they're a good fit for me and what I do, I'll extend an invitation to them. If not, well, I know a cool person who loves books as much as I do.

One note about e-mailing people blindly: make sure you are familiar with their website and their review policies. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by sending an e-mail blast to 30 reviewers, all of whom say they won't accept your genre, or an e-book, or whatever. It's a waste of your time and a lot of people I know will block any future e-mails from you.

Do your research. It's worth the time invested.

Good luck! No one said this promo stuff was easy. And as the social networking sites multiply, it gets that much harder.


message 22: by Kirstan (new)

Kirstan | 5 comments I just tried Smashwords for my illustrated children's book. They warn in the style guide that Meatgrinder may actually turn it to burger, but it worked pretty good. Its hard to get the sampling to work right since it bases the percentage on word count and doesn't seem to recognize the pictures as pages. Also the Java format doesn't work, but like someone else said, that's one format out of a dozen.

It didn't get any Autovetter messages, but is still in the que to be manually reviewed for premium catalog distribution after a week and a half. Guess I'm just impatient. So I also used PubIt! for Barnes and Noble. That one processed in a day and is already for sale.

It's not hard to format yourself, just go point by point through the guide. Also you can get a list of LOW cost help from the site. $300 is crazy! I'm a graphic designer so did my own cover, but they have a list for that too.


message 23: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) I'm in Australia and have used it, but I don't think I can be a lot of help to you as I haven't earned enough to be paid yet. But I do know that my book has sold copies through iTunes and B & N which can't be bad. I'm still waiting for distribution to Kobo and Sony. It seems to be really slow at the moment - something to do with having to reformat for some distributors?


message 24: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) | 181 comments Kirstan wrote: "I just tried Smashwords for my illustrated children's book. They warn in the style guide that Meatgrinder may actually turn it to burger, but it worked pretty good. Its hard to get the sampling to ..."

Congrats, as the saying goes among Indie Authors: Who needs publishers anyway? :-))


message 25: by Tim (new)

Tim Greaton | 8 comments Kirstan wrote: "I just tried Smashwords for my illustrated children's book. They warn in the style guide that Meatgrinder may actually turn it to burger, but it worked pretty good. Its hard to get the sampling to ..."

Good luck with the book, Kirstan. 'Hope you sell a ton :-)


message 26: by John (new)

John (jaymack) | 38 comments I have five books on Smashwords. I do my own formatting, and it hasn't been a problem at all. The only thing I've noticed is it seems to take longer for books to get approved for the premium catalog than it used to. When I uploaded my first e-book two years ago it took just a few days to get approval for the premium catalog. The last one I uploaded took three weeks, and I had to send an email to Smashwords tech support to finally get it approved. I think they've grown a lot in the last year or so, and they're probably overwhelmed by the volume of books that people are uploading.

13 Scary Stories by John McDonnell


message 27: by Tim (new)

Tim Greaton | 8 comments John wrote: "I have five books on Smashwords. I do my own formatting, and it hasn't been a problem at all. The only thing I've noticed is it seems to take longer for books to get approved for the premium catalo..."

John. My brother's company said that they usually have to email them now to get something all the way through the system. I think you're absolutely right about them being busy (maybe overwhelmed) :-)


message 28: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Melanie wrote: "Hello,
has anyone used Smashwords that isn't in US?
Im in UK and trying to decide if its worth the go!

Currently just on Amazon kindle at the mo
xx"

I'm in Australia and earnt a bit of money with Smashwords. I like them. I'm in the midst of trying to get a US tax number so I won't have to pay 30% tax. Are you happy with Kindle? I've wondered if I should place my books with Kindle. Apparently Amazon don't pay through Paypal to writers resident in Oz. It's $10 to have a US cheque changed at an Oz bank so that's been off putting. All right if you earn a lot but usually on these download sites the earnings are small in two figures. I've been waiting to see if Smashwords are able to list their books with Amazon. They are trying but haven't been able as yet.
http://aussieauthorsatwork.blogspot.com


message 29: by Vered (new)

Vered (vered_ehsani) Laurel wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Hello,
has anyone used Smashwords that isn't in US?
Im in UK and trying to decide if its worth the go!

Currently just on Amazon kindle at the mo
xx"
I'm in Australia and ear..."


Hi Laurel - I'm based in Kenya and am on Amazon (through Createspace) and Kindle. As far as I understand, having a US tax number does not exclude you from paying the 30% witholding tax. Every non-US, non-resident earning money in the US has to pay a witholding tax, but the amount can change if your country has a tax treaty with the US. So sadly you will not escape the tax! (As far as I know - I'd be happy to learn differently!). You do need the US tax number (ITIN) in order to sell your books through Createspace, Kindle US, Amazon US etc.


message 30: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Vered wrote: "Laurel wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Hello,
has anyone used Smashwords that isn't in US?
Im in UK and trying to decide if its worth the go!

Currently just on Amazon kindle at the mo
xx"
I'm in Au..."

I was advised by Smashwords to get an US ITIN. Australia does have a tax treaty with the US. So I'll see what happens. I'm just happy for people to read my books. Laurel


message 31: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Melanie wrote: "Thanks Laurel

oh right, poohy tax! always spoiling a party XD

i might need to really think about smashwords then.

yes i love kindle, ive only been on there about 3 months so i need to check my b..."


I don't mind paying US tax and the $10 Oz banks' exchange rates if I can sell a $100 worth of books. Think of all those people reading your books if you do. As I said to Vered, I'm just happy for people to read my books. May you and Vered have great book sales. Laurel
http://aussieauthorsatwork.blogspot.com


message 32: by S.D. (new)

S.D. | 11 comments I have 12 books up on Smashwords and found their styleguide very easy to use. Once you have your book formatted for Smashwords, it's very easy to prepare it for the Kindle. Kindle requires a hard break after the title page, copyright page, at the end of every chapter, etc., whereas Smashwords just wants a couple blank lines. The coupons are great ways to promote. I have one freebie that expires June 30th for RESTLESS SPIRIT. Hope I'm not breaking any rules but if you want a copy go to www.smashwords.com/books/view/4194 and use Coupon Code LZ37D. What's great about Smashwords is they provide ebooks for the Nook, Kobo, iPhone et al. Although my sales direct thru Smashwords have been steady, it's the Barnes and Noble Nook sales which are paid to Smashwords then to me that have been the great.


message 33: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd S.D. wrote: "I have 12 books up on Smashwords and found their styleguide very easy to use. Once you have your book formatted for Smashwords, it's very easy to prepare it for the Kindle. Kindle requires a hard..."

It's interesting that your best sales on Smashwords have been with B&N. My best sales with Smashwords have been with Sony. I've just listed my first book, Murder Among the Roses, with Kindle. I'm waiting to see how it goes.


message 34: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 21 comments Weird, after Smashwords itself, my best sales through the site are with Sony, too. B&N is second. Wonder why.

I recently added my book to Amazon by myself since I got tired of waiting for Smashwords, and it was well worth it. Already have a handful of sales.


message 35: by Kirstan (new)

Kirstan | 5 comments Larry wrote: "Kirstan wrote: "I just tried Smashwords for my illustrated children's book. They warn in the style guide that Meatgrinder may actually turn it to burger, but it worked pretty good. Its hard to get ..."

Hey thanks! Yeah self-pub is tough, but so far so good. I've sold a handfull of books already, and it goes to iBooks and Kindle this month so maybe that will boost sales.


message 36: by Kirstan (new)

Kirstan | 5 comments Tim wrote: "Kirstan wrote: "I just tried Smashwords for my illustrated children's book. They warn in the style guide that Meatgrinder may actually turn it to burger, but it worked pretty good. Its hard to get ..."

Thanks Tim! I hope so too :)


message 37: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Adam wrote: "Weird, after Smashwords itself, my best sales through the site are with Sony, too. B&N is second. Wonder why.

I recently added my book to Amazon by myself since I got tired of waiting for Smashwo..."


Good to hear about your sales on Amazon. I think I might add my other books. They are so easy to put up there and it doesn't cost anything.
http://aussieauthorsatwork.blogspot.com


message 38: by Dr (new)

Dr | 134 comments To my friends here on Goodreads,

I just wanted to point out a great book for what we do and that is to market the books we have written. /The title is: "Sell More Books"/

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

You can go to the above link and read excerpts of J Steve Miller's new book which I highly recommend to anyone interested in making a sales program that works. After months of writing, we all have years of marketing ahead of us, and this book offers the details to make our efforts payoff. I think you will like it. It costs nothing to read the excerpts.
Dr Robert E McGinnis author of eighteen books and writer for over forty years.


message 39: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Grossman (laurenbgrossman) | 40 comments Hi Tricia,
I was overwhelmed by Smashwords rules, so I asked for a list of people to format it from Smashwords. They will supply you with people. I hired someone for $25.00. It worked just fine.
Lauren



Tricia wrote: "Catherine - Thanks for the feedback.

Did you have someone else get your books in "shape" for Smashwords, or did you do it yourself? I printed out the information on how to do it and just that sca..."



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