Are you considering writing and publishing an eBook? There has been a revolution in eBook publishing over the past 6 years and Smashwords has been at the vanguard. Setup by Mark Coker back in 2008 with the goal of ‘democratising publishing’, Smashwords has achieved just that. With 320,000 books published so far, Smashwords makes it very easy for new writers to get published and find an audience.
So, if you are considering publishing your first eBook, here are the 6 secrets to eBook publishing success that make Smashwords such a wonderful platform for independent writers. In no particular order, here are my 6 secrets to Smashwords success.
1) There is a thriving Community of Writers
Smashwords has a ready made community of writers. Publish your book and reach out to other writers by reviewing their books. Make yourself known through the writers profile and interview pages. One thing Smashwords writers all have in common is a desire to help Smashwords succeed because that success helps all indie writers on the platform. Become part of the community.
2) Smashwords is just the start
Although Smashwords no longer (at the moment) distributes to Amazon, it does distribute to many others. You are able to control your distribution and monitor your sales from a single dashboard. What’s not to like? Simplicity is the thing, and Smashwords is simplicity itself. Publish once and providing your book is accepted into the premium catalog you’ll be automatically shipped to Apple, Baker and Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Txtr, Scribd!, Oyster!, Flipkart, Kobo as well as library distribution through Overdrive. You’ll need a separate KDP account to get your book on the Amazon platform.
3) Headache free eBook conversion
If you’re new to eBook publishing, one of the most difficult things faced by a newbie is the technical part of pulling an eBook together. Smashwords ‘meat grinder’ software takes your manuscript and automatically converts it to the most widely used eBook platforms (Mobi and ePub).Unless you’re a bit of a tech guru yourself, this can be the most frustrating part of publishing an eBook. If your conversion and formatting are not quite right, your eBook will look horrible. Smashwords provides a fantastic style guide that takes a lot of the frustration out of this very necessary step. Follow the style guide closely, upload and voila, your eBook is ready for distribution. They even offer an affordable Done For You service if you get into trouble.
5) Get your Buzz going with pre-orders
A good way to generate buzz with your fans is by offering pre-orders. Smashwords makes this process very simple. You can upload your cover art and a synopsis and hey presto – you have a pre-order you can promote to your fans. Just select the publish date, and everything else is done automatically. Just don’t forget to upload your finished masterpiece! Pre-orders are also an excellent way to keep motivated to finish and launch your project.
6) JK Rowling knows about series and so should you.
- We all want an audience clamouring for our next book and writing a series is without a doubt a fantastic way to generate a fan base. Think of some of the most successful books in publishing and they’ve all been a series. Harry Potter, Wool, Twilight, Divergent, Lord of the Rings. Even Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was originally published as a series. Series do work because readers want to dive once more into the world you’ve created and spend more time with your characters. So, crafting a series can be a great way of keeping and growing your fan base.
The Smashwords series control function makes this very simple to manage. You designate that your book is part of a series, so new readers can easily see your other titles when they come to buy your book. Your books are then automatically grouped together, so your fans will never have to hunt down your other books on Google.
So, there you have it. If you haven’t heard of Smashwords yet, what are you waiting for? Check it out, create a free account and join the eBook publishing revolution. I’m already there. Are you?
Are you already using Smashwords? What are your tips? Please share and leave a comment right below.