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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I managed to get a short story onto Smashwords with no problem.  I put it free to try to get Amazon to lower the price of that short story to zero so more people would start reading my novels. 

However, when I tried one of my novels, I kept getting errors and it turned out to be a lot of wasted time.  So I removed the novel and decided to concentrate fully on selling through Amazon.  The problem with Smashwords is they use a word document for input so it has to be perfect.  They turn it into a lot of different formats for selling. 

So I am going to keep proofing novels, writing new novels, writing my blog daily, and the other things that I like to do.

Sometimes it is better to just concentrate on one market and put all your effort into that. 

 

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Eltanin Publishing said:
Smashwords can be frustrating, but have you looked at their formatting guide?: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305

The biggest mistake I've seen people make is using a tab or spaces to indent the first line of each paragraph, instead of setting paragraph formatting to indent the first line.
Yup. All I've done it set up a style called "Smashwords" in Word and now I just apply it to the entire document, do a couple of changes, and boom! All done. So much easier.
 

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Eltanin Publishing said:
Smashwords can be frustrating, but have you looked at their formatting guide?: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305

The biggest mistake I've seen people make is using a tab or spaces to indent the first line of each paragraph, instead of setting paragraph formatting to indent the first line.
I agree... I HATED Smashwords until I read the guide and understood their process... concentrating on one market is fine but it's good to have your work other places too... don't forget all those Nook users, etc. who can't use Kindle files. I personally prefer to be well rounded with a concentration... but I would take the time to FULLY read the guide front to back before publishing there. Even if you choose NOT to go with Smashwords, the guide is still full of advice that you could use elsewhere.

-jb 8)
 

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I think focusing on Amazon is a good idea. Amazon is where all the marketing support is with things like the Author's web page etc...I just put out two novels in early May and Amazon is where the majority of my sales came from.

Smashwords can be frustrating. I was in the premium catalog with one novel, but made some changes and now I'm waiting on both to get approved. Good luck!

Katherine Owen
 

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jimbronyaur said:
I agree... I HATED Smashwords until I read the guide and understood their process... concentrating on one market is fine but it's good to have your work other places too... don't forget all those Nook users, etc. who can't use Kindle files. I personally prefer to be well rounded with a concentration... but I would take the time to FULLY read the guide front to back before publishing there. Even if you choose NOT to go with Smashwords, the guide is still full of advice that you could use elsewhere.

-jb 8)
...or people who want an epub, or a pdf, who don't like Amazon, who'd rather buy from where they got gift certificates for Christmas (i.e Kobo), who never buy from Amazon, etc etc

Having it only listed on Amazon means, frankly, I won't buy it if it is an ebook. Why should I go through all of that hassle of converting files so I can read it on my own device, when I can just go buy another book in a format I can use? I've been able to get a few books on Kobo because they'd been published on Smashwords in the premium catalog.

Anyway, do what you think is best. Just showing the other side of things.
 

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Katherine Owen said:
I think focusing on Amazon is a good idea. Amazon is where all the marketing support is with things like the Author's web page etc..
I'm actually pretty happy with Smashwords' marketing support. I love the ability to generate discount coupons, and the author pages seem just as good as Amazon's (integrates your blog & Twitter feed, you can post a video, etc.). I also love that if someone buys a book, they get an email a while later inviting them to review it. Also if you - an author - review a book you've bought on Smashwords, then the review links back to your author page. And as a small publisher, Smashwords has the ability for me to control a book, yet the author can see the sales stats themselves.

Just saying - there are a lot of things to like about Smashwords.

Katherine Owen said:
.... and now I'm waiting on both to get approved. Good luck!
Yeah, we've been waiting about a week and a half for two books to be reviewed. I hear it can take a long time. Or forever. No auto-vetter errors, so supposedly they should be "fast-tracked" for review.
 

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One thing to add in favor of Smashwords, despite my  difficulties getting into the premium catalog, Smashwords does an excellent job of feeding search engines like Google. I see more stuff about my books and my author name via Smashwords than Amazon when I do a google search.

Have a great day!
 

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jimbronyaur said:
I agree... I HATED Smashwords until I read the guide and understood their process... -jb 8)
I second Jim's comment...it is hell until you understand how they do it. Is it worth the effort, though? Probably. Like a writer on this board once wisely said: your book is safe on smashwords...nobody will find it there (I wish I could attribute that very worthy quote, but the name escapes me). The premium catalog distribution might make it worth your while, though...if you can stand to wait months to see exactly what you sold on the other sites.

WPG
 

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I think Smashwords is great for the coupon codes, ability to make something free, and the distribution. But I sell VERY few there directly.

That being said, I would never ONLY sell through Amazon. Sure, at least 80% of my sales come from there, but you're doing yourself a diservice if they're the only ones carrying your books. Like others have said, many people own Nooks, Kobos, Sony readers, or other devices that don't read .prc or .mobi. Not to mention, some people just prefer PDFs and reading on their computer. If you limit yourself just to Kindle, then you'll lose out on a lot of readers.

Yes, technically a Kindle file can be converted but really, who wants to go through the hassle of doing that? Your book is not special enough for me to have to figure out how to conver it so I can read it. I'll just buy a different book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just got a e-mail form Smashwords and they said they have reviewed my book.  I thought that was going to take a week, but I guess not?

So when I get caught on other things, I will take the time and consider putting something else on there.
 

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I like your idea.  I have found Smashwords infuriating.  I can never get my stuff formatted and I have no extra cash to get someone else to format my stuff for them.  I am available on Kindle and Nook and have a few books available for the Google ebookstore.  But the Google thing has gotten almost as complicated as Smashwords.  I just wish I could bump my sales on PubIt!, the Nook platform.
 

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There are various files that can be uploaded to Amazon. I use mobi to create a prc file and upload to DTP. If that is the route you are taking, just run the prc file through Calibre to create an ePub that can be uploaded directly to B&N. All the work has been done in creating the prc. It's a few minutes of incremental work for an additional platform.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
I just got a e-mail form Smashwords and they said they have reviewed my book. I thought that was going to take a week, but I guess not?
Well now I'm jealous. 11 days so far for ours, and it didn't list any autovetter errors. So, did it just say it was accepted into the Premium Catalog, or did it list things you have to fix?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is the e-mail

Dear Franklin,

Per your request, we're writing to notify you someone has reviewed your book, Husband Won't Buy Wife A Kindle, at
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66291.

Sincerely,
The Smashwords Team, http://www.smashwords.com

Now it says Pending Approval on Smashwords.

Of course, people can still buy it. This was a free short story, but has already been downloaded 68 times.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
Here is the e-mail

Dear Franklin,

Per your request, we're writing to notify you someone has reviewed your book, Husband Won't Buy Wife A Kindle, at
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66291.

Sincerely,
The Smashwords Team, http://www.smashwords.com

Now it says Pending Approval on Smashwords.

Of course, people can still buy it. This was a free short story, but has already been downloaded 68 times.
Oh - I thought you meant you had been accepted into the Premium Catalog. Ours have said "Pending Approval" the whole time (12 days now). When I click on the words "Pending Approval", it says"

Details:
This book has not been reviewed yet.
This book is pending review.
(It was submitted for review on 06/03/11.)
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
Here is the e-mail

Dear Franklin,

Per your request, we're writing to notify you someone has reviewed your book, Husband Won't Buy Wife A Kindle, at
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66291.

Sincerely,
The Smashwords Team, http://www.smashwords.com

Now it says Pending Approval on Smashwords.

Of course, people can still buy it. This was a free short story, but has already been downloaded 68 times.
That email isn't telling you that Smashwords reviewed your book. It's informing you that a reader posted a review for your book.

You have two reviews, and one of them is from Ernest (a cool guy and a prodigious reviewer on Smashwords.)
 

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swolf said:
That email isn't telling you that Smashwords reviewed your book. It's informing you that a reader posted a review for your book.

You have two reviews, and one of them is from Ernest (a cool guy and a prodigious reviewer on Smashwords.)
You beat me to the punch LOL. I was going to say WHOA....THAT kind of notification is a good thing. Means someone, not Smashwords, has reviewed your book

And I wouldn't be so quick to give up on SW. If their meatgrinder finds errors, that means the errors could as easily show up in the Kindle format over at Amazon. Plus, you can't beat SW for distribution in the various formats. PLUS...having gone through the HELL of trying to reformat a book I downloaded from Amazon so I could read it on my android...AUGH, just AUGH. I have since started to remove the DRM on my own uploads, just to save other readers from pulling out their hair.

As for formatting on SW...read the guide. It's straightforward and easy to follow. Once you do one book, you smack yourself upside the head and wonder why you thought it was so intimidating. I have several author friends who have sent me their files to format and I send them back ten min later all done. Read the guide. It's all there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I guess I don't get it.

It is difficult to get all the word errors out so it can be published by Smashwords. Keep in mind that these are not errors like wrong words, punctuation, etc.  These are just word formatting errors to make it so Smashwords can publish it.  Smashwords uses a word document for input from you.

Amazon doesn't have this problem since they use MTML.  Perhaps Smashwords should do the same thing and save everyone a lot of trouble.

The review process takes a long time.

Then if you do sell books, it takes forever to get paid.

I guess you can brag about being able to fix all the errors, but that time spent could have been spent writing a new novel or proofreading one to get it ready to be published.  Of course, it is something worth bragging about since it is a real accomplishment.  I know that for a fact since I got one on there. 

I guess that is just my old auditor side coming out since I tend to look at things from an analytical and logical viewpoint.

Now, tell me again why you think that Smashwords is so wonderful?
 
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