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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering using Smashwords to publish my book. My reason is that as a South African author, Smashwords will pay me via paypal, while Amazon Direct pays foreign authors per check. This is a problem because -far as I know - the bank charges on processing a foreign check are very high.

I've been looking through the archives here and have some questions about Smashwords.

  • Do they distribute to Amazon Kindle store or not? I dont see anything about that on the Smashwords site, but some people here say they do?
  • Apparently you have less control over formatting with Smashwords - is this still the case?

I know I need to apply for an ITIN to get a reduced rate on the 30% tax. But apart from that, is there anything else I need to know ?
 

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SW currently does not distribute to Amazon.

They have very clear rules on formatting, and if you follow the guide, it's relatively easy...for the second, third, fourth book. The first one requires you to pull out all of your hair. *snort*

One thing you need to be sure to do is check back frequently after you first upload it, because if there are errors, they only notify you via the dashboard.  So it could sit there for weeks going nowhere fast if you don't check.

Hope that helps a bit.

 

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I'd recommend uploading to smashwords first, which process will iron out all possible format errors, though you might be balder before you are done. They send your stuff to every major ebook retailer except Amazon kindle, so that should be your next target, since this is by far the biggest market for ebooks.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you - it can be so confusing to get this information together.

Looks like I will need to buckle down and get ready for some stress with Smashwords formatting! :)

marshacanham said:
SW currently does not distribute to Amazon.

One thing you need to be sure to do is check back frequently after you first upload it, because if there are errors, they only notify you via the dashboard. So it could sit there for weeks going nowhere fast if you don't check.
What type of errors are you referring to?
 

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I haven't found Smashwords formatting stressfu at all. Then again, it's a good idea to never format anything in your master manuscript file. That only leads to heartaches later.

The 30% tax applies to Smashwords and Amazon. Keep your statements and claim back from your accountant. Don't bother with the ITIN. It's not easy, costs a bit and not worth the saving unless you make megabucks.
 

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Most likely tiny details in your manuscript, things like leaving two spaces between words (hit the space bar twice) or more than 1 'return' after a paragraph. It is a good idea to look through your manuscript in whatever word processor you use with 'show invisibles' on.
Perhaps the very first thing to do is download a free copy from Smashwords of their Style Guide. Then read it. Slowly.
I use Mac Pages, then export (save) as a word .doc. You have to upload a .doc file to them for them to convert.
I would say have fun, but that won't happen until you get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Patty Jansen said:
The 30% tax applies to Smashwords and Amazon. Keep your statements and claim back from your accountant. Don't bother with the ITIN. It's not easy, costs a bit and not worth the saving unless you make megabucks.
Patty - what do you mean "claim back from your accountant"?
philvan said:
Most likely tiny details in your manuscript, things like leaving two spaces between words (hit the space bar twice) or more than 1 'return' after a paragraph. It is a good idea to look through your manuscript in whatever word processor you use with 'show invisibles' on.
Perhaps the very first thing to do is download a free copy from Smashwords of their Style Guide. Then read it. Slowly.
I use Mac Pages, then export (save) as a word .doc. You have to upload a .doc file to them for them to convert.
I would say have fun, but that won't happen until you get the job done.
Hmmm - that does sound like fun :-\ Especially as I'm always putting in double spaces...

Thanks again for the advice.
 
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