Well it has been a long time coming but finally I overcame my resistances to fiddling around online putting up ebooks! It IS worth it, as ebooks, like it or not, are the coming thing. In a world where resources and ‘atoms’ are getting dearer and ‘electrons’ – digital – is getting cheaper – tending towards completely FREE, and where more and more books are being written and more and more is being discovered and rethought and written about, the EBOOK has to be a winner, as it means we can pick and choose at way lower cost to our wallet and the environment, get the book almost instantly, and read it anywhere, and not have to cart it around. Plus you can get the updated version when the author updates.
Have I become a traitor to paper books? No, they are still artefacts that can be beautiful, reassuringly low-tech, tangible and timeless. They should be made for all our most precious books. There can be a vast selection on our e-reader, but we only need to print those few we really love in that special way. Like Lord of the Rings and the Alchemist, for me. And get a beautiful limited edition one while we are at it.
So anyway, back to business: http://www.Smashwords.com is cool. Mark Coker who started it is cool. His free ebook smashwords style guide is cool. Smashwords covers the 40-45% of the market for ebooks not dominated by Amazon and kindle. As I read recently, it is so worth using it for a FREE one-stop place to get onto Apple, Barnes and Noble, Diesel Kobo, Sony, etc. (in 9 different formats – eg pdf, html, mobi, epub, etc) because these spread your net wider than if you rely just on Amazon and Kindle. You can then upload onto Amazon, and your ebook will be out there in many markets, diversified. As i was reading, many times a book will ‘break out’ (become suddenly popular) in unpredictable ways and places, and above all you want your book to break out, as that can mean it breaks out all over.
It does mean you can’t use the kindle-only option (bribe) Amazon offer where they pay 70% royalty instead of their usual 30%. BUT Smashwords’ share is at a much higher royalty rate, at 60-80%, and so it evens out when you consider the wider reach going with Smashwords plus Kindle at 30%. Plus the other kindle-only is just monopolistic and wrong I think! And will end in tears…
So I have begun, and yesterday worked through the Smashwords style guide, got my Word doc for my ‘How to be Creative’ passport book all formatted, and put it up on smashwords. Here it is: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/150062
here’s the cover anyway:
Yay! Next time it won’t be hard at all! touch wood… So, if any of you want your book up on Smashwords plus Kindle, contact me email@example.com and i can do it for you at a modest rate (my usual!). Or, get in there, block out a day to go over it methodically, and put it up yourself…