Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks. They make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers and thousands of libraries.
Smashwords is a big ebook distributer/retailer, and they’re pretty user friendly for both readers and authors. It’s a pretty good way to get your books onto a wide variety sites, such as iBooks, the Sony bookstore, even Amazon and B&N, and you can choose which sites to put your books on (so if you want to, say, independently list your book on Amazon you can just unclick that option). They have what they call the “meatgrinder” which will automatically convert your book’s file into a variety of formats, and you can get an ISBN through them if you don’t have one already. For this service, they charge a percentage on what you sell, there are no fees (for the authors, readers have to pay the price you set for your book of course).
Basically, if you’re going to be doing a lot of self-publishing ebooks Smashwords is almost totally necessary if you’re dealing with several retailers. If you just want to publish on Amazon then you don’t need it, but to get into iBooks or Kobo or the Sony store? totally worth it. Also, there are a lot of readers who buy directly from Smashwords itself. If you have a publisher that’s the sort of thing they should be handling and Smashwords is not necessary. Personally, I actually get bigger payouts from Smashwords than I do from Amazon in fact, I think it’s because of iBooks.
- FOR AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS AND LITERARY AGENTS, Smashwords offers quick and easy ebook distribution to most of the world’s largest ebook retailers. We provide free tools for marketing, distribution, metadata management and sales reporting. At Smashwords, our authors and publishers have complete control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works. Smashwords is ideal for publishing novels, short fiction, poetry, personal memoirs, monographs, non-fiction, research reports, essays, or other written forms that haven’t even been invented yet.
- FOR RETAILERS, Smashwords offers a catalog of over 400,000 vetted, well-formatted ebooks from over 100,000 authors and publishers. We work with our retail partners to help them efficiently ingest, merchandise and sell our titles.
- FOR READERS, The Smashwords Store provides an opportunity to discover new voices in all categories and genres of the written word. Once you register, the site offers useful tools for search, discovery and personal library management. Most of our books are affordably priced and multi-format. Over 60,000 of our books are priced at free.
How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords
Great Resources to Help You Publish Like a Smashwords Pro:
- Read our Frequently Asked Questions. Learn how to get the most out of Smashwords! Includes a NEW glossary of ebook terms.
- New to ebook publishing? Check our YouTube video tutorial, An Introduction to Ebook Publishing. This primer demystifies ebook publishing. Or, check out our complete collection of ebook publishing tutorials. After watching these videos, you’ll have the knowledge you need to publish like a pro.
- Download the Smashwords Style Guide to learn how to prepare your manuscript for upload to Smashwords. Learn how to professionally format your book so it satisfies readers.
- Read the Q&A with Mark Coker, our founder.
- Download the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide for 40 book marketing ideas you can implement at no cost.
- Download the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, our free ebook that reveals the 30 best practices of the most commercially successful Smashwords authors. This book teaches you how to think and act like a professional publisher.
- Learn how preorders work at our Preorder Help page, or view our online presentation to learn how to make your book launch more successful with preorders
- Create a Smashwords Interview, a Q&A-style interview of you, the author!
- Read our terms of service (our author-friendly publishing contract). At Smashwords, you’re the publisher, and you control all your rights.
- Check out the Smashwords blog, where you’ll be the first to learn about ebook publishing best practices, and exciting new developments at Smashwords. There’s even an email subscription option so you never miss another post again.
- Read the buzz about Smashwords in our press room.
- Visit the official Smashwords Facebook page to network with fellow Smashwords authors, publishers and readers.
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