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Smashwords

Average Ratings (from 4 ratings)
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Smashwords touts its service as having published 100,000+ titles from over 40,000 authors and publishers. It specializes in ebook publishing and offers nine formats, free ISBNs, free set-up, and distribution to most major channels. Authors/publishers/agents receive 60% of the list price on sales through major retailers and up to 85% of net sales through the Smashwords website. You can learn more at www.Smashwords.com.

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4 reviews of Smashwords

  • 5 / 6 found this review helpful.
    Value for Cost
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    I love Smashwords because it has done as much for the Indie author as any company or person ever has. Smashwords sells your ebook while offering the highest percentage of royalty payout for direct sales (85% to the author), and they ALSO convert your MS Word document into a variety of formats (pdf, epub, mobi, lrf, etc) for any possible e-reading device, and they ALSO distribute your book to stores like Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo and Diesel, some of which are nearly impossible to get into otherwise.
    So even if you don’t sell a ton of ebooks directly from the Smashwords site, you might still make a lot of sales from the retailers they distribute to after only taking a 5% to 10% cut. (Try getting into Apple if you’re not a Mac owner.)
    Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords, is fantastic. I’ve had emails answered directly from him the same day (but he’s getting busier all the time). Mark wrote the free Style Guide, which is the authority for formatting ebooks. I use that advice and also slightly tailor my documents for Amazon and Barnes & Noble direct uploads. Smashwords also provides free ISBNs and excellent Indie advice in their blog.
    Smashwords is a must-do for Indies. Your profile there can contain links to your websites, blogs, even videos about your books. My example for those interested – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JasonMatthews

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  • 2 / 2 found this review helpful.
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    Smashwords is a great way to get your feet wet in ebook publishing. I’ve used them for short story ebook publication and found the service to be responsive to questions and adequate for basic needs. For someone writers just getting started, without a lot of technical know-how, smashwords is a good site to look into and see if it matches one’s needs for ebooks.

    I find I’m less inclined to use their meatgrinder technology for a full length novel’s ebook. That may be partially due to my being less of a technophile than many authors. But, I want more quality control over the ebook’s formatting than I alone could muster with Smashwords.

    they also have a strong community, and I would use them again depending on the nature of the project in question.

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  • 3 / 3 found this review helpful.
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    Their meat grinder put me off, and while my first book went through, the second bugged – and it was years before I went back to fix it. Recently, they opened up to epub standard, so this enabled me to port what I could to them. They are strict (rightly) about PLR and (not so much) about Public Domain. Payment by the quarter is another rub.

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  • 6 / 6 found this review helpful.
    Value for Cost
    Customer Support
    Publishing Process
    Final Product

    I really love Smashwords, and I came to them after I had already uploaded to Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing.

    Their website is really clean and understandable, and they provide a nice Dashboard page where you can see not only how many copies of each book that you’ve sold, but also how many people have downloaded the sample chapters, with graphs over time.

    They also will distribute your digital book to Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, Sony, and other eBook sites. You make slightly less money with these affiliate sales, but the extra exposure is amazing.

    Customer service is pretty amazing. When my book was selected as a Breakout Book at the Apple iBookstore (UK and Ireland) I got a personal email from Mark Coker with congratulations and instructions for how to celebrate this event. I replied back and got a response within minutes. Hard to imagine Jeff Bezos doing the same thing.

    The downsides are you only get paid quarterly (and affiliate payments can lag behind even that) and some people have criticisms about the Meat Grinder that they use to convert Word documents into ePubs. However recently they have opened up direct ePub import, so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker any more.

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