Why I love Smashwords

Back in 2010 I came across an eBook publishing house called Smashwords. It was kind of big at the time, but not like it is today.

I remember trying to upload my very first book to the site and pulling my hair out because I kept getting vetting errors. I fussed and fretted about the meat grinder (that’s what they call their formatting tool for making all the different formats for the venues they submit to). Finally after about the twentieth try I did it. It was such a frustrating experience. I had two choices at that point. I could either give up hope of ever publishing my book on their site or persevere.

Well we can all see what really did happen.

Over the years I have heard Authors complain about Amazon. It is always the same kind of complaint. Their too big – they keep changing the rules – they don’t seem fair – but I’m making money.

Okay – yea – so – Let’s look at Smashwords:

I don’t like the meat grinder – why – because you don’t know how to format your book properly.

Once you learn it is pretty easy peasy.

What else don’t you like about Smashwords?

I can’t think of anything that comes to mind.

What do I love about them?

They distribute our books to lots of great venues, plus Mark Coker is always out there trying to find us more venues.

He never gives up. He is for the author.

Mark gives us tips and trade secrets and hope to be a great writer someday, the hope that the readers will discover us the way we discovered Smashwords.

He has given us ways to be found and not just by using SEO as Amazon does. Coupon codes are one of his great features on the site. These allow us to distribute our book for free or a reduced price to those who are part of our growing platform. This is a great way to secure reviews.

He takes part in Read an Ebook week on the site and also promotes NaNoWriMo.

The best part is, Mark Coker is always out there advocating for the authors, it does not matter if they are the little guy who has no platform as of yet or the best-selling author with millions of followers. Mark is always there for us.

So I want to say: Thanks Mark Coker for all you have done for us since 2008

Mark’s latest post: http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/03/how-libraries-can-launch-community.html

After Thanksgiving #ROW80 Check-in

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

I know I did. This was the first year in a long time that my son has been home for the holiday. It was so good to have him here.

Main Aisle, Macy's 1st Floor, Black Friday
Main Aisle, Macy’s 1st Floor, Black Friday (Photo credit: LarimdaME)

On Thanksgiving night we went out and did the unthinkable and went Black Friday Shopping. What an insane idea that was. I didn’t know that there could be that many people living in the area to fill a store up the way it was that night. I mean everyone was parked everywhere, on the grass, in the road, and up on the highway. Then there wasn’t one single shopping cart to be found in Walmart. People were sitting on them waiting for 10 o’clock to come around so they could turn in their tickets to get their TVs they were waiting for.

I only managed to find three out of nineteen items I had on my list. I should have printed out a map of the store before going. Then I would have known where everything was going to be. Maybe next year, even though Mike said there won’t be a next year. I guess he didn’t have a good time being my personal shopping cart. But he was a good trooper none the less.

ROW80 Update:

This year I did not officially take part in NaNo WriMo. I was too busy struggling to get the first draft done for Road Salt.

So, I am happy to announce folks, the first draft is done. I made it to the end of the story. I even formatted the file for Smashwords and I think it passed the vetting process on its first time around. Now I have to begin the edit process. Hopefully I can have the first edit done by Christmas.

I did not make my end goal for word count on the first draft. One of the problems I have when I write is that I tend to write very tight, almost too tight. When I go back through the story I am sure I will be able to make my end goal after answering the same questions for each chapter.

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • How
  • Why

If I can answer all the above I am sure that there won’t be too many gaps in the story. This is what I did when I did the last edit on Friends of Choice. Just by answering those questions I was able to add another 14k words to the manuscript.

If anyone is interested in being a beta reader for me and giving me some constructive criticism on Road Salt you can view the first draft on Smashwords for free… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258513

The more ideas I can get on this story the better. I do know that I need to delve deeper into my characters for this story. That will be what my main focus will be on while I do the first edit.

It really isn’t supposed to be an entertaining read, but if I could make it entertaining that would be all the better.

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