So, I think its time that I talked a little about Smashwords and how I am planning on getting my book out there for people to read. This will involve the business side of writing, which I don't particularly enjoy, and I am sure most people don't like hearing about. I apologize if the money talk turns some readers off, but this could be important for other writers to read. Plus, it will explain to those reading my blog what it is I do with my time, why books will be priced one way or another, which formats my work will be available in, etc.
Smashwords is one of many ebook file converters, and its the one that I am going to use. Why you ask? Not only do they not charge authors/publishers up front just to have their book converted, but they also take the least of the profits out of each book sale. This means that as the author I would get a larger chunk of the profit from the sales. Keep in mind that the money I get is the price of the book minus distributors charges, taxes, and Smashwords' cut. So, depending on the distributor that readers buy through, if I price a book at about $2.99 I will be making something along the lines of $1.30. This may sound like a lot, but most ebook authors are happy if they sell a few thousand books right now. After all, ebook readers are between 10-20% of the entire book market. This is part of the reason why many still regard indi pubbing, even online, as foolish. Many professionally selling authors that are mid listed make as much as bestselling ebook authors. Let me state this another way: it doesn't matter if I end up making more per book than traditional authors because I will be selling far less books. This is not necessarily due to a lack of skill, its just a smaller market for the time being. (If you want to learn more I suggest reading J. A. Konrath's blog)
Ok. I have gotten a little off topic here because I wanted to talk about Smashwords. So lets get back to that. The main reason that I like Smashwords has nothing to do with the money. Its the distribution. They will convert my book into nearly every ebook format, many of which I had not even head of. Once my work is approved for their "premium catalogue" it will be sent to all of the big time sellers like Apple, Barns and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and many more. One exception is the Amazon store. Although Smashwords does format for distribution on the kindle, it will not show up on Amazon's site until at least December (This is according to the Smashwords site). However, customers can buy books off of Smashwords and download them to their computer. Then they can transfer the file to their ereading device.
For those that choose to purchase books off of their site, Smashwords recommends using the Adobe Digital Editions. Which is a free ebook reading application (This is also useful if you don't have an ereading device like Kindle). That way you can go through Adobe to create an online ID with their site. Then Adobe can recognize the books you have purchased. If you ever loose your data, or want to move your files over to a new ereading device or computer, then the Adobe will have your information stored.I have not used it much myself, so I don't have an opinion about the digital editions, but it sounds cool. Check it out!
For those who want to download books from Smashwords its easy to make a log in. They have a lot of cheap/free ebooks for readers. Most of which have some portion of the book displayed for sampling. You can also rate the books you read there and see what others have said about books they have read. Keep in mind that you wont find traditionally pubbed authors there.
I think that covers what I wanted to mention about Smashwords. I hope this was informative.
Here is a quick update about Enthralled. I am in my last round of editing. I have gone through it several times myself, but I needed other people to look at it for me to catch any misspellings etc that I missed. I have read it so many times that my eyes kind of skim over the words. After that's done I will need to quickly copyright it and format if for Smashwords' converter. Then it will be available on their website. It could take a week or two after that for Enthralled to be put in their premium catalog, so it wont be available through most app stores until then. I will post when my book will be available on Smashwords, and when it has reached full distribution. I look forward to hearing what you think!