I’ve always enjoyed writing – for business, college or pleasure. Homepreneurs is proof of my desire to share information with others. Some will like what I write – some won’t – but that is a risk any writer takes. The Internet is fantastic for exposure and distribution, but the web amplifies mistakes and blunders too. Be careful what you publish; it is on the Internet forever.
But this post is not about discussing the obvious. What I want to cover is a simple step-by-step guide to eBooks using Smashwords.
Why an eBook? Simply, print media is rapidly disappearing. Many newspapers and magazines are only online now. Just today, Newsweek announced it will shift to online-only publication after 80 years, with Dec. 31 set to be last print issue.[i] Ditto for print books. Borders book store chain is gone while Kindle, Nook, and iPad sales continue to soar.
I’ve been considering eBooks for a while, and started today with a simple story I had written previously to learn and document the process. Before jumping into publishing an eBook, have a story or other work formatted correctly and ready to publish. Refer to SmashWorks founder Mark Coker’s guide for eBooks. Also be sure to have cover page artwork prepared and ready to upload to the site. Smashworks has a no-nudity policy for its covers; if writing erotica, know this in advance.
Below are steps used for publication on Smashwords.com:
– Bring up Smashwords.com in a browser. Don’t use IE9 – I had problems using that version of IE. Firefox worked quite well.
– Click on the ‘Join For Free’ link and create an account
– Decide if you want to use a pen name or your real name for publication
– Go to the “publish” link and follow the simple instructions
– Some important considerations:
– The above are so-called metadata and are a means of cataloging active and archived information. Metadata are like keywords and very important for searching purposes.
– Set a price for your work. Use other like eBooks to determine an appropriate price. Most will be inexpensive (under $10).
– An author will receive a percentage of total sales, depending on the distribution channel. For example, if the price is $1.99, an author would receive between $.90 and $1.39 profit.
– Browse to and upload your cover image and story file
– A lesson learned: create a title page as a separate page using the page break feature in Word. Smashwords is not smart enough to know the difference between a title page and story text.
– Check the eBooks formats you want (by default – all are chosen) and if an adult story, select the “my book contains adult content” box
– Click on publish
Yes, publishing on SmashWords is really that simple. I’d suggest you review the story to make sure the formatting is correct, and ask for a free ISBN number too.
I can officially call myself a published author now, complete with ISBN number, and eventual distribution to various eBook sellers. I’ve already had 16 downloads in the last 4 hours and four people have my story in their library. Not bad for a first timer!
eBooks are a great way to display your expertise on a subject and make additional money by doing so. In my case, this was a test fictional story under a pseudonym and I’m not charging for it.
eBooks can either be a home business for you or expand your home business by showing off what you know and can do for potential and existing customers.
By Dion D. Shaw
Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
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