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Adventures with Smashwords Part 1

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It has often been suggested that curiosity kills far more cats than one might otherwise expect.

That being said, after hearing many good things about Smashwords, I opted to explore another marketing arm for the e-book version of my first book “Blood-Lines”.

Having built up some confidence with Createspace.com and building my manuscripts to properly format for print and distribution through KDP, I figured “this should be easy to implement.”

Oh, how I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s not that Smashwords is difficult to work with or that the process to submit a manuscript is overly complicated — in all fairness, it’s actually quite the opposite on both counts.

The problem that I ran into is one of over simplification.

Smashwords requires their manuscripts to be submitted in MS Word DOC format (or EPUB if you have the ability) in order for them to create the various formats that they offer.  Also, unlike Createspace, they also prefer an ISBN – which is offered for free – for vendors that require them.

Fortunately, as you select channels to participate in, you can opt out of those that would otherwise cross paths with Createspace.

Now, where the problem comes in.

If you happen – like me – to use odd fonts or other such formatting using graphics, you will probably need to lose them and make things far more simpler than many authors may appreciate.

editorSmashwords does offer a guide to help with the style of your document and if you google long enough you learn there is an option that will remove the documentation, aptly called the nuclear option.

The only issue with removing all formatting is that you will lose everything including your italics if you were to use them as I do.

Fortunately there are tools such as that offered by Reanimus Nuclear Assistant among others to help with that.

At some point you will pass all the checks and your book will go into review.

So far, I am waiting to hear about what I’ve managed to submit after much cleaning and reformatting before I decide how much I will want to use the process as I compare the products that will be offered.

In the end, what I do like about Smashwords is that it offers a few more ways for customers to enjoy my fiction and that may be what tilts the scales to make me use it for all my books going forward.

More to follow when I get an update.

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