Saturday, March 23, 2013

Update on my books

Smashwords status for The Nostalgia Gambit:
My sixth book The Nostalgia Gambit is still for sale in the Kindle store, but it's no longer in the KDP Select program. I have therefore uploaded it to Smashwords, where it is now for sale. Smashwords is an ebook-only retailer that's a great venue for self-published authors, not so much because people buy books there (although some do), but because Smashwords allows authors to selectively sell their books through the iBooks, Nook, Sony, Deisel, and Blio ebookstores, too, just by clicking a few buttons. Smashwords handles the delivery, paperwork, and collection of royalties (they get a very small percentage).

Of course, the ebook has to be well-formatted for this to happen; Smashwords will not send an ebook to a retailer/partner site if it has crappy formatting. They review each book, and TNG is now in the review stage. Smashwords has gotten much faster about that; it used to take a week or two, but now it's usually a few days. The ebook also has to have an ISBN to be sold in other stores, but Smashwords will provide one if the author doesn't have one.

Smashwords used to accept only an MS Word file, formatted to their specific guidelines; their upload program (commonly known as “the meat grinder”) would take the Word file and convert it to Mobi/Kindle format, epub (used by almost all ereaders except Kindle), PDF, and even RTF. The meat grinder produced clean, readable ebooks, but every Smashwords ebook had the same (rather boring) style. On the very last day of 2012, Smashwords began accepting epub; if you upload an epub file that meets their standards, they will use that copy to send to all the vendor partners you select. Of course, if you also want folks to be able to get a Kindle, RTF, or PDF version of the book from Smashwords, you still need to upload a Word file with the proper formatting.

I had a delay of several days in getting my epub file uploaded to Smashwords, because in addition to proper epub coding they wanted specific text (“Smashwords edition”) on the copyright page. That's all taken care of now, and I'm hoping the review process goes smoothly and swiftly! Note added:  TNG made it to the premium catalog in only 3 days! It should be "shipped" to the B&N, iBooks, Sony and other ebookstores very soon.

Status for King of Trees"
I need to keep King of Trees (ebook #7) in KDP select until about the first week in May. After that, I plan to also load it to Smashwords, and push it out to Nook, iBooks, Sony, and all the available vendors. Until then, it is for sale on in the Kindle store, but if you have a Kindle, or a Kindle Fire, and you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow it for free!

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