(If any of you have experience e-publishing, please comment away on what I’ve missed or on how to make the process even easier.) I’ve mentioned Smashwords specifically because it seems to make e-books available to all the major e-book retailers, but if you have other suggestions, please put them up!
Smashwords is a free service that leaves your copyright intact in exchange for a commission on sales: royalties are paid quarterly. (Warning: you must have copyright. )
The document has to be in Microsoft Word format and Smashwords has certain stylistic guidelines you need to follow. (Not sure that anyone there follows up on that, but that’s what they say — and if you don’t follow them, your formatting will come out looking garbled. We don’t want that, do we?)
First, create a cover image and save it as a jPeg for uploading. Then create a Smashwords account, log in and click ‘publish.’ The book is uploaded into nine different ebook formats so that it can be read on virtually any e-book device. Smashwords will include your book in its Premium Catalogue which is shared with all the major ebook retailers (at no charge).
The cool thing about Smashwords is that if you are the exclusive on-line publisher for two authors, you can become a ‘publisher affiliate’ and get paid higher royalties. I’m sure there’s a way to team up on this stuff and take advantage of that bonus. Maybe it applies to those of you who write under different pen names. Worth a try!
Do you want to upload your e-book to one of the major platforms so that you can start selling it from your website instead?
You may want to first convert your manuscript using Adobe Acrobat to a PDF format which will stop others from changing it. (You can also do this in some versions of Microsoft Word.)
You write in the name of the online store, click ‘link’ icon in the toolbar, highlight it with your mouse to hyperlink it, click Edit URL, and paste in the URL of the online store. That’s it, you’re done!
If you’re using Microsoft Word rather than a PDF format, open the e-book in Microsoft Word. Write the name of the online store or product in the appropriate place on your website as above. Highlight the name with the mouse, and select the ‘insert’ tab. Click ‘hyperlink’ in the Links group. Type or copy the exact URL for the online store into that field. Click ‘ file’ and save.
The procedure is pretty much the same with EbookPro or other e-book software. Really, what you’re doing here is creating a hyperlink on your website, the same as you do if you’re blogging and adding a link.
Alright, everyone, it can’t be that simple. What did I miss?