A Bit About Smashwords and Createspace...

Okay, so I've had my debut on Smashwords and learned a lot from just going through the process.  Today I'd like to share a bit of my experience of working in Smashwords with you all.  First up, it wasn't all that hard and I say this as someone who is NOT "Tech-Savvy".  Luckily I do know MS Word.

Now I want to say, simply follow their directions.  Make a back up copy of your work and then totally do the conversion on the back-up copy NOT the original.  This is because all that lovely formatting you did originally to your piece is about to got out the window and be undone.  Why?  Because Smashwords is helping you re-format your work so it can operate in the e-book program world and will look nice and readable.  Remember, if you're going this route you want to present a beautiful product for your audience.  Plus, your work deserves to be presented in the best fashion possible.  You're not doing this just for your readers, it's also for you and you deserve it!

Now don't be too intimidated.  Following their instructions is easy.  Plus if you need a visual there are videos on YouTube showing you exactly what they're talking about.  Simply look up "formatting for Smashwords" and you'll find some good videos there that may help explain what you're supposed to be doing.

I want to take a moment to say this too, in some ways formatting for Smashwords was easier than CreateSpace (which I'm going to talk about in another post).   This is not to say one is better than the other.  I simply mean there is a HUGE difference between the two.  Createspace is teaching you how to format NOT just for Kindle e-books but to also ready your work to be "Print-On-Demand", which means paperback books.  That's right, an actual paperback copy of your book that you can hold in your hands.  See below:

So the demands for each one are quite a bit different.  However!  With Smashwords once you finish the formatting and are satisfied that everything is in order, the moment you hit submit and approve your book... IT IS UP AND FOR SALE!  It's a very quick process, so be sure you get it right.  And then start marketing the daylights out of it.  Facebook, Twitter, whatever other social network you have on or off the internet.  I'll go more into that another day.  But your book's success or failure, rests solely on you.  Make sure you get the word out.

And if you're not sure what devices work with Smashwords published e-books here's a list:
Apple, Sony, Barnes and Noble's Nook, Kobo, Diesel E-book store.  And the formats your book will be available in are: Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc, and Plain Text.  I mention these because sometimes I was asked about the specific formats rather than what devices.

I hope this helps.  If you'd like to take a sample peak at my novel on Smashwords follow this link:

Until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.


  1. Very infornative post Alan.

    I hope you do well.


  2. Allan, you are making steady progress and that is impressive.
    I appreciate this post because I may be doing an e-book down the road.

    1. And I hope that all I'm sharing comes in very handy for you, if indeed you do make that choice.

  3. Hi Allan,

    Caught your link on KindelMojo Facebook. Bravo! Well done.

    I have a client who (when I quizzed her about her Smashwords Title Page) said, "I didn't do it THAT way. . . I thought I could 'fudge' No, Dears, you cannot fudge - but the access to vendor platforms including iTunes, Kobo, et al make Smashwords the "no technical glitches" alternative to Amazon's fraught-with-problems eBook store.

    1. Exactly. It's been quite the learning experience, but as many times as it has been frustrating, I've learned so much. And next time will be all the easier because of it.


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