Creating a book at Smashwords – tweet by tweet


Recently I’ve been adding my book to Smashwords, an online e-book store for independent authors and their publishers. For a mobile fiction writer it’s a good place to be – the books are available in ePub, and Smashwords’ catalog is listed in Stanza iPhone eReader. The service is truly international (opposite to Kindle Amazon). That means, that there are no geographical restricions to authors. You can be from Poland and still sell your book here.

Instead of writing a typical post about it, let me show you a stream of tweets instead. Presenting real-time thoughts can be more helpful than any piece of text written afterwards, as they show step-by-step process and are much stronger in showing ad hoc feelings.

Finally getting ready to publish my #mobilefiction stories at Smashwords. First impression: really cool place #smashwords

I’ll write real time tweets on how it goes and then put it together into a tweetstream post at my blog #smashwords

Back to #smashwords. I’ve signed up some time ago. Now updating profile. U can put web, blog, Twitter, FB, MySpace&LinkedIn links. Like it.

Now uploading picture. I use Twitter photo, not the actual icon. Want to look more serious if I want to give a price for a book #smashwords

#smashwords I really like the possibility to include a YouTube video. I’m putting my one second book trailer here.

Need to write a serious bio. Will do it at the end of a process. So my profile for now looks like that: #smashwords

#smashwords you can download a book as a rtf or doc file. Problem. I almost forgot using Word.

#smashwords @markcoker sent me a link to smashwords style guide (very long) and @copyhacker warned me it’s not gonna be easy.

#smashwords definitely it won’t be as easy as creating a book at #feedbooks

As I’m reading @copyhacker‘s “Ends” from feedbooks I’ll also get it from #smashwords and compare

That’s it for #smashwords tonight. Now I feel like writing a good #hashtagstory :-)

Back to creating a #smashwords book. Collected part of the content into one Word document. Enough to work on a formatting.

Now my big Q is: can I have chapter navigation and links. Will check #smashwords style guide for that

Wow, 20 long-paragraph steps in #smashwords style guide. I need 20 cups of coffee for that.

OK, KISVS#MG (keep it simple very stupid #mobilefiction guy). Cleared all formatting, changed font to Georgia, 12pt #smashwords

I was afraid of it: Step 5 – “Word thinks”. I don’t wanna depend on what Word thinks. Mr Gates, please… #smashwords

This is how I liked creating a book with #feedbooks – no third-party strange thoughts included. #smashwords

I like that: “it’s one of those unexplainable mysteries of Microsoft Word” – from #smashwords style guide.

Bad news: Step 11 – “Hyperlinked TOCs generally don’t translate well into most Smashwords formats” #smashwords

I have 25+5 stories in my book. I NEED a working TOC. #smashwords

It’s the nature of mobile reading: not to read 1-by-1, but to pick up. I don’t expect anybody to read all 30 stories #smashwords

This is a benefit of #feedbooks – you put your content 1-by-1 and you have it navigated afterwards. #smashwords

Any hints on how to include a chapter navigation in a #smashwords book?

#smashwords to have TOC working I need to change style for titles of the stories. Using Heading 1: based on Normal, but Bold and 14pt

#smashwords I’m using a simple TOC. Changed style to exactly the same as Normal: Georgia 12 pt, no formatting

#smashwords Now focusing on writing an introduction. It’s very important as I would like to suggest a price for this book…

…and it’s already available for free from #feedbooks #smashwords

I really like “you set the price!” option at #smashwords. In my case this is the most sincere proposal to the reader.

On top of 25 stories from from #feedbooks selection I’ve added 5 new ones. It makes most of my fiction translated to English. #smashwords

#smashwords Looks like the book is ready. Now I’ll update my bio.

#smashwords Word formatting was a nightmare (as usual), but I’m done with it. Just a moment ago I’ve uploaded the book »

Finalizing the book upload was cool and simple. Took me 2 minutes, yay. #smashwords

#smashwords Now it’s time for testing and I’m little afraid of the result, especially on #iPhone

Nice. I got an email from #smashwords on book conversion results and further tips. Like it a lot.

#smashwords The books doesn’t look good. It swallowed only ONE title into TOC and I don’t know why this one.

First book download to #smashwords was my personal “password incorrect”. I removed TOC and double line spaces. Downloading again.

Made 3 downloads to #smashwords. Now I can say the book looks OK. But no navigation is a PAIN.

Some thoughts on creating a book for #smashwords.

#smashwords it’s really nice and easy. I like profile section, where you can put most of your contact data – it’s important for a 2.0 author

#smashwords Big benefit » no geographical discrimination. You can sell your book even if you’re not a US resident (vs. Scribd).

#smashwords Big disadvantage – letting third parties control formatting of a book. In my case it was a nightmare, as always with Word.

#smashwords but for a #mobilefiction guy like me it’s a great place to be, as it’s listed in #iPhone Stanza’s online catalog.

#smashwords So now my book is both here and at #feedbooks. And It has to be like that…

…as #smashwords is a case of missed opportunity, while #feedbooks is a case of missed satisfaction.

Soon I’ll make a blog tweetstream on creating a book at #smashwords. Great experience, every writer should try.

Author 2.0

One Reply to “Creating a book at Smashwords – tweet by tweet”

  1. Pingback: XmasTips | Creating a book at Smashwords - tweet by tweet

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