So you’re ready to publish through Smashwords. You should take some time to consider this if you are transitioning from Amazon exclusively. A lot of authors have complained about less sales through Smashwords than with Amazon. And, of course, you lose all the perks like the lending library, free days (if you choose to do that) and the new Kindle Countdown Days.
First thing is first. Go to http://www.smashwords.com and make an account. Get all of your information filled out including payment and tax info. Once you are done with that, you are ready to upload your book. Click on the PUBLISH tab at the top of the Smashwords website. You are going to input all of your book info. A lot of this can be copied and pasted from Amazon.
The biggest obstacle is going to be the formatting. If you are using a Kindle formatted file, it will be almost perfect enough for Smashwords to not yell at you to change a million things. If your book is not perfect, Smashwords will not include it in the premium catalog, and your book will not be sent to Barnes and Noble, etc. So it is very important that you pass all of the requirements and fix all of the errors.
The biggest error was that my font was too big. This only applied to the first page of my formatted book as the title and my name were too big.
The copyright also needs to be changed to something like this:
Copyright 2010 by FirstName LastName
Or, this is a good short one too
Copyright FirstName LastName 2010
Published at Smashwords
Or, if you’re a publisher, this is a good one
Copyright FirstName LastName 2010
Published by CoolCats Publishing at Smashwords
You can also add this blurb after your copyright: “This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.”
Any of the examples above are acceptable with the blurb following after.
It took about a week to be approved for the Premium Catalog. After you are approved, you will be able to find out all of your channel information by going to your dashboard and clicking on “Channel Manager” in the left-sided list. Your Channel Manager will tell you what companies you have opted in or out with, if your book has been shipped, if your book is going to be reshipped, when the next shipment is and any notes. Helpful Tip: Smashwords ships daily to Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble (B&N daily shipments commenced August 5, 2013!) most business days, and once-weekly (usually Thursdays) to other retailers.
If your e-book has already been published through Amazon KDP, I would suggest opting out of Smashwords shipping to Amazon. You want to opt out of that as soon as you publish your book on Smashwords. Go into your dashboard and Channel Manager and opt out of Amazon.
It took less than a week for my e-book to be put on the Barnes and Noble website for Nook and about a week for it to appear in the iTunes/iBooks library. All the various channels will vary depending on your book content. Smashwords makes it very clear that if you are writing erotica or a book that is not the “norm”, so to speak, you are probably going to run into problems. For example, iTunes could take up to a month to approve your book if it’s erotica, so be prepared for the time delay.