E Books

The edited Volume One of Refuge of Delayed Souls (currently being posted) is due to complete in a couple of weeks. I will then start to post Volume Two.

I've been asked to make available e-book versions of the story which can be downloaded onto handheld devices and mobiles. What I know about these things could be written on the back of a postage stamp!

I've taken a look at the Smashwords site and from what I've read so far it seems to offer what I need.

Does anyone here have experience of Smashwords - either as a writer or a reader? Would you recommend it?

Is there another site you would recommend?

You can always just save the document as a pdf file. If you're using Open Office you can do that straight away, but you'll need a plugin if you're using Word.

pdf's have the other advantage of providing an easy-to-print version.

I use Smashwords. It's relatively easy to use. You'll want to, of course, read the detailed instructions on the site for how to upload your book. You may have formatted it in such a way that the "meatgrinder" can't translate it properly.

Once you've got it up there, you've got the option of charging for your book, offering it for free, or allowing your customers to set their own price.

Smashwords pays royalties quarterly, (I think) and they'll either cut you a check or send it directly to your paypal account (which is the option I use).

Overall, I've got nothing bad to say about it.

Dary - Thanks :)

vjchambers - Good to hear :)

Did you design your own cover or did you ask someone to do it for you?

I use Kindle to post finished work. I am very happy with it. Uploading is easy. Distribution is simple. And I am guessing that in time many platforms will be able to access the Kindle list. Here's my Kindle page and I believe from there you can get started http://bit.ly/mNUEy

Thanks Stephen - I'll take a look :)

Yes, I designed my covers myself. (If you click on my link in my sig, you can see my covers on my mainpage.) I like playing around with Photoshop (maybe a little too much. Even though Photoshop has a steep learning curve, I find design to be one of my favorite things to do). But I also have used a free program called Gimp. (You can download it here: http://www.gimp.org/) It's like a freeware Photoshop and will do most of the things that Photoshop does.

I use Kindle too, but Stephen apparently knows some secrets I don't. I find that it's very difficult to upload to. I can't for the life of me get something to look good if I upload a Word doc or pdf to it, so I always send it in html, which looks pretty decent. However, Kindle doesn't read html tags in a way that I'd like. It closes any tag the minute it sees a </>, meaning that using italics over several paragraphs is a nightmare.

Smashwords will pop out a mobi file for you. However, considering Kindle is so touchy, I'm wary to let Smashwords format my kindle stuff. I'd be interested to know if anyone has read a Smashwords mobi file on a Kindle and knows how it looked.

Thanks for that link vjchambers :)

If anyone is interested there is a free ebook available on Smashwords, The Smashword Style Guide detailing how to format your manuscript to upload it there. For anyone who is interested in marketing ebooks Smashwords also have a 'how to guide' covering this.

I've had a look at a few sites now and I think that Smashwords seems to be the easiest to use.

The question I'm asking myself now - do I feel confident enough to push that ebook publish button...

BTW, L. Lee Lowe told me feedbooks.com is a good site, with a helpful operator.


@ Chris

Ack! Now the cat's amongst the pigeons!

feedbooks.com looks to be a great site! Now I'm even more confused - if that's possible :)

I use Smashwords as well too. The only tough part is following the style guide to get your document ready to upload, and that's not too bad. Other than that it is a nice service and will produce and distribute your work in many formats. I recommend it for your needs.

I went with Smashwords in the end Braveluck :)

I used Smashwords to publish a short story a while back and I am slowly putting up some of my novelettes I actually wandered around last weekend to look at best-sellers and most-downloaded. I was amused to see that Refuge made it onto the most downloaded list (first page near the bottom.) I'd meant to go over and mention this, but got caught up. I hope it's going well for thee on that site.

I really like how easy it is to get a manuscript published. Especially because I have some readers who have in the past been drumming for PDFs and e-book readable formats.

"Refuge made it onto the most downloaded list"

*big grins*

Yeah, last week they were at 5 (Vol 2) and 10 (Vol 1)

This week - diddly squit! LOL C'est la vie :)

I really like the site too & it is easy to use. I also heard this week that Smashwords had signed a deal with Apple.

One thing I would say though is to make sure *everything* is there when you upload. When I uploaded Volume 2 a chapter went astray in the web ether - no idea what happened but I didn't half have a dickie fit when I found out! I wouldn't wish that to happen to anyone else.

Good luck with your novelettes - I look forward to adding them to my library!