For the past couple of days I’ve been reading up on the Smashwords Style Guide, found (here) on their website. Just so you’re clued in on what I’m talking about here, Smashwords is an online book distribution website, catering vastly to Indie authors. While Amazon Kindle is known best for their Select program and great marketing, Smashwords will get your book out to other sellers like Itunes and Barnes & Noble. It’s a great resource because you can provide many different formats of your book to a wider variety of readers.
Not everyone owns a Kindle or a Nook, so this website is great for reaching those unreached readers.
One of the first things I heard about when I decided to “go professional” this year, was how great Smashwords is. Through “Shut Up & Read’s” “RIP” program, I have read several books through this website. I had to buy an Adobe Digital Editions reader, for some techie reason I don’t understand. But I’ve really enjoyed it. And I think what Smashwords does for readers and writers alike is fantastic.
Now that you’ve heard the good news, I’ll warn my fellow writers that the Style Guide is highly necessary. It’s free to download, and not only that, it’s necessary. There are so many little things you may not think about because with Kindle, file conversions are easy breezy. The only problem with providing an ebook in so many different formats is you have to simplify things dramatically for Smashwords.
So for several hours I tediously went back over my document, and published again on Kindle even. I learned so much about formatting from this style guide, I recommend it for any serious writer. You might spit nails and feel like your eyes are about to pop out of their sockets from boredom. But you’ll be thanking me once you get your ebook in the Premium Catalogue.
Not only do they provide you with a (highly expensive I might add) ISBN number (did you know Canadians get them for free? WTD?), but you get in with Sony and Itunes. Score! So good luck to everyone! Happy writing and teeth grinding 😉