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Smashwords = Easy Ebook Distribution

If you’re an author with an ebook, you should know about Smashwords. Smashwords calls itself an “ebook publishing and distribution platform.” It’s the distribution part that makes what the company does so valuable.

Upload your ebook to Smashwords and with one push of a button you can also put your book on:

  • Kobo
  • Nook
  • Sony Reader
  • iPad

Your book can also be made available in a Kindle format, though not directly through Amazon. Those are all five of the major e-readers on the market today. You don’t have to fuss with opening a publisher’s account at each one. Just one account with Smashwords and you’re in. Your book also becomes available for purchase through the Smashwords site itself. I’m not aware of any other company currently offering this kind of aggregated ebook distribution.

Smashwords pays 85% of your list price, minus a small credit card fee, on sales made directly through their site. On sales through most retailers (like Kobo and Apple), you earn 60% of your list price. Those are good numbers.

The one downside to Smashwords is its firm policy of taking ebooks as MS Word files only. It’s difficult to find ebook formatters who are skilled in creating a decent layout in Word, not to mention meeting some of the esoteric layout requirements that Smashwords imposes. Most ebook programmers work with ePUB files, which are essentially built using web code. (You can email Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker to be sent a short list of suppliers who can format ebooks in Word.)

Once you have your Word file in hand, though, you’ll be hard pressed to find an easier way to distribute your ebook.

Highspot is not affiliated with Smashwords and receive no compensation for mentioning the company.

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4 Responses to “Smashwords = Easy Ebook Distribution”

  1. Dodge Winston Says:

    Nice writeup about Smashwords. Thought I’d swing on by and see what others in the industry are up to. And you are apparently up to something over here in this corner:) Anyway swing on by my site sometime. I dig fellow Smashwords visitors… or anyone else for that matter.

  2. Ross Slater Says:

    Hi Dodge – thanks for the comment about Smashwords. Jennifer is really knowledgeable. Come by (or subscribe to our Blog!) anytime.

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