You could just upload your Word doc of your book or you could … do it right.
Amazon is big, but it’s not everything. Step outside the walls of the US and Amazon gets smaller fast. There are many other players out there for your ebook. Are you published everywhere possible? Let’s have a look at formatting your book for Smashwords.
Wondering why you should upload to Smashwords at all? In a nutshell, it’s an easy way to get your book to platforms beyond Amazon:
- Barnes & Noble
But also to:
- Page Foundry
- Baker & Taylor Blio
- Flipkart (India)
- txtr (Germany)
- Library Direct (library)
- Baker & Taylor Axis 360 (library)
- Overdrive (library)
Great, let’s go!
To upload to Smashwords, all you need to do is read the Smashwords Style Guide. The thing is, it’s 28,300 words long and has taken me the past two hours to get through and I just got a “failed” status on my upload. Oh wait, now I think I’m under review.
But he gets into details and that’s what’s important. How do chapters work? How do you not have it look terrible on different platforms? What about the cover? How about that fancy, clickable table of contents? He gives you three ways to do it (he offers many ways to do most things) but will also recommend the best option in his opinion.
It takes some time (OK, a lot of time), but this is your book and you’re about to get it into the hands of, well, the entire planet. Read the manual, format your book, spread it to the world.
In the Smashwords FAQ, they mention that they have a list of people who will format for your book for you (for a modest fee), which doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.
- Possible: upload and cross your fingers
- Impossible: read every word of the 27,000-word style guide
- Repossible: try
P.S. I’m tagging this under “courage.”