Smashed Words

The most dismaying thing about my Smashwords experience is that my first version of their .epub file was unreadable, after that file passed their Meatgrinder, Autovetter and Epubcheck systems. Their first version of my .mobi file had no paragraph breaks, but was otherwise readable. Oddly, the other Smashwords files (.pdf and text variants) came out perfectly formatted on the first try.

Meanwhile, I can create a .mobi file with Calibre, upload it to Amazon KDP and the Kindle .kdf file will match the .mobi I uploaded.

Then, I can make an .epub file in Calibre, send it to Barnes & Noble PubIt, and the Nook file will match my upload.

(and you get to preview your uploads at Amazon and B&N, unlike Smashwords)

After that, I can go to Booktango and get my book on the “other guys” (Apple, Sony, Kobo, Google, etc.) You can also do Amazon and B&N Nook e-books on Booktango if you don’t wish to upload to those two companies directly.

On Booktango, you upload an .epub or .doc file directly and preview it. The best part is that you can edit your uploaded file online, after you’ve uploaded it. 😀 Booktango offers a litany of paid services to choose from as well (formatting, cover design, press releases, etc.)

Compare all this to Smashwords. No previews, and my first version .epub was unreadable after it passed their vetting programs (which I could only found out after I downloaded it).

My summary: Smashwords may have the indie cred, but Booktango is everything Smashwords should be. I’ll choose modern uploading functionality (matching or surpassing Amazon/B&N) over hours of editing that produced an unreadable file (passed by their systems!) that you couldn’t preview.

Update: After another week’s labor on my part, I finally created a file that produced decent, usable .mobi and .epub files on Smashwords.

My experiences above still argue strongly for paying an expert to format your file for Smashwords. Look at all the time I spent on it. $20 paid would be a real bargain.

And after all that, the Smashwords files lack the Table Of Contents customizations I made to the other versions. The glossary and playlist pages are appended after the concluding chapter, rather than directly accessible in the TOC (as on the Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Booktango versions).

Another argument for Booktango: You create your own chapter headings in the online editor (in fact, you have to!). If you want to use one service to distribute your work, keep in mind that Booktango’s online editor lets you make sure your document looks correct, and has the chapter headings you want (and where you want them), before you publish it. Booktango also distributes to Amazon, whereas Smashwords generally does not (unless you’ve sold over $1000 of books on their site).

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Welcome the massive three

Kristen Lamb hits the bulls-eye again:
Big Six Publishing is Dead-Welcome the Massive Three

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Comment #210 by Vampire Syndrome on May 8, 2012 – 8:53 pm

One begins to wonder about a new risk factor in signing with the Big Six. One or two of them might go under or merge in the next few years (to say nothing of the smaller imprints). And they would take the publishing rights of many their authors’ books into limbo with them. Any books with the copyright in the publisher’s name, any contract not including rights of reversion to the author when the book goes out-of-print, any contract with nebulous clauses, etc. etc. Some authors will end up having to buy the rights back to their own books. Others won’t be so lucky…

Tattered Cover Press

If you’re an author living in the Denver area, and are even slightly interested in e-publishing your book, you really, really want to check out the Tattered Cover Book Store‘s new Print On Demand services.

Read more about the specifics here.

I am beyond thrilled about Tattered Cover’s new venture. 😀 Starting their own small press is a brilliant strategy to ensure their long-term survival and prosperity in this new age of publishing.

This venture benefits the Tattered Cover Press and their authors. You, the author, get the freedom of e-publishing on Google Books, placement in Tattered Cover’s eBook store, and physical paper books on demand.

As much as I may admire the freedom of e-books and self-publishing, there’s no substitute for actual paper books. Tattered Cover’s Print On Demand services has you covered, either way. 😀

Kristen Lamb: Bracing for Impact–The Future of Big Publishing in the New Paradigm

The Mill River Recluse

Yahoo News: How (Darcie Chan) became a best selling author.

A dozen publishers and more than 100 literary agents rejected (The Mill River Recluse).

It has sold more than 400,000 copies and landed on the best-seller lists.

There’s also Amanda Hocking (Toronto Star article).

She kept writing, kept sending query letters to publishers, and kept getting nothing but rejection letters back.

After “Switch” was turned down (which has become her best-selling book, she says), Hocking looked into self-publishing.

What’s right with this picture? 😉

In my Oct 2nd post The Rejection Window, I said:

By (5-10 years from now), the majority of authors will be likely to e-publish their manuscripts immediately after the traditional publishing industry’s first rejection. Revisions of manuscripts just to fit the ever-changing whims of agents and traditional publishing will increasingly be seen as a waste of time and effort. The implications of this sea change are staggering.

The next watershed event (and this will be epic): Someone will sell 500,000+ e-books without ever having submitted the novel to anyone in the traditional publishing industry.
I can just picture this author quoted as saying, “Why bother? They would have just rejected it anyway!” 😆

Said event would reach whole-new-level epic status if the author sells the motion picture rights and the title becomes a hit movie! 😈