Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why This Erotica Author Loves Smashwords

I remember talking to a friend and fellow writer last year who said she was using Smashwords. I scoffed, because I wanted to be published by traditional means and I'd heard bad things about their formatting. She really liked it, so the company name stuck in my head.

Publishing with Smashwords

Well, after being told by publishers and agents that my stories were hybrids and not market worthy, I checked out Smashwords for myself. I thought I would get my feet wet by publishing a few short stories. The instructions Smashwords gave in their little eBook, Smashwords Style Guide, was invaluable and easy to understand. The book walked me through the process and even made me feel that I wasn't an idiot if some of it seemed confusing. I got my stories to meet Smashwords' standards so that they were eligible for premium distribution (meaning my books would go out to six online bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and Apple).

I've sold a few books on Smashwords and put up a few for free (wanted people to get a taste of my writing style). It's been exciting seeing how many people download my "sensual quickies" and getting reviews from actual customers is a thrill.

I like Mike Coker's approach to running his company. I feel supported, appreciated, and informed. A recent issue arose in the erotica arena. He sent out (and continues to send) email updates while he negotiates with PayPal.

Using Smashwords Helped Me Publish on Amazon

A fellow author from Smashwords gave me tons of information and support, suggesting that I also publish on Amazon. Because of the experienced gained by using Smashwords, I was able to work Amazon's publishing process. I would have struggled without that prior experience. Plus, I know that if my file has no errors with Smashwords' formatting, it will work for Mobi as well.

Making Money

I was surprised a month later when I looked at my statement on Smashwords (payments are made quarterly - but you can check out your ongoing totals) and found that I was making money from B&N. The next month’s statement showed that Apple was also providing sells.

I finally understood the power Smashwords affords me as a new writer. I am out in the market, able to decide what price I want to sell my books for and I don't have to worry whether my books are "hybrids"or not. My success is in my hands!

Benefits to Publishing on Smashwords

By using Smashwords, I can create a clean eBook and have it distributed to the major bookstores (excluding Amazon at this time). I also am able to determine my price. On top of that, I can choose to make some books free so people are able to sample my writing and determine if this indie author is worth their reading time. Using them is a win/win for me. I LOVE Smashwords and recommend it to any indie author who wants to control his/her own success.

FYI - I am an indie author of erotica who started publishing with Smashwords in December 2011.

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