Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting Published On Smashwords; Piece of Cake?

Being published on Smashwords in eBook form is both an exciting and a daunting event.
I will say right out, it isn't an easy thing to do, getting the manuscript to fit the requirements, well it is a different ball-park than it is with traditional publishing. Just when you think you know the correct format, you find out, eBook publishing just about throws all that formatting biz out the don't have to number the pages, you can choose to have a 5 space indent, or not and go with block format, but not both.
Tabs and space-bars are a no-no...those trusted keys on your keyboard are actually the reason why you find your format going out of whack over and over again!

On top of all that, unless you follow the smashwords style guide, you'll
find meatgrinder rejecting your baby and more work to do. It can be a
headache, and time consuming, and exhausting, and yes, if you know
anyone who has already made that journey through the fire and made it out the other side, you will be begging your friend to please help by giving pointers...I was lucky enough to have such a friend and I thank you, again, SP, you're the best. And true, you said, go back to the Style book, it says it best...and that's what I pass on to any other struggling
author who reads this blog, if you find something hard and you can't figure it out; stop, breathe, rest, and when you feel up to it, go back and re-read it till you succeed. It'll be worth it, to take a look at the published work and see it meets expectations.

The only thing I met with a note for modifications was about my links, which was what I found the hardest to do and what I asked for help with from S.P. My note said 'to be included in the smashwords catalog, there couldn't be any links to kindle or mention of kindle published works'; so I had to remove those in the Days Were Shattered Dreams copy. This alerted me not to make the same mistake in The Light of Day, which I had been aiming to publish. So I fixed both, and got them up, which along with 2 other eBooks, Dead Man's Fingers, and Little Moon and the Spirit Animals, makes four eBooks, published on smashwords; three of the four are written by two authors, not one; J.D. Couch and Jerriann Law. The fourth eBook is Dead Man's Fingers, and is written by Jerriann Law. It might be, since Dead Man's Fingers was the first book published, this could explain why smashwords is only recognizing one author, even though both names are clearly on the book covers and it says we are partners, and a 'writing duo' it doesn't give J.D. Couch any credit on his smashwords profile as being an author of any books on smashwords.
 Not sure if other authors who have partners are having this same problem; but for the author not mentioned it is frustrating, and that is understandable. We all like to have our due credit given when we accomplish something like this; that's one reason I'm writing this article. If anyone can suggest how this can be fixed or changed, please comment, below and thank you;
Jerriann; the editor, illustrator/book cover designer and co-partner with JD Couch.


  1. Yes I remember the frustration I felt, when I first uploaded to Smashwords very well indeed, and, talking to you about it when you had no idea of it at all yet, wary of cutting and pasting, even, and then you came to me some time after, by which time, I had it down pat; easy peasy, I do not worry at all about it anymore, know how to format as I go, always with the 'show' function on Word which I had no idea about before, stopping me from manually fucking it up. I check every document now, from the Insert option, and bookmarks, checking for anything that starts with an HS, which will get you rejected. When you know how; it's simple, and second nature, as I'm sure you're finding. I also used the same techniques to upload to Amazon, and found as they were being formatted properly, that they published far quicker there too. I dread to think what unformatted copies looked like before I learned about this. The stylebook is easy and simple to follow and is a must. Also, re the author thing, as you know I never collaborate, but I would drop them a line and ask about that, you can press the link at the top of any page on Smashwords, and I find they answer quickly - but have you checked in the FAQs? Congrats on getting this all up, and starting to promote - however, I do have to say that I preferred your original title for Days were Shattered Dreams, and, the current cover; I feel, is way too busy and unclear as to what it's about. I do love the Dead Man's Fingers one though.

    1. Hey SP thanks for this blog post here this has helped me understand more on how to format and edit as I go and this is a great thing being Jerrianns Partner is a high point in my life without her I don't reall know what I would do she is good at editing which I am not really, and she is a great artist and can make a picture video like no other and your books a brilliant man thanks again JD Couch