Recently, I added the electronic version of my book of short stories, Shy Ghosts Dancing: Dark Tales from Southeast Alaska, to the site, Smashwords.com. I consider this a noteworthy achievement, as it widens distribution of the book, and adds another successfully acquired skill to offer to others who seek to publish their own work.
Smashwords distributes e-books in up to 10 different electronic formats, apparently covering the entire spectrum of popular ways to read a book electronically. If a title qualifies for their “premium distribution,” they will distribute the title to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and other major online stores.
That’s a pretty good deal. However, getting to that point took a bit of doing. I’d already created e-book copies of the collection for Kindle and Nook, but Smashwords required me to start from scratch, creating a Microsoft Word document within their specific set of parameters. I submitted a file, waited for them to approve it, then edited when it didn’t meet their requirements.
It took about 3 times to get accepted for their site, then it needed to be considered for premium distribution. While waiting for that, I downloaded the newly created e-book files, and checked them (I don’t have an e-book reader, but I do have the software to read the files on my computer) making changes as I found them, and resubmitting. That work paid off. When they got around to reviewing the latest version, it passed the higher, premium distribution requirements with no further need for changes!
Now, other than promoting the book’s availability, and other grassroots marketing efforts, I should be able to leave it alone and let it provide a “micro income” trickle of revenue.
Sadly, my book has been selling better electronically than in hard copy. Sadly, because the printed book represents the truest expression of what I intended people to see; the e-book formats inherent limitations require a certain level of compromise.
However, as I say, now that I’ve proved I can do it for me, I should be able to do it for you. If you’ve got a book inside of you, waiting to come out, check out Yeldagalga Publications, LLC.