To follow up on my last post about comparing the experiences of putting the book up on Amazon, B&N, and Apple, here’s the news that Faerie Blood is now live and for sale on Smashwords!
I was relieved that reformatting my manuscript for Smashword’s automatic conversion wasn’t nearly as much of a chore as I expected. It helped considerably that I always write in manuscript format anyway, and what styling I use is very simple indeed. I had to do only a few minimal changes that are easy to do for anyone familiar with Word. The Smashwords Style Guide was quite helpful with this, spelling out in extensive detail what the best practices are for manuscript formatting on their site.
Here’s the thing, though–if you want to deploy to Smashwords, be prepared for the output to be bare-bones, minimally styled, in order to maximize compatibility across all the formats and readers that Smashwords supports. Which means in turn that the EPUB, PDF, and MOBI versions you can download from Smashwords aren’t nearly as prettily styled as the ones I’ve deployed to my Kickstarter backers, or for that matter, that I’ve uploaded directly to the other sites for sale there. Now, I probably could have gotten a little fancier, and tried to make the Smashwords edition of the book closer to the versions on the other sites. But the Style Guide hammers home, over and over and over, how you don’t want to get too crazytalk with the styling or else their automated system will reject your book. So I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
Overall I’d say that even if it means I have multiple sites to keep track off, I’m glad I did my own formatting for the Amazon, B&N, and Apple releases. And I suspect that once Kobo’s self-pub system goes live, I’ll take that site off the list on Smashwords–but we’ll see. Meanwhile, Smashwords should also be deploying me to Sony, Diesel, Baker & Taylor, and Page Foundry. The latter three of whom I had to look up, since I’d only vaguely heard of Diesel, and hadn’t heard of Baker & Taylor or Page Foundry at all. But I have to clear their review to get onto the other sites. So for now, I’m just on Smashwords itself.
More bulletins as events warrant!