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8/6/2011 4:02:06 PM
For Smashwords there is one important thing you need to do differently to your manuscript to make sure it qualifies for the Smashwords Premium Catalog (that is supposed to get you out to more retailers). Here it is:
Today's imaginary novel will be called "Peace, Love, and Mustard" and it was written by an author named Oscar Myers. If you were Oscar, you'd make the very first page of your manuscript say:
Peace, Love, and Mustard
By Oscar Myers
Copyright Oscar Myers, 2011
If you originally had a copyright warning (or anything else) before your title page, move it to after this first page or you won't qualify for the premium catalog. Do not put any type larger than 18 pt. anywhere in your manuscript, including the title page.
That 1st page was the only problem I had when trying to use Smashwords the first time, and it took a couple of days to figure out why they wouldn't put it in the premium catalog because the message just said that it didn't follow the formatting guidelines.
Anyway, you would save that document as a separate file, like: PeaceLoveMustard_Smashwords.doc (not .docx)
Besides the items you needed for Kindle and Nook, you'll also need a short (400 words or less) description of your book. You will use it in one box and the regular long description in the next.
At smashwords.com, set up an account, then click on the "Publish" tab.
Fill in the boxes.
When choosing ebook formats, I uncheck "plain text" because I don't want my book read without the formatting in it.
When you select your document to upload, make sure it's the Smashwords Version you created. (You are uploading the Microsoft Word document. You do not need to convert it like you do with the others.)
Click "publish" at the bottom of the page and it will tell you how many are waiting ahead of you and count down as long as you keep the page up. Today, I put up Don't Make Me Make You Brownies and only had 4 waiting ahead of me. That's the least I've seen.
A few minutes later, it had been reviewed and needed an ISBN. Here, I just chose the "free ISBN" option.
When you want to check on your book later, you'll click the "dashboard" tab. If there is a message in the "Premium Status" column, such as "Needs submission," click on it and see if it tells you there's a problem you need to fix in order to get into the premium catalog.
After it says it's finished, you can go to the home page and it will give you links so you can put up your picture and/or bio. These are not required, so you can go back to them later if necessary. (Other people do not see these messages on that page. They only show up for you when you are logged in.)
You can view your book by going through your dashboard page and clicking on the title, and you can provide links to it like this http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79513.
However, it will take a while before it shows up in the search engine.
The royalties I've received from Smashwords have been only a small fraction of the royalties from other sites. However, this is a fast-changing business and we don't know what game changers will come along next, so it's good to be out there in multiple locations. Besides, once you have multiple novels, novellas, and/or short stories published in multiple locations, it really can start to add up to a nice monthly "salary."