Saturday, 10 October 2015

Smashwords

Another day another skill learnt. I now know the difference between a mobi and an epub. I didn't want to know, but in the last few months I've picked up a lot of knowledge unwillingly. The reason I picked up some more skills screaming and kicking is because Amazon refuses to make a book permanently free unless you can prove that it is sold or rather given away at another retailers. I went with Smashwords as many of my writer friends use it and they distribute to many other retailers like Barnes and Noble. Very soon I'll ask people to bombard Amazon with complaints about having seen Language in the Blood for free on another site. Here is the link:

Language in the Blood on Smashwords.

So why give a book away for free?
I often run promotions by giving books away free, but Amazon only lets me do this for 5 days every 90 days. This will allow me to run promotions more often. Some writers have really seen sales of their books take of after making one book perma free. As I have a series, it makes sense to entice people in with book 1 for free.
What did I think of Smashwords?
To set up an account was very easy, as I'm making the book free I didn't need to provide much information. Then when it came to upload the book I opened their style guide. This was one of the most complex and sleep inducing works I've ever had the misfortune to look at. I decided to ignore the thing and upload. It's formatted for Kindle (a mobi) so how bad can it be?
Their previewer promptly came up with some errors, mainly the table of contents. I set to address each one with the 'help' of this guide. I've looked at some e-readers and put it through a epub gizmo and most of it looks fine. All in all an afternoons work. I know it's probably not perfect on all e-formats, but the main focus is the books on Amazon.
Other news:
I jumped the gun a bit and ordered some books before my editor had a look at the proof.
I know this was hasty, but I wanted to give out books to many people that I don't see that often before Christmas. Book 2 Blood Ties is absolutely perfect, but book 1 has an issue that I didn't spot in the e-previewer which meant the pages went a little out of sink. Only a problem if you want your table of content to match with the chapters;)
The plus point is that some people will get a very rare copy of Language in the Blood as we will update this error very soon. If you like your books less than perfect but rare, go to Amazon now before it's too late:

Language in the Blood in Paperback