Dancing with Smashwords


Before about a month ago, I hadn’t decided to really utilize Smashwords, just because I wasn’t so sure. I’m glad I did! Sticking only with Amazon has its perks, but I’ve found more success so far with Smashwords.

That said, it isn’t all a smooth-sailing gig. They require either an .epub or a .doc file and they both have to fit certain qualifications which Smashwords won’t tell you what they are, but are sure to say what they AREN’T, as their 200-page manual proves.

I first tried my .epub file for Black Locust Letters. No go. It threw up a couple errors and I decided just to work with the .doc file. Well…between internet black outs, visits to the public library, and the time files are spent IN REVIEW, I haven’t managed to get Black Locust Letters available for wider distribution. This time around it was because my file had both first line indents and spaces beneath the paragraph.  I’ve finally ditched the spaces and just got the file re-uploaded. We will see if Smashwords approves this time.

Now you may be thinking that Smashwords is impossible. Let me tell you my other book…


Blissed is my first experiment with episode-writing. At 9,000-10,000 words long you could, in theory, call each episode a short story.  No matter, the point is that it is a short, simple document without laborsome formatting. Just a title page, the story, and a thanks for reading page. I uploaded it hoping to have better success than with Black Locust Letters, but not really counting on it.

Almost instantly accepted. Check, check, check, thank you, come again.

I was a little like, o.0 whoa….let’s do that again!

So I did. Today I put Episode 2 Bliss Den up for pre-order, thinking that it would be nice to have a regularly scheduled release which I wouldn’t have to baby or frantically try to stick up last-minute.

Well, turns out you can’t schedule a free book for release. What? Come on. I guess at least you can put a book up for free without signing your mind, body, and soul for exclusive use for 90 days (cough, cough, Amazon). Decided on a work-around anyway, put it up for the Let the Reader Choose price option. I can switch it to free after release.

It took me a while to figure out Amazon, too, so I’m really not surprised that there are a few things I have to learn about using Smashwords. Speaking of Amazon, Bliss Den is up for pre-orders soon. I think. Amazon says it is “in review” on the publishing pages, but it doesn’t appear on my bookshelf … ? huh. I guess I’ll see tomorrow if it is sorted out.

Update on Various Projects.

  • Swift Magic has sat on the shelf long enough. I’m going to read my first draft, formulate how to improve it for the second draft, and start passing it off to its first readers.
  • Old Magic has its conclusion to be written (what I was doing before my first readers all got back to me at once with their feedback for Blissed Episodes 3 and 4), then it’ll have to sit for a little bit. Probably while I’m working on Swift Magic.
  • Swan Queen is still in first-reader’s hands. That books is a long one, so I’m not surprised.
  • Black Locust Letters is LIVE in both Amazon’s store and on Smashwords, and hopefully will go live elsewhere as well. Soon. I hope.
  • Blissed Episode 1 Knock is LIVE on Amazon and Smashwords, and apparently on a few other sites as well. I haven’t found the URLs yet.
  • Blissed Episode 2 Bliss Den is on Pre-order on Smashwords and Amazon. Maybe by pre-loading will mean less of a lag in the time between initial upload and distribution?
  • Blissed Episodes 3 and 4 have been read by some fine folks and I’ve edited them, and now I’m hoping that I’ve acted properly on their suggestions.
  • Blissed Episode 5 has been rough-drafted and is now chilling on the shelf alongside Swift Magic. It has no clue the revisions I have in store for it. Second drafting is like boot camp, only I suffer, too.

And that’s about it for this post! Whew, it’s a fair deal.

How much is right for posting on a blog? Once a week? Twice a week? I’ve always wondered.



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