Posts Tagged With: Smashwords store

How to Publish with PubIt

(this is an overdue companion to How to Publish on Create Space and How to Use Create Space Cover creator and How to Publish on Smashwords)

Go to http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/, log in and then choose Go to My Titles in the upper right corner

Choose “Add a Title”

This opens a new page where you need to enter your title, list price, publication date, publisher, and contributors. These are you – as the author – and then any illustrators, co-authors, etc. You are allowed up to five.

Scroll down to upload your book. B&N accept word documents, HTML, RTF and TXT files. Us the browse button to locate your file, then click Upload & Preview. (You may get warning that you have not filled in all the information, but don;t worry, we’re coming to that)

This will upload an instant preview. you can use the tabs to switch between Nook and Nook Color views. use the Prev and Next at the bottom to navigate the pages. When you’re finished use the close preview in the upper right:

If the conversion looks good, then it’s time to upload your cover. (if not, make changes to the interior file and reupload.)  Your cover image MUST be a .jpg and has to be at least 750 pixels tall, but no bigger than 2000. To upload the cover use the browse button.

The cover preview will look a little fuzzy, but it will look fine on your final page:

Now to fill out the pesky questions that caused all those crabby “errors”.  They’re pretty easy: Do you have an ISBN? Is the book part of a series? Is it available in print and, if so, how many pages is it? Is it public domain? What group is it suited for? What language is it in? Where do you have publishing rights (aka, US, IS?Canada, or World Wide) and do you want DRM protection?

Now you want to add the categories your book fits in. Click the add/edit categories button

This drops down a box, and each selection you make may open another box to the right. When you have it chosen, click the Add Category button

You can choose up to five categories for your book, though you don;t have to pick that many (I have only three). When you’re done, click Save.

Now it’s time to enter your keywords (separated by commas), your book description and your author bio. You can also enter editorial reviews if you have them.

Double check that everything is the way you want it, and then it’s time to put your title on sale! Check mark the box to confirm that you own the work and hit “Put on Sale”

And that’s it! Now you just need to wait 24 – 72 hours for your book to become available through B&N.

On a side note, there was a rumor that Barnes & Noble promotes books published through pubit over those through Smashwords, so i have done some experimenting.

I published Ties of Blood directly through PubIt because, at the time,  Smashwords was having trouble getting books out to them and I had some Nook readers who wanted to read it. Though the advice was to remove the Nook version as soon as the Smashwords version showed up, I’ve left both to see what happened.  As you can see on the listing page, the smashwords version has the priority listing and you have to use the + NOOK book button to even get the PubIt published version:

This might have to do with the fact that Smashwords has an older Publication date.  When it comes to slaes it stands thus:

PubIt edition all time: 4 (all were sold before the smashwords version cleared)

Smashwords edition (through B&N for December only): 31

So, it’s safe to say that in this case that B&N isn’t pushing the pubit version over the smashwords. Whether it happens to other people I can’t say.

 

Categories: Barnes & Noble store, Publishing Basics, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , ,

KDP Select?

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

On the back of Amazon’s announcement about Amazon.it (Italy) and Amazon.es (Spain) comes a new Kindle program; the new KDP Select program.

Each month, Amazon will make a “pool” of money – $500,000 in December. To get a cut of the money you have to enroll your book. Each time it is borrowed, you get a “point”. At the end of the month, the total points are counted, the money is divided up by that number (for example if there are 500,000 points from all authors and $500,000,  each “point” is worth $1) and you receive your share of the “pot” which would be X$ x How-many-times-your-book-was-borrowed (not purchased, but borrowed through the kindle Library lending program – which only Amazon Prime members can borrow from.)

So if no one borrows your book, you make 0% of the pot.

In Amazon’s press release, several authors such as J.A. Konrath and C.J. Lyons have gone on record, lauding the program. Meanwhile, Mark Coker has posted, explaining why this is a bad thing,  while Writer Beware has warned authors to “read the fine print”.

And you should. While at first this seems like a way to earn royalties on book borrowing, there is one condition: You must have your book (in digital format) EXCLUSIVELY published with Amazon. This means it can not be on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or even your personal website or blog (blogs and websites are specifically mentioned in the terms).  This further means that if your book is already published elsewhere you must first remove it so that Amazon is the only person who carries it.  (This does not effect paper back/dead tree versions)

Before you take your books down from B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. and enter the program, ask yourself this question, “Is my book likely to be borrowed enough times to make up the money for those lost sales?”

The answer for me is a simple “No”. Your answer may be  different, but as Writer Beware has cautioned, make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Will you enroll in KDP Select? Why or why not?

You can read the entire FAQ & terms on Amazon’s site 

EDIT: Check out Kim Wolterman’s blog Amazon: Author Friend or Foe where she explains the Kindle Lending Library.

Categories: Amazon store, Book Setup, Self-Publishing, Writing as a Business | Tags: , , , , , , ,

How to Publish on Smashwords

(this is a companion to How to Publish on Create Space and How to Use Create Space Cover creator)

Go to smashwords.com, log in and click the Publish option in the overhead menu:

(You’ll notice I have a “requires attention warning – this is because I have a “test” book that is archived and unpublished that I use to test files before upload, so I haven’t given it an ISBN number. If you have this warning and don’t have something similar then it means one of your books needs an ISBN assigned.)

You will be taken to a new page. Here you will enter all the information on your book. First up is title and the short description.

You’ll see that there is a 400 character limit for the short description (not words, characters – aka letters, spaces, punctuation, etc.). This is one of the reasons I say it’s good to have several of different length ready to go.  Something to consider for shorter works: though Smashwords has the word count clearly posted on each book’s page, not all their distributors do, so it’s best to put Short Story, Novella, Short Work, etc. at the beginning of the description to avoid angry reviews on Barnes and Noble and other sites.

Now comes the “long” description.  If it’s the exact same thing as your short description then it’s up to you if you want to bother with it or not. However, if you have a good hook written up that was too long for the short description above then plug it in here.

Choose the Language of your book and whether it has adult content or not. (A note on this. Smashwords has changed its policies and when you first visit the site, or visit it without being logged in, all books marked with adult content will not show up. You now have to remove the “adult content” filter instead of having to activate it.  While I understand this change, it’s not one I’m happy with as most of my books don’t show up for a casual visitor. But, don’t try to be sneaky and skip marking it as adult content if it really is. It just hurts everyone in the long run.)

You can also see there are pricing choices. Free is obvious – your work is free for others to download. Is this a good idea? There are blogs by the thousands that tackle that topic, so I’m not going to.

The next option is Reader Sets Price.  My advice on this option is to only use it on a book you would have otherwise marked free because most people’s determined price is free. However, once in a while you run into someone who pays more (I has someone pay 10$ for one of my books when I had this option set.)

Lastly is to set your own price. Type a number in and suddenly these magical pie charts will appear:

Click to see how Smashwords divides up the “profits”

These show you what percentage of the price that everyone is getting from your book.  Again, there are articles galore on ebook pricing, so I won’t get into that here. I will say this; there are probably people out there who will pay $10 or more of an ebook (there’s at least one person!) but they are the minority.

Once your price is set determine how much sampling you want by changing the numbers. If your ebooks is free (mine is), then this will be grayed out.

What is sampling? Go to any smashwords book page (in a new window!) and scroll down past the description and you’ll see a table that looks much like this:

See where it says 50%? The author has chosen to share a 50% sample, or half the book, for free. It’s up to you how much you want to share, but I do recommend making at least the first chapter available.

Now it’s time to choose the categories your book fits in.

You’ll initially have one box and, as you choose subcategories, new boxes will appear. Find the best fit for your book. For instance, there is no vampire category (sadly) and though this particular story doesn’t really have any horror in it, the other stories in the series do, so I chose Fiction>Literature>Horror so that it is in the same category as the rest of the series.

Now add some tags

Use words that you think someone would use if they were searching for your book.  As you type them in they will appear above the box. If you decide you don’t like one – or you have a typo – then use the “remove” to take it off.

Now you need to choose what file types you’d like your book to appear in

Rule of thumb is the more formats, the more potential readers, however, some books just don’t work well in all types. For instance, plain Text means text only – no images. If your book needs pictures then you should uncheck this option.

Now we’re ready to upload the files!

Use the Choose File button to get a pop up box and find your book cover on your computer. As the box says, it must be a .jpg, .gif or .png and needs to be at least 600 pixels tall. I prefer to use high res images, myself, but it’s all a matter of choice.

Now upload your pre-formatted document.  (For help with formatting see some of our previous posts).

Check over the publishing agreement and hit the happy publish button!

Usually my browser window will sporadically pop back up to the middle of the page and stare at me for a few moments. If this happens to you, don’t panic. First, check the bottom left of your browser window and (depending on your browser) you will likely see something that says “Uploading” and has a percentage. This means your files are uploading – it can take a moment. If you don’t see that, then scroll through the page to make sure there are no red errors. If several minutes pass and still nothing has happened, then check your dashboard in a new tab to see if the book is listed. If not, then hit the publish button again or refresh the page and redo the forms.

Once the files are uploaded a new page will appear that says something like:

Your number will be different. As it says, you can leave it opened or close it out. I prefer to leave it opened.

When it has finished converting you will get an email with the conversion results – including any file errors – and the page should change. If you have no errors it will look like this:

Click on the “View this page’s Smashwords page” link.

An aside. I said the page SHOULD change. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes it will say “complete” next to all the files and just sit and stare at you. If that happens then 1- be sure to check your mail to make sure the conversion has no errors and 2 – go to your dashboard and access the book’s page from there.

Check the page over – make sure your synopsis is correct, that the book cover looks right, etc. Then scroll down to the table of download options and save the epub version to your computer (I throw mine on the desktop).

In a new tab head to http://threepress.org/document/epub-validate

Choose file (make sure it is the epub version you just downloaded and NOT the doc you used for smashwords!) and then hit the validate button.

It may take a few minutes, but if there are no errors you’ll get a screen like this:

If so, then you’re done. Share your new Smashwords link with the world and revel in your accomplishments!

But, what if you have errors?  There are too many possibilities for me to cover in this blog, so if you have errors, either in the epub or with the meatgrinder, be sure to check Smashwords FAQ at – http://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq

Assuming you have no errors, pop back to smashwords and go to your dashboard and then your ISBN manager (or if you have that handy warning on top of your page just click it!)

There is a LOOONG article describing the different types of ISBN numbers. Read it and choose the option that is right for you (I use the free ones).

When you’ve decided you’ll find, at the end of all that text, a table listing all your books and telling you whether or not you have ISBN numbers – as you can see Benjamin does not have one (and neither does my test book)

Click Assign ISBN.

You’ll go to a new page where you make your selection:

Make your choice and click “Review Order” (don’t let this scare you – it does not mean you’re paying for anything .)

You will get a new page detailing your choices (and I assume payment options if necessary). Check to make sure it is what you want and press Confirm.

And then – congratulations – a new page will appear that will list your title, ISBN, etc. on it. Save the info to your records (if you do that) and then  go back to your dashboard.

Now we need to double check the distribution, so go to your Distribution Manager

Scroll down to your book and make sure that it is opted in – and out – of everything that you want. If not, make changes. (As of this posting Smashwords is still not distributing to Amazon, however, I recommend adjusting the settings for this so that when they do you’ll be ready).

And that’s it. There’s nothing else to do until your book is approved for the Premium Distribution (you can check the status on your dashboard at any time.) It takes a few days, and even after it is approved it takes some time to ship. I uploaded Ties of Blood on September 10th and it has still not shipped a month later, despite being approved, meanwhile, the last story I uploaded shipped within two weeks, so I think it depends on volume at the time of your upload. Either way, be patient and, if it seems to be taking too long, file a ticket through the help at the top of the page.

And that’s it! Pretty easy, huh?

Categories: Barnes & Noble store, Publishing Basics, Self-Publishing, Smashwords store | Tags: , ,

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