When I first wrote Three Hundred Zeroes I published it with Createspace.com as a print book. I was totally oblivious to the ebook reading audience. I didn’t have an electronic reader, such as a Kindle, so was not aware of what readers were doing in the electronic reading world. Big mistake!
In November, nine months after releasing the print version, I finally got around to putting the book into electronic format. I had so many readers writing me to request it in that format that I could no longer ignore them. Little did I know I was ignoring my largest reading audience.
Even though I had published the book on Kindle, using Amazon.com’s tools, I still had numerous readers asking me if I would put the book on Smashwords because they had other electronic readers, ones by Sony, Apple Nook, etc. Once again I was being dragged along by the readers, not realizing what I was missing.
I finally went to Smashwords.com and looked things over. Mark Coker, the Smashwords creator had an excellent style guide there for editing and publishing your book electronically. I downloaded it and realized that I should have read it before I had even published the Kindle version – it was a wealth of valuable information, all in one place.
The guide emphasized, over and over again, the importance of keeping things simple: edit out all the extraneous stuff…extra Tabs, headers, footers, table-of-contents, fancy fonts, etc. Additionally, even though table-of-contents don’t translate to ebooks very well, Mark gives a nifty guideline on how to put one in that actually does work in an ebook.
I took my book, followed the guidelines and prepared it for Smashwords. Next I followed the simple instructions for submitting to Smashwords and in a matter of hours the book was ready for release there. Additionally, the Smashwords site is a wealth of information about reaching readers and marketing your work.
In all, the process was straightforward and much easier than I had anticipated. The real revelation came to me when I realized that my overall ebook sales are now far-exceeding my print sales, by about eight-to-one! Any author today that ignores the ebook industry does so at his or her own peril. Don’t do like I did and miss nine months of fantastic book sales by ignoring the ebook world. If you’re not currently publishing via electronic books, run, don’t walk, to Smashwords and find out how to get your book out there electronically.
Dennis “K1” Blanchard
Author of: THREE HUNDRED ZEROES: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail