eBooks are a great way to take your knowledge and expertise and turn it into an income stream.
I have written a significant amount about this potential income stream. You can read my full series on eBooks here.
In addition, I also wrote about one specific way to give your eBook sales a tremendous boost on the Amazon Kindle platform. You can read that article here.
Recently I have been playing around with Smashwords and waited to write this post after having tested it out for at least a month.
Smashwords is an eBook syndication or distribution platform similar to Amazon Kindle or the Barnes and Noble online book store. The difference is that in addition to selling your eBook on their own site, they syndicate or distribute your eBook for sale to several other major platforms as well.
All you have to do is manage your eBooks from your dashboard within Smashwords, making it a true one stop shop.
Here are the eBook platforms that Smashwords makes your eBooks available for sale on:
Some of these platforms DO NOT accept individual submissions if you were to submit your eBook to them. They only accept eBooks exclusively through Smashwords, which is a big testament to this platform and the wonderful things they are up to. I really think this organization has a chance to revolutionize the entire eBook publishing industry.
Here is another benefit. Smashwords has arranged special negotiations with some of these eBook publication and distribution platforms so that the royalties you receive are larger if you publish your eBook through Smashwords than the royalties you would have received if your eBook sold through the individual eBook platform. It is amazing how they are able to do this.
This verbiage is straight from the Smashwords website:
If you do distribute directly to any of these retailers, consider consolidating your distribution under the Smashwords umbrella. The fees we take are very low, and with Smashwords you gain the time-saving convenience of centrally managing all your ebook distribution from a single Dashboard. In some cases, you’ll even earn more going through us. Of course, this is your choice and we appreciate your continued business, however you choose to work with us.
Just like any other eBook publishing platform. You take your eBook word file and you upload it. Once you do, Smashwords converts your eBooks into several formats so that it is compatible with all the eBook readers out there.
I simply took my eBook word document files that I already had and went through the upload process. Once your eBook has been uploaded and converted, you go to your Dashboard and assign it an ISBN number for free and make it available for sale.
There are two levels of review involved.
When you first submit your eBook file, Smashwords will accept it and immediately make it available for sale on its distribution platform. But the real benefit of using Smashwords is their access to all the other eBook distribution networks. You want your eBook to become available for sale on all those avenues.
In order to do this, Smashwords requires you to format your eBook word document file in a very specific way. So specific that it can be painstaking if you are new to it. They do provide step by step instructions on formatting on their website, but I swear it is a super long, mind numbing document that just tired me out few paragraphs into it.
Alternatively, Smashwords will provide you, upon request, reasonably priced freelancers who will do the conversion for you, as well as freelancers who will design your cover page for you. They have specific requirements regarding book covers as well.
I outsourced both the formatting and the design of the cover page. If you’d like a referral for the formatting piece, feel free to email me and I will send you my guy’s info.
For the book cover I just use Elance. You can also use Elance for the eBook formatting.
There is an option where you can have your readers determine the price of your eBooks. Very neat. Normally however publishers set a price just like on any other platform. All Smashwords asks of you is to make sure your prices at Smashwords are the same as at other retailers.
Similar to other eBook publishing platforms, you can also run discounts and promotions of sorts as well.
The following verbiage is straight from Smashwords:
Royalty Rate Specifics:
Apple, Baker & Taylor (Blio), Barnes & Noble, Sony and Diesel: 60% of the list price for prices $.99 and up. For Apple sales originating in their U.K., German and French iBookstores, you receive 60% of the list price minus the VAT tax, which they include in your list price.
Baker & Taylor (Axis360 library platform): 45% of the list price. Library patrons are able to check out only one copy at a time. The books are wrapped in DRM so they time out after a specific period of time. The library can purchase multiple copies if they decide demand warrants multiple simultaneous checkouts. Otherwise, the library purchases a single copy and allows only once copy at a time to be lent out. If a library patron wishes to obtain a book that’s already checked out, the patron is given the option to purchase a copy.
Kobo: 60% list for prices between $.99 and $12.99. For prices over $12.99, your earnings share is 38%. The 60% earnings share applies only to US and Canadian dollar-denominated sales. Elsewhere, the 38% rate applies.
I wasn’t exaggerating when I typed the title of this post. My sales have increased significantly by publishing my eBooks on Smashwords. Why? Exposure. It’s simply a numbers game.
Whereas in the past my eBooks were only published on three platforms, they are not published on several more, more than double, and it hasn’t cost me anything except for the cost of eBook formatting and cover design, which you can do on your own if you choose to.
What is not to love about an organization like Smashwords? I encourage you to spend some time on their website. They are truly doing some amazing things in the eBook industry, and it feels like selfless service to the independent publisher community.
Thank you Smashwords for doing what you are doing.
So Have you heard about Smashwords? Have you, or someone you know tried it? I want to hear your thoughts about it?Previous: Creating a $1,000 Per Month Passive Income Stream in Your Spare Time