Maybe a strange thing to say – before you open any eBook accounts or upload manuscripts you need to build your author platform on social media. Use Twitter, Facebook and make sure you have a Blog. I tend to recommend WordPress Blogs or Websites, they are great and you can start with a free account. Next market yourself, your work with teasers, even find out what your brand is, where your future fans are. Blog, Newsletters, Social Media, Events and perhaps a release day in your own town/city, if you can.
SMASHWORDS – The Basic Information
Smashwords is a bit of a devil to get things correct, especially if you want in the premium catalogue. Your best bet is to read the FREE book on how to format – Smashwords Style Guide – especially drawn up for Smashwords.. I have no idea why they are so fussy. Needless to say, you still need to be a bit of a computer techie to understand what the book says. I know I certainly put it down the first time and was like WHAT THE HELL?? A few months further into the Author life I tried again. Got it. Well got enough to know what I was doing and could pass their testing. YIPEEE. If you can’t or don’t wish to learn, then you need someone like me to do the work for you. I am, after all a professional formatter for fiction and non-fiction.
Next we come to book cover and the sizing to their requirements. Like with most things these days you have metric and non-metric measurements, never mind the dpi of the actual cover. If you are lucky enough to have a book cover designer, then all your worries are over. One of their questions should be which eBook sites are you uploading too. Kindle, Smashwords and Draft to Digital are different and do have different requirements.
Your book is all done and it’s now time to set up your eBook accounts.
Smashwords is easy to set up. Your name, email and password. That’s it. Investigate the site, have a look at what you can and can’t do, read the details after which you can move on to working on your profile. Finding a good profile photo, answering some of their Interview questions or making up your own, is about all it takes. I will post screenshots of the process in my next blog for those of you who wish to learn.
Now all this is done, you can upload your eBook. Again it is pretty straightforward to do. Following the process and hitting publish (especially for the first time) is awesome. They send you an email letting you know your manuscript is been checked for the premium catalogue. If all goes well, you’ll be accepted and a copy of your eBook will be picked up by the retailers – Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple, etc.
Now you need to do more Marketing, unless you have already set it up to go.