Publishing Wide: Smashwords Overview
What is Smashwords?
If you’ve decided to publish your books wide, you’ve probably already considered publishing through popular venues like Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Smashwords isn’t another name to add to the list—Smashwords is a distribution hub where you can publish your books to all of those stores (and many more besides) and manage your publishing from a single place.
In addition to being a mass distributor for self-published books, Smashwords is itself a publisher as well with a vibrant and active storefront that receives regular visits from readers looking to try something new. This makes it a popular option for writers who are looking to publish to a broad audience, but it gets better than that.
What does Smashwords offer?
First, as mentioned above, Smashwords offers advanced distribution. Bookstores and libraries have access to your books, and readers around the world can easily discover whatever you put up for them to find.
Smashwords is also very author-centric, which gives you more flexibility than other publishers (looking at you, Amazon). You can publish books for free or at a fixed price, decide on your own sample size, and decide what formats you want to publish in. This means you can dive into any publishing strategy you want and find a method your readers love.
Perhaps the most unique offering of the Smashwords platform is its use of coupon codes. Whether you’re running a giveaway or looking for something to offer reviewers, these codes give you the freedom to offer free or reduced-priced books to anyone you want, at any time, for any reason, without changing your listing. That’s one tool that can quickly become indispensable.
Is Smashwords right for you?
With its advanced flexibility and the freedom to publish any way you like, Smashwords definitely has a strong appeal. That being said, it isn’t for everyone. It is an advanced platform, and if you don’t know much about ebook publishing, you might get lost trying to learn where everything is. It isn’t as easy to use as some other publishing platforms, so if your skill levels haven’t reached a good point yet, you might want to wait until you have more experience.
Otherwise, Smashwords is critical for any authors looking for maximum flexibility and a powerful hub where they can run everything from one place.
Do you publish through Smashwords? Share your experiences in the comments below or join my Facebook group for self-published authors for further discussion.