My only complaint about publishing on Smashwords, which is now distributing my book for all e-readers, was the waiting. I followed the instructions for preparation and formatting provided in clear detail by Mark Coker in the free Smashwords Style Guide. Then I waited for more than a week.
In contrast, the Kindle prep took me way more time, largely because their instructions weren’t as precise. I had to figure out a lot by trial and error. Mark gave me more advice than I needed, after my many years as a professional communicator and days with Kindle. Fortunately, it was easy to zero in on exactly what I wanted to know.
I’m not a detail person, so I was pleasantly surprised when no mistakes were revealed by the first checking step, the autovetter Mark calls Meatgrinder. I was shocked and elated when I aced the manual premium review, which covers the higher standards demanded by Apple before you can sell for the iPad.
Kindle, in contrast, had simply posted the book, within hours of me deciding I was satisfied with the e-version. No human being checked it. In fairness, though, the only place where I can see a big boost in quality is the linked Table of Contents. Thanks again, Mark.
Points to Amazon, which owns Kindle, for much better advice to me, a Canadian, on what to do with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Waiting for Smashwords
While I was waiting, I would check the site several times a day. I have lots of marketing plans, that Mark is also helping me with through the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. In addition, I am picking and choosing from the strategies and tactics of authors I’ve been following. And I intend on falling back on a few old skills, especially media relations.
But I wanted to wait until everything was ready before I open the floodgates.
A watched pot never boils, right? Last night, when I was chuckling over Parks and Recreation with my daughter, the approval came through. Wanting a break after two evenings of business events and an exhausting week polishing my pideo and other marketing prep, I had turned off my computer.
I found out about the approval this morning, only after I had submitted a guest post to promote the book to a big-shot blog. The post, by the way, was accepted almost immediately. I am buying a lottery ticket today.
Then I’m going to go away for the weekend, so I’ll be refreshed when the big push starts on Monday.
I waited for the two main e-reader versions to be ready before I send the book to reporters, reviewers, bloggers, small business groups, college profs and the many other people on my list. Just before Christmas, I had mailed many festively wrapped paperbacks to thank people who had helped and encourage some reviews at Amazon. I’m glad I did, but I can’t see the point of spending tons on stamps.
I could go on about my marketing plans. I probably will go on here, as they proceed.
I know my love for Smashwords will be tested when I get tired of waiting for them to pay, which I’ve read takes ages. But after I scanned the long form from Kobo, I knew I didn’t want to keep going through this stage, like an e-publisher’s Groundhog Day.
I’m going to be busy, just as busy as I was when I was writing the book, just as busy as I was with editing and formatting. But busy pouring my heart and soul into something I have created is the best kind of busy there is.