Monday, October 13, 2008

New Smashwords Enhancements Improve Ebook Publishing and Discovery

At Smashwords, our mission is to create the single best ebook self-publishing platform for independent authors and their readers.

We’re continually developing new features that make it easier than ever to publish and discover indie ebooks.

Here’s a summary of some our recent enhancements.

Search Engine-Friendly Book Marketing

Smashwords now automatically optimizes author pages and book pages so they’re more easily discovered and indexed by search engines. Authors can monitor their presence on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN Live by clicking on the SEO link in their Dashboard.

Book Discovery

In the last week, we implemented a tagging feature so authors can add more granular keywords to help readers discover their books. Smashwords is also doing more to help readers find additional ebooks they’ll enjoy. Book overview pages now link to other books by the same author, as well as other books purchased or viewed by each author’s readers. Similar recommendations also appear when a book is added to the shopping cart.

Dashboard Enhancements

At Smashwords, we give authors complete control over how their books are marketed, sampled and sold. We’ve made many improvements to the Dashboard page so authors can more easily track the number of times their books have been sampled or purchased, and how many users' Libraries their books are currently added to. Many of the management options are available right from a book's overview page.

We streamlined the Dashboard feature to make it less cluttered by allowing authors to archive unpublished books.

Integration with Social Networking and Social Bookmarking Sites

For authors and their readers, we’ve made it easier than ever for members to share their favorite books on social networking and bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Facebook, Reddit and StumbleUpon. And of course, members can also share book samples the old fashioned way – via email.

Profile Pages Enhanced

As a registered Smashwords member, you've always had a personal profile page where you can add a bio, upload your picture, or publish books. We’ve added several enhancements to the profile page to make it easier for authors and readers to connect with one another.

One such feature is author favoriting. When a reader “favorites” an author, a link to the reader’s profile page appears on the author’s profile page, and a link to the author's page appears on the reader's profile page.

Profile pages also now support outbound hyperlinks to a member’s blog or web site. If you blog, your blog postings can automatically appear within your profile page. For blogging authors, this is a great way to connect with new readers.

Share your feedback!

Most of the new features mentioned above came as a result of member feedback. Are there additional features you’d like to see? Simply click on the comment link at the top of any Smashwords page to share your wish list.

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