Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smashwords - Ebook Publishing and Distribution Made Easy

Over 10,000 authors and publishers around the world now use Smashwords as their ebook publishing and distribution platform.

I'm thrilled with the growth we've experienced over the last couple years, and I'm even more thrilled at how we've helped these authors and publishers collectively reach hundreds of thousands of new readers.

Yet the hypercompetitive side of me realizes there are several million talented authors around the world who still haven't discovered Smashwords. With your help, we can reach them. We can dream, can't we?

As I've mentioned previously on this blog, each new Smashwords author brings new readers who then discover and enjoy other Smashwords authors and publishers. It's a virtuous flywheel where new authors and publishers bring new readers, new readers bring more authors and publishers, and so on. We want to reach these authors and publishers before some Smashwords imitator reaches them first. Have I mentioned I'm competitive?

Below I embedded a brief introduction to Smashwords for the new and uninitiated. Feel free to share it with your favorite author/publisher friends by clicking the handy Facebook or Twitter links, embed it into your own blog, or email it to friend.

Next month at the end of the month, I'll do another year-in-review post, similar to the one I did last year. Click here to read last year's annual update.

My thanks to all Smashwords authors, publishers, readers and retailers for your continued partnership and support.

Update: Join the Promotion

What began as a simple "Introduction to Smashwords" as morphed into a "Spread the Word about Smashwords" promotion. Below is a list of Smashwords authors who are spreading the love. To join this list embed the presentation into your blog or website, then send us the hyperlink at the "Comments/questions" link at the Smashwords home page.

Here's the current list of participants (BTW, this is great list to discover up-and-coming indie authors!):

  1. Wayne Watson was the first with his blogs, Meddlers in Time and Oswald Bastable's Ranting
  2. J. Alexander Greenwood wrote a blog post titled, "Ladies and Gentleman, the Future of Publishing"
  3. Toni Leland wrote a fantastic post at her blog, Toni's Manuscript Musings
  4. Sarah Ettrich did a great post over at her Self-Publishing Adventure Blog
  5. Linda Nelson embedded the presentation on her home page at Young Adult Books by Linda Nelson
  6. Shayne Parkinson at her blog, Shayne Parkinson's Writing
  7. Tom Lichtenberg embedded the presentation at his Pigeon Weather Productions blog
  8. Oliver Frances added a direct link to this blog post at his blog, Oliver Frances
  9. AJ Davidson added a link to the Slideshare presentation at his blog, AJ Davidson's Blog
  10. Sami Salkosuo blogged it at his science fiction blog, The Stranger's Universe, in a post titled, Dawn to Dawn and Smashwords
  11. Ryne Douglas Pearson posted, What is Smashwords? Glad You Asked at his eponymous site.
  12. Fred Bubbers embedded About Smashwords at his site,
  13. Robert Harper is spreading the word at his site,
  14. H. Lovelyn Bennison has posted a great little piece titled, Smashwords - An Easy Ebook Solution
  15. Leigh Ellwood added a post, Publishing with Smashwords, at her blog, Me Want Food
  16. Stephen Shore embedded the presentation at his Best of Smashwords page
  17. Abe of Aobibliosphere embedded the presentation at Smashwords - A Global Phenomena
  18. Richard Sanders lit up the Internet among his multiple online presences: his Richard Sanders Tumbler page; his Richard Sanders blog; and posts on CrimeSpace, Bookblogs, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  19. Audrey Driscoll integrated a link to the presentation into a broader post titled, Views on Book Reviewing that explores how book reviews are changing, and blurring the lines between professional reviewers and ordinary readers.
  20. Cliff Ball embedded the Introduction to Smashwords presentation in his blog, The Writing World of Author Cliff Ball
  21. Paul Diamond added the presentation to his blogs, Explore Your Career and Work/Life Fusion
  22. Author and cartoonist Scott Semegran wrote a great post with embed, Smashwords - The Future of Independent Publishing, at his web site,
  23. D.R. Prescott embedded the presentation on his personal web site at
  24. Sharon Cathcart posted a piece on her Goodreads page
  25. Wilson James blogged What about this Smashwords? at his blog, The Thoughts of Wilson James, Author and also Tweeted it a couple times.
  26. David Burton embedded the presentation at his blog, Random Musings
  27. Robert Ropars says Smashwords is the fastest, easiest way to distribute his work in a post titled, and Self-Publishing on his blog, From The Library of Robert Ropars
  28. Peter Salisbury has launched a blog, and his second post is Good News Everyone! Free Books! in which he talks about his books, his Smashwords experience, and embeds the presentation
  29. The Ironic Catholic has embedded the presentation on the page below their book, Dear Communion of Saints, and credits Smashwords with assisting its e-publication (thanks!)
  30. Lucy Felthouse in the UK posted Spreading the Word about Smashwords on her blog, Lucy Felthouse - Erotic Author
  31. Jennifer Tribe at author services firm Highspot, Inc. posted a cool review of Smashwords at their First Issue Blog in a post titled, Smashwords = Easy Ebook Distribution
  32. Tom Allen embedded the presentation on the contact page of his blog, Chapter 1, Verse 1
  33. Carol Anita Ryan linked to the presentation on her site, Right Now is Perfect, with a post titled Ebooks and the Freedom of the Press: The Smashwords Revolution
  34. Marsha Ward posted Smashwords: How about an Introduction? over at her blog, Writer in the Pines
  35. Jaye Seay wrote about his Smashwords experience and embedded the slides in a post at his blog, Into His Word
  36. Oh wow. I love this from Dodge Winston over at Dodge Winston's Blotter. I'll quote a small bit:
    "No longer must we send out query letters to New York literary agents who keep the keys to the masterful publishing houses tucked away for a select few. You and I, mere mortals of grammatical prose, can now bypass the entire, long-winded, life-sucking process of asking permission and take the world by storm with the Smashwords battering-ram."
  37. Robert Tell, author of Dementia Diary - A Caregiver's Journal, integrated a link to the presentation into a post over at his blog, The Caregiver Chronicles
  38. Rich Feitelberg incorporated a link to the presentation on a post titled Promoting Yourself on his blog, Paraphernalia in my Pocket
  39. Joseph Lallo at the BrainLazy blog wrote a thought-provoking post titled Spreading the Word about Smashwords that explains why he decided to take publishing matters into his own hands.
  40. Ruth Ann Nordin, a Smashwords best-seller, did a post promoting this cross-promotion promotion titled Cross Promote with Smashwords at her blog, Self Published Author's Lounge and on her new blog, On Being an Author
  41. Steve Leggett has embedded the presentation at the bottom of his home page at his blog, Heirs of the Magi
  42. Dr. Charles Claus added a link to the presentation at his Cotton Candy site
  43. Paula Freda embedded the presentation on her Angelfire home page
  44. Bonnie Turner embedded the presentation in her website, Aurorawolf and also posted a link in Facebook
  45. Chrystine Julian embedded the presentation in an informative post titled Publish a Book?, in which she examines different publishing options for authors
  46. David Knight has embedded the presentation in his blog, Ascensionforyou
  47. Dana Donovan embedded the presentation in his blog, Author Dana E. Donovan
  48. Linda Pendleton is supporting the promotion with a post at her blog, Linda Pendleton's Drops of Ink Upon the Page
  49. Mara and Ford Smith link to this blog post from the resources section of their web site, Live Simply With Style, where they credit Smashwords with making it possible to produce their books in multiple formats
  50. Nick Davis blogs over at Alt World that Smashwords empowers authors to "take their work directly to readers." Amen.
  51. Joeleene Naylor has a great summary of what Smashwords offers to both readers and authors over at her blog, Amaranthine Night
  52. Mary Kit-Neel embedded the presentation in a post at her blog titled How I published my ebook
  53. Alan Baxter, previously profiled here in an interview at the Smashwords blog for his smart execution of a blog tour, has joined the promotion with a post titled, Smashwords - get busy with the ebook
  54. Hugh Ashton, on his blog Beneath Grey Skies, wrote Smashwords - A Presentation, a post where he complements Smashwords for not sitting on its laurels. Amen to that!
  55. Worth Godwin has a great post over at his blog, Basic Computer Training, Tips & More in Plain English, titled Writers, How to Publish Your Book at Smashwords
  56. Edward G. Talbot has a cool post up titled, If You Haven't Caught on to Smashwords, You've Dropped the Ball over at his blog, Edward G. Talbot
  57. Martin Chambers added a link to the presentation at his Martin Chambers website
  58. Derek Prior embedded the presentation into his blog at Indie Fantasy Review
  59. Margaux Sky embedded the presentation into her multiple blogs, including Story Time, Margaux Sky Music, Margaux Sky Original Recipes.
  60. Denise Wy embedded the presentation in her web site, Deniswy
  61. Donna Butler has a post titled Thank You Mark Coker! (you're welcome, and yes, Mark's a decent name for a kid!) where she eloquently captures the frustrations faced by authors who don't fit the myopic preconceptions of literary gatekeepers. She speaks to the joy of reaching readers directly on her own terms. I love this quote from her, especially the last line:
    And yes, I realize that Smashwords provides an equal opportunity for both talented and not so talented authors to get published. For every writer like me who majored in English, and spent a fortune on writers manuals and lived and breathed literature since they were old enough to read, there will be those who published on a whim. But that's fitting in the age of reality television, where the audience decides who is most qualified to entertain. Book lovers will be able to distinguish between those who've opened a vein and those who have opened one too many cans of beer.
  62. Shelly Stout embedded the presentation at her blog, Shelley Stout's Spiral Noteblog
  63. Randy Noble posted Smashwords - A Great Place for Readers and Authors
  64. K.R. Smith added a link to the presentation in the acknowledgments section of her blog, The Circulate Series
  65. Kristie Cook blogged about Smashwords on her blog, A Mused Writer
  66. Amy Saunders posted 3 Reasons to Publish With Smashwords on her blog, amy & the pen, where the tag line is, "The fiction is all in your head."
  67. Hank Brown embedded the presentation on his blog, Two-Fisted Blogger\
  68. Miss Mae posted Check out Smashwords! on her website, Miss May - Author of Romantic Mysteries
  69. David Mulholland added a link and some kind words on his website at David Mulholland Writer
  70. Nigel Slater added a link on his blog, An Agent of the King
  71. Chistopher Rick embedded the presentation in a post titled, Smashwords, Why I Use it, What it is, at his blog Living on the Box, Thinking Outside of it
  72. LK Hunsaker integrated the presentation into great little intro to e-publishing page titled, Indie Publishing & How-to Articles she maintains at her blog, LK Hunsaker - Thoughts and Sketches
  73. J.A. Loughlin embedded the presentation at Decendants Vampire Chronicles
  74. Camy has added Introduction to Smashwords their blog, Camy's Idiocy
  75. Michelle Gregory documents her reluctant entry into the digital world with a post titled, Dragging Me Kicking and Screaming into the Digital Age, at her blog, Beautiful Chaos (BTW, I must say I really like the titles of names of some of these blogs)
  76. Sarah Woodbury, who writes historical fiction and fantasy, embedded the presentation in a post titled, All About Smashwords, at her blog, Sarah Woodbury
  77. Stuart Aken embedded the presentation at the bottom of his publishing and writing blog, must mutter. Stuart does some interesting interviews with indie authors, and I see two Smashwords authors on the first page, so check him out.
  78. Jacob LaCivita embedded the presentation in Smashwords, Ebooks, iBooks at his blog, A Blog of Timely Persuasion
  79. Mistriss Milliscent posted a link to the presentation on her blog, Mistriss Milliscent
  80. Colette Martin embedded the presentation in a blog post titled, Great Recipe Ideas & Learn How to Use Smashwords to Create Your Own Cookbook at her blog, Learning to Eat Allergy Free. Great to see authors integrating promotion of their own books into the posts. Smart!
  81. Farida Mestek has embedded the presentation at Regency Sketches
  82. A.B.R. has embedded the presentation with thoughts on self publishing titled, Why Ebooks
  83. Ross Richdale in New Zealand posted Find Out About Smashwords at his blog, Ross Richdale's Fiction
  84. Ravis Harnell embedded the presentation at his blog, Ravis Harnell
  85. Anna Y. White embedded the presentation in her new blog, The Change
  86. Tania Tirraoro posted a link to the presentation on her blog, Not As Advertised
  87. Mel Comley has embedded the presentation at the blog for her crime novel, Impeding Justice
  88. Saffina Desforges embedded the presentation on her blog, Saffina Desforges
Join the fun. Embed the Slideshare presentation into your blog or website, and I'll add you to the list. If I'm missing anyone, contact me over at Smashwords.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nearly 10,000 Smashwords Ebooks Go Live at Australian iBookstore

Australian newspapers are reporting today the long-awaited launch of the Apple iBookstore in Australia. Nearly 10,000 Smashwords ebooks are included in the launch.

This is great news for Smashwords authors and publishers, who now gain access to the fast-growing Australian ebook market. In addition to Australia, Smashwords is an authorized Apple aggregator supplying Apple iBookstores in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.

Just yesterday I returned from a five week speaking tour to Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. Unlike in the U.S., where ebooks now account for nearly 10 percent of the overall trade book market (and a greater percentage of unit volume), ebooks account for probably under one percent of the book markets in Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. In other words, these markets are where the U.S. market was at a mere two years ago. These markets are poised for similar or faster growth, especially as device makers such as Apple open ebook stores and expand the availability and selection of affordable ebooks.

The ebook market in Australia, as it is in Brazil and New Zealand, may grow even faster in than in the U.S. because the consumer economics are so much more compelling. Based on my visits to brick and mortar bookstores in Australia, print books routinely cost 50 percent more in Australia than they do in the U.S. With the advent of ebooks, book-hungry consumers can purchase ebooks at a fraction of the cost of print. The average Smashwords ebook costs only $4.75, for example.

The first authors and publishers who get their books listed in the store will gain a head start at building readership, sales, reviews, reader buzz and sales rank.

If you're a Smashwords Premium Catalog author and we already distribute your book to other Apple iBookstores, your books will automatically ship to the Australian iBookstore. Our first batch of over 9,300 ebooks has already started appearing on Australian iBookstore shelves today, and in the next couple weeks we'll add hundreds more.

If you're not yet a Smashwords author or publisher, learn how to distribute ebooks to international Apple iBookstores by reading our iPad Ebook Publishing Checklist. As an authorized Apple iBookstore aggregrator, Smashwords makes makes it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to quickly reach global readers through the iBookstore. Authors and publishers who distribute through Smashwords earn 60 percent of the retail price.

In addition to distributing ebooks to international Apple iBookstores, Smashwords also distributes to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store, as well as to important mobile ebook apps including Aldiko for Android devices, and Stanza for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. We'll announce additional retail distribution outlets in the months ahead. Learn how to earn free access to our Smashwords Premium Catalog at our Smashwords Distribution Information Page.