Share your Smashwords smarts and we'll send you a shiny new collector's edition Smashwords coffee mug, hot off the presses.
Each month, thousands of new authors and publishers join Smashwords, and many come to us with no prior knowledge about ebook publishing and distribution. For some, Smashwords is a breeze. For others, there's a steep learning curve.
Are you a Smashwords pro? What tips can you share with fellow authors and publishers to help them get up and running quicker, easier and with less frustration?
Here's how to earn your mug (plus other fab benefits):
1. Write a blog post titled something like, "How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords," or, "How I Published [Book Title] with Smashwords," or whatever else you think is fitting for an informative how-to post.
2. In your own words, explain to the uninitiated what Smashwords is, and how authors and publishers can use Smashwords as a tool to get their ebooks out there.
3. Now for the best part. Share your smarts. How did you do it? What tips and tricks did you learn along the way to make it faster and easier to get your books properly formatted, in the Premium Catalog, and selling to readers? What other Smashwords authors inspired you along the way? Give 'em a plug!
4. Provide helpful hyperlinks in your post to the resources at Smashwords you found most useful as you were getting up to speed (possibly the Smashwords Style Guide, the FAQ or its glossary of ebook terminology, the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, the Smashwords Blog, the How to Publish and Distribute with Smashwords page, or the Smashwords Facebook forum?). Also be sure to include your book cover image in your post (this is an opportunity for you to promote your book too!), and add a hyperlink to your Smashwords author/publisher page and book your book pages so readers can view your finished work.
5. Add the Smashwords logo. Right mouse click on the one at left to save it to your desktop so you can add it to your post.
6. Once the blog is complete, post a link to it in the comments below and then email your complete mailing address to mug at smashwords.com. Once all the submissions are in, I'll feature the best of them (or all of them, if they're all great) in the body of a new blog post for early September titled something like, "Smashwords Authors Share Smashwords Tips and Tricks," which will become a collection of first-person how-to posts for other authors. Not only will you earn a mug for your trouble, you'll help your fellow authors and publishers. You also get some traffic to your blog because we'll promote this collection as a resource for other authors and publishers (so put your best foot forward and make your fellow authors proud!).
7. We'll limit this to the first 40 respondents who submit their posts by September 3. If the response is stronger, I'll give you a rain check for the next batch of mugs we produce in a couple months.
8. Optional Bonus: Now that you've taken the time to create a great resource for your fellow authors and publishers, share it. Are you in a writing club? Offer to contribute it to your next newsletter. Email it to your friends who aren't yet doing ebooks. Facebook it, tweet it. Offer it as a guest blog post to your favorite blogs (see more blog marketing ideas in the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide). Create a PowerPoint and post it to Slideshare.net (my recent Powerpoint, The Literary Agent's Indie Ebook Roadmap, has had over 9,000 views already. Wow. I love Slideshare.net. For more on them, see my August 7 Site Updates post). Share your smarts, help your fellow authors.
About the Mugs:
They're high-quality, made in the USA cobalt blue mugs with white, black and silver metallic printing. Only 70 of them exist. They're not for sale.
The front of the mug shows the Smashwords logo on a shiny silver background (they're actually small amount of real silver in that ink).
The back summarizes the benefits of the Smashwords service (click the image at below to enlarge). There's also a note that it's a collectors edition mug commemorating our first 65,000 ebooks (a milestone we zipped past about two weeks ago).
Thanks to our good-looking models Aaron Fernandez, who works on our vetting team, and Angela Schiavone, who works on our support team (she was a Smashwords author long before she was a Smashwords employee). Also thanks to Jim Azevedo, our new marketing manager who took the photos.