Friday, March 20, 2020

Smashwords Launches Initiatives to Help Readers and Authors Cope with Covid-19 Pandemic

Books matter now more than ever.

The world has been thrust into a state of crisis not seen since World War II.

Humanity will overcome this challenge, led by the imagination, innovation, creativity and intellect of thinking people.  These are the same thinking people who turn to fiction and non-fiction for entertainment and inspiration.

Books will help humanity navigate this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.

For the concerned parent who must hold it together for their children in the face of news that gets darker by the day, a book offers a welcome respite, a magical elixir delivering happiness, safe harbor and emotional recharge on demand.  For their children, books offer healthy distraction and diversion at a time when social distancing is necessary to save lives.

Insert your situation, or the situation of your friends, family and community, and you begin to realize how books have an important role to play in helping people cope with this global calamity that is Covid-19.

Authors are the magicians who create books, and it just so happens that Smashwords is honored to work with over 140,000 authors spread across the globe. It shouldn't come as a surprise that many authors are now asking how they can use their books to help others.

Authors Helping Readers

Several of our authors contacted me in recent days, asking if I'd consider running a special sale where they could make their books more accessible and affordable to readers suffering in self-imposed or government-mandated isolation.  These authors wanted to help fellow readers gain strength, comfort or entertainment from the power of their books.

In this context, any book that brings the reader precious moments of joy - whether a romance, a thriller or a non-fiction treatise about boosting your immune system - is critically important to the global recovery effort.

With this heartfelt intention in mind, today we launched our Authors Give Back sale, running now through April 20.  For the next 30 days, thousands of Smashwords authors are going the extra mile to share their books with the readers who need them.

If you're an author or publisher, you can enroll your books now at this enrollment link which you'll also find on the Smashwords home page and in your Dashboard. 

If you're a reader, you can access 30,000 deep-discounted books and over 80,000 free books  with the compliments of indie authors and publishers around the globe.  These authors are your friends and neighbors.

You'll find the sale at the top of the Smashwords home pageHere's a direct link that will take you into the sale catalog.

Please tell a friend!

Smashwords Helping Authors

The desire of our authors to support readers got me thinking about how Smashwords can support our authors during this crisis.

Writers conferences, like most large public gatherings, are getting cancelled left and right.  These conferences provide important educational venues for writers to gain the knowledge and connections they need to build their writing careers.

The need for continuing education doesn't disappear simply because most of us find ourselves trapped at home.  With this in mind, Smashwords this week announced our first-ever Author Education Day, a one-day online educational event where we'll teach veteran authors how to take their ebook publishing to the next level, and we'll teach aspiring authors how to publish ebooks with ease, professionalism and success.

The Smashwords Author Education Day event will be held next month on April 18, and is open to all writers and publishers.  Even if you don't (yet) publish with Smashwords, we invite you to attend at no cost.

Jim Azevedo, our marketing director, will present four live workshops, each followed by an interactive Q&A.

The sessions will be presented in sequential order, with each session building on the knowledge covered in the prior session.  Whether you're a first-time author or an experienced veteran, you'll leave this one day e-publishing intensive inspired with fresh ideas that will help you take your publishing to the next level.

These are the same (but updated) Smashwords workshops we've presented in person at writers conferences around the globe.  You'll learn evergreen best practices to improve the discoverability and desirability of your books, and you'll learn strategies for building a sustainable long term career as a writer and publisher.

The sessions include:

1.  Ten trends driving the future of publishing (novice to expert)
2.  An introduction to ebook publishing (novice to intermediate)
3.  16 secrets to ebook publishing success (novice to expert)
4.  Book launch strategy:  Preorders and presales (novice to expert)

Advance registration is required for this free event.  To view the full event description and to register, visit our Smashwords Author Education Day event page.

Hang in there my friends and fellow book lovers.  The sun will rise again.


Author Rosemary Ravenblack said...

Hi Smashwords and everyone else here too. Greetings from England, UK. :-)

My heart goes out to people all over the world so much lately; thousands affected in different ways by recent events due to Coronavirus/Covid-19. I feel so sorry for anyone isolated at home during this very worrying time, so it's wonderful that we authors can help them to take their mind off matters through escapism, uplifting them in mood so that they feel more positive about life. We have the ability to entertain them, and our books can feel like a friend too to readers; keeping them company and being a source of comfort to them, especially if they live alone.

Thank you Smashwords for providing this recent opportunity for us all; for authors and readers as well.

Take care, have a nice weekend, and stay safe everyone! x


(Author Rosemary Ravenblack)
(Author Goddess Pleasure)

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Thank you, Rosemary. It never ceases to inspire me when I hear authors such as yourself speak about how they want to help others with their books. Thank you for your authorship!

Desmond Shepherd said...

I'm so glad you did this. I started offering my books for free prior to the promotion because I thought it would help people cope with their situation. I'm happy to see this much broader attempt to bring others hope.

If fiction or nonfiction can bring an ounce of escape or joy for anyone, that's a success. I know I've been diving into it myself.

Be safe and healthy everyone.

Lord Mark said...

Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. It's a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us on

Unknown said...

Hi Mark

Will the sessions of the Author Education Day be recorded for participants who are not based in the US? It starts at 2:30 am on Sunday 19 April for us (in South Australia).

In the event that it won't, would the later sessions be beneficial without attending the earlier ones?


Tim Craire said...

Great idea about the sale, but have you thought about allowing participating authors to donate their proceeds to a Covid-19 related charity (which you would select)? I think you could find reputable ones at I'm a Smashwords author and I would do this. I've left this comment on your facebook page also.

I understand not all authors would be in a position to do this, but it would be a nice option for those who can. Thanks.