Smashwords is a one stop shop for self-publishing an e-book everywhere but Amazon.  Self-publish on Smashwords to save time from having to self-publish on every non-Amazon site individually.  Use Smashwords self-publishing to maximize e-book distribution, while self-publishing exclusively on Amazon to maximize revenue.

In this post, I discuss the upsides and downsides of self-publishing an e-book via Smashwords.

How Does Smashwords Self-publishing Work?

Upload e-books to Smashwords for sale on that site.  Smashwords also distributes e-books uploaded to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd, the Apple Book store and several other sites.  Rather than self-publishing your e-book on each non-Amazon site individually, you can upload your e-book once to Smashwords and allow that site to distribute your book to all the other non-Amazon e-book vendor sites.  Smashwords also gathers all revenue from these sites and consolidates it into a single monthly payment.  Note that you have to wait an extra month for your money while the consolidation occurs.

KDP Select and Amazon Exclusivity

The Amazon KDP Select program offers extra promotional and revenue benefits.  Unfortunately, it also requires that you publish your e-book exclusively on Amazon.  If you enter your e-book into the KDP Select program, you cannot self-publish your e-book through Smashwords.

I recommend you maximize revenue by entering your e-book into the KDP Select program and publishing exclusively with Amazon.  I recommend you maximize distribution by leaving your e-book out of KDP Select and publishing it via both Amazon and Smashwords.

If you are publishing a memoir or memorial and don’t care about revenue, maximize distribution by publishing through Amazon and Smashwords.

Smashwords Self-publishing to Maximize Distribution

Self-publish your e-book via Smashwords to maximize distribution instead of maximizing revenue.

Smashwords Manuals

Mark Cofer, the Smashwords founder, wrote two excellent guides on using Smashwords.  The first is a Smashwords user’s manual, and the second is a book marketing guide.  I cut my self-publishing teeth on these guides.  I recommend you read them even if you don’t self-publish on Smashwords.  Here they are:

Smashwords Style Guides

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide

I’ll see you in the classroom,