1. Painless DIY Publishing. Smashwords founder Mark Coker provides lots of specific help so you’re not in the dark about formatting or distributing or even marketing. A step-by-step style guide makes formatting simple, and once a book passes muster it’s available (we’re talking waiting hours at most). I was able to create my own cover, which helped, but Smashwords can offer references for cover artists too. (You can also check back for my “Design for Writers” series debuting this month where I’ll show you how to design a simple book cover.)
2. Awesome Exposure. I was sold the minute I read that you can sell your book through major ebook retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. And I like that it’s an umbrella deal. Instead of dealing with a bunch of places individually, you’re distributing and receiving royalties through one place, which makes tracking it all much simpler. Plus, they always seem to be working to make things better for the author, which I definitely appreciate.
3. Cost-Effective. Self-publishing used to be a lot of money out the door without a guarantee it’s coming back. It doesn’t get much more cost-effective than free. You don’t pay anything upfront to distribute through Smashwords. They take a percentage of the royalties and that’s it. And author royalties are incredibly generous.
So that is my little rant about Smashwords. If you want to get your book out there and read, give them a try!