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Smashwords...ePub or Word. Which One's For You?


Smashwords ebook formatting~ A common practice among authors is to upload your files directly to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, then using Smashwords to upload to all other marketplaces. The reason being? There are a lot of booksellers out there and sometimes it's easier to let other people do some of the work for you. You could spend hours tracking all of your sales at the different retailers, and after all, time is money, people! It also eliminates the need to purchase your own ISBN'S.
Smashwords will upload your book to Kobo, iBooks, Oyster, Baker & Taylor, and more, with minimal work for the author. (They will also upload to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but since that is where most sales come from you will retain a bigger portion of your profit if you upload to them yourself.)
Smashwords gives you the option to upload a specially formatted Word document, or an ePub. (Even though Tattered Page Ink will already provide you with an ePub for Barnes & Noble, the Smashwords file requires additional steps for inclusion into the Premium Library. Thus requiring additional steps and creating a separate ePub.)
One of the biggest benefits to using Smashwords over uploading to iBooks directly is iBooks requires you to use Apple software and to provide your own ISBN number. If you do not use a Mac you will have to find a friend that does, and purchasing your own ISBN number can be costly. Smashwords will provide you with an ISBN for free.
Here is the difference when you upload a Word doc vs. ePub. If you upload an ePub, the file bypasses the meatgrinder and will only be available to read as an ePub. That will get your book into iBooks, Kobo and pretty much every place that you will want to sell your book. There is one downfall to that. A potential reader will not be able to download a sample to their e-reader. Plus, if Tattered Page Ink is designing your masterpiece, the ePub is provided to you at no extra charge.
When you upload a Word doc, the meatgrinder will convert your file into many forms. Epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt, and html. With today’s e-readers and tablets most of these files are not necessary. Also, while most of the time the files look great, the formatting can be inconsistent. But the plus side of that, retailers can offer a sample of your book.

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