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iPad + iBookstore + Smashwords = Free, Low Hassle e-Book Publishing

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Have a hankering to be a published author? With the iPad’s launch expected to exponentially increase interest in and demand for e-books, a new e-book publishing and distribution platform called Smashwords could be your ticket to , if not necessarily literary fame and fortune, at least the satisfaction of authorship and perhaps a few bucks of income enhancement.

iBookstore Deal

Smashwords has reportedly just inked a deal with Apple (s aapl) to distribute Smashwords titles on the iBookstore, with Smashwords and Apple jointly receiving 40 percent of the sale price of each copy sold, but no up front cost to the author or publisher. Apple requires ISBN (International Standard Book Number) support, which Smashwords is currently in the process of adding to its service. More details on that and how to format your e-book submission to comply with the Smashwords/Apple standards can be found on Steve Weber’s Plug Your Book website.

And of course, there are already all the “traditional” devices that support e-books such as iPhones and iPods, Amazon’s Kindle, and sundry others.

Smashwords is structured for publishing novels, short fiction, poetry, personal memoirs, monographs, non-fiction, research reports, essays, and other written forms for free with no hidden fees. Authors and publishers retain complete control over sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works. As a Smashwords author, you can charge a dollar, $10,000, or give your opus away for free.

Readers can sample most Smashworks titles for free, and in many cases, read samples from the book before committing to purchase. Smashwords founder Mark Coker says that “Smart publishers realize if a reader invests the time necessary to read 100 pages of a 300 page book, they’re much more inclined to purchase the book to know how it ends.”

Content Creator Retains Rights

All author contracts with Smashwords are non-exclusive, and the content creator retains all ownership rights to his works, remaining free to publish elsewhere as they choose and with the right to remove their works from Smashwords at any time. Smashwords clients must be original authors of the work, or the exclusive electronic publisher or distributor of the work (ergo: no public domain reprinting).

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6 Responses to “iPad + iBookstore + Smashwords = Free, Low Hassle e-Book Publishing”

  1. I’ve got a Tolkien-related book on Smashwords that’ll hopefully available from the iBookstore on opening day. I’ve jumped through all the not-that-hard hoops that Smashwords and Apple have set up.

    If you’re looking for ebook publishing simplicity, Smashwords is the way to go. You supply them with your content in a Word file formatted according to some easy-to-follow rules. Their software then translates your text into the ebook formats needed for distribution via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony and now Amazon. That’s a lot simpler than working out contracts with each separately and formatting files to their specs. Managing your books online is also easy. You set the retail price and who gets to distribute the book.

    Smashwords also offers your ebook for sale at their website in multiple formats. That permits author-friendly features such as coupons. You can supply reviewers with a time-limited coupon that allows them to download a copy for free while keeping up the regular sales price in place.

    Most important of all, unlike traditional publishing, you haven’t irrevocably signed your rights away. You retain control of your book.