Friday, March 30, 2012

eBook Formatting for Dummies: Part I Why I'm Mad at Smash Words

My eBook Is launching on Monday so this is post 2 on in my mini-series. Yesterday I talked about family safe eReaders, today I'm talking about formatting.

Writing and Formatting an eBook is not hard at all.  If you took a high school computer course you can probably do it easily.  It's like following a recipe really, as long as you don't leave out any steps your book will look good. I'll be spending the next two days sharing what I've learned about formatting.

When I first started flirting with the idea of writing an eBook, I read 2 books: "How to Market and Sell Your eBook" by Sarah Mae (Highly recommended) and "How To Publish An Ebook On A Budget " (also recommended).

"How to Publish an Ebook on a Budget" recommended using Smashwords as a means of publishing eBooks. On the surface I love Smashwords, I format the book once, then the Smashword's program reformats it for Kindle, epub, PDF, and every other format you can imagine.  If you've done things properly it will go on sale in the Smashword's store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and the I Pad store.  There's no need to reformat your work 5 times, if you did it right the first time.

Here's the problem, when I initially read the Smashword's terms of service I didn't realize how much license they give their authors.  The terms of service for Kindle and Barnes and Noble contain statements that essentially say, truly offensive material and p***graphy is NOT permitted.

Smashword's on the other hand has no such statements in their terms of service. In fact, I recently recived an e-mail from them (since this was how I published my first book) saying PayPal was getting ready to pull their services unless Smashword's pulled their books containing the most reprehensible material that I'm not even comfortable describing.  (Trust me this list was bad)

In it's e-mail Smashword's asked me to e-mail PayPal and ask them to protect the rights of "Indie Authors."  You want  to protect the rights of indie authors, and deny protection of the most vulnerable of society?  I'm sorry but even when you fictionalize the most graphic of abuses, it makes it more permissible in the minds of the readers, therefore making it more prevalent in society.  That's why Amazon and Barnes and Noble won't publish this type of material!!!

I'm in the process of reformatting my first book so Smash Word's won't make a dime off of it.  Yes formatting for Smashwords was easier, but I do not want my books being sold along with the most vile in society.

I see a lot of Christian books on Smashwords, and I wonder if the authors realize what is also being sold there.  I realize all bookstores will have material that Christians find reprehensible, but Smashword's doesn't just push the envelope it obliterates it.

Tomorrow I'll go over my best tips for formatting.  If you start formatting your eBook as you write it, it will be a breeze : )

By the way, would you mind voting for my cuties?
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We have about a 10% chance of making it to the finals. We would LOVE to win the gift card to Babies R' Us (we desperately need new car seats.)

Posts in This Series

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1 comment:

  1. As far as the other aspects of the Smashwords eBook publication system go, it’s fairly easy once you’ve read and adhered to the style guide, which is available for free within the site. But thanks for the feedback!


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