For some inexplicable reason, the first time I heard about Smashwords, I developed an instant gut feeling it wasn’t to be trusted.
Now, months later and I’m not only perfectly happy to admit I was utterly wrong about that*, I’m in lurve.
My initial expectation was since I have all the marketing aptitude of a blade of grass, I would send my written work out into the world via a publishing house. You know – the type of place run by clever people of distinction with experience and business acumen. Far better than someone who sometimes walks around with his underpants on his head**. I could trust them to take my scrawlings and transform them into market gold via their brilliant advertising capabilities, distribution models, genius cover design and typography, and point-of-sale displays courtesy of their comprehension of product cut-through and target demographic metrics. Meanwhile, I would stay out of the way, thereby guaranteeing not scaring people away after turning up to something with my underpants on my head (it’s not a habit, I swear****).
I still live in hope that publishing via a publisher may occur with some of my writing, but at the same time dire poverty has forced my hand to self-publish something of my own in the (admittedly pathetic) hope that I could earn some coin a little sooner than the expected 12 to 18 months it takes a publisher to go from accepting a manuscript to printed-book-on-shop-shelf-earning-something.
So … thanks to the awesomeness that is the Australian Writers’ Forum, I learned about self-publishing e-books. Coming as I had from an environment where I had been surrounded by print books and little else, there were things I’d never heard of before, such as “Kobo”, “Nook” and “Smashwords”. Being a little shy of violent things I thought: Smash? That can’t be good!
Despite whatever reason they elected to call themselves that, once I finally swallowed my fears (and a stiff cup of tea), I registered and went through the process. The trouble is I blinked, and lo! it was all done! Here was the e-book version of a novel I had written that was up and going and distributed to mysterious places with curious names like “Scribd”, “Tolino” and “Flipkart” on my behalf. Amazing. Astonishing.
Then I thought to myself: all right … that didn’t kill you, so do what you can to make it as pleasant a process as possible for visitors and prospective buyers. Smashwords recommended doing an interview. My Social Anxiety Disorder instantly dove for cover under the table, taking me with it, but when it turned out the interview came with written questions, my system relaxed enough for me to get up from under the table*****, sit down and fill it in.
You can read it here if you want: Smashwords interview
The best part: some totally and utterly awesome individual has already come along and purchased a copy.
How wonderful is that?
* Serves me right for listening to my gut. Stupid gut. Shut your … er … just shut up.
** All right, it was just the once***
*** Twice, but the second time was as a joke****
**** This is a lie
***** Yes, of course I bumped my head.