Saturday, February 07, 2009

More on E-books

Yesterday, I talked about the March 8 - 14 week to celebrate E-books and that Smashwords had signed on to help sponsor the event. Smashwords publishes e-books from what they call “independent authors.” Most interpret that to mean authors who don’t have an agent or publisher behind them, or otherwise unpublished authors who can’t find a small or big house to take them on.

But it’s not authors who can’t get published otherwise who are now publishing e-books. Big name authors are doing it. Big and small publishers are putting their authors out in e-book form. And even Smashwords who touts that they publish “independent authors” is drawing in the bigger names.

In a recent press release, Smashwords announced that best-selling author Dan Poynter will publish his new book, The Self-Publishing Manual Volume 2, via Smashwords. This is not Poynter’s first e-book. According to his bio, he has a dozen e-books out. But he’s putting his weight behind a group that reaches the masses of writers.

Not only is the title a perfect match for Smashwords, the process is fast. Poynter said:
"Authors simply upload their finished manuscript as a Microsoft Word file and then Smashwords automatically converts it into multiple DRM-free ebook formats, ready for immediate sale."
Now, I have no stock in Smashwords and have never used them, but I do think it’s another sign of the changing times in the publishing industry that more and more “big name” authors are turning to e-book form for their books.


  1. A lot of my publishing friends have all had their work in e-book format through their publishers. With the internet and palm readers making everything so accessible (not to mention cheaper...) in the end it seems like the only route to go. Great blog, Helen. Thanks for sharing your insight into Smashwords.


  2. I bought Dan's new book from Smashwords two days ago. Plan to review it on my blog soon.

    We already offer most of our books as e-books (Kindle and PDF at present, EPUB soon) and are considering whether to try Smashwords.

    Walt Shiel
    Publishing, Slipdown Mountain Publications

  3. I have to agree, Jenny. It seems to me that e-books are here to stay. Books published on the phone may be a passing fad, though.

  4. Walt, I think it's great that Slipdown Mountain already takes advantage of e-publishing. I'm looking forward to your review of Poynter's book.

  5. Brooke, I assume you're talking about the editing of the e-book. I was just reading an email from an author who found her no-longer-available book being sold in e-form. She was very disappointed to see that paragraphs were mushed together wit no breaks and a lot of other problems with it.

  6. Hello, Helen, thank you for you posts on Smashwords. As you point out, I think we are on the cusp of a very exciting time for authors. Our purpose at Smashwords is to put authors first - give them complete control over all aspects of their careers - and help introduce the world to the tremendous talent that until now has not been allowed to see the light of day.

    Best wishes,
    Mark Coker

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Mark. It's always good to hear from the one in charge!

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