Published on Smashwords

As I announced I finished the first draft of my book and am now letting it rest before setting out to edit it and prepare it for publication.

One of the ways I intend on publishing the book will be through something called Smashwords. In order to do that you have to follow their Style Guide, a 48 page PDF document. When you upload your masterpiece something they call the “Meatgrinder” converts it into various ebook formats so it can be read on the Kindle, Apple iPad, iPhone, Sony Reader and a bunch of others.

In order to upload your tome it has to be presented to Smashwords in a MS Word .doc file. If you’re using the 2007 version your work is saved as a .docx file. No Good! Now, not to pat myself on the back too hard but I’m VERY proficient with MS Word but this weekend I learned at least a dozen things about the program I had no idea about.

For example, if you have Word 2007 on your computer bring up a document now. See that circle in the upper left hand corner? Click on it.

A drop-down menu come up on your screen with options you probably don’t know about. Of course there’s the usual Open, Save and Save As options. If you click Save As you can automatically convert your document into a PDF document.

Anyway, the Style Guide goes through a lot of formatting information and I thought before tackling my book I’d try something a bit smaller. There’s a lot of short fiction and non-fiction stuff on Smashwords so I dug into my old files and decided to polish up a story I’d written a long time ago and played around with for years. It’s about my single-handed sail from Key West to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. I set about polishing it up and went through the Smashwords formatting. Let me tell you, there are a LOT of things hidden in your documents you never even thought might be there.

I spent a couple of hours refining my story and formatting it and adding a cover for the story. Now I’ve gone up to the Info Plaza and set up my Smashwords account and have uploaded my story.

I’ve put a price of .99¢ on it, well, why not? HOWEVER, you, my faithful readers can get it for FREE. All you have to do is send me your email address and I’ll send you a special coupon that will let you allow you to download it for absolutely nothing. The coupon offer expires February 17, 2011, so hurry. Go to and after you’ve added the story to your cart enter the coupon number and you’ll get it for free.

Well, actually there’s one thing I ask you to do for the free story and that’s to go back to Smashwords and write a review of it. I think you’ll enjoy the story, but even if you want to say “I think your time would be better spent surfing internet porn than writing,” I’ll accept that, too.


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3 responses to “Published on Smashwords

  1. Hi Richard:

    First of all I wish you the best for the publication and sale of your new book. I already have your small book “Sailing Alone to Isla Mujeres” following your guidelines. I downloaded it directly to my Kindle Book Section. It was a breeze.

    I haven’t used Microsoft Words for years; in fact after 1999. That was the year I typed my graduation thesis. I have Word 2007, but it’s a lot different from the version I used. I still have the version 2003 which I could install if that would be any easier.

    You have opened my eyes on a whole new world of books and writing. Thanks a bunch.

    Best Regards,


    You’re the FIRST, Omar. Thanks a bunch back.

  2. Oh, gosh. I couldn’t find the little circle, so I went in search of information on my version of Word. Uh…. 2002?

    I’ve never used the program at all. I guess maybe my first step should be getting an updated word program and learning to use it 😉

    Of course, I don’t have anything to format, so there you are. Maybe I’ll just devote myself to reading your stuff!

    I see I’ve missed the deadline but that’s ok. I rather like the thought of a literary dollar store, anyhow!

    Actually you have a lot to format, Linda, and as I’ve said, you should make a “Best Of” collection. Omar is in agreement with me and has emailed me a couple of times asking me to implore you to do so.

    The version of Word you have is EXACTLY what you need. If you post to Smashwords or Barnes & Noble their requirements are that the submission be made in the Word .doc format. Word 2007 saves things in a .docx format, whatever the hell THAT IS. When I’ve been writing my stuff I have to go to the drop-down menu and save it as a Word 97-2003 file which is the .doc format. So what you have saves you a step.

  3. Came back to add this p.s. lest I confuse anyone who comes through to read – when I said I missed the deadline, I saw the “17th” and thought, “Well, that’s long gone”.

    We’re in January. Not February. Sometimes this business of living outside the usual clock/calendar constraints gets me confused.

    The deadline is February 17. FEBRUARY. Got it. 😉