Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Smashwords Adventure

I've taken Foo Foo down from LuLu and put it up on Smashwords, instead. Smashwords seems to have a wider distribution model, including stores for Sony, Amazon, and some that I've never even heard of.  Eventually, I'll return to LuLu for some hardback copies, but that's down the road a bit - there are a few more illustrations to be done before Foo Foo is ready for hardback.

Foo Foo at Smashwords

Smashwords has been an adventure, to be sure. Their formatting document is the War and Peace of style guides, and it took me about a week to make sure the Word copy of Foo Foo met their standards. It was worth it, though, because the book looks so much better than the LuLu version, and while the Style Guide is hefty, it is very easy to use and understand. In the end, I only had one problem from the AutoVetter (the program that scans your document for formatting errors), and that was one of my fonts was 2pts too large. Fixed and resubmitted in minutes, and it's now eligible for their premium catalog. I'm not sure how elite of a club that actually is, but I'd settle for even just a tiny bit of elite right now.

I had to redesign the cover, unfortunately, since I really liked the old cover with the dead rat. Smashwords doesn't allow the depiction of violence on their covers, and while the old cover ranks up there with Itchy and Scratchy in terms of horror content, I didn't want to risk being off the premium catalog because of it, so I just went ahead and did a little redesign.

The Smashwords site appeared to be a little slower than LuLu's, which isn't good since LuLu's site is already pretty slow. Thus far, though, the overall experience at Smashwords has been easier than LuLu's, formatting aside.

I've already made 6 revisions to the text (you can sort of get away with it if nobody has read your book), but I think that the Smashwords edition will be the standing edition for a while, at least. One of my writer friends suggested that the allegory was a little heavy-handed, so I took the effort to tone it down, some. I think it adds to the experience, personally.

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