Small Town Kid – listing on Smashwords

I find myself pursuing so many imaginry rabbits down so many imaginary rabbit holes, and time evaporates before I have a moment to raise my head and notice.

Today I received a notice from the e-book distributor Smashwords to advise me of their pending Summer/Winter sale. I like Smashwords a lot, but as an author, I don’t have a lot of my work listed with them. With e-books it has all been Amazon! Amazon! One of the things that Amazon does is hook authors into using Kindle unlimited, which is a kind of library for their customers – pay a subscription fee and access listed e-books for free. For an author this generates ‘page reads’ and royaltes and so on. It also feeds into advertising on Amazon and getting locked in to their system exclusively.

One of the things that Smashwords does, is distribute work widely to other sellers. Go Kindle, or go Wide seems to be the choice.

Over time, I’ve decided that Amazon/Kindle exclusivity is not a benefit to me or my work. I think that there just aren’t the legs on poetry to make it a sexy seller in that marketplace.

Anyway, some time back I dipped my toe in the Smashwords waters by producing a book deliberately intended as a ‘freebie’ for anyone wanting to get to know my work. Pebbles to Poems was produced as a papaerback and in the e-pub format (for Smashwords) as well as the format for Kindle. Smashwords enabled me to set a code that allows Pebbles to Poems to be purchased for no cost. Follow the link if you want to check it out. (It is still free at Smashwords, while it carries a standard price at Kindle). I’ve found the Smashwords freebie to be pleasing;y successful, with about 50 downloads, to date.

The other book that I’m part-author of, and which is listed on Smashwords, is Herja, Devastation, written with the wonderful Cage Dunn. Check Herja out here.

In recent times I’ve also found myself a little enmeshed with the Kindle system as I’ve grappled with the creation of picturebooks. Kindle is the only system that readily allows me to make fixed page picture books – allowing a 2 page spread of image on one page and text on the other. The reason is complicated, but images don’t play as nicely as they might in the digital book formats. My pictue poetry books Voices (In The Trash) and The Beechworth Bakery Bears were both put into the 2 page spread format – and a tedious process it was!

For Sheep On The Somme – released a week or so ago – I haven’t bothered with a digital edition, but have created two paper book versions for sale (case laminate hardcover and perfect bound softcover) and haven’t bothered with a digital version. Life is too short! I should also mention the third version, which is a standard 6 x 9 hardcover edition with dust-jacket. Hoo boy, do I love that one! I am not releasing that version for purchase at this stage. Maybe sometime on the future.

Sorry, I’ve meandered. It’s those rabbit holes!

Today I have gone into the archives and re-formatted Small Town Kid with the intention of enrolling it in the Smashwords sale, with some level or other of discount attached. I will likely revise all my published books to do this, as I have time, because I think I’m done with the Kindle Unlimited experiment.

As I write, Smashwords is doing its final verifications and so on, but if you are a reader who likes to read your digital books on an e-pub reader, rather than a Kindle device, The Kid should be listed as available for pre-order now, and will be available as an e-pub option in a few days.

I’ll let you know of any developments.

edit – forgot to include an image!

Small Town Kid – cover image 25/06/2021


5 thoughts on “Small Town Kid – listing on Smashwords

  1. Great post, Frank, revealing many of the trials and tribulations, and time, involved with getting published. I’ve often been told I should sell a book with photographs, and I think you know the answer to that 😁. So happy for you that you’ve figured much of this out and are stepping away from the Amazon rabbit warren.

    I do read novels on Kindle, mostly checked out from our library, but for poetry and images the real deal is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ellen. There is a lot of pressure on self-published authors in particular to make e-books and to work through Amazon. To master their advertising processes in order to become a best seller etc.

      I can’t make the advertising work for me – whether it is because I work in poetry, or because I don’t have the paid advertising mentality, I’m not sure.

      Increasingly, I’m leaning toward doing print first – especially where images are also involved. I’ll try to produce in both formats, but my love is with the paper.

      From a personal perspective, I’ve also decided that I really can’t read for my pleasure off a device. It has to be paper, and I think my creative efforts need to lean that way for that reason as well.

      I will continue to work at becoming proficient in creating digital work, but not get too tied up in it.

      For the moment.


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