Publishing an e-book on Smashwords


I feel a little bit behind in the times on this one, but I’ll work to catch up quickly.  Over the past year or so I’ve been compiling samples and I put together a book for developing CakePHP websites.  I saught publishing on the book, but unfortunately all of the big name publishers felt that CakePHP is too small of a market.

After being rejected, I wasn’t too sure what to do with the book.  So, I left it for a while.  Then, earlier this week through some Google searching I stumbled upon the idea of an e-book.  Previously I’ve associated e-books with “Get rich quick schemes” as you see a lot of websites selling e-books along those lines.

I started investigating this option a bit more and I found some videos about creating e-books with Adobe Indesign and formatting them for the various readers.  This quickly started sounding like a lot of work!  Instead I searched for other solutions.  That’s when I found it: Smashwords.  This is an incredible service.  You upload your Word Document and they automatically convert it for the over 10 e-book options out there!  Not only that, they will sell it and promote it on your behalf.

Now you’re asking, so how much does it cost.  It’s FREE!  Smashwords simply takes 30% of the profit.  After researching the amount of effort it would take to create and publish on my own, 30% didn’t seem a lot.  I joined that day and submitted my already existing Word Document.  It took a while to be converted because there was a bit of a queue.  After about an hour or so, my book was converted and published on Smashwords.

To be listed with the various large-scale retailers like Sony, Amazon, Apple, etc… you need to be included in their premium catalog though.  My book failed miserably at first with their “autovetter” because I was using Microsoft Word’s table of contents, tables for the coding blocks, as well as a few other formatting reasons.  It took me the better part of the day to strip this down and meet the autovetter requirements.  At least for next time, now I know!

As of right now, I’m still currently waiting to hear back from Smashwords regarding my inclusion into their premium category.  When or if I do get included, I’ll do a follow up report on the success/failure of this adventure!

So, if you enjoy my blog and CakePHP examples, support me today and download my e-book: Rapid Application Development with CakePHP!

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By Jamie

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