I always wanted to say that, lol. :-)

My ebook is now live on both Amazon and Smashwords. It was easy to upload to Amazon; since I use Open Office on my laptop, I just saved the document as an HTML doc, and had no problems.

It's so exciting to see something up on Amazon and on Smashwords.

Smashwords Can Be a PITA

If the upload on Amazon was easy beyond belief, Smashwords wasn't quite that way. It wasn't torture (altho being 1,350 in the queue can try your patience, of which I don't have much). Fortunately, I kept it in perspective and didn't pull my hair out. (I still have to upload a pic of moi onto Author Central on Amazon; how would I look bald, I asks ya? ;-))

Everything was going fine on SW, until I checked it the next day, only to find out the document didn't pass EPUB muster. That's the format not only for Nook but a bunch of smart phones/whatever. (I don't have an infinite supply of moolah coming in for a smart phone or tablet - or both.)

Anyway, SW suggested a site to get the poop on what was wrong with the document, and of course it returned a bunch of techno gobbledygook that made no sense. So I did the Nuclear Method, copying everything in the document to Notepad, which stripped out all the formatting. I also took note that SW now doesn't require you to have the cover image in the document, so I took that out. (Like Amazon, they have a separate upload just for the cover.)

This is when I noticed I made a slight boo-boo in the story; nothing major, but it irked me, so I redid the Kindle doc, uploaded the revised doc, and it's (re)publishing today.

I had the stripped doc and the original SW doc both open, so I could redo all the formatting (italicized words, chapter headings, and paragraphs), and tweaked the bio.

I reuploaded the doc yesterday, checked this morning: It worked! But SW is out of free ISBNs, so I won't be able to get into the Premium Catalog until tomorrow (when a new supply is due in).

You'll see that I already have the Kindle title up in the right-hand column; I'll be putting up the SW link sometime later today.

Onward and forward! :-) Good luck to everyone, and may you all sell a ton of your books!


Angie said...

[Sorry if this comes through twice -- the first one looked funny after I was done. [squint]]

Congrats on getting it up, and good luck on sales! :D

Question -- is there an option on SW for you to use your own ISBN? If I'm going to self publish, I'd rather be the publisher of record, rather than some vendor site.


Nancy Beck said...

That's all right, Angie (only came thru once, lol) - everything on the Net has been acting wonky for me lately. :-)

Thanks for your support.

Yes, in order to get into the premium catalog, you have to have an ISBN (they're all out right now; hopefully they'll get more in in a few days).

You can get a free one (which is the way I might go) or you can buy one for $9.95. That price is a steal, because I've heard they cost a buttload of money (which is why I always hear people buying them in bulk).

I'm kind of up in the air as to whether I'll take the free one or pay. I won't decide until they get more in.

Angie said...

Turns out the first comment ended up on my publisher's blog. O_O It's a Blogger blog too, and I'm attached to it; apparently I hit the "Blog About This" space here instead of the "Comment On This" space, and it decided I wanted to post it there. [headdesk] Luckily I read my RSS feed right after and saw it, panicked, and got it deleted. [mutter]

Anyway, right, I get that you'll have an ISBN either way, but the trick is whose name is attached to it as the publisher. Generally, whoever acquires the number or block of numbers goes down as the official publisher of the book. So if you let a vendor give you a free ISBN (or if you buy one of their numbers) then they're the official publisher of your book. That'd bug me, although I'll admit it's just a personal thing and probably doesn't make a lot of difference in the long run.

Last time I checked, an ISBN was $25, or you could buy a block of ten for $100. So if you plan to publish multiple books, you're only saving five cents a pop by buying the $9.95 number from the vendor.

What makes them expensive is that, technically, each individual edition is supposed to have its own ISBN, and that counts each file format, because the ISBN is supposed to be able to distinguish each individual version. So if you're self-publishing and are making each book available in, say, five formats, that's $50 just for the ISBNs, which is a large chunk of your profits for a short story by a writer no one's heard of yet. Most self-publishing writers I know (who've discussed the issue in public) haven't been bothering with the multiple numbers thing, though, and I haven't heard of the ISBN police kicking in anyone's door. I'm pondering whether I want to be a good little girl or not, when I get to the sticking point. :/


Nancy Beck said...


Well, I got my answer yesterday. (Sorry for being such a space cadet: My mind can go to lunch at the strangest times. ;-))

Anyway, I decided to go with the $9.95 deal because it would show me as the publisher; the free option shows Smashwords as the publisher.

So you were right - that was the difference. And I decided it was a big enough difference since I've set myself up as a sole proprietor (March Winds Publishing).

Most self-publishing writers I know (who've discussed the issue in public) haven't been bothering with the multiple numbers thing, though, and I haven't heard of the ISBN police kicking in anyone's door. I'm pondering whether I want to be a good little girl or not, when I get to the sticking point.

Yeah, see, that whole thing has me shaking my head too. Multi ISBNs for different formats of the same book? Isn't that a little over the top (and expensive, to boot)? For different books, sure; but not for the same one.

Angie said...

The whole point of an ISBN was to differentiate between different editions, though. If you had the ISBN, you knew exactly which version of a book you had, even if the covers were the same. If you check some books on Goodreads, frex., there might be a dozen versions, and six or eight of them look like identical paperbacks so far as I can tell looking at the cover thumbnails, but each edition has its own ISBN anyway, no matter how small the differences might be.

I think that's one of those things that made more sense in the days of paper-only books. If you were going to go to the trouble of releasing a paper edition of a book, then $10 (or even $25) for an ISBN was a tiny sliver of your budget.

Different formats of the same e-book are something that weren't conceived of when ISBNs were invented, though. And with some of them, I can even see the point -- if you buy an e-book from Fictionwise, it's clearly been reformatted, with a different font and pagination from the original as released by the publisher. I have no clue why they do this, but I buy a lot of FW books (they have awesome sales) and I buy a lot of my own publisher's books direct from them, and the formatting is clearly different. If the difference in editions jumps out at me just while reading, when I wasn't even looking for it, then that's probably different enough that it should have its own ISBN. If the world ever turns sane enough that we're allowed to transfer (one copy of) an e-book we've bought, same as we can pass on a paper book, then I could see someone wanting or not wanting a particular edition if the font and layout and such are obviously different. ISBNs should be able to sort that out.

That's still just speculative, though, and at this point in time, there probably isn't any good reason, especially for the original publisher, to assign different ISBNs to each file format of an e-book.

Good to know you'll be the publisher of record for your book, though. :)