Smashwords 1st Update Since 2008

Smashwords 2013We’ve known and loved them since 2008. By internet standards, Smashwords was way overdue for a facelift. But this is more than a new look; this is welcome additions, hundreds of changes also behind the scenes to improve the indie author experience.

Mark Coker explains the highlights below.

  • The Smashwords home page – We doubled the number of books listed on the Smashwords home page from ten to 20, added 27 new book category filters to increase discoverability, added live stats for the number of books published and the number of free books, and organized the navigation elements around logical categories.
  • Responsive design – We adopted what’s called a “responsive design,” which among web designer circles refers to a design approach that optimizes the user’s experience across different browsers, devices and screen sizes.  View the site on your desktop computer and then resize your browser to see how every page’s content resizes and reorients as you make the width narrower or wider.
  • Dramatically enhanced mobile support – Our previous mobile version of the site was, to put it kindly, limited.  The new mobile experience – whether you’re accessing the site from a smart phone or tablet – is darn near beautiful.  Our improved mobile support is enabled by our responsive design.  It preserves user access to nearly all the same features you’d expect from a large browser on a desktop computer, making it easy for mobile users to browse and discover books without pining for a larger screen…. (Click here to continue reading the highlights.)

Indie authors have primarily loved Smashwords, except when complaining during the formatting lessons of the Style Guide. Please support them with a visit. And let us know your thoughts on Smashwords here in the comments section.

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2 Responses to “Smashwords 1st Update Since 2008”

  1. K.J. Daniels Says:

    I have heard of Smashwords and there are mixed reviews. The same for Kobo. Are these two really necessary to help build your Author Platform as well as for selling your books? Thanks.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Hi K.J. Great question. Not sure what you’ve heard as per mixed reviews, but most complaints about Smashwords are based on their challenging formatting requirements which are in place to produce high quality ebooks–and also it’s true their sales reporting has been slower than most retailers (quarterly payments). Most complaints about Kobo stem from a recent event where they took all the indie books off the shelves for several days while they cleaned house for erotica that “crossed the boundaries of acceptability” in Kobo’s opinion. Most erotica was replaced as well as all the other indie books soon after.
      If you only want to sell ebooks through Amazon, then these other choices are not necessary. But if you want to sell ebooks through most every retailer you can, then they’re very necessary in my opinion. Smashwords is not just a retailer, but more importantly a very good distributor. They will get your ebook into locations that would currently be impossible to get into otherwise. Kobo is a Canadian retailer and doing a lot of things well, so I like selling with them too.
      However, Amazon is the king of sales so going with them and the KDP Select exclusive plan is a good way to simplify life for many authors.

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