Smashwords and Nanowrimo

I’ve mentioned any number of times goals of “getting this or that up on Smashwords.” I haven’t followed through on very many of those goals, but today I got my first Paypal payment from Smashwords! It wasn’t much, barely enough for a dinner out, but perhaps it will motivate me to follow through on a few more of those ebook goals.

The other motivator at the moment is Nanowrimo, that collective writing insanity that goes on during November. I wasn’t intending to do Nano this year, but then, so many people I know decided to, and you know, the company is good, and it’s fun to be hanging out with a bunch of crazy writers. So on the weekend I got all the notes and plot ideas and characters sketches for my latest novel set up in the Nanowrimo edition of Scrivener. And If you don’t know Scrivener yet, give it a trial run. It’s brilliant. I already bought it for the Mac a couple years back, even bought a used Mac for the sole purpose of writing with Scrivener, but now I’m giving the new Windows version a shot, and even after two days, I already know that I’m going to have to buy Scrivener again. (The Mac and PC versions are separate products, unfortunately.)

So good luck and happy writing to all who are plunging into Nano-month!

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23 thoughts on “Smashwords and Nanowrimo”

  1. Good luck with NaNo! I really admire everyone who’s doing it. And Scrivener is great. My only complaint is that you fall in love with it during the trial run and then the price is kinda pricey, but I guess they’re only charging what people are willing to pay, huh? People like me.

    1. The PC version of Scrivener is only $40, Annalise. And if you participate in Nano, you get 20% off, if you win 50% even! 🙂

  2. Nice three in one, there. Got my first payment from Smashwords today. I’m also doing NaNo and using Scrivener.

    Annalise, compared to most programs of its kind, Scrivener is pretty cheap. And worth every penny.

    1. Heh, so we’ve got a couple of things in common, do we? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and I agree with you completely about Scrivener!

  3. Good going, Ruth! And if I you need any help getting things converted and posted to Smashwords or whatnot, check out ReAnimus Press. (Especially vis-a-vis the no-cost option for pro authors.)

  4. Way to go! I’ll have to look for you on Smashwords. I’m doing Nano too, so good luck with that! Have a good weekend. 🙂

  5. Oh, good to know on Scrivener. I’ve heard so much about it and now might give it a try. As for Smashwords, and sometimes Amazon, I have the same experience. But at least it pays for a meal and your stories won’t be torn off the e-shelves in a few months, so the payment should grow!!
    ~Kate

  6. I have the same problem with Smashwords, and need to get my novel on there. I have my MS (and my book is published and already on Kindle/Nook), but am daunted by the process of formatting for Smashwords. I keep hearing authors talk about bad versions going out and the negative response from readers.

    Any tips?

    1. Tia, I’m daunted by formatting for Kindle. From what I’ve read, it seems to be a very confusing process. I have two books on Smashwords, and if their deal with Amazon hasn’t gone through by next year, I’ll tackle it. Not looking forward to it, though. Wrestling with Smashwords, and getting through that learning curve has been frustrating enough. But the single most important thing about using Smashwords (well, two) is don’t use Word if you can help it. People are coming to realize that most of the formatting problems come from Word’s “secret” codes. The main tip is to download and check over as many of the reading formats as you can after you publish. They won’t all come out the same. Epubs, PDFs, and Kindle books may look very different. You need to do that immediately so you can unpublish and make corrections. You don’t want people to be buying a book that doesn’t show up well.

      1. Wow, thanks so much for the advise! Although now I’m more afraid. I want to do it right. You say don’t use Word (I do all my writing in Word)… what do you recommend?

  7. Tia, I do all my writing in Scrivener, then port the book file to Open Office. It does a good job of maintaining whatever formatting I’ve already used, without adding stuff that will trip me up later. It’s a lot like Word, so you can (and should) use styles for your page formatting. Once you’ve proofed and everything looks good, it can save your work as a doc file. I also keep the odt file as a backup. Open Office is free, and if you’re used to Word, it shouldn’t be hard to learn.

  8. Tia and Catana,

    I find Kindle more daunting than Smashwords too. I have fours things up on Smashwords now, two stories, one collection, and one novella, and I’ve only got the novella up for Kindle. I did it over and over again, and still it looked wrong! Then I got distracted by other projects and haven’t gotten back to epublishing since.

    That’s a good tip, Catana, to look at *all* the formats. I haven’t done that yet, argh! Hope I’m not sending crappy formats out into the world. Although my ebook sales are pretty minimal until now, a blessing in disguise, perhaps.

    I was taking notes on my process while I worked, and eventually I want to get a post up about ebook formatting. I know there are plenty out there, but apparently no one has the perfect recipe yet, and we all tackle this business with different levels of savviness. If I’d found the perfect post for me, I’d just give everyone the link and wouldn’t bother taking notes for myself so I can repeat what worked. 🙂

    1. Taking notes is an excellent idea, especially you have a poor memory, like mine. After driving myself crazy formatting my first book properly for Smashwords, when it was time for the second one, I found that I’d forgotten most of what I’d done right. I made notes as I went along, and hope that they’ll make the next books easier.

      And that tip about checking each format–that’s step 27 from Smashwords’ style guide.

  9. have won myself 50% of Scrivner by completing nano yay yay been wanting it since i first tried it early in year – its not so expensive at half price – all the best for coming week

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