One year ago in my 2011 annual year-in-review here at the Smashwords Blog, we committed to support direct EPUB uploads to the Smashwords platform in the second half of 2012.
Today we fulfilled that commitment with the launch of Smashwords Direct.
This new capability allows our authors and publishers to upload their own professionally formatted EPUB files for sale at the Smashwords store, and for distribution to the Smashwords retail distribution network.
This first iteration of Smashwords Direct supports two methods of direct EPUB upload:
You can replace your Smashwords-generated EPUB with your own EPUB. To do this, click to your Dashboard, then click “Upload New Version,” then upload your file.
If you’re preparing to publish a new book not yet at Smashwords, sign in to your Smashwords account, click the regular Publish link, then fill out the publish page as you would normally, but upload your EPUB instead of a Word .doc. Later, if you wish, you can add more ebook formats to your book page by uploading a Word .doc, formatted to the Style Guide.
EPUB files uploaded through this new Smashwords Direction option must still adhere to the formatting best practices listed in the Smashwords Style Guide. Books will still be reviewed by our vetting team before shipping out to our retailers.
Smashwords Direct has some important limitations compared to our standard Meatgrinder workflow. For example, when fed a Word .doc file, Meatgrinder converts the book into as many as nine different ebook formats, making it readable on any e-reading device, and ready to be sampled both through our two browser-based formats or a downloadable file. If you upload an EPUB instead of a Word .doc, you won’t get the multiple formats (PDF, MOBI and browser formats are most important), nor will you get the downloadable samples. At least not yet. We do plan to add better sampling later, plus the ability to upload your own PDFs and MOBIs.
To overcome this limitation, you can upload your book as a Word .doc file first, formatted to the Style Guide, and then replace our EPUB with your own (assuming your EPUB is higher quality). This way, you’ll have the major formats covered.
You’ll find the latest documentation for Smashwords Direct here: https://www.smashwords.com/swdirect This is a public beta, so we invite interested Smashwords authors and publishers to begin using it and reporting their feedback direct to the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the weekend, we sent out a call for sample files over at our Site Updates page to assist with our internal alpha testing, and multiple authors helped out. Thank you!
- Smashwords Supports EPUB Uploads With Smashwords Direct (smashwords.com)
- Smashwords Direct Offers ePub Uploads for Indie Authors (goodereader.com)
- Smashwords Year in Review 2012 – The Power in Publishing is Shifting to Authors (smashwords.com)