Selling Ebooks on Smashwords: A Comprehensive Guide

Selling Ebooks on Smashwords: A Comprehensive Guide
If you’re an author looking to distribute and sell your ebooks online, there’s a high chance you’ve come across Smashwords. It’s one of the longest-standing ebook distributors in the industry, and with good reason. Founded in 2008, Smashwords allows authors to upload their ebooks and distribute them across multiple platforms, from Amazon Kindle to iBooks to Barnes & Noble to Kobo and more.
But with the variety of features and different options available on Smashwords, getting started can be intimidating. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know about selling ebooks on Smashwords.

Getting Started

The first step to selling ebooks on Smashwords is to sign up for a free account. After this, complete your profile, including your biography or pen name. Additionally, fill in your payment details so that you can receive your royalties.

Uploading Your Ebook

After signing up, you can proceed to upload your ebook for distribution. To do this, click on the “Publish” button, select the category that best describes your ebook, and you’ll then be prompted to upload your file.
Smashwords accepts different ebook formats such as DOC, RTF, EPUB, and MOBI. Your ebook should be formatted according to Smashwords’ guidelines to ensure distribution across its retailers. You can also choose to hire Smashwords to format your ebook for you.

Pricing Your Ebook

Smashwords allows for varying price options, including free. After uploading your ebook, you’ll be prompted to set a price. For a comprehensive guide on pricing, check out Smashwords’ “Pricing Page,” which gives an overview of recommended pricing based on word count. You can also price your ebook for sale or as free to encourage downloads and build your audience.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing is key to effectively selling your ebook and increasing your sales. Here are a few marketing strategies to consider on Smashwords:
1. Keywords: Use effective keywords and category selection to make your ebook discoverable. Your title, book description, and author’s biography should also be SEO-optimized.
2. Utilize Social Media: Share your Smashwords store link on social media platforms to promote your ebook. Join author groups and forums to connect with your target audience and increase discoverability.
3. Discounts and Coupons: Offering discounts and coupons for your ebook can incentivize readers and increase sales.
4. Reviews: Encourage readers to leave reviews on your Smashwords store. Positive reviews can increase your sales and encourage more reviews from other readers.

Earnings and Payment

Smashwords pays its authors 60% - 80% of the net proceeds from ebook sales. The percentage is determined by the price point of your ebook. For ebooks sold through Smashwords’ retailers, earnings are paid quarterly via PayPal.


With the variety of features on Smashwords, selling your ebook can be a worthwhile experience. Take the time to upload and format your ebook correctly, set a reasonable price, and utilize effective marketing strategies to increase sales. As always, continue to perfect your craft and improve your writing skills to produce more quality content for your readers.

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