5 Things to Know Before Publishing on Smashwords

Ever thought about self-publishing with Smashwords? If you’re a complete noob like me, here’s 5 things that you might want to know. Best of luck with your publishing endeavors, current or future! Feel free to leave additional questions below (or brag about your awesome self-published book)

1: Pay thresholds: So here’s the deal, if you want to actually get paid you have to make a certain amount of sales. This is pretty typical for publishers, but if you’re someone who has never been in the publishing business before it might catch you off guard. The rule of thumb with Smashwords is 10 dollars of sales for paypal users, and 75 dollars of sales for those who would like to receive a check in the mail.

This means of course (as most writers are aware), that even if you make a little money, you won’t make any money.

2:Quarterly Earnings: Smashwords only pays every quarter, so just in case you thought you might quit your day job right away… ; )

3: Taxes: Taxes, death, and the government spying on you, three things you can’t avoid. If you want to actually sell your book (as opposed to putting it up for free), be prepared to give up your SS number, you know, that number that they always tell you not to give to anyone? This is of course for tax purposes, and also pretty standard with publishers.

4: 15 minutes of fame: Finally something pleasant right? When you first publish your book with Smashwords it will show up on their front page (newest books), for up to an hour or so. The time length depends on how many other people are publishing at the time and pushing your book down and off the page.

5:Premium Inclusion: Smashwords allows you to publish your book in two different ways: solely on Smashwords or, if it makes the cut, on all of the retailers that they facilitate sales to (like apple). Making the cut has a lot to do with content as well as formatting. For example, if you have a book with a nude chick on the cover that is all about her making sweet bovine love, probably not going to make the cut, well unless the sweet bovine love is her devouring a hamburger while stark naked ; )


11 thoughts on “5 Things to Know Before Publishing on Smashwords

  1. Hope this helps, even a little. I know it can be scary when you’re on the outside looking in, but to tell you the truth once you take the leap you feel a lot more comfortable and at ease. I think it’s a pretty reasonable risk to take, esp. since they don’t charge to publish your book…
    Let me know if you ever do take the plunge!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meno, I agree completely! My sister published a book on Smashwords 4 years ago and the rule then was sales of $100 and she has $95 – she is yet to be paid at all. Amazon KDP is wonderful and Createspace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yikes, I’m glad the sales threshold has gone down! It’s my impression that those that do well self-publishing are those who publish quite a few books. Luckily for me I couldn’t make my imagination stop if I tried ; )
    I haven’t checked out Createspace yet, but I’m planning on publishing with Amazon next.
    Thanks for sharing your experience!



  4. I felt exactly the same way!!! I can’t say the feeling of colossal competition ever goes away, but it isn’t daunting to me anymore, it’s really quite simple and easy.
    If you decided to self-publish feel free to email me with any questions (or if you need a beta reader ; ))


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Meno, it may sound daunting but skim their self-publishing book as there are probably 10-15 pages that are all you need to know. Then do it one step at a time. Once you get your first book behind you, the rest are easy. Don’t worry about competition, if you’re good then competition is just someone you see in the rear view mirror!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s great news for anyone who’s looking for a monthly income! I know a quarter sounded like too long to wait, provided you actually made money.
    Thanks for letting us know!



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