Smashwords

Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of eBooks. Many authors choose to go with Amazon’s Kindle publishing program, but there appear to be some excellent reasons for going with Smashwords.

Kindle offers only one eBook format for its various Kindle readers while Smashwords offers all formats, so that one can purchase and download books for any eBook reader including iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, B&N Nook, Kobo, of even one’s computer. Broader distribution channels is a very practical reason for not wanting to go exclusively with Amazon. Philosophically, it represents a choice not to contribute to another big corporation’s attempt at monopolizing a given market.

A third option appears to be going with both. I read about this on the CreateSpace Community Forums. Many authors apparently publish on both venues to take advantage of Amazon’s higher royalty rates for its own authors, plus take advantage of sales to other eReader owners. Care must be taken in selecting sales channels on Smashwords, but it seems to be a popular way for authors to go.

So why am I blogging about eBooks? Am I going to publish an eBook edition of 5 Acres & A Dream The Book? Or perhaps upcoming Critter Tales? No, I tend to include a lot of photos. eBooks do best with text, so I will continue to publish my homestead books as paperbacks. What’s happened is, I have found myself researching this for a different author. I figured I might as make a record of what I’m learning and share it with others as well. So stay tuned for my take on what I find out.

A Chapter A Day

Not too long ago I blogged about a writing schedule for the book I’m working on. I was careful not to be overly ambitious at the time, and only made a schedule for what I as working on: gathering possible homestead blog posts for Critter Tales. Even though I successfully met that schedule, I confess that’s as far as I got concerning scheduling.

Something else writers do is set a goal of writing so many words per day. This is similar to how NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) works, challenging participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  That seems like a lot but I’ve read blog posts by participants who divide it into a daily goal. Spreading that 50,000 words out over 30 days means only 1666.66 words per day, which doesn’t seem so bad, does it? If one takes the weekends off, it would be more, but hopefully still a manageable goal.

For me, I’ve thought it might make sense to aim for a chapter a day, rather than a word amount. My chapters aren’t terribly long anyway, and keeping focused until the chapter is done really helps with my flow of thought and various ideas that pop into my head. So that’s my goal, a chapter a day.

At this point I don’t know how many chapters there will be, so I don’t know how long it will take me to get them all done. The chicken chapters are finished (I think) and almost all edited. The next step has been to compile them into a “Chicken Tales” section, after which I’ll recruit beta readers for feedback. I’ll do the same with the other sections as I get their various chapters done.

I have to say it helps having a goal. Summertime on the homestead is so busy that it’s far too easy to run out of day before running out of projects. But, as a wise man once said, by the inch it’s a cinch, by the yard it’s hard. I just have to make sure those inches keep adding up.

[UPDATE: July 26, 2014] Perhaps a whole chapter per day was a bit ambitious. Given the time I have available for writing each day, I’m finding it realistically takes more like 3 days. One to gather the blog posts, one to rewrite them, and one to do another go-over before sending it off to be proofread. Still, it’s a good goal and that’s good progress for me!]

blogtalkradio

Scott Terry, host of Christian Farm and Homestead Radio, has invited me to join him on the air tonight, Friday, July 11 from 8 to 10 pm (Eastern Time). We’re going to catch up on Dan’s and my latest homestead happenings, and talk about self-publishing a book. Please join us!

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/christian-farm-and-homestead/2014/07/12/leigh-tate-from-5-acres-and-a-dream

Afterwards, the show will be available download; just use the same link.