You’d think that if someone’s smart enough to write a book, they’re smart enough to follow through intelligently. Let’s get that out of the way right now. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to write a book. Anybody can do it. That’s why there’s such a flood of crap being published on the internet. If all writers were smart, we wouldn’t find stuff like the following:
Marketing is Icky
Well, not in so many words, but close enough. An opinion of an “author” who’s finishing up the writing of his book and getting ready to publish. Maybe someone was careless about the exact words to use, but if this person is just finishing the writing, he’s nowhere ready to start preparing for publication. There’s a teeny, tiny step he still needs to take. It’s called editing and revision. But he also plans to sell a million books without making any further effort than publishing. Because marketing is so — you know — distasteful.
Don’t Read the Instructions
Why bother to read the publishing guidelines, information about formatting, etc.? It’s probably just intended to stifle your creativity. Here’s Smashwords’ easy-to-read, easy-to-understand paragraph on what they will and won’t accept. “Smashwords publishes only original and legal works, direct from the author or the exclusive digital publisher. We do not publish public domain books. We also don’t publish incomplete or partial books, or books that appear elsewhere on the Internet under other authors’ names, as is common with Private Label Rights scams. If you write erotica, all your characters must be adults.”
But people will insist on using Smashwords to serialize a novel, which, fairly often, is for sale on some other site. Is it simple chicanery? Sometimes, but sometimes there’s also obvious stupidity involved. The latest serializer wants to introduce readers to her novel. But the 5% sample that she offers is just one page, and that page is devoted entirely to explaining why she’s doing the serializing.
Do it Your Way
Use any font you want. Format however it pleases you. And then when readers complain because your self-published book looks like a refugee from some literary amateur hour or is just plain unreadable, you can blame it on the publisher or the software.