The buzz used to be that the best place to publish your ebook was Smashwords, as they would rapidly and faithfully push your book to the big retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Sony, but it seems that the company has been damaged by its own success, which has made them slow to respond (if you can get support at all) and sloppy in their practices. I originally began publishing Night is a Shadow Cast By the World at Smashwords, expecting to let them distribute it to all the aforementioned channels, but I quickly ran into a few hitches with the epubs that Smashwords’s notorious Meatgrinder produced, such as:
- inability to set the text on a page labelled “Part One” down slightly from the top of the page; it turns out that the Meatgrinder uses the Calibre engine (if you dissect the resulting epub, you’ll find styles named “Calibre1,” “Calibre2,” etc.) to convert files to various formats, and Calibre by default invokes a TOC entry for and inserts a page break immediately before certain terms, as defined in their Xpath expressions: “chapter|book|section|part|prologue|epilogue”; Calibre allows you to refine these choices; Meatgrinder does not. After a ton of experimentation (17 uploads, conversions, and test downloads from Smashwords) I solved this issue by converting the words “Part One” into a graphic element. See, spammers do have something to teach us.
- consistent insertion of a blank page in front of every page break when the epub is viewed on an iOS device like an iPhone and iPad. The book has 56 chapters, which means iOS readers would be required to perform 56 superfluous screen swipes to get through the book – unacceptable.
Thanks for the email. I took a look at your book and everything looks great. I went in and approved your book! 🙂
It took awhile, but Smashwords eventually came through. Thanks, Raylene!