19 June 2014

Struggling to Get my Cover to Conform to the Smashwords Style Guide, building Coker's YouTube views up, and missing out on many sales but still providing Free Erotica, oh yeah!

The Cover in Question now 1,400 x 2,100+
I know it sounds like sour grapes, and maybe it is, but I think Smashwords cost me a lot of sales by first banning my beautiful cover with the dildo on the front and the guy rappeling down that psychotic silicone behemoth, and second by telling me my new cover wasn't wide enough. That meant that basically the entire first couple of days, when Smashwords hosts your book in the new releases section and it gets a ton of eyes on it, there was nothing for new readers' eyes to look at. No cover. They should either make their requirements clear or give you a second chance to get that book on new releases with an accepted cover. 

Their cover guidelines are crazy as are their TOC guidelines. KDP simply reads your Word TOC. Done. Smashwords, on the other hand, has an entire blog post of 23 paragraphs including one that says this:

Let's say you choose a width of 1,600 pixels.  If you want a 1.33 ratio, multiply 1,600 by 1.33 and you get a height of 2,128 pixels.  If you think that looks too short and squat, try 1.5.  Multiply 1,600 by 1.5 and you get a height of 2,400 pixels.  If you want 1.6, or 1.65, multiply by that.  Don't obsess too much over the ratio, though.  Focus on creating a cover that works best for your book.
The Original Cover
Censored for Nudity

What? Come again?

Their TOC guidelines, section 20 of the Smashwords Style Guide (which needs to be downloaded) tells you use NCX (what's that?) or follow this YouTube video (ch-ching -- watch my YouTube views fly up to the moon!). I feel like I'm following scammy, spammy internet marketing. Whatever, Mark Coker! I loved Smashwords. It was easy, it had a great dashboard, it was fair, but the other companies have caught up and you guys are getting bogged down. Perhaps the intentions are good and you are spread too thin trying to please too many companies, but something is amiss right now. It shouldn't take 3-4 tries to get a cover uploaded. It's making Amazon KDP look sensible! Imagine that! And Smashwords look picky. How things have changed over a year. 

I really hope that Smashwords gets its act together again because when it runs smoothly it really is quite a resource. 

too bad you can't use a gif cover



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