Adventures in ePublishing #2

   When I considered writing a blog to draw attention to my books, I also decided to share my experiences in ePublishing. Unlike Kindle and Nook, which I discussed in the post, “Adventures in e-Publishing,” Apple and others depend on iBookstore aggregators, among whom are Smashwords and LuLu. I chose Smashwords because their instructions seemed at the time to be more complete.

Because Smashwords services varied devices (Sony, Kobo, Diesel …) in addition to the iBookstore, they reconfigure the input into a standard format through what they term to be a meat grinder (autovetter). I think we author’s are the ones put through the meat grinder.

Smashwords editing involves a two step process to forward the manuscript to the retailers.

Their motto “your book your way” applies only to reviewing it and placing it for sale on Smashwords. To make it available for iPad and other online publishers, it must pass a second review before being awarded the “Premium Catalog status. Premium books are automatically forwarded to major online retailers, such as Apple.


        After establishing an account, go to dashboard (settings) – select book, select image.


  1. Fonts must be either Arial or Times New Roman – I prefer Arial.
  2. Font size cannot exceed 18pt. I use 16 for the title, everything else 12.
  3. Every chapter in Table of Contents (TOC) must be bookmarked and hyperlinked to TOC.
  4. For the cover and title page, the Book Title must match precisely. Below is what I used for one title page and copyright. The Smashwords Editions License Notes are from their instructions. Personally, they would turn me off. But then I don’t expect to sell many books through Smashwords, however, it would be foolish to overlook the tens of millions who own these devices.


Druids, Celts, and Romans

Book One of the Irish-American Story


James Francis Smith


Copyright 2004 Text James Francis Smith

Copyright 2004 Illustrations Sean Judy


Smashwords Edition, License Notes.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


  1. Regarding the cover, too much white space is frowned upon, and must be cropped because this could be viewed on Sony and similar small screens. Therefore, I initially create the cover in MS Word, insert the image, type the title and author name then under Edit choose “select all” before saving the file – I number them so I know which is my latest. This is the file I choose when I open MS Paint to edit the cover and save it as JPG.
  2. The cover must be a vertical rectangle with the length and width at least 1400 x 1820 pixels. Pixels can be assigned in MS Paint by selecting “image” then “attributes.”
  3. I select and center the image in MS Paint, then select “Image”, “stretch and skew.” I increase the 100% in horizontal and vertical in increments. For example, I may change the horizontal to 110% and the Vertical to 125%. Check to see how much white space is remaining and keep increasing them incrementally until I fill the white space. Then, I save it as (file name.JPG) in MS Word.
  4. Now I’m ready to submit it. I open Smashwords, select “Dashboard,” then “settings under operations,” click “upload new image” and select my JPG file, then upload new image.
  5. Apple insists on having an ISBN number, which Smashwords furnishes for free.
  6. As explained above, the book then needs to be reviewed for the Premium Catalog before it can be submitted to the major online retailers, such as Apple. This process takes about a week.


If you plan to ePublish, I wish you well. Don’t be discouraged. There are times you bend to the wishes of others. Under the TOC “Seven Days Battle” in The Civil War’s Valiant Irish, I had listed, for information purposes only, the various engagements for that engagement in the TOC. Smashwords insisted they be hyperlinked. So much for “my book my way.” I thought this would be overkill, however, to finally get the book eligible for the Premium Catalog, I eliminated the engagements from the TOC. Therefore, my iBookstore version differs from that submitted to Kindle and Nook. Such is life.


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