As mentioned in a recent posting, I intend to use the pre-order process for my latest book 'Assassin'. For those of you completing a book for publication I can assure you that the process is fuss-free. The Smashwords forms guide you effortlessly to the point where you can release the book instantly, which historically has been the normal route for Smashwords, or you can set up a deferred date. All of the component parts - book, cover, blurb, etc need to be in place but you can go back and make edits before the release date if you need to. Personally I would recommend getting the book as right as you can before starting this step.
Irritatingly the pre-order only works on the stores Smashwords distributes to - Apple and Barnes & Noble being the most influential, but not at Smashwords itself. What this means is that you can accrue pre-orders at the main bookstores, but not at Smashwords itself.
Once you have submitted your work you will probably need to do the customary dance with Smashwords - I had to do a little reformatting again and the auto-Vetter kept telling me I hadn't uploaded a cover when I had, but all in all it was quite painless. As I've mentioned before, it's worth importing the whole novel into WordPad, then back into Word. This removes all formatting from your manuscript, including the odds and sods that Word inevitably introduces over the gestation of the book. As Assassin has been written over a seven year period it is likely that the original file was quite buggy. An hour reformatting sorted out the remaining issues. Be prepared for a delay in the book appearing, though. Assassin took about two days to appear at Barnes & Noble but a week to appear at the Apple store. Due to a backlog all new books are taking a lot longer at Kobe, perhaps due to the transfer of the Sony store. If a link appears before release I'll add it. The following links are to just one of the stores - you may need to search your own region to find the book locally.
Assassin is available to pre order at Barnes and Noble on this link
And Assassin is available to pre-order on iTunes at this link
What about Amazon? I hear you say. Good question, it seems that Amazon don't support 'self-service' pre-orders. If they want to set a book for pre-order they can, and I guess they do this for the bigger authors all the time, but for those of us hopefully on the way up, it's a no, I'm afraid. What this means is that I will have to wait until Assassin is released on the 1 May then upload the files to Amazon and CreateSpace - that may not happen until the weekend following the launch I'm afraid. If you want a Kindle version sooner, then I would recommend you pop along to my Smashwords page and buy a copy direct from them.
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