Smashwords or Createspace?Some have noticed that I’ve used CreateSpace and Kindle instead of Smashwords to publish my novel SEETHINGS through. Why did I? Smashwords has much to offer authors… and it has a way cooler name!

To be honest, it’s been so long since I chose CreateSpace I can’t remember all the finer details of why. These are the facts I remember.

  1. Distribution Channels
  2. Hard Copy AND Ebook Versions
  3. Simple One Click Conversions From Hard Copy to Ebook  

Distribution Channels:

At the time when I was selecting a publisher, Smashwords only distributed Ebooks. They did this through their site and no other. That meant authors like me had to find our audience and then steer prospective customers Smashword’s way to buy our products. ‘Who the hell is Smashwords?’ most friends would ask me. At the time, no one had heard of them. No one had accounts with them. I felt like they were heading in the right direction – and they’d really struck a chord with authors who felt Amazon needed some fierce competition. Unfortunately, the readers didn’t have confidence with Smashwords and knew only of Amazon. They were most comfortable with that brand. Not all readers wanted to chance their credit card number with an unknown company.


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Createspace is a subsidiary of Amazon. Once you’re in the Createspace Catalogue, you’re automatically in the Amazon Library. When you’re in the Amazon Library, you’re in all the retail catalogues too. Smashwords didn’t have links to anyone’s catalogue but their own.

Hard Copy And Ebook versions: 

This was the clincher for me. Smashwords was and still is built around promoting Ebooks. They don’t produce good old fashioned, no batteries required, smelly-paged books. They are of the digital age. That’s nice but I wanted a hard copy option too. The average age of my readers is still above tech savvy teens and twenty-somethings. My readers are older. They savour each sentence, enjoying every morsel they offer, washing their plates afterwards, carefully placing their dishes rather, their books, in their personal libraries at home. They are proud traditionalists. At the very least, my readers pour themselves a nice Shiraz, turn off the TV,  curl their toes and bite their nails at the more intense passages of any good book. Digital books just don’t do it for them.

Simple One Click Conversions from Hard Copy to Ebook.

I reserve the right to swing both ways. I’m not just an author and an older reader, I’m one of those tech-savvy older readers. I don’t mind reading from a screen. E-books are convenient for flights and other forms travel for me and for other readers like me. Writing a book is a pretty intense process. After the writing, re-writing, proofing, editing, re-writing, proofing, editing, re-rewriting, technical editing, beta-reader-testing, re-writing, the narrative checked one last time and the text is formatted for a 7×5 inch-ish book with gutters, footers, margins and indents in place, the last thing I wanted to think about was how to convert it to a different version of book. I was virtually drowning in words and technology by this stage, almost unable to hold my breath! I saw the feature on CreateSpace that said ‘Press this to convert to an E-book’ and I said to myself, ‘YES! Thank you! There must be a God out there!’

I believe authors must accept change. Digital books won’t go away. They will increase in popularity with time. While the current, older generation clings to paper, there will be generations to come that will only know of virtuality.

I clicked that conversion icon and BOOM, my book was instantly ready for Kindle, Ipad, Kobo, and you-name-it-E-books. I breathed and sucked in some lovely life-giving oxygen and smiled a broad smile. One touch and it was all done. And don’t forget, that version goes out to the same channels the hard copy goes to, side by side, on the same page!


As far as I can recall, Smashwords costed less than CreateSpace to set up and sell books through… but back then (4 years ago) they weren’t connected to Kindle either. I understand that they have the Kindle channels on their side now, a tonne of author titles on offer and amended the pricing structure through all that change. (Of course, you’ll have to check it yourself to be sure.)

So that’s the deal for those wanting to know why I chose CreateSpace over Smashwords.

Now go to my site, order yourself a nice delectable copy of SEETHINGS, eat some fine-dining words and indulge a little by curling toes and drinking wine. Go on, you know you want to!

-Michael Forman (author)

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Order 
SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman“You’ll be glued to the pages right to the very end. A very intense psychological story with twists and turns when you least expect them. A very good novel. Well done Mister Forman.” – Peter Elvison



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Smashwords or CreateSpace for book publishing? was originally published on MICHAEL FORMAN AUTHOR

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