Introduction to Smashwords…

So over the weekend, I realize that I may have not done a very good job explaining one of the retail channels I selected to do business with. Being the biggest in the business, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are pretty much self explanatory. They’re forces of nature that you just accept you’ll do business with if you want to write and publish a book. Sure, you can work around them, but why would you want to?

The third retailer I opted to work with is Smashwords. Unless you have a deep abiding hatred of the big e-retailers or are a serious fan of independent writers, chances are you’ve never heard of them. Hopefully I allretailers can turn you around a bit on that, because I’ve found Smashwords to be a fantastic platform for the indy writer (translation: the author gets to keep a much larger percentage of every sale than they do with sales through other retailers).

Although they are a retailer in their own right, Smashwords biggest claim to fame is that they are large and growing ebook distributor. That means their primary mission in life is making indy works available to a wide variety of other retailers like Apple, Sony, Kobo, and others. This is a good thing because the goal, really, is to have your work available in as many places as possible in addition to the Big Two. More distribution channels means more opportunities for someone to see and hopefully buy your ebook… and that makes for a happy author.

From a reader’s perspective, Smashwords has a lot going for it too. Primarily, that’s because once you buy an ebook from them, you can download it in all of the major ereader formats. Whether you own a Nook, Kindle, or iPad, a Sony reader, something from Kobo, or you just want to read on your laptop or desktop, you can download your book in a format best suited for what device you’re currently using. It’s a great way to make sure your ebooks are not locked in to a specific device or proprietary format. While the e-reader market struggles to sort itself and its industry standards out, you’re safe from the impacts of format change and obsolescence. If you happen to be a voracious reader with a large e-library, that’s a very good thing.

So that’s my pitch by way of introducing everyone to Smashwords. If you’re looking for a read that’s not on the best seller list or have a itch for some of the great independent work out there today, give them a go. I’ve been very impressed with them as both a writer and a reader for the last year. If you’re in a clicking mood, feel free to check out The Cynic’s Guide on Smashwords and take a look around the site.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to tell you tonight that the moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. My first book, Nobody Told Me… The Cynic’s Guide for New Employees, is now available through three major retail partners – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

For the low, low introductory price of $2.99, you can enjoy (and critique) the fruits of my labor… so act now to lock in the introductory price before it goes up to full retail. Until I learn more about the printing side of this business, Nobody Told Me will be available as an ebook only.Cover

This has been a fantastic project and I’ve had a lot of help getting to this point – without naming names, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has had a hand in editing, provided material, or just let me talk though the ideas when I needed to. It would never have gotten done without your help.

To those of you who are considering laying down your hard earned money for this book, I want to thank you too – not just for supporting the notion that an independent writer has a shot at getting his work in front of people – but because you’re going to get a chance to look at the first edition. Even though it’s been through many, many cycles of editing I’m absolutely sure there are places where things can still be better. I want everyone to feel free to make recommendations, provide feedback, and have a hand in the process. I promise I won’t take it personally; not to mention once changes are made, you get to download the updates for free… and who doesn’t like free?

In conclusion, buy my book. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

P.S. Don’t forget to become a fan of my new “official” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/official.jeffrey.tharp,

It’s not a fad…

When I walked into the Toyota dealership’s waiting room this morning I took a quick lookie-loo at the dozen or so people sitting there trying not to make eye contact with one another. I’ve known for years that I’d be more or less lost without my iPad, but what I saw in that room legitimately surprised me. I counted two laptops, five iPads, one Kindle Fire, one Nook, one Android tablet of unspecified origin, one old guy reading an actual dead tree newspaper, and one lone soul actually watching whatever Saturday morning kid’s drivel they were showing on television. So out of a dozen people, eight were fully engaged with their tablets. Two years ago sitting in another Toyota dealership waiting for my truck my iPad was a curiosity and garnered plenty of questions. This morning, they were the rule rather than the exception. And that’s when I became well and truly convinced that the tablets aren’t going to be an electronic fad, but a legitimate way of the future.