About the author...

MWhere I’ll be:M

Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230

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I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

My Work Will No Longer be Available on Smashwords

I regret to announce that as of this date, my work will no longer be available on Smashwords.

This is due to the steamroller effect of requiring an absolute and inflexible adherence to what are given as guidelines, but in fact constitute a set of rigid rules covering all aspects of book design and layout. The last straw for me was when the layout of the copyright page was made mandatory, in some way that’s not even well defined. Apparently, the exact wording and layout must be followed, with nothing changed except, presumably, the author’s name and the copyright year.

I will find a way to make my work available to ereaders that are not equipped to handle PDFs (for the record, I think PDFs should be the officially adopted standard for all ereaders forever), but in the meantime, email me for details regarding availability of a PDF of the book you would like to read.

2 comments to My Work Will No Longer be Available on Smashwords

  • Hey Levi,

    I think you’re misinterpreting the guidelines. There are the requirements for publishing at Smashwords, which are minimal and common sense as outlined in our Terms of Service. And then there are the requirements for inclusion in our Premium Catalog, which is what we ship to major online retailers. We require that an author firmly state their copyright, so we want the copyright statement to say something to the effect of, “Copyright 2009 Levi Montgomery,” and not, as many authors are prone to do, simply, “by authorname”.

    Beyond that, there are optional suggestions for fast tracking such as to state “Smashwords Edition,” or “Published by Authorname at Smashwords,” but at a minimum all we require for the copyright page is:

    Book title
    Copyright Author Name

    The requirements for formatting and layout are to help your book look the best possible across all the multiple ebook formats and ebook reading devices. We also require a book cover image, and that the book be well formatted. For novels, PDF is generally a horrible format because it doesn’t easily allow for reflowable text. The two most important ebook formats, EPUB (used by B&N and Sony) and MOBI (used by Amazon) support reflowable text.

    The full requirements for Premium Catalog inclusion are documented here: http://www.smashwords.com/distribution
    .-= Mark Coker´s last undefined ..(Enjoy 10 returned posts for Christmas) =-.

    • Mark,

      First, I should say that I do not hold either you or Smashwords directly responsible, rather that it is simply an unfortunate aspect of the ebook world as it exists today. Having said that, though, I should also point out that the copyright pages of the works that had been accepted, and were showing up in such places as Barnes and Noble, were identical to the ones that were turned down in all respects except actual titles and dates, nor did I ever receive any specific feedback as to what the problem was.

      The greater issue is the loss of formatting and layout in general. I have no doubt that one of the early casualties of the movable-type revolution was page layout, including typefaces, sizes, headers, footers, etc, and that there was a flattening of the appearance of books for some time. As the market for these newfangled machine-made books, and the technologies serving that market, matured, these aspects of book design came back into ascendancy until the books created became worthy of comparison to the best book made by the monks and their dip quills.

      I can only hope (and believe) that the market for ebooks, and the technologies serving that market, will undergo a similar growth, but until I can create a PDF and have it translated into the various ebook formats such that the pages appear on the reader’s screen exactly as they left mine, I will not be publishing any more works as ebooks.

      Levi