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The Fight Against Smashwords’ Meatgrinder

Book Fight


Finally I can say that Silent Sound is going to be available via retailers like Apple, Barnes and Nobles and Sony before long! Which means I won the dirty fight against the terrible monster Smashwords likes to call ‘the Meatgrinder’…

To those of you that don’t know, Smashwords is an ebook distributor, and in order for them to ship a book to their retail partners, it has to meet certain criteria. And that would be fine, if it wasn’t for one thing: The Meatgrinder.

The Meatgrinder is the automated process Smashwords puts your book through. They make you upload a Word document and the Meatgrinder cuts it into pieces and spits it out in all the different ebook formats. In theory, it should be a very time-saving process, but that’s not actually the case. Apparently, the conversion makes several mistakes appear, none of which could be found anywhere in the original document (I study IT, I know how to test for hidden errors, and I really couldn’t find them!).

The most prominent problem was the ePub. My Word document had the same paragraph formatting through the entire book. The ePub the Meatgrinder spit out did not. Every once in a while, a paragraph would have a different font size and I still can’t figure out how that happened…

But I won’t bore you with the details of this fight. All I will say is that I now have about 15 different versions of the Smashwords file of Silent Sound on my computer, and that’s almost how many new uploads it took for me to get it through their check.

The good news is that it now won’t be long before you can get an ebook copy of Silent Sound, even if you don’t shop at Amazon or directly at Smashwords!

To see all the places you can purchase Silent Sound, check out this post

3 thoughts on “The Fight Against Smashwords’ Meatgrinder

  1. […] On beyond Kindle: register with Smashwords, one of the largest promoters and distributors of ebook publications focused on new and upcoming authors…and is likewise free. They will distribute your ebooks to all other major sellers except Kindle: Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Flipkart, Oyster, the Diesel eBook Store, Baker & Taylor’s Blio, Axis360, and more. Smashwords also offers three excellent (and free) ebooks to help the novice: The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, and Smashwords Style Guide. Very useful information applicable to any ebook author, even if he or she doesn’t subscribe to Smashwords itself. They will at the very least give you an excellent idea of what’s involved with ebook self-publishing. Better yet: Smashwords handles all the adjustments required for the various ebook formats out there, via their innovative, online “meatgrinder.” All you need do is compose your ebook in MS Word document mode. (On the downside, read “The Fight Against Smashwords’ Meatgrinder.”) […]

  2. Meatgrinder is a pretty offputting name for an editing tool! I found it pretty hard to get my e book through it too – in the end I still had mistakes, but I got sick of checking for them.

    1. Yes, it’s a rather violent sounding name!
      My first two e-books went through without too many problems, but with this one I had to give up for a few weeks and take a break. Otherwise, I think I might have thrown my laptop out the window and that’s just counterproductive…

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