I graduated from a small college and now teach at a small school and live in an even smaller town. I married my high school sweetheart and have one child with him. I like the simple life and feeling comfortable with whom I am dealing with.
I graduated with high honors from that college, teach at a school where I am considered one of their finest teachers, and I know nearly all the parents of the children I teach. I have been married to my husband for more than 30 years and would change very little of it (a miscarriage and a bout with Lyme disease, I could have lived without), and my daughter is a beautiful, kind, intelligent and creative young lady. Even my dogs are smaller than their breed is expected to be. (Their parents were huge, but somehow it didn't translate.) But they have so much heart and loyalty, that they're bigger in what counts than any dog on the block.
That is why I chose to publish my ebook (and future books) with Smashwords. I knew I was coming in on the ground floor of greatness. It keeps growing, and I know I am going to grow with it. Sure I probably gave up the power of the big boys by not going with Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but Smashwords felt right to me. I wanted small, where I feel good about the people I am depending on. I wanted to gain expertise as I went along, and I wanted to see the bones behind the operation. That's what I get with Smashwords.
I checked out Kindle and Barnes & Noble, but I found contract obligations where I wanted author-centered philosophy. Limitation where I wanted possibility, and a tight grip where I wanted ease of use and access. Certainly paper publishers have that greater experience which should not be scoffed at; it's what made them great. Those large distributors did not get this big by ignoring change; they
will catch up, regroup and adapt to the power authors now can have. But at Smashwords, Mark Coker is already looking at publishing and distribution with a fresh view. Smashwords was developed to build the relationship between author and distributor with the future of electronic publishing in mind rather than the process that was successful in the past. I am at the start of my writing career, whatever depth of success I am likely to earn, and I think I am going to feel a whole lot better rising with the tide with Smashwords, learning how to swim in this publishing and distribution ocean with them.
I have bought numerous paper books from Bantam, Dell, Tor, Ace, Daw, Del-Rey, etc., etc., and I would have loved to be published by them. I now own a Sony reader and read, almost exclusively, ebooks. So here I am in the age of the e-book with the opportunity to publish my writing. I can do that with Smashwords.
See Mark Coker's "Smashwords Year in Review 2011" blog post for all the other reasons why I think Smashwords is right for me.