Sales and Smashword Coupons

Each ebook has an official list price for every ebookstore.  But one online bookstore, Smashwords,   lets the publisher use “discount coupons” as an additional incentive to buy the ebook.  These discount coupons offer substantial savings off the regular price. Personville Press will provide  discount coupons for almost every Jack Matthews title, so you should check here first for the latest coupons.

Here’s the Personville Press page on Smashwords.  95% of the time, the coupon discount will be applied to the price and appear on the ebook page.

Current Coupon Codes

Dec 2018: Although I am continuing to use Smashwords coupons, I have changed where I will announce them.

Idiotprogrammer Litblog is now doing a weekly column, Robert’s Ebook Roundups .  I usually contain information about the latest Smashwords sale at the bottom of every post. .

Managing and converting ebook files

Here are some things you need to know about Smashwords. They don’t currently have a reading app, so you currently have to export the file into some reading application. (But note that Smashwords keeps these downloads for you, so you can re-download them any time). By the way, my expectation is that eventually Smashwords will offer a reading app (though not in the short term).

Another thing you will notice is that Smashwords sometimes offers the ebook in different file formats. The most common formats are .epub, .mobi (for Kindles) and .pdfs.  Generally all the Jack Matthews titles will have .epub files for downloading; occasionally it will offer .mobi files as well, but not PDFs (because it is not as flexible for various devices).  I produce .epub files because that is the most universal format and tends to offer the most formatting capabilities.

I do make .mobi files, but Smashwords doesn’t let me upload them separately. That’s ok because .epub files tend to be better anyway. If you need a .mobi file, then you should convert the .epub file to .mobi and then send the .mobi file directly to your device through   Kindle Personal Document service.

To convert the .epub file to .mobi, you have two options:

  1. download the Kindle Previewer to convert the files.  Try to use the Kindle Previewer 3 (beta or regular) if you can.
  2. Download Calibre ebook management software to do the conversion.

My personal preference as of 2016 is to download my .epub files into Dropbox and then upload them to Google Play Books. Once GPB has it, you can view the ebook in the GPB app on whatever device you have. I test my ebooks extensively in GPB and can report that they usually look excellent.

Incidentally, another great thing about Smashwords is that you can choose to save them directly in your Dropbox folder (usually inside a subdirectory called Apps –> Smashwords).