At a writers' group the other evening, the question came up of Smashwords versus Amazon's Kindle store as places to post one's writing. As a Libra, I was happy to tell them it isn't an either/or question. I've self-published three collections of short stories, and I put them up at Smashwords AND Amazon. Here's why:
A lot of people look no further than Amazon for their e-reading material, so it's a good idea to place your work there. Amazon has applications (apps) for most, if not all, reading devices including Kindle for PC, which emulates a Kindle reader on a regular computer screen. The downside is, self-published authors cannot, at this time, issue discount coupons or offer their books for free at Amazon.
Smashwords will format what you upload to them and offer it for a multitude of reading devices, including the Kindle. If you're very careful with formatting your master document, you can choose to send your book through a variety of sales channels. It can take a while for your book to work its way through the channels and into these other stores, which is why it's a good idea to publish directly on Amazon as well as on Smashwords.
Although your agreement with Amazon says you cannot offer your book for less anywhere else, you CAN offer discount coupons for up to 100% off at Smashwords. So, if you want to give something away as a prize at no cost to yourself, you can generate a coupon code at Smashwords and point the winner to that version of your book.
Amazon has a link to complete instructions on formatting something for them here .
Smashwords has instructions here.
For more information, you can read my posts on the subject:
Finally, I chose to publish DRM disabled. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. By disabling this encoding, I leave myself open to piracy, but I also leave my work open to text-to-speech technology, making it accessible to everybody.
If you'd like to take a gander at the books in their different settings, here are the links:
Marian--or MA, as she is known through email--or MomGoth, as she is known on Yahoo--writes fantasy/sf, mysteries, humor, mainstream, romance and anything else that doesn't run too fast for her to catch it. She invites you to visit her at her blog/website, Marian Allen.