Other Places to Find Good Books: Smashwords

This is an informal series. 

Part 1: Kobo
Part 2: Barnes & Noble, Google, Apple Books
Part 3: Ask an AI
Part 4: Smashwords
Part 5: Subscription Services
Part 6: Fiction Apps
Part 7: BookFunnel & StoryOrigin
Part 8: Book Bundlers

A lot of readers overlook buying from Smashwords, because it seems to be an indie-author-centric site.  The logo is written with indie authors in mind, and authors who upload their book to Smashwords can also have Smashwords distribute their book to other book retailers.

But Smashwords is a retail bookstore, too, and anyone can buy books from there.

Why would you want to?

A few reasons.

  1. No censorship

Smashwords has always maintained that creative freedom means not shutting down or putting into a ghetto books with content that others might find objectionable.

You can search on Smashwords and know that every book that matches your search criteria, no matter what its category or content, will show up in your search results.

If you like super scalding romances, for example, you can find them there.  Erotic romances aren’t pushed behind an invisible barrier where you can’t discover them.

  1. All indie and nothing else.

Smashwords publishes all indie titles and that’s it.  There are no New York published or traditionally published books in their store, so you won’t get the same, tired top 20 covers that you see everywhere else.

That, combined with their lack of censorship, makes the store a great place to find books you won’t find (easily) anywhere else.

  1. Easy Interface and No Advertisements.

The Smashwords store looks a little basic and somewhat old fashioned, and it hasn’t gone through a serious user interface update in decades. 

Conversely, that makes it very simple to navigate and drill down to a book that really interests you.  

Plus, there are no advertisements, or “sponsored” results, so authors who can’t afford to buy places in your search results will show up in your search results anyway.

You don’t get two dozen other cover flashing at you when you’re looking at a book, either.

  1. Smashwords-only special deals and sales.

Smashwords runs its own deals and discounts, and they are easy to find–they’re right there on the front page. 

There’s alos the “Books on Sale” count at the top left of the home page — this is a clickable link that will give you every book in the store with a reduced price.

Smashwords was bought by Draft2Digital last year, which means that in the last year, a lot more indie authors have put their books into the Smashwords store. 

Have a browse of the store.  It’s an interesting place.


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