Course description

Smashwords is the fast way to publish everywhere that is not Amazon. But it's not for everyone.

Allow me to explain...

First, you should publish in Amazon Kindle format via KDP. Kindle eBooks are where you'll find most of your readership and therefore generate the most revenue. If you haven't already published via KDP, stop reading now and check out my course entitled "Publishing on Kindle: Self-publishing eBooks on Amazon KDP".

Second, you should publish in Print on Demand (POD) paperback format via CreateSpace. If you haven't already done so, stop reading now and check out my course titled "Publishing on CreateSpace: Self-publishing Books on Amazon".

Third, I recommend that you enroll in the KDP Select program to generate more revenue on Amazon Kindle eBooks through the KU and KOLL lending programs and to take advantage of promotional opportunities only made available to members of this program. Entering the KDP Select program requires that you publish your eBooks exclusively with Amazon and therefore do not publish on Smashwords.

If you have already 1) Published via KDP, 2) Published via CreateSpace and 3) chosen not to enter the KDP Select program, this course is for you.

This is the final step. Now that you've published on Amazon, use Smashwords to publish everywhere else. Smashwords will transform your Microsoft Word formatted document to the appropriate formats required by several eBook readers (e.g. ePub, MOBI, PDF ...) and then distribute your book for sale at all the non-Amazon eBook distributors (e.g. Apple iBook store, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd ...).

In this course you'll learn everything you need to publish via Smashwords. You'll learn:

  1. What Smashwords is an how it works.
  2. How to format your manuscript for publication via Smashwords.
  3. How to upload your manuscript for publication via Smashwords.
  4. How to monitor sales and modify your book.

So, if you're ready to publish everywhere that is not Amazon, I'm ready to show you how.


What Students Will Learn:

  • Understand what Smashwords is and how it works
  • Determine whether Smashwords publishing is for you
  • Learn to format your manuscript for Smashwords publication
  • Learn to upload your manuscript for Smashwords publication


  • Microsoft Word 2013 to format you manuscript
  • Web browser to upload your manuscript for publication
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 to create a book cover (optional)
  • Free GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to create a book cover (optional)

Target Students:

  • Any self-published author who has 1) published via KDP, 2) published via CreateSpace and 3) chosen not to enter the KDP Select program

Course curriculum

  • 2
    Formatting Your Manuscript for Publication using Microsoft Word 2013
    • Download the Smashwords Style Guide
    • Configuring Your Word Environment
    • Displaying Formatting Characters
    • Replacing Problematic Characters
    • Modifying the Normal and Header Styles
    • Clearing All Previous Style Formatting (Optional)
    • Applying the Header Styles
    • Formatting Separators
    • Configuring the Page Layout
    • Adding a Smashwords Standard Title Page
    • Smashwords Standard Title Page
    • Adding a Table of Contents
    • Reviewing and Saving Your Work
  • 3
    Creating a Book Cover
    • GIMP for Beginners: Book Covers and Free Graphic Design
    • Book Cover Design with Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
  • 4
    Publishing Your Book
    • Title and Synopsis
    • Pricing and Sampling
    • Categorization, Tags and eBook Formats
    • Upload Your Cover and Manuscript and Publish Your Book
  • 5
    Monitoring and Modifying Your Book
    • Getting Approved for the Premium Catalog
    • Using the Author Dashboard

Meet your instructor!

Brian Jackson
Author, Publisher and Educator

I was born the middle of the last century in Los Angeles, California.  

After moving for a time to the Silicon Valley, I graduated from Humboldt State University amid the redwoods of Northern California.

Two weeks after graduation I was working as a computer systems programmer for Lockheed Missiles and Space (LMSC) back in the Silicon Valley.  Two months after that and I was married as I have been happily  ever since (for 38 years).

After 14 years at Lockheed I moved from working on IBM mainframes to using PCs running the Unix operating system and encountered a thing called the Internet.  Cisco Systems seemed to be the right place to work, so I joined the company as their 650th employee.  Eleven years later Cisco had grown to over 20,000 employees.

I retired at the age of 48 and instantly became bored!

Throughout my professional career I'd always enjoyed both writing and providing technical training.  So, I attended creative writing classes at my local junior college and began to write.

I managed to write and self-publish a handful of books, but things didn't take off until my wife, Melanie Jackson, an established author with a New York company, left traditional publishing to join me in self-publishing.

In 8 years, from 2010 to now, Melanie and I have made half-a-million dollars self-publishing well over 100 books.  I also managed to record a pair of audiobooks for Amazon and Audible sale.

By 2014, our rapid rise to Kindle fame had already dwindled.  I decided to pursue my second passion of giving training presentations.

Since 2014 I've published over 40+ online video training courses for training sites such as Udemy and SkillShare. My goal is to provide low cost high quality screen cast based educational material focusing on my areas of expertise; namely, self-publishing and book cover design using the GIMP.  I continue to expand my video training catalog while focusing some energy on resurrecting our flagging book sales using various marketing techniques.  Finally, I spend a portion of my time maintaining both my website and my wife’s website, which was developed using WordPress.

I currently live in the beautiful California wine country with my lovely wife and Butterscotch the cat.

I'll see you in the classroom,


Take this course today!

"Self-Publish a SmashWords eBook: Non-Amazon Self-publishing"

Bundles including this course!