An Update on Self-Publishing: the Untold Story

Very late one night, just a couple of days ago, I spat out a little post entitled “Self Publishing: the Untold Story“, on the various tiny, but frustrating issues that can arise when uploading our little masterpieces to the big distributor/retailer actors in the field like Amazon, IBooks and Smashwords.  I didn’t even mention Barnes & Noble who I can’t deal directly with as I’m not a US resident with a US Bank account even though I’ve jumped through the hoops of getting a US tax identity and number (and sending W-8BEN forms to all and sundry).

Where I’d left off, I’d managed to satisfy Smashwords Autovetter after making a few changes to font size etc and repairing the first set of likely ePubCheck errors to do with the Table of Contents with the help of Smashwords suggestion – underlining the very good reasons to follow Smashwords free Style Guide AND to the letter – but was waiting for approval from Smashwords to get BEGINNINGS: Where A Life Begins (Tales of Survival and Revenge) into its Premium Catalog list and this required passing the ePubCheck without any errors coming up.


No clear information is given on what the errors in your ePub file are but at least they send you in the right direction.   First you go to an ePubCheck Validation website at  and at least it lists the errors that it found. Some people get hundreds, but I had just the one but all of these errors are not described in any language that ordinary human being might understand… just a long string of letters, numbers and symbols, but you know how many errors you have and smashwords does give some more help on what some of them might mean … and so it was for my one and it turned out to be that one of the images (maps) I’d used was  in a corrupted file and I had some instructions on how to fix it.  Finally it worked!

But I thought: “This cannot be over yet!” It wasn’t as days passed and I had a reply there were some issues to do with on-screen changes to fonts not matching standard styles .. I persevered and this morning received “premium status approval” to the acclamation of a zen bhuddist priest (the sound of one hand clapping).

Wonderful! But I have a couple of days until the “release date” and continue to search for typo’s etc… and I found a couple.  So I have to get premium catalog approval YET AGAIN. Thankfully a very helpful Smashwords staffmember said he would “fast track” any new version I submitted! Hallelujah!  There is a God!

Of course, I’m not the only one who’s gone thru this: but it is do-able!


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