Smashwords is an e-book-distribution platform based in Los Gatos, California. It is designed to be used by independent authors and publishers, and has been going since 2008. Self-published authors like me simply upload their manuscripts as electronic files to the Smashwords service, which converts them into e-book format for reading on various devices.

Smashwords allows writers to appeal directly to readers without having to deal with gatekeepers such as agents and editors. Smashwords was the first ebook aggregator I used to publish my books, and they will always have a special place in my heart.

Since those early days I have experimented with various ways to get my books to readers, and I now use Draft2Digital which distributes to Amazon for my book aggregation needs, but my books are still there on Smashwords, and I still get emails from them.

Today’s email from Samshwords offered me the chance to enroll for their annual Read an Ebook Week promotion. Apparently, Read an Ebook Week brings together ebook retailers, publishers, authors, device-makers and untold thousands of readers in an international literary event of ebook discovery. Read an Ebook Week has a Facebook page, where authors have started to congregate to get peiople to notice their books. I will undoubtedly be one of them in due course.

The promotion starts tomorrow, March 4, 2018, when for one week only, thousands of Smashwords authors will participate in an exclusive store-wide sale. Participating books are promoted on the Smashwords home page and throughout the Smashwords store. For the one week only, authors offer thousands of original ebooks at deep discounts to encourage book lovers around the globe to give ebooks a try.

Readers can browse the catalog and search by coupon code levels and categories. The sale price is only available on Smashwords, and does not impact the price at any other retailers. The sales runs from this Sunday through end of day Saturday. It goes live at one minute past midnight on March 4 Pacific time to be precise, and expires 11:59pm on March 10.

The idea is that by harnessing their collective promotional power, participating authors, publishers and retailers see large spikes in traffic and downloads during the week. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

There is still skepticism about ebooks in some circles, including the CEO of one of the world’s largest book publishers, who thinks ebooks are stupid. So, even though this event was dreamed up way back when ebooks were a newfangled invention that many people had never heard of, there is still a need for it now.

I got another email as soon as I had enrolled, telling me that the more active my participation, the more I’ll get out of the promotion. They included some tips, including:

Telling me to promote my participation on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, my website, my blog, my favorite message boards and loops, LinkedIn, Google Plus and other social platforms, and provide a direct hyperlink to my author page. My author page link is here, so that is the first tip dealt with.

Next they suggest sharing buttons with readers, but they are hideous. I think this might be a better idea if a graphic designer were involved in the creation of these buttons at some point.

Of course, they also recommend that I use my private opt-in mailing list to promote my participation. In theory I could send out direct hyperlinks to my Smashwords book pages so the reader can easily add my books to their carts. Unfortunately, I haven’t even remotely started to put together a mailing list.

Oh well, even so, this promotion seems like a good idea to me, and I will be very interested to see what results it has on my sales. The sales my books generate directly through Smashwords are extremely low, so this promotion can only really be a good thing.

Read an Ebook Week is also registered with Chase’s Calendar of Events, which lends it a certain legitimacy. Chase’s Calendar of Events was started in 1957 by the Chase brothers. It includes special events, holidays, federal and state observances, historic anniversaries, and more unusual celebratory traditions. Along with Read an Ebook Week, Chase’s lists important events such as, International Kids’ Yoga Day, World Pangolin Day and National Unicycle Day.

Pangolins are extremely cute, by the way, and totally deserve their own day. They have large, protective keratin scales, live in hollow trees or burrows, are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long tongues. Pangolins are threatened by hunting and deforestation, which is sad.

Anyway, if you are too old for kids’ yoga, if you are frightened of wild animals, even ones as cute as the pangolin, or if your sense of balance is too bad to get on a unicycle, a more relaxing option might be to check out the deep discounts available on ebooks, thanks to Read an Ebook Week.

My books are being discounted by a whopping 50% for the week, and they are an excellent place to start. Visit my author page and get one of my books, or more than one, at a very considerable discount.

The chances are, of course, that Google has brought you to this page long after this promotion is already over, but you can still use the link below to buy one of my books.

Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy) Start Reading the Dark Galaxy Trilogy

The first book in the Dark Galaxy Trilogy, always the best place to start, is Galaxy Dog. It’s a little more old-school and fun than a lot of the sci-fi that is around at the moment. It has spaceships, robots, battles, and brave warriors rebelling against an evil empire. Click the book cover and go to the storefront you prefer to buy it now, or follow this link.

This is a universal book link (UBL) and you will be greeted with a page displaying all the places the book is available online. Just select the storefront you prefer and, if you want, also make this your default bookseller. From then on, every time you click a UBL you will be taken directly to the book you are interested in, on the storefront you prefer. The UBL even allows you to go to the Amazon store that matches your region.