Last night, I published my first manuscript to the Smashwords Meatgrinder, and it entered the queue at #8368. That's right #8368. It's been about 12 hours, and I'm currently at #2274. That's a heck of a lot of manuscripts.
The manuscript we chose for the maiden voyage was a 3,500-word short story called "A Certain Doorway," and the manuscript package included a cover, a title page, the story, an "about the story" feature, sneak previews for two novels, and a "find me" page, so the package included images, a linked table of contents and links to social media sites.
For those of you doing DIY, here's a time breakdown for getting the story ready to go.
2 Hours choosing art elements and designing the cover
2 Hours writing/choosing bonus material and formatting it
6 Hours formatting the package meticulously to the Smashwords Style Guide
So after roughly 10 hours of work, I had a short story/promo package ready to go. I expect the time to be less the next few go arounds, because now we've got the basics down for Photoshop and formatting and are more easily able to make sure we've got all the right file formats ready to go.
Cost? So far, zip. The short story was previously published in Black October Magazine, so there was no copy editing. The cover image was a freebie from my Deposit Photo's trial. We designed the cover ourselves using Photoshop. My significant other hammered out the formatting to the style guide while I watched.
Now we just have to wait to see if there's anything wonky in the finished product before we publish the next three story packages to Smashwords and move on to the Kindle formatting. I'll be back to tell you how it went. I'm at #2249!