I'm terribly tickled that Smashwords was the first website that I chose to dig into for this crazy, self-publishing mission I'm on. Though there was a lot to consider, the site has a very helpful publishing guide as well as a follow-up marketing guide.
After that, tackling Amazon's system was a bit easier. I had already gone through the process and, despite a considerable lack of reassurance from the site, I felt confident plunking my work into the interwebs ether.
Next I tried my hand in the whole Create Space world. It was a different tangle of snakes, in that it was dealing with a printed copy of the book. I'm still untangling that coil of serpents.
And now, PubIt. Or is it "PubIt!" Gotta include that exclamation mark! This site reminds me of YouTube ... just feels like anyone could throw anything up there without any consideration. Didn't come across any style-guides, didn't see any introductory videos, no little pop-up message patting me on the back for a job well done. In all honesty, I didn't go looking for them, but when you're dealing with something as important to one's self as publishing a manuscript that you've poured blood, sweat and caffeine into, you'd like the website to be a little upfront with making sure you've done what you're supposed to do.
I think the only pat about PubIt that's preventing the world from throwing up every bit of typed prose to ever land on a computer monitor is that you have to link your account to a bank account. You know, for all that money flowing in! (Side note: this author has made less than $20 after having a book available for two weeks. The money does NOT quickly flow in. Be prepared for that.)
I guess that I would expect, when dealing with a service where my work is going to be available on a website with "Barnes and Noble" in big letters at the top, that they'd be a bit more upfront with the how-to's and the why-for's. Or perhaps it is their intention to use the vagueness of the system to screen out the pansies and those faint-of-heart. Or, a third idea, maybe this is all part of the internet revolution and the doors are flung wide for any and all to see and be seen!
As a web-designer and programmer by trade, it's more likely they just didn't put together as good a site as they could have.
The struggle continues.
*follow-up - this addition to the post was entered four hours after the original post.
My bad! PubIt DOES give you a style guide ... AFTER you've uploaded a file.
No reason I could think of to want some sort of layout guide BEFORE I created, converted and uploaded a file. Nope.
First, the PubIt uploader wouldn't accept that I had uploaded a file. It just didn't want to accept my .doc file. Now, to be fair, the .doc file was created in OpenOffice ... could that be why?
Anyhow, I just converted the file into an EPUB file using an online conversion tool and uploaded that instead. Of course, every time I tried to upload a new file type, the PubIt uploader page would forget my book description, key words and author bio, so I had to input those each time. It remembered all the other info I input, including my cover image, so not sure why this particular data was kicked out.