eBooks for Troops – Operation eBook Drop

Smashwords is a very well done eBook site, but (no offense to its creator Mark Coker), the only reason I joined was to support Ed Patterson’s excellent program, Operation eBook Drop. I highly recommend it for all of my fellow authors and hope that my friends and family that are deployed (Vince, Ian, Chris, you guys listening?) will take advantage of the system Mr. Patterson has set up.

Operation eBook Drop is a simple and straightforward process to get electronic books to deployed Armed Services troops through Smashwords. Mr. Patterson has set up a clearing house of sorts, where troops or their families sends him email addresses, and he then forwards those to authors who have told him they would like to participate. These authors have uploaded their works to Smashwords, and used Smashwords coupon capability to create a coupon for the troops to use to download the books for free.

Smashwords is the perfect platform for this, as its “Meatgrinder” is able to convert uploaded books into several different formats, allowing the troops flexibility in how they read the books. Smashwords coupon capability allows the troops to download books that have a price tag associated with them on the Smashwords site for free. Smashwords has also signed some excellent distribution deals recently, making certain ebooks available through Shortcovers, Amazon and B&N.

The only downside I have found with Smashwords is that in order to get converted to the multiple different formats of ebooks the layout possibilities of the book you upload are minimal.

So far about 20% of the troops I’ve notified have downloaded a copy of Dusk Before the Dawn from Smashwords. (Software by the Kilo, my latest, is not in eBook format yet). I hope it has made their downtime more enjoyable.

To learn more about Operation eBook Drop (and for info on how troops or authors can participate), read the article on the Smashwords blog, or see their Facebook Fan page.

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