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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Coker’

Finish Your Book With Our New Online Course

Struggling to finish your book? No matter where you live, Mediabistro has a new online course designed to guide independent authors through the final and most important steps of the publishing process.

Smashwords co-founder Mark Coker, bestselling self-published author Colleen Hoover and seasoned writer Guy Kawasaki will help you complete your book in Mediabistro’s new Self-Publishing Finishing School. The six-week, interactive course will include a number of features to help you complete your project, including:

*Keynote speeches by world-class publishing experts, with interactive Q&A sessions.
*Practical how-to sessions that show you how to put big ideas into immediate practice.
*Homework designed to get your eBook formatted, published, marketed, and sold.
*Peer interaction: Work closely with a small group. Get feedback from an advisor. And make meaningful connections with the entire attendee roster.
*Author showcase: Participate in our ongoing community forum where your book will be posted for feedback and readership by your classmates.

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Mark Coker Predicts: ‘More money will be made in author services than in book sales.’

In his 2013 Book Publishing Industry Predictions, Smashwords founder Mark Coker included this warning for aspiring writers: “In the self-publishing gold rush, more money will be made in author services than in book sales.”

All independent writers need to remember this advice as we head into the new year. We asked How Much Should Self-Publishing Cost? in November and received a wide-range of responses. Indie authors can pay everything from nothing to $50,000 in an effort to publish their work.

Here’s more from Coker: “With the shift to self-publishing, writers must carry the publishing burdens once borne by traditional publishers, such as the cost of editing, proofing, book production, packaging, and distribution, as well as backoffice tasks such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and year-end tax reporting … With this burgeoning demand for professional publishing services, thousands of service providers will open up virtual author services shops in 2013. The challenge for writers is to procure the highest quality services at the lowest cost. Plenty of scamsters and over-priced service providers will be standing by to help.”

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Should Self-Published Authors Use Author Solutions?

Ever since Penguin bought purchased the self-publishing company Author Solutions, the industry has been abuzz talking about what it means for self-published authors.

Author Carla King examined the acquisition and and compared the service to other tools out there in the industry. She wrote about her findings on PBS:

Should you consider purchasing ASI’s iUniverse, Author House, Xlibris, or another package? Besides the ISBN issue, it is very difficult for a committed do-it-yourselfer like myself to be convinced. I’ve never taken a hands-off approach to publishing, and I like to work directly with editors, designers, and formatters, instead of throwing it into a mill and seeing which cubicle it lands in. I may get lucky with a riffed senior editor from Random House, but I might also be working with a recent college graduate. But the bigger question may be, will Penguin provide a much-needed publisher’s touch to organize the confusing array of products and soften ASI’s hard-sell approach?

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Smashwords Adds Price Manager & Library Direct

Self-publishing site Smashwords has updated its platform adding a new pricing tool and a new library feature.

AppNewser has more: “The “Pricing Manager” feature lets authors and publishers set the retail price of their books within the dashboard of Smashwords. The second new feature is called Library Direct, which enables libraries and consortiums to place large orders with Smashwords and license eBooks in bulk. Smashwords expects these orders to amount to about $30,000 for the set. Authors and publishers will earn 70 percent of the library price, which is higher than the 45 percent earned aggregator partners.” Read more

Smashwords Founder Criticizes Author Solutions Acquisition

Mark Coker, founder of self-publishing platform Smashwords, criticized Pearson’s acquisition of self-publishing company Author Solutions in a recent post.

He suggested that the purchase was an investment in a business that makes money off of authors, rather than an investment in self-published authors. Coker wrote:

Does Pearson think that Author Solutions represents the future of indie publishing?  Author Solutions is one of the companies that put the “V” in vanity.  Author Solutions earn 2/3 or more of their income selling services and books to authors, not selling authors’ books to readers.  Does Pearson think so little of authors that they’ve decided they can earn more money selling them services than selling their books?  Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualm with indies investing in professional editing, proofreading and cover design. I encourage that.  There’s just something about this that feels icky.

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How Literary Agents Can Survive the Digital Revolution

Some publishing experts predict that the digital publishing revolution will destroy the livelihood of literary agents. Smashwords founder Mark Coker has helped thousands of indie authors self-publish, but he still thinks literary agents can flourish in this new publishing environment.

In the slideshow embedded above (“The Literary Agent’s Indie Ebook Roadmap“), Coker outlined how literary agents can work with this new generation of authors.

Check it out: “As I mentioned in my prior post on agents, literary agents can add a lot of value to the publishing process. They’re the trusted author advocates charged with helping authors maximize the commercial potential of their works. A great agent brings passion, smarts and relationships that can multiply an author’s success several-fold. Literary agents represent some of the most commercially successful authors and author estates. In the presentation below, I share my ideas for how literary agents can better serve their clients by adding e-publishing services to their clients services mix.”

Predictions for 2011 from Smashwords Founder

If 2010 was the year eBooks went mainstream, 2011 will be the year indie eBook authors go mainstream.

According to Smashwords founder Mark Coker, indie eBook authors are becoming more professional and sophisticated, and they’re starting to climb the best-seller charts without the assistance of a publisher. 2011 will be the first year traditional publishers feel the need to compete against the indie ebook alternative. Here are Coker’s predictions for the new year:

1.Ebook sales rise, unit consumption surprises – Ebooks sales will approach 20% of trade book revenues on a monthly basis by the end of 2011 in the US, yet the bigger surprise is that ebooks will account for one third or more of unit consumption. Why? Ebooks cost less and early ebook adopters read more.

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How a Single Father & Self-Published Author Went from Poverty Level to Earning $18,000 in a Quarter

Self-published fantasy novelist Brian S. Pratt earned more than $18,000 in a single quarter while selling 17 eBooks on Smashwords. According to Smashwords founder Mark Coker, Pratt is on track to earn $25,000 during this quarter.

Meet the author in this interview with Coker at Smashwords. Before publishing his novels (they average around 150,000-words apiece) Pratt confessed, “I was a single dad living with three kids and boy, was I poor (under the poverty level).”  His earnings are projected in the chart embedded above; click to enlarge.

Here’s more from the interview: “He’s on track to earn over $100,000 in 2011 at Smashwords, and up to $200,000 total when he includes his projected Amazon sales. Not one to count his eggs before they’re hatched, though, he’s fast at work on a next series … Pratt started writing because the series authors he enjoyed reading weren’t completing their series fast enough.” (Via Publishers Lunch)

How to Choose an eBook Platform

Cradle Book.jpgSome digital reporters just cover eBook formatting. Over at our digitally obsessed sibling eBookNewser, editor Craig Morgan Teicher will actually format a eBook of his stories in a series of blog posts.

Here’s an excerpt from his latest installment: “Over the last few days, I’ve been looking into Smashwords. After last week’s post, Smashwords founder Mark Coker contacted me to let me know what Smashwords has to offer a publisher like mine, BOA Editions. Coker pointed out that over 100 small presses are using Smashwords as their eBook platform, and he sent me the Smashwords Style Guide, which he wrote, and which gives very accessible instructions for how to prepare a manuscript for uploading to Smashwords. After looking into it for a week, I concluded that Smashwords isn’t quite appropriate for a press like BOA (I’ll explain why later), but that it offers some very cool functionality, and real ease-of-use, that makes it a very handy way for as aspiring author, or an all-eBook press publishing longform prose, to make their books widely available.”

Later, Teicher wrote: “From what I saw, it would indeed take only about an hour for a reasonably computer savvy user. Here’s how Smashwords works: when you upload a book to Smashwords, you use a system the company calls ‘Meatgrinder,’ an affectionate and humorous allusion to the fact that it takes documents and rapidly churns out eBooks in various formats, including EPub, Mobi (for Kindle), PDF, RTF and others.”

Intrigued? Read the rest of the post at eBookNewser.

Smashwords To Supply Books to Amazon Kindle Store

swlogo.jpgThis week the digital self-publishing company Smashwords announced that they will now supply ebooks to the Amazon.com (AMZN) in the Kindle Store.

According to the release, the company “will pay authors and publishers 42.5 percent of the digital list price (set by the author) for book sales through Amazon.” According to the terms, Smashwords will start sending ebooks to Amazon on November 25, and the books should be available in December. The rate is higher than what many ebook authors can receive on their own if they publish direct with Amazon.

Last week, Smashwords founder Mark Coker told GalleyCat: “Online retailers will be extremely important in the [eBook] supply chain … In print book world for the last couple centuries, publishers have controlled distribution. What we’re doing is democratizing distribution.” At the same time, the company has formed other distribution agreements with Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Shortcovers. Currently, there are currently 4,800 original ebooks from 2,200 writers and around 80 small publishers on the site.

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