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Mark Coker

Smashwords Releases Book Discovery Tool

Self-publishing platform Smashwords has released a new tool to help authors make their books more discoverable. It’s called Series Manager and it gives writers the ability to attach their books to series, as well as manage series metadata.

Here is more from the Smashwords blog:

Once authors organize their series titles within Series Manager, readers can easily identify books within a series, or across related series.  Just as importantly, series metadata will give our retailers greater flexibility to promote books within a series.  Let’s say, for example, a retailer wants to do a merchandising promotion of the top 50 bestselling Smashwords series that have a free series starter.  Without the series metadata, it would be nearly impossible for Smashwords or our retailer to accurately identify which books are in a series, and in which order.  Read more

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‘The Secrets to eBook Publishing Success’ is Free eBook of the Day

The Secrets to eBook Publishing Success by Mark Coker is today’s Free eBook of the Day.

The publishing guide penned by the founder of the self-publishing website Smashwords includes tips and tricks on how to publish an eBook. Check it out: “Learn the 29 best practices of the bestselling self-published ebook authors. This updated 2013 edition of the The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success has already helped tens of thousands of self-published ebook authors publish more professionally. This ebook is a must-read for every writer, author, publisher and literary agent.”

Smashwords has the free download.

For more free eBooks, check out our Free eBook of the Day archive.

 

Smashword’s Mark Coker Pushes For Community Publishing Initiatives at Libraries


Mark Coker, the founder/CEO of self-publishing community Smashwords, is pushing libraries to offer self-publishing programs to library patrons.

He explained his reasoning on the company’s blog:

Libraries are uniquely qualified to orchestrate community resources and talent to help local writers become professional self-publishers. By holding seminars and classes, and by bringing local authors together face to face with readers and aspiring authors, libraries can help unleash the talent locked inside the minds and fingertips of their local community’s writers.  They can also help ensure a steady future supply of library-friendly authors who will want to supply their ebooks to libraries.

Smashwords offers libraries tools to offer self-publishing to the community, as does digital publishing company FastPencil who works with Auto-Graphics to distribute its tools to libraries.

Coker will be speaking at our Self-Publishing Finishing School next month, a step-by-step course to transform your
manuscript into a published eBook.

Early bird rates for our Self-Publishing Finishing School end tomorrow

Self-Publishing Finishing School

Want to get your manuscript published, but not sure how to get started? Join our Self-Publishing Finishing School starting April 3, 2013.

Weekly live video webcasts feature a variety of great speakers, including  including Mark Coker (founder, Smashwords), Colleen Hoover (bestselling self-published author), and Guy Kawasaki (author, APE! What the Plus!).

Join Mediabistro publishing editor Jason Boog for this step-by-step course will teach you how to design, distribute, and market your book without a publisher or agent.

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What’s Your Favorite App, Mark Coker?

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AN: What’s Your Favorite App, Mark Coker?

MC: I have multiple favorite apps, so it’s really difficult for me to name just one. Since you’re asking for just one, I’m going to go with Echofon. I use Twitter primarily as my daily newsfeed, and secondarily as a tool to share interesting publishing industry news, or news about Smashwords, our authors or our retail partners. Multiple times per day, I’ll dip into my Twitterstream with Echofon. I follow about 170 smart people and organizations on Twitter, and many of them are hyper-focused on eBook publishing news and media trends. In thirty seconds with a quick scroll, I can get a sense of what’s breaking in the world of publishing.

Welcome to our new column, What’s Your Favorite App?, a new feature where we talk to media professionals, journalists and authors about what kinds of apps they are using in hopes of helping readers discover new apps.  Read more

Apple Now Highlighting Self-Published ‘Breakout Books’ in iBookstore

Apple has added a new tool to help readers discover self-published books called Breakout Books.

The titles on the Breakout Books lists are hand-picked books from emerging authors who have earned high ratings from customers. Apple explains Breakout Books in the iBookstore, as a place to “find the next reading sensation.”

Breakout Books includes lists of works in genres such as romance, sci-fi & fantasy, and mysteries & thrillers. Books on the list include: One More Day by M. Malone, Ember by Jessica Sorensen, and The Witch’s Ladder by Dana Donovan. The list includes a number of titles from self-publishing plaform Smashwords. Smashwords founder Mark Coker shared his favorite app in this week’s edition of  our What’s Your Favorite App? column.

Smashwords To Improve Discovery, Distribution, & Website This Year

After having a record 2012, eBook publishing company Smashwords has plans to improve its publishing platform in 2013. This includes increasing distribution tools, improving metadata and discovery tools, and revamping the Smashwords website, among other things.

Smashwords CEO Mark Coker explained the website redesign on the company blog: “2013 is the year we will give the Smashwords store a facelift, not because we have designs on becoming a large ebook retailer (well, actually, we already are, even though that’s not our focus), but because we think an updated site will help us attract more books and more customers that we can feed to our retail partners.  In 2013, expect to see us start adding links to some of our retail partners, so the millions of visitors to the Smashwords site can enjoy greater freedom to purchase our books and support our authors at their favorite ebook retailers.”

The company saw record growth in 2012. According to Coker, Smashwords added 98,000 new titles to its library, bringing the company’s total library to  190,500 books. The company has been profitable for 27 straight months, and ended 2012 with 19 employees, up from 13 employees that the company ended 2011 with.

Smashwords Authors Make Top Selling Book Lists In The iBookstore

 R.L. Mathewson, a self-published author who uses the digital publishing platform Smashwords, has made the top selling list in the iBookstore. Mathewson’s romance novel Checkmate hit No. 1 in Apple’s US, Australia, U.K. and Canada stores only a couple of days after being published.

But Mathewson is not the only author using Smashwords who has made the top sellers list in the iBookstore. Kirsty Moseley‘s Always You hit No.7 in Australia, and No. 20 in the U.S. and the U.K. Jillian Holmes‘ Temporary Kiss reached No. 7 in the U.K. iBookstore. Isabelle Rae‘s When Summer Ends reached No. 8 in the U.K. S.H. Kolee‘s Love Left Behind hit No. 5 in Australia and No. 10 in Canada. Marie Kelly‘s Billionaire’s Revenge reached No. 2 in Australia and No. 8 in Canada.

Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker blogged the news, explaining the Apple is the biggest retailer for Smashwords’ titles: “My advice to authors:  don’t underestimate Apple.  If you’re not there, you’re missing out.  Every new country they launch represents a new micro-market, an opportunity for you to become a big fish in a small but growing pond. The authors who get out there first and establish footholds today will become the bestsellers of tomorrow.”

Smashwords Adds Pricing & Library Features

Self-publishing platform Smashwords has a new update which includes a new pricing and library feature. 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.

This new feature came out of user surveys. Smashwords’ CEO Mark Coker explains: “…when I surveyed Smashwords authors and publishers, 82% said you believe libraries offer the potential to build your sales (we agree!!).  About 2/3 of you said you’d want to encourage library adoption of your books by pricing your books at or below the regular retail price.” Authors and publishers can decide if they want to participate.

Four Smashwords Authors Make NY Times Best Sellers List

Think that self-publishing an eBook has a stigma? Think again. Four self-published authors who use the Smashwords publishing platform made The New York Times Best Sellers fiction list this week. And some of these authors had more than one title on the list.

Author Colleen Hoover‘s book Slammed is No. 8 on the list and her title Point of Retreat hit No. 18). Author R.L. Mathewson‘s book Playing for Keeps ranked at No. 16 on the list and author Lyla Sinclair‘s book Training Tessa hit the No. 17 position and Bella Andre had three titles on the list If You Were Mine at No. 22, Can’t Help Falling in Love at No. 23, and I Only Have Eyes for You at No. 24. Read more