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Other posts by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords

Jonathan Maberry On The Convergence of Indie and Traditional Publishing
July 16, 2012 | 9:10 am

  JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries. Besides writing fiction in multiple genres, he's also written many non-fiction books as well. He's always ready to explore new methods of reaching readers. In the interview that follows, Jonathan sits down with David Weir to discuss the secrets to his success. David Weir: You've had an unusually diverse background as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. What are, for you,...

Smashwords Publishes 5 Billion Words
July 12, 2012 | 10:20 am

  Smashwords today released its 5 billionth word. From your fingertips to reader's eyes. The number is difficult to grasp.  These words form 138,071 books. If you typed at 25 words a minute without pause, it would take 200 million minutes to write 5 billion words.  3.3 million hours.  If you typed 8 hours a day, it would take 416,600 days, or 1,141 years.  Imagine the lifetimes of creative output now captured, packaged, immortalized and available for discovery at the click of a button or mouse. Imagine a world without gatekeepers, where you the writer decide when you graduate to become a published author. Imagine...

Smashwords signs distribution agreement with Page Foundry
June 28, 2012 | 8:24 am

Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Page Foundry, a developer of mobile ebook store apps for Android tablets and smart phones.Below I've inserted images of how the app looks, using a test example of Phoenix, a YA fantasy novel by Smashwords author Jennifer Mason-Black, published by  Musa Publishing. This new relationship will lead to distribution at the following four places: Listings page Book page 1.  ASUS:  Asus, a leading manufacturer of...

New Ebook Cover Image Requirements Coming to Satisfy Higher Resolution E-Reading Devices
June 15, 2012 | 9:19 am

  Heads up.  Effective on or about July 15, Smashwords will begin requiring higher pixel counts on ebook cover images. Why the change?  Starting in August, Apple will require that all new ebook cover images be at least 1,400 pixels wide.  Their previous minimum was 600 pixels. Since Smashwords requires vertical rectangle (height greater than width) images, a new recommended ebook cover might be around 1,600 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels tall.  Why 2,400?  2,400 is 1.5 times 1,600. Pull out a ruler and measure just about any print book and youll get a ratio close to that.  Most good-looking covers have heights...

Smashwords Delivers Faster Shipments to Apple and Kobo
June 5, 2012 | 9:32 am

  Until recently, Smashwords 'shipped' new book releases, new book updates and metadata updates to Smashwords retailers (Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Baker & Taylor, etc) on a once-weekly basis.  As promised in December, in the last couple weeks we've begun increasing shipment frequency for the retailers that can support it. About one week ago, we began doing once-per-day shipments of new Premium Catalog titles and metadata updates to Kobo.  This means you can make a price change at Smashwords today, and itll be reflected at Kobo likely within a day or two. Today, we pushed the envelope even further...

Can Ebook Data Reveal New Viral Catalysts to Spur Reader Word-of-Mouth?
April 30, 2012 | 9:11 am

Images In my new best practices ebook, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, I explore at great length a concept I callViral Catalysts.  Think of viral catalysts as the virtual knobs, dials and levers attached to an ebook that an author or publisher can tweak to increase reader word-of-mouth.  Viral catalysts make books more available, discoverable and enjoyable to readers.  See Secret #19 in the book for...

Does Agency Pricing Lead to Higher Book Prices?
March 28, 2012 | 10:51 pm

According to a March 9 story in the Wall Street Journal, The U.S. Department of Justice is considering suing Apple and five large US publishers for allegedly colluding to raise the price of ebooks. At the heart of the issue, I suspect, is concern over the agency pricing model. Agency pricing allows the publisher (or the indie author) to set the retail price of their book. Although Smashwords is not a party to this potential lawsuit, I felt it was important that the DoJ investigators hear the Smashwords side of the story, because any decisions they make could have significant ramifications for...

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success
March 27, 2012 | 9:15 am

I released a new ebook tonight, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. It's priced at FREE. The book represents my attempt to distill, organize, package and share the best practices of the most commercially successful Smashwords authors. The book is organized around 28 different "secrets," in which I explain not only what a writer should do, but also the thinking behind why they should do it. The book took me almost 18 months to write. We've been so crazy busy at Smashwords that most of the writing occurred at 35,000 feet on my frequent flights to here and there, and during vacations. The initial...

PayPal revised policies to allow legal fiction
March 13, 2012 | 6:50 pm

Swlogo In a victory for free speech, PayPal today announced plans to revise their content policies to allow Smashwords writers full freedom to publish and sell legal ebooks. I met with PayPal at their offices yesterday in San Jose. They outlined their proposed policy changes for me. I was impressed. This is a victory for all writers and readers. It removes credit card companies, banks and payment processors from the business of censoring legal fiction. It creates a new precedent that should allow other payment processors who have previously discriminated against legal fiction to relax their policies. It will make more fiction more available...

Smashwords Surpasses 100,000 Indie Ebooks
February 15, 2012 | 9:40 am

100k Today we announced an important Smashwords milestone. Over 100,000 ebooks are now published and live in the Smashwords catalog, thanks to the efforts of over 36,000 Smashwords authors and publishers around the world. This month also marks our fourth birthday. Four years ago we unveiled Smashwords at the Tools of Change conference in New York. It's fun to read our original Smashwords launch press release. Back then, ebooks accounted for about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. book market. Self published authors were considered black sheep. What a wild ride it's been the last four years. Millions of books sold. Millions...

Smashwords: Smashwords Year in Review 2011
January 3, 2012 | 9:10 am

Welcome to my annual Smashwords year in review. 2011 was another strong year for Smashwords and our authors. We're ending the year with over 92,000 titles published, up from 28,800 at the end of last year. In my 2010 year in review post, 75,000 was my stretch goal for this year, so we beat it by a good margin. Smashwords today supports over 34,000 authors and small publishers around the world, up from 12,000 a year ago. I launched Smashwords four years ago with a crazy idea to change the way books were published, marketed and sold. I believed authors should have the freedom to publish...

Smashwords Authors Experience Blowout Christmas at Barnes & Noble
December 28, 2011 | 9:25 am

It looks like it was a blowout Christmas for Smashwords authors at Barnes & Noble. I'm looking at the early sales results for December 25 and December 26 for the titles Smashwords distributes to Barnes & Noble. For these first two days, sales are running about 225% higher than the daily sales average for November through mid-December. While it's too early to draw definitive conclusions, I think the numbers speak well for B&N headed into January. FREE Smashwords books were also popular with B&N customers, racking up hundreds of thousands of downloads in two days. At the current download rate, our authors with...