Книжные новости

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:05:00 +0000
Smashwords Enters Audiobook Market with Findaway Voices
Smashword Partners with Findaway Voices for Audiobook Production and Distribution
Smashwords today entered the audiobook market via a partnership with Findaway Voices.

Over 100,000 Smashwords authors and publishers now have convenient access to audiobook production and distribution services.  The agreement gives authors and publishers greater control over audiobook pricing, rights, and distribution, and all without exclusivity or lockups.

Effective immediately, you'll notice audiobook creation options integrated into multiple stages of the Smashwords publishing workflow.  The new feature is visible in the Smashwords Dashboard, and also accessible at https://smashwords.com/audiobook.

Start Your Audiobook Production Today

With a single click, you can instantly deliver your ebook and metadata into the Findaway Voices platform, at which point you’ll choose a password for your Findaway Voices account and begin the audio production process.

Your first step is selecting a professional narrator.  You'll answer a short questionnaire at Findaway Voices about your audiobook’s desired emotional tone; the accent, dialect or gender preference for your narrator; the voice style; the heat level of the book; and information about the book’s main characters.

The Findaway Voices casting team will then use this information to recommend a curated list of six to ten professional voice actors for your consideration.  Recommendations will include audio samples and hourly rates for each narrator.  From this list, you can request audition samples where narrators submit sample readings of your book.

There is no cost or obligation during the audition process.

Production begins after you select your narrator and sign off on the production contract.  You will pay production fees directly to Findaway Voices.

To assist your budgeting, here are some rough guidelines:  Fees are based on the number of hours and minutes of the finished production.  Each hour of recorded content comprises roughly 9,000 words, which means a 26,000-word novella might run about three hours and a 100,000-word book would run about 11 hours.  Narrators typically charge between $150 and $400 per finished hour.

Global Audiobook Distribution

When production completes, you'll control all rights to the audiobook.  You'll also have the option to distribute your audiobook to Findaway Voices’ global network of over 20 sales outlets including Apple iTunes, Audible, Scribd, OverDrive and Google Play.

Findaway Voices will pay you directly.

If you already have a professionally produced audiobook, you can visit https://smashwords.com/audiobook to transmit your title's metadata to Findaway Voices, and then you'll see the option to upload your audiobook files to Findaway Voices for distribution.

No Exclusivity or Lockups

There’s no exclusivity or lockup period.  You'll enjoy full control over your choice of distribution outlets.

You can remove your book from Findaway Voices’ distribution network at any time, and can also sell your audiobook anywhere else you please.

You set the price for single copy sales.  The various outlets operate under different sales models (single-copy sales, subscription listens, pay-per-use, etc.), which means the calculation for royalty rates will differ from one channel and sales model to the next. 

When Authors and Publishers Gain Control, Readers Win

When authors and publishers gain greater control over pricing and distribution, new opportunities arise to serve readers.

Audible, the dominant audiobook subscription service, provides subscribers one download credit per month with its $14.95 monthly subscription.  This credit system incentivizes value-conscious subscribers to download longer and more expensive books.

This credit system has the unintended effect of creating a void in the audiobook market for shorter or lower-cost audiobooks.

Thanks to our partnership with Findaway Voices, it’s now more economically feasible for authors and publishers to invest in audiobook production for shorter books, or books that might carry lower prices.

I think this could be a boon for authors, publishers and consumers alike who want to enjoy lower-cost audiobooks, whether we’re talking novellas, shorter non-fiction, free series starters, or erotica.

Why Audiobooks are Exciting

Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing market today.

I’ve long been a fan of audiobooks because they free up more hours in the day to enjoy books.  Unlike printed words on paper or screens which require the reader’s undivided attention to read, audiobooks can be enjoyed while the listener performs other tasks, such as when they’re driving their car, cooking a meal or taking a walk.

For the last few years, audiobooks have been the fastest growing segment of the book industry.   Sales for 2017 were up about 20% over the prior year.

Get Started Today

Smashwords authors and publishers can launch audiobook production today by visiting their Smashwords Dashboard or going direct to https://smashwords.com/audiobook.

If you’re not yet publishing with Smashwords, visit our How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords page to learn out our free book publishing and distribution services.  The moment you upload your ebook to Smashwords, you’ll see the option to launch audiobook production.

Happy listening everyone!

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 20:37:00 +0000
New 2018 Edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide Offers 65 Book Marketing Ideas
The new 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide is now available.

Click to your favorite retailer to download it now for free:

Barnes & Noble

You'll learn 65 book marketing ideas ideas to make your book more discoverable and desirable to readers.  Even if you've already implemented some of these ideas, I provide fresh context to make your implementation of these ideas even more effective.

You'll learn how to:
  1. Spend more time writing and less time on marketing
  2. Build your author brand
  3. Drive greater reader word of mouth
  4. Make your book market itself though autopilot marketing
  5. Use preorders to improve marketing efficiency and reader lock-in so your new book is already marketing your next book
  6. Leverage blogs to market your books
  7. Market your ebooks to libraries
  8. Run creative, reader-pleasing promotions with Smashwords Coupons
  9. Earn mainstream media coverage
  10. Partner with fellow authors on over 10 collaborative marketing opportunities
And there's so much more.

The Guide features a new introduction, dozens of new and updated marketing tips, and a new “Deep Dives” section that covers social media strategy for authors, how to work with beta readers, and how to earn free press coverage.

This is my first update since 2013.  The previous edition was 16,000 words.  This new expanded edition is 40,000 words.  I think the continued popularity of the older edition speaks to my unique approach to book marketing.  I emphasize evergreen book marketing strategies that will work for many years to come.  

As readers of this blog may know, before I published this new edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide I first serialized it in audio form on my SMART AUTHOR podcast.  I completed that serialization on January 26 and released the ebook on January 31.

Here's Episode 10 to give you a taste of what this new 2018 edition offers.


Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:12:00 +0000
How to Earn Free Press Coverage
Have you ever read a news story or watched a TV interview and thought, "They should have interviewed me for this story!" ?

If so, you're in for a treat with episode 15 of the Smart Author podcast.  This is part six in my six-part audio serialization of the new forthcoming 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. 

In this final installment of this marketing series, I teach authors how to earn free press coverage.  Press coverage can dramatically elevate the stature of your author brand and drive more readers to your books.  I also teach you how and when to write a press release, and how best to promote that press release to the media.

This episode draws heavily on my former life in public relations.  I first fell into public relations back in the late '80s while I was still in college (here's the full story).  Later, in 1992, I joined one of the largest Silicon Valley PR firms, and then in late 1993 I left it to found my own PR agency which I ran up until the launch of Smashwords in 2008.

I've always had enormous respect for the power of PR.   PR practitioners use their skills to influence media coverage.  The prospect of self-interested parties influencing the media to influence what people know, think and believe is at once exciting and terrifying. 

It's exciting when good PR helps elevate the stature of good people, good products and important stories.  It's terrifying when PR is used to misrepresent facts, as we see all too often nowadays in the business and political spheres.  The dark side of PR touches our lives every day.  Back when tobacco companies spent millions of dollars to convince consumers that smoking was safe, that was dark PR.  Or in more modern times when large petrochemical companies like Koch Industries fund puppets to sow doubt about climate change, that's an example of dark PR.  Or when Russian-backed trolls create fake news to sow division in Democratic countries and mislead voters, that's another example of dark PR.

In this episode, I teach you how to use PR as a force for good, and that good is to help elevate the stature of your author brand.  You'll learn tips for ethical PR based on facts and honesty.  You'll learn how to leverage your smarts and expertise to help journalists help their readers with your knowledge and news.

It was quite a challenge for me to condense three decades of PR experience into 49 minutes, but I trust this information-packed episode will give you actionable ideas you can incorporate into your book marketing.

Over in the show notes for this episode, you'll find a full written transcript and a mockup of how a good press release should be structured.


Here's where to listen and subscribe:

Apple Podcasts



Google Play Music


YouTube (audio)



Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser) 

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 19:07:00 +0000
Social Media Strategies for Authors
Today in part five of my six-part marketing series, I take a look at social media strategies for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social media is a mixed bag for many authors.  We at once appreciate its power and potential while at the same time curse it for taking time away from writing. 

We appreciate its potential to help authors forge closer relationships with readers yet at the same time we curse it for fostering tribalism, echo-chamber thinking, fake news and trolling.

In short, social media brings out the best in people but also the worst.

If you've been active on social media for the last decade, then much of what I share you'll already know.  But if you're feeling alienated or unfulfilled by social media, or are starting to question how best to use it without sucking your soul dry, then I think the social media strategies I share will inspire you to forge a healthier relationship with the three most popular social media platforms. 

Some of the topics I discuss include:

If you'd like to connect with me on any of these platforms, here are my direct links:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/markcoker
Facebook:  https://facebook.com/markcoker
LinkedIn:  https://linkedin/in/markcoker

Coming up next on Smart Author, I wrap up my six-part audio serialization of the 2018 edition of the Smashword Book Marketing Guide with episode 15.  You'll learn how to earn free press coverage to build your author brand and generate more demand for your books.

If you're just now discovering my six-part marketing series, I suggest you start with part one which was episode 10.

Here's where to listen and subscribe:

Apple Podcasts



Google Play Music


YouTube (audio)



Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser) 

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 03:09:00 +0000
25 Book Promotion Tips - Part Four in the Smart Author Podcasts Six-Part Series on Book Marketing
Today in Episode 13 of the Smart Author podcast, I present part four in my six-part series on book marketing.

In this episode, I share 25 book promotion tips.

The tips are presented in logical order to roughly correspond to the different stages of a book’s marketing - from pre-launch to launch to post-launch, but most can be implemented in any order at any stage of an author's publishing journey. 

Some of the topics covered include:

If you haven't yet listened to my series on book marketing, I recommend you start with Episode 10 of the Smart Author podcast, which was part one in this series.

Next week's episode will explore social media strategies for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Here's where to listen and subscribe:

Apple Podcasts



Google Play Music


YouTube (audio)



Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser) 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 23:30:00 +0000
Autopilot Book Marketing
The majority of your readership will come from readers who stumbled across your book.

Maybe the reader was looking for a book like it.  Or maybe they weren’t even looking for a book but found your book on their path to somewhere else.

Now imagine your book as a stationary beacon, buried deep in a forest of millions of other books.  How can you equip your book to continually transmit its location and attributes so that those who might enjoy it are drawn to it, even if they’re not looking for it?

And then how do you ensure that once you draw a reader to your book, they leave your book a converted evangelist, ready to proselytize their passion for it to their fellow readers on the book discovery trail.

This is the idea behind autopilot marketing.  In today's new episode 12 of the Smart Author podcast, I present 17 tips that will help you put some the most important aspects of your book marketing on autopilot.

You'll learn learn how to leverage your book to sell more books, grow your platform faster, and spend less time on marketing and more time on writing. 

It's part three in my six-part audio serialization of the new 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.
Give it a listen at any of the find podcast sources below.

Happy New Year!

Listen and Subscribe to Smart Author

Apple Podcasts



Google Play Music


YouTube (audio)



Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser) 

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 23:27:00 +0000
Smashwords 2017 Year in Review and 2018 Preview
Welcome to my annual Smashwords year in review for 2017 and preview of the year ahead.

I’d like to start first with a big shout out to Smashwords authors, publishers, business partners and industry friends for your trust and partnership.

And a big welcome to the thousands of authors, publishers and readers who joined the Smashwords community this year.

February 2018 will mark the 10-year anniversary of when we first announced Smashwords to the world and began private beta testing.  May 2018 will mark the 10-year anniversary of when we opened our virtual doors for business.

These last 10 years have been nothing short of amazing, and it’s thanks to authors and publishers like you that we’re still here to serve you.

We ended our first year of Smashwords in 2008 with 140 books from 90 authors.  Today, Smashwords carries over 470,000 titles and works with 135,000 authors and publishers around the world.  We work with an awesome network of retail and library distribution partners who do amazing work behind the scenes to support Smashwords authors and publishers.

Let’s look at the business and service milestones for Smashwords this year and then I’ll share a preview of our plans for 2018.

Business Milestones

Service Milestones

Smashwords Plans for 2018

We’ve got some exciting plans for 2018.  In broad strokes, here’s what you can expect:

Thank you again for your trust, partnership and support.  Thanks also for distributing with Smashwords.   When you distribute with Smashwords to the retailers and library platforms we serve, you're directly supporting our ability to bring you exciting new tools and opportunities.

Don't miss my 2018 publishing industry predictions, also out today!

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 19:39:00 +0000
2018 Book Industry Predictions: Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?
Welcome to my annual publishing predictions post where I prognosticate about the future and share my views on the state of the indie nation.

Each year around this time I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and ask it what the heck is going to happen next.

My crystal ball was a bit surly this year. The first thing it told me was, "you don't want to know."  Less than helpful.

The second thing it told me was, "Re-reread your 2017 predictions.  2018 is going to play out as a continuation of last year."

That's a little more helpful.  Most of my predictions for 2017 were pretty close.

When I think about the future, I start by looking at the past and then I look for patterns and trends. 

What are the entrenched macro trends and forces that, like gravity, are likely to continue in the same direction for many years to come?  And how will these trends impact what they touch, and how will that change the course of the future?

It's a fun exercise, even when what I see doesn't fit within the rim of rose-colored glasses.

By imagining possible outcomes, we can formulate strategies for the future, or we can take steps to prevent that future from happening.

Things are tough out there for most authors.

This is nothing new.  Authorship has always been a tough business.  Even before the rise of indie authorship, most traditionally published authors still had to maintain day jobs to make ends meet.

Indie Authors Assert Control

10 years ago, publishers controlled your fate. They decided which writers became published authors, and they rejected most who came knocking, pleading and begging at their door.

Publishers were the gatekeepers to the printing press, retail distribution and readers.

Now, thanks to the tools of indie authorship, you've wrestled your fate away from publishers.  You decide how and when you publish your book.  You can reach readers without a publisher.

As I've written here at the blog many times, once indies gained access to the tools of professional publishing, the power center in the industry shifted from publishers to authors.  It seemed as if authors would finally control the fate of this industry.  Yay!

The Rise of Indie Authorship

Amazon launched their ebook self-publishing platform in late 2007, a few months before we unveiled Smashwords in early 2008.  Our two platforms made it fast, free and easy for writers to self publish and sell ebooks.   We were at the right place at the right time.

Between 2008 and 2010, the ebook market grew exponentially as millions of readers transitioned their reading from paper to screens, and as retailers opened their virtual shelves to all indie ebooks.  

Apple entered the market with its iBooks store in 2010, and brought with it the agency pricing model  which let authors and publishers control their own prices and earn 70% of their list price for each copy sold.  This was a radical approach to book pricing that put more power in the hands of authors.  Yay!

Prior to agency pricing, authors and publishers would set a recommended list price, and earn 35-50% of that price.  Retailers could discount the book however they liked.

With Apple's entry, Amazon was forced to double the previous ebook royalty they paid authors from 35% to 70%.  With the advent of agency, Amazon was forced to hand authors and publishers more control over pricing.  Later that year, Smashwords was able to get other ebook retailers to give our authors agency terms as well.  Yay!

2011 was another phenomenal year of ebook sales growth.  Indies started hitting retailer and national bestseller lists with increased frequency, and with every year that passed indies were capturing more and more share of the ebook market.  More yay!

Indie authors proved that it was possible to self-publish with pride, professionalism and commercial success. 

Indies didn't just imitate the best practices of traditional publishing, they started to innovate and invent the new best practices for ebook publishing.  Publishers began looking to indies for inspiration.

The democratization of publishing was here and everyone was happy, right?  Wrong.

It now appears that we've traded one gatekeeper for another.  Boo.

The Beginning of the End of Indie Authorship?

When I look back at my predictions for 2017, most of those predictions came true or are still coming true.

And then I wondered, if we continue in this direction, where does it take the indie author movement?

I think it takes us to the end of the indie authorship as we imagine it.

It's a dark future where writers can still self-publish, but one marketplace holds all the readers captive, and that marketplace's business model is entirely dependent upon commoditizing everything it sells.

In this dystopian future, participants can still pat themselves on their backs and call themselves indie authors if it makes them feel good.  After all, they're still choosing to publish where they publish.   But the emerging truth of the matter is that these indies have lost their independence because if they jump away from that dominant marketplace, there might be no there there to jump to.

It's a future where the other ebook sellers have been decimated and have either gone out of business or become irrelevant.  It's a future where no other ebook retailer can build a profitable business.

Let's Celebrate Dependence Day, December 8, 2011

No, that's not a typo.  Yes, I'm being a bit sarcastic.

When the history books of the indie author movement are written 20 years from now, historians may point to December 8, 2011 as the day that indie authors lost their independence.

Until that day, every retailer was welcoming self-published ebooks into their stores, gave authors control over their pricing, and paid up to 70% list.

It was also the day that Amazon, the world's largest online bookseller, decided that these indie authors were becoming too powerful and too valuable to roam wild.

December 8, 2011 was the was the day Amazon launched KDP Select and began stripping indies of their independence.

The independence of indie authors wasn't stolen from them.  Instead, indies were coaxed, prodded, browbeaten, extorted and tricked to gradually surrender it.

It was a brilliant strategy in retrospect.  Convince indie authors to hand over exclusive distribution rights to Amazon for short 3-month (auto-renewing) increments.

As I warned the day Amazon announced KDP Select (read it here), the scheme would slowly starve Amazon's competitors of books and customers, and make authors more dependent upon a single retailer.

Then on July 14, 2014, Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited which offered customers unlimited book reading from a catalog of titles sourced almost entirely from indie ebooks enrolled in KDP Select.  A key feature of KU is that the author's list price is irrelevant.  You're compensated less than one half penny per page read.

Today, over one million indie ebooks are exclusive to Amazon via KDP-Select and KU.  Those books act like leeches to slowly drain other booksellers of their lifeblood.

Amazon aggressively promotes KU to its customers. It encourages them to read books for free with KU.  Readers of indie ebooks now have over one million reasons to never purchase another single-copy ebook again. The day KU launched, I warned authors of the potential implications (read it here).

Authors who now derive 100% of their sales from Amazon are no longer indie authors.  They're dependent authors.   I suppose we have indie authors and de-authors now.

Where to from Here?

You may feel at times like like you're just one vote, or that you're a victim of forces more powerful than you.

But your vote matters because just like in politics, the election for your future will be greatly contested by those who want to exert power over you.

The challenge here is that although you're an integral participant within this grand indie author movement, there's no collective organization.  No representative body looks out for our interests.  We're all free agents.  We're divided and conquered.

There are great organizations, companies and writers organizations out there that advocate for authors, but none have the reach or power to harness collective action.

Every indie author is out there trying to make their way as they search for readers.  From 50,000 feet, it looks like hundreds of thousands of cats moving in random directions searching for mice.

Someone figured out how to herd the cats.

A single mousetailer has corned the market for mice.  All the cats run there.

But there aren't enough mice for all the cats, so the mousetailer proclaims that only a select few can now have preferential hunting privileges.  All you have to do is surrender your independence.

Can't Indies say No to Dependence?

It's not too late for self-published authors to reclaim their independence.

Authors could kill KDP Select tomorrow, along with its KU spawn, by simply refusing to participate.  KU would collapse overnight (or within three months) if all the books disappeared.

The problem is that there's always another author or publisher standing in line to replace the author who refuses to participate.  Another author who's willing to drop their pants lower for the chance to reach those captive readers.  This plays into Amazon's business model of forcing producers to offer ever-lower prices, and to earn an ever-lower percentage of those prices. 

At this point, it's clear that the publishing industry (I'm including everyone here - publishers, retailers, indies, myself and everyone else in the industry) has shown itself inept and incapable at organizing a cohesive, effective response to Amazon.  Instead, the industry complains about Amazon's dominance while continuing to surrender more independence to Amazon every day.

The industry in its desperation to reach readers has become its own worst enemy.

Now large publishers - the only ones who hold collective bargaining power on behalf of the world's bestselling authors - tip toe around Amazon, fearful that if they look at Amazon cross-eyed their preorder buttons will disappear and their authors will blame the publisher for not keeping their books on Amazon's virtual shelves.

Indies fear that if they don't succumb to KDP Select exclusivity, they'll reach fewer readers.

Odd how indies are repeating the same mistakes of publishers.

I don't blame authors who participate in KDP-Select.  I blame Amazon for putting authors in this position.

Although many indies are bravely staying wide on principle (hello Smashwords authors!), many more have thrown principle to the wind and stand ready to surrender more flesh and dignity if it allows them to step higher in visibility so they can continue to put food on their family's table. 

It's a sad state of affairs when indies are forced to devote more creative energy toward pleasing Amazon's corrupt algorithms than to pleasing readers.

Fair competition at Amazon does not exist.

The KU Scam

In 2017 there was an uproar in the indie community decrying all the scammers that were stealing money out of the KU pot.  Lets be clear - the problem is real.

Scammers were manipulating Amazon's algorithms and page-counting methods to artificially inflate the page reads, earnings and sales rank of certain books.  That meant less money and less visibility for other KU participants.

What most of these indies failed to realize, however, was that KU itself is a scam.  KU is an artificial construct designed to strip pricing power away from authors so Amazon can offer ever-lower prices to its customers.  In the long run, it's great for Amazon but not so great for authors.

KU steals visibility and sales opportunity from non-participating authors and hands it to participating authors.  KU participants are trampling their fellow indies. 

Imagine a giant's thumb pressing down on a perfectly buoyant boat and slowly sinking it, as the passengers frantically step over one another to reach the last gasps of oxygen.  Guess who plays the roles of giant and passenger?

It doesn't have to be this way.

Time to Break Things Up?

Stepping back, this isn't just an Amazon phenomena.  It's part of a larger problem and a larger trend where a few large tech company platforms (Google with search, Facebook with social media, Amazon with ecommerce) have amassed so much power that it's become a matter of self-preservation for them to continue doing what they're doing.  In the process, they're stifling innovation and preventing fair competition.

Prof. Scott Galloway of NYU has had some great insights into this problem of these too-powerful platforms.  He's been waging a lonely campaign in recent months calling for government intervention to break up these companies and restore fair competition.

He argues that government regulation is not the socialist thing to do - it's the pro-competitive thing to do.   By breaking these companies up and restoring fair competition, it would unleash a new wave of of innovation.  See also his Ted talk.

Save us Margrethe Vestager

It's time for government regulators to step in and restore fair competition.  It's time to break up Amazon. 

Monopolies and monopsonies (of which Amazon arguably wears shades of both) are not illegal.  What's illegal is when a company wields its dominance to stifle fair competition.

Amazon as an ecommerce juggernaut has become so powerful that other companies can lose billions of dollars in market cap in a matter of minutes at the mere rumor Amazon might enter their business.  Amazon has become so dominant across so many areas of commerce that investors are reluctant to invest in companies that may one day have to compete against Amazon.

Fair competition is broken.

Amazon practices predatory pricing by operating its business at break even.  Amazon doesn't need to make money in books, whereas your local bookstore or favorite non-Amazon ebook retailer can't stay in business if all the profit in bookselling is flushed down Amazon's toilet.

Bookstores can't survive when Amazon can coerce its author and publisher suppliers to offer Amazon better prices, or worse, as we see in the indie ebook space with KDP Select, put a gun to the head of authors and force them to deny other retailers the ability to sell their books.

It's unlikely regulatory action will come any time soon from the United States.  The US government is horribly broken at the moment.  Even though Donald Trump is no fan of Jeff Bezos, regulation appears anathema to him and his base at the moment. 

Regulatory action is more likely to come out of Europe, and specifically from this brave woman, Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition commissioner.

I'm imagining Margrethe Vestager's face pasted on the head of Obi-wan Kenobi.  Princess Leia is pleading, "Save us Margrethe Vestager, you're our only hope."

But the big question, especially for indie authors who depend on their book income to make ends meet, is whether reform will come in time before everyone is drowned in the boat Amazon is deliberately foundering.

It doesn't need to be this way.  No other retailer forces exclusivity.  No other retailer punishes the author for refusing to go exclusive.  No other retailer strips pricing control away from authors, or takes their rights for 3-month auto-renewing increments of time.

It's unclear how pure-play bookstores can remain in business in an environment where the same consumers who scream bloody murder about bookstore closures forget their own complicity by browsing at their local bookstore before buying at Amazon.

Amazon's not evil. They merely feed our insatiable gluttonous appetites for lower costs and greater consumption. 

I could even argue that Amazon is the victim of its own success.  Amazon's business model got it here, and now they can't turn back.  The moment they start raising prices to earn a fair profit is the moment they lose their competitive edge.  Or it's the moment they invite anti-trust action.

In the meantime, these low prices come on the backs of Amazon's suppliers. 

Authors can't outsource their writing to China or Mexico.  The satirical April Fool's dystopia I painted a couple years ago  (see "Kindle Power Bucks") about authors paying to be read at Amazon is becoming reality.

Will Authors to Take Back their Independence?

It's not too late for authors to take back their independence, but time is running out.

Like I said above, indie authors have the power to kill KDP Select tomorrow simply by opting out.

But will they?  Many of us in the indie movement have been warning about the long term implications of KDP Select since it first came out.  Yet these warnings have fallen on deaf ears because readers are the oxygen of writers. 

So while it's possible for authors to reclaim their independence, it's looking unlikely the community is willing to endure the pain necessary to extricate themselves from this situation.  The retailer ecosystem that once worked so hard to support them is fading, dying a death of a thousand cuts.

This is why authors can't have nice things.

The Silver Lining in this Dystopian Picture

Despite the dark picture I painted above, I remain optimistic about he future of indie publishing.  I remain confident that one way or another, the stars will align for authors to rise up and take back their futures.  It's unlikely to be next year or the year after, but eventually the pain of this dependency will cause a backlash.

In the meantime, if my words above depress you, I want to leave you with this one other bit of optimism before we move on to the predictions.

Book publishing is a multi-billion dollar global business.  The size of the market could drop 50% tomorrow and you'll still have amazing opportunities to achieve all of your writerly dreams.  These opportunities will still be 1,000 times greater than the opportunities you had prior to the rise of the indie author movement that took root in 2007 and 2008.

Every retailer except Amazon could abandon the ebook market and you'll still have the opportunity to reach readers.

Readers aren't going to stop reading books.  Your book is unique.  Although it's possible to commoditize reading pleasure with KU, your book will always offer something compelling that readers will pay for, IF you demand to be paid for it.

If you value your publishing independence, fight for it.

2018 Publishing Predictions

I see sunshine and clouds for 2018.  Let's do the bad news first and then we'll wrap with the good news.


1.  2018 will be another challenging year for the book industry - There's no way to sugar coat it so I won't.  Book publishing is in a slow structural decline.  Books are media.  They're a bundle of paper or a bundle a digital bits and bytes that carry stories and knowledge.  They entertain, inform and inspire.  Now think about the competition for books.  The answer to that is basically, "all media."  Books are competing for consumers' ever-fragmented attention against other media forms for entertainment, escapism and knowledge-building.  These media forms include social media, cable television, streaming media services like Netflix or Spotify, video games, YouTube, podcasts, print magazines, and anything else that occupies our attention.

2.  The glut of high-quality low-cost ebooks will get worse - In the old days of print publishing, the number of books in circulation was artificially constrained by the production output of traditional publishers, and by the shelf space available at brick and mortar retailers.   Since ebook retailer shelf space is virtually unlimited, ebooks need never go out of print.  This means that every day from this day forward, there will be more books occupying virtual shelves and competing for a readership whose attention is increasingly fragmented across multiple media forms.

3.  Barnes & Noble is sick and will get sicker - I love Barnes & Noble.  They're our second-largest sales channel after Apple iBooks.  The ebook team at B&N is excellent.  But their ebook business is in trouble.  It's shrinking every year, and that shrinkage makes it difficult for them to give the business the investment it requires.  The company is further distracted by activist shareholders that are agitating for the company's sale.  This will distract B&N from its main priority - it needs to refocus on becoming the best bookseller it can be.

4.  Kobo's sales will falter - Kobo, an internationally-focused mid-sized ebook retailer, has been one of the strongest performers in the ebook space over the last four years.  While other retailers slipped and lost market share, Kobo was the little engine that could.  They were smart to get into the business of powering other retailer's ebook stores, and partnering up with indie brick and mortar stores.  Kobo has also had great success supporting indie authors, whose books now account for a sizable percentage of their store's sales.  Yet I don't see how they'll be able to keep their customers long term when they're competing against a retailer that has over 1 million indie ebooks locked up and inaccessible to Kobo's customers.

5.  Devaluation pressures will persist - Publishing is on figurative fire but the industry doesn't see the smoke yet.  Large publishers look at Kindle Unlimited and think, "not a threat to me, those books are all dreck."  Yet Amazon's success with KU is placing considerable devaluation pressure on ebooks.  Publishers should read Clayton Christiansen's Innovators Dilemma.  A lot of those KU books are dreck, but KU has such a large critical mass of titles it offers an incredible value for consumers.  There will always be a truly unlimited collection of 5-star books for readers to choose from. You can bet KU subscribers are purchasing fewer traditionally published books as a result. 

6.  Single-copy ebook sales will decline - If readers can derive more hours of reading pleasure per dollar at KU than they can from buying single-copy ebooks, then single-copy ebook sales will decline not just at Amazon but at every ebook retailer.

7.  Romance authors will feel the most pain from KU - Romance readers are the most amazing readers.  These are the readers that read a book a day.  These readers will migrate to the unlimited reading of subscription services, for which KU is the only significant provider as of today.

8.  Large traditional publishers will reduce commitment to romance - I'm hearing from large publishers that they're questioning their commitment to romance and are considering ceding that market to self-published authors.  One told me, "There's no way we can build a business selling $1.99 romance ebooks."  I think it would be a mistake for publishers to do this, because romance authors are typically the early-movers in terms of trend-setting.  Indie authors dominate romance ebooks, but the indies of other genres are coming on strong.  Are publishers going to abandon sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mysteries and thrillers too?  The large publishers should embrace romance, not abandon it.

9.  Email list fatigue - One of the most powerful platform-building tools for indie authors is the private mailing list.  A lot of indie authors will see their email lists shrink this year as readers attempt to retake control of their inboxes.

10.  Pressure will build to drop author royalties - Indie authors celebrate their ability to earn 70% list on their ebooks, but this royalty rate will become increasingly untenable as Amazon's competitors fall by the wayside.  Remember how it was Apple's entry into the market that forced Amazon to raise royalties?   With fewer viable retailers, Amazon's now in the driver's seat for author royalties.  If they drop the payouts at KDP, other retailers will be forced to follow suit to keep their costs competitive.


2018 won't be all doom and gloom.  Let's look at some bright spots.

11.  Audiobooks will be a big story in 2018 - Audiobooks were the fastest growing segment of the book industry last year, and I think this will continue in 2018.  Audiobooks make books accessible to more readers by opening up new hours of the day for book consumption.  You can enjoy audiobooks while you're doing other things, whereas reading text requires your full undivided attention.

12.  Audible will face increased competition - At present, Amazon has a virtual monopoly on audiobooks though its Audible division.  They've stripped authors and publishers of all pricing control and pay paltry royalty rates.  I think 2018 will be the year authors and publishers begin to stand up and revolt.  A key catalyst for this revolt could be Apple.  Up until about a year ago, Apple was bound by an exclusive supplier arrangement to only sell audiobooks sourced by Audible.  Now that that agreement is over, will Apple rise up and foster more competition?  Even if Apple does nothing, other forces are organizing to take on Audible's hegemony over audiobooks.

13.  Readers will still pay for books worth reading - One of the big takeaways from this year's Smashwords Survey was that we found our bestselling authors were able to increase prices without undermining unit sales.  $4.99 has joined $2.99 and $3.99 as pricing sweet spots.  This tells me that authors who build devoted followings have pricing power.  Their readers will follow them and stick with them as they move up from ultra-low prices to prices that are still really low.  $4.99 is a great deal for a great book!  This also indicates that a lot of authors are probably selling themselves short by pricing too low, or by participating in a certain subscription service that only pays them 1/2 penny a page.  Episdode 7 of my Smart Author podcast explores the 2017 Smashwords Survey.

14.  New subscription services will be introduced - In 2017, Kobo made moves to launch its own ebook subscription service to compete against KU.  Scribd has been doing subscriptions for a long time.  At present, B&N and Apple don't offer subscription services.  I think new subscription services are inevitable as retailers counter the threat posed by KU.  The advent of more subscription services represents a potentially slippery slope.  At present, Scribd is the only provider with an author-friendly model where the author is paid a percentage of their list price.  But as we saw back in 2015 when Scribd had to drop romance, over-consumption can break the subscription model if readers read too much.  Amazon's response to this challenge, as was Kobo's response, was to pay authors out of a shared pool.  In this way, the retailer could balance its subscription revenue against the expense of providing those books.  I've never been a fan of such pool-based models because they strip pricing control away from the author and can contribute to devaluation.  I'll have my eyes open in 2018 for author-friendly subscription services that can pay authors more than they're getting at Amazon but without the exclusivity restrictions.

15.  Calls will grow in the US for antitrust action against Amazon - This was one of my long shot predictions from last year, and I'm bringing it back because I think it's becoming a growing inevitability.  The US government so far has shown no inclination to restore fair competition to publishing.  In fact, their bone-headed decision a couple years ago to charge publishers and Apple with pricing collusion only played into Amazon's hands.  But now that Amazon is aggressively disrupting other industries, from grocery and consumer retail to healthcare and transportation, I've got to imagine that the CEOs of the largest most powerful publicly traded companies in the US are going to start directing their lobbyists in Washington, DC to put some controls on Amazon.   If the European Union can make some progress bringing these powerful platforms to heel, it might give DC the backbone it needs.

16.  Indies will reassert control over platform - Many indies have grown frustrated over the last few years at Facebook.  After indies devoted significant time and money to build their followings at Facebook, Facebook pulled a bait and switch and started charging authors to reach their friends and followers.  More indies will take steps in 2018 to form a closer, more direct relationships with their readers because as indies are learning, if someone else controls your access to readers, they can tax that access or take it away.

17.  Indie authors will take a closer look at podcasting to reach new readers - My limited experience of doing about a dozen episodes of the Smart Author podcast has opened my eyes to the power of this medium.  I'm seeing greater opportunities for indie authors to use podcasting, just as they'll use audiobooks, to make their words more accessible to new audiences.  If you visit Apple Podcasts and click to their Arts category, you'll find examples of the potential for these two media forms to come together.  You've got authors who read their books (like Scott Siglar who's been doing it for years, ever since the Evo Terra's Podiobooks was around), authors who perform their own books, performers who perform public domain classics, my own serialization of the forthcoming 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, and more.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's celebration.  I look forward to working with you in 2018 to change the world one indie ebook at a time.

Check out my annual Smashwords Year in Review and 2018 Preview post, also out today.

Summary of prior publishing prediction posts by Mark Coker:

2017 Predictions (Published December 31, 2016)

2016 Predictions (Published December 31, 2015)

2015 Predictions (Published December 31, 2014)

2014 Predictions (Published December 30, 2013) and Huffington Post (Published January 7, 2014)

2013 Predictions (Published Dec 21, 2012)

2011 Predictions at GalleyCat (published Dec 28, 2010)

10-Year Predictions at GalleyCat (published Jan 4, 2010)

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:57:00 +0000
Smart Book Marketing Starts with a Solid Foundation
Every structure and every enterprise requires a strong foundation upon which to build, grow and thrive.  The foundation contains the DNA that predetermines much of an enterprise's destiny.

The same holds true for an author's marketing strategy.  Without a solid foundation, an author's marketing program lacks purpose and direction.  It can become rudderless, ineffectual an inefficient.

Most authors launch their first book without giving their marketing foundation adequate consideration.

The good news is that it's never too late to reinforce your foundation so you can build a marketing program that's more purposeful, more organic, more effective and more efficient.

Today on episode 11 of the Smart Author podcast, you'll learn 23 tips to bolster your marketing foundation and set the stage to achieve your full potential.

You'll learn actionable ideas for author brand-building, knowledge-building, platform-building and distribution:  

This is part two of my six-part audio serialization of the new 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.  The ebook for 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide will release in late January upon the conclusion of this six-part audio serialization.

Subscribe to Smart Author today so you don't miss a single episode.

Visit the Smart Author hub page for links to full transcripts of each episode.

Where to listen and subscribe:

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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser) 

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:05:00 +0000
Smashwords End of Year Sale Starts December 25
Mark your calendar!

On Christmas day we kick off our first annual Smashwords End of Year Sale.

Already, 30,000 indie ebooks and nearly 6,000 authors are enrolled to participate with deep discounted ebooks priced at 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and FREE.   We expect thousands of more authors and books to join the sale in the next few days.

We'll offer an incredible selection of the best in indie fiction and non-fiction.

The sale starts December 25 and ends at midnight Pacific the evening of January 1.

The first few days after Christmas mark the biggest ebook selling days of the year as millions of readers around the world unwrap their new e-reading devices and smart phones start loading them with new ebooks to read.  Let's help these readers read!

We'll promote the sale to over one million readers at Smashwords.  Like our other high-profile sales such as Read an Ebook Week in March and the Summer/Winter Sale in July, we'll also promote it prominently on the Smashwords home page and across thousands of participating book pages.

To enroll, visit https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos today where you can enroll your books in the various discount levels. These discounts are exclusive to the Smashwords store and don't affect prices at other retailers.  Participating authors and publishers can modify their discount levels at any time between now and the end of the sale.

As with all sales events at the Smashwords store, this is a collaborative marketing event where authors help authors. Every participating author, through the promotion of their own books, amplifies the opportunity for fellow authors as readers stuff their carts chock full with deep-discounted ebooks from their favorite indie authors.

If you're a reader, be sure to check in with the sale daily because new exclusive deals will join the sale each day. 

With every ebook you buy, you're directly supporting the hard work of these writers and small independent presses.  Smashwords pays royalties of up to 80% of the list price, which means more of the reader's dollar goes to directly to the author and publisher.  The royalty level for the Smashwords store is based on dollar size of the customer's shopping cart.  It's common for customers of our exclusive sales to load their carts full with dozens and sometimes hundreds of books.  This means even 99-cent ebooks often earn authors and publishers up to 80% list during our sales.  Indie authors earn only 35% list for such low priced books at Amazon.  Thanks for supporting Smashwords authors and publishers!

Happy holidays, everyone.  May your 2018 be blessed with more time to read!

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:45:00 +0000
Smart Author Podcast Begins Six-Part Audio Serialization of New 2018 Edition of Smashwords Book Marketing Guide
Today on episode 10 of the Smart Author Podcast I kick off part one of my six part audio serialization of the new 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.

This is a Smart Author exclusive.  Smart Author listeners will be the first to gain access to these new marketing insights and recommendations.

I'll air one part each week through the end of January, and then after the last part airs I'll release the new ebook everywhere for free.

The 2018 edition of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide represents my most extensive revision yet.  It's been completely restructured and updated.  It features a new introduction, two dozen new marketing ideas, updates to prior recommendations, and a new "Deep Dives" chapter that offers in-depth guidance on developing your social media strategy, working with beta readers, and how to earn free press coverage.

In part one, available now, I introduce this six-part series, provide a high level overview of key book marketing concepts, and then present chapter one which describes over 20 free book marketing tools at Smashwords.

In the next episode coming next week, Episode 11, we start digging into my expanded checklist of 65 book marketing ideas.  I'll cover the first 23 which pertain to author brand-building, book launch preparation, and knowledge-building.

If you haven't yet subscribed to Smart Author, consider doing so today.  By subscribing at one of the outlets below, it makes it easier to listen to all the episodes in the right order, and you'll be the first to gain access to future episodes.

Where to listen and subscribe:

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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:06:00 +0000
Revisiting The Indie Author Manifesto
As an indie author, you're participating in a global cultural movement that's turning the world of book publishing upside down.

Today on the Smart Author Podcast, I take a fresh look at the indie author movement by examining it within the context of the centuries-old struggle for free expression.

Back in 1450, the introduction of Gutenberg's printing press enabled mass production and communication of the written word. The printing press sparked enormous social, cultural and political upheaval as those in power sought to control free expression by controlling the printing press.

In this episode, I carry the story forward to the present day and explain how ebooks helped democratize book publishing by putting the printing press in the hands of all writers.  Ebooks empowered writers to reach readers without running the gauntlet of agent and publisher gatekeepers. 

I end the episode by reading and dissecting The Indie Author Manifesto, which I first wrote and published here on the Smashwords blog back in 2014.  Back then, The Indie Author Manifesto was my attempt to articulate and celebrate the ethos behind this emerging class of writer - the Indie Author.  It was fun to revisit the Indie Author Manifesto almost four years later.

When we look at the indie author movement through the lens of history, it's fascinating to consider how gatekeepers in various forms have come and gone over the centuries, yet the battle over free expression continues.

History shows that words have value, and whenever something has value there will be those who try to control that value in ways that aren't always aligned with your free expression.

Who are the new gatekeepers?  Maybe I'll tackle that question in a future episode. 


Here's where you can listen:

Apple Podcasts



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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:06:00 +0000
The Art of Delusion: Episode 8 of the Smart Author Podcast
The writer's life can often feel a bit bipolar with high highs and low lows.

There's the thrill of completing the final draft, the thrill of the upload, the thrill of your first five-star review, the thrill of your first royalties, and the thrill of your first fan mail. 

And then there's the agony of your first 1-star review, the inevitable low blows and nastiness of an angry reader, the writers block or the lower-than-expected sales.

At times, the reasons to quit can feel more sensible than the reasons to power on.  And often, the loudest voices to quit come from those who love you the most.

But they can't hear the voices in your head, the voices that only a writer can understand.

In episode 8 of the Smart Author Podcast, I present The Art of Delusion.

This is probably the most personal episode of the podcast to date.  I share the story of my own journey as a writer, how I turned lemons to lemonade, and then share 20 tips that will help writers find greater joy in the journey of writing and publishing.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.  We all have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the freedom and opportunity writers enjoy today that weren't available a mere ten years ago.

Here's where to listen and subscribe:

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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)


Fri, 10 Nov 2017 18:30:00 +0000
2017 Smashwords Survey Featured in Episode 7 of Smart Author Podcast
For each of the last six years, we've published our annual Smashwords Survey here on the blog.

Now, for the first time, the Smashwords Survey is available in episode 7 of the Smart Author Podcast.

To compile the Survey, we crunch millions of dollars worth of actual retail and library sales data, aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network, and then we ask questions of the data.

It's always a fun experience to discover new insights.

The goal of the Survey is to identify author-controllable factors that can than make ebooks more discoverable, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.

Although we can't quantitatively measure book quality, or even the quality of a cover image, there are numerous other factors that can be measured.  The Survey helps us identify the habits and best practices of the bestselling authors and books.

If you want to travel in same orbit as bestselling authors, learn from what they're doing.  Learn what works and what doesn't.

One of the most powerful benefits of our approach to analyzing this data is that it's aggregated.

Although you can study what a single favorite bestselling author is doing, that's just one data point.  Every author will have slightly different results.

With aggregated data, we can identify important factors with greater confidence.

For example, I'll often talk to authors who'll tell me they tried preorders once and they didn't work, or they didn't work for an author friend, so now they just upload the day of release. That's an unfortunate mistake, but it's not a big surprise.

Most authors don't do preorders yet.  For this 12-month Survey period, we found that only about 12% of authors released their books as preorders.  Yet this small minority of books released as preorder dramatically outperformed all other books.  Once you look at the data (or listen to it below), it'll probably change your mind about preorders.

I'm excited to share this podcast episode with you because in all prior six years, the only time I presented the findings live was at the RT Booklovers convention, which where I release the Survey's findings each year.

Although I blog about the findings and share the full presentation online, I've always wanted to make the findings more accessible to more authors.  Now that I'm doing the Smart Author Podcast, for the first time I'm able to bring you this year's findings as audio.

As I was working to transform the visual presentation into this audio presentation, I added new, never-before-released findings that weren't in the original release.  So even if you already studied the Survey we released earlier this year, you'll learn new insight from the podcast presentation.


Here's where you can listen and subscribe

Apple Podcasts



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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

More information:

Download the original 2017 Smashwords Survey presentation
For full transcript of this episode, click here.

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 17:05:00 +0000
How to Market eBooks to Libraries
Public libraries represent a promising sales opportunity for most indie authors.

In Episode 6 of the Smart Author Podcast, out today, you'll learn how to market your indie ebook to public libraries.

Although sales of indie ebooks to libraries are much lower than sales through retail, the library ebook market is growing whereas sales through most retailers are flat to down.

Libraries are engines of book discovery.  Library patrons often discover their new favorite authors through a library checkout, and many of the patrons will go on to purchase other books by the same author at retail.  If you want to sell more ebooks through retail, sell more ebooks to libraries.

There are over 9,000 public libraries in the United Stated, and over 16,000 combined in the English-speaking countries of Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.  Worldwide there are over 250,000 public libraries.

In Episode 6 of the Smart Author Podcast you'll learn how librarians discover, curate, acquire, manage and check out ebooks.  You'll learn the mindset of librarians, and how everything they do is razor focused on serving their patrons.  You'll learn six marketing tips that will help get your ebooks purchased by more libraries.

If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe to the podcast at your favorite source below, and please share with friends!

Where to Listen Now

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Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)


Tue, 31 Oct 2017 16:03:00 +0000
How to Work with Beta Readers
Good books aren't good enough anymore.  There's a glut of high-quality, low-cost books on the market.

The supply of books is growing faster than the supply of readers.  Whenever you face such an oversupply problem in any market, producers start tripping over themselves to compete on price.

If you were selling mousetraps, you'd outsource your manufacturing to Mexico or China where labor costs are lower so you can sell your product for less.  As an author, you can't outsource your writing.

But you can compete on quality.  Readers will pay for quality.  Quality books earn 5-star reviews.  Quality books wow the reader and spark word of mouth.

This is where beta readers come in.  Beta readers will help you make your book the best it can be.

Write a Better Book with the Help of Beta Readers

Beta readers are test readers.  Beta readers read your book prior to publication and share feedback.

In episode 5 of the Smart Author Podcast, out today, I teach you how to plan and execute a beta reader round.  As you'll learn, to get the most out of beta readers, it's not enough to just email them a draft of your book and ask them what they think.

I'll show you how to manage a strategic beta reader round.  I'll teach you how to manage beta reader signups.  You'll learn the thinking that goes in to asking the right questions of beta readers so you get the answers you need to guide and inspire your final revision.

Check out Episode 5 now at Apple Podcasts or any of the outlets below.  Remember to subscribe so you don't miss future episodes, and then check out the show notes over at our Smart Author hub page to access the full transcript along with supplemental links and resources.

If you find this episode useful, please do me a favor and share it with friends in your writers group or on social media.  Or, just share a link to this blog post because below I list all the links anyone needs to listen from any device or web browser.

Where to Listen Now:

Apple Podcasts



Google Play Music


YouTube (audio)


Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 18:25:00 +0000
Indie Authors on Indie Authorship
image reads:  "Indie authors on indie authorship"
We asked members of the Smart Author Podcast launch team to share their thoughts on indie authorship.

Here's what they shared.  Their quotes run the spectrum from insightful, to heart warming, to hilarious to downright strange.  Just like authors.

If any of these images speak to you, feel free to click to enlarge then download to your device or desktop and share.  You can also find these quotes at Facebook at the Smart Author Podcast page, where you can like them and share them.

What does indie authorship mean to you?   Add your own thoughts below in the comments.

image reads:  "I write to bring beauty and kindness to the world, to touch my reader's hearts with intriguing ideas."

image reads:  "Being an indie author means creative freedom"

image reads:  "Self-publishing = sharing your story on your own terms"

image reads:  "I ink, therefore I ham"

image reads:  "I write to be an inspiration to a little girl like me"

image reads:  "My stories come from someone inside me.  I'm just the typist"

image reads:  "Indie writing is the way to go this generation"

image reads:  "The best thing about writing fiction is that you can Be anyone, Do anything, as well as choose your age, sex and future.  Anything is possible."

image reads:  "Life as an indie means freedom to be a creative Romance Author"

image reads:  "Reading and writing - humankind's greatest inventions.  Why not use them?"

image reads:  "Indie Authors - Best at Authorised Authors"

image reads:  "Indie authors = Close2FreedomOnSteroids"

image reads:  "No traditional publisher could keep up with me.  I had to go indie"

image reads:  "I live to share creative visualization; the essense of imagination"

image reads:  "The universe of imagination is so much larger than the physical universe"

image reads:  "I write stories that are fun to read and inform"

image reads (long):  "It's a puzzle exceedingly complication, deep as it is upsetting, and a maze of events to sort out so troubling that one wonders daily about its purpose.  It's walking a high rude escarpment without a safety line when the wind blows chilly and hard against your face, a thing that wil take your whole life and with tenacity, unpaid labord, much reading, more editing, rewriting, rewriting and rewriting, defying the naysayers, cursing your lot in life, begging forgiveness for thinking you hand something important to say to seven to eight billion souls who look at you with cold uncaring eyes.  Your skill is never sufficient tto drive them running through the streets shouting your thoughts and setting the world on fire with your words.  Worse still, you must know the whole entire entity but be shrewd enough to realize only two simple facts about it. You knew zilch and yet you must know everything before you publish.  Why would anyone even attempt it?"  by Edward St. Amant

image reads:  "Writing is an addition, an itch I have to scratch."

image reads:  "Beautiful writings = happy people"

image reads:  "Indie Publisher - Is Indie-Pen-dent"

image reads:  "Indie Publishing = the age of e-Enlightenment"

image reads:  "I invite readers to shift their frame of reference"

image reads:  "Indie authorship is th eultimate in self-empowerment!"

image reads:  "I love turning a blank page into a new world!"

image reads:  "Fiction must serve a purpose higher than chronocide: through Indie Authorship I can help ensure that it does"

image reads:  "A story is an audience with another soul: the writer's honor and privilege"

image reads:  "Your true pallette is the reader's imagination"

image reads:  "Writing keeps my soul alive"

image reads:  "I write to share all the worlds that are in my mind"

image reads:  "Writing makes me whole"

image reads:  "I am a guardian of the lexicon.  I build words before breakfast and defeat demons before dusk.  I am a writer... care to join me?"

image reads:  "As an indie author I control my own destiny"

image reads:  "I write because I enjoy writing.  I chose the indie author route because I was inspired by a female author back in the 90's who I heard was rejected from publishers 200 times!  She didn't let all those rejections stop her so she wound up publishing her own books and sold her books from the trunk of her car and sold thousands of copies!!  That when I found out that authors can publish their own books and sell the books themselves.  She is my inspiration!!"

image reads:  "I contribute to the great conversation of life"

image reads:  "Indie = My Way"

image reads:  "Indie publishing brings the freedom to share my vision with the world"

image reads:  "Writing is capturing the stories that rattle around in my head"

image reads:  "I write, I create and I'm in charge.  I'm an indie author"

image reads:  "I try to do what makes me happy; therefore, I write :)  "

image reads:  "Satisfying an author's desire to write and a reader's need for books"

image reads:  "As an indie author, when I write, I get to play with real guns, and sleep with voluptuous women half my age!"

image reads:  "Being an indie author gives me freedom to share and inspire others"

image reads:  "Indie authorship allows me to share my creativity"

image reads:  "I am writing to make the people discover the fact of this life and the fact of themselves"

image reads:  "Indie authors like me can share their work with the world"

image reads:  "Indie authors are the new age of writing"

image reads:  "To publish is to share one's heard, mind and soul"

image reads:  "My mind and my fingers on the keyboard transport me to imaginary places with imaginary people and exciting new experiences"

image reads:  "Writing is art, which I feel a wonderful compulsion to do and share - freely"

image reads:  "Indie Authorship:  Writer's tool for free expression, reader's right to choose"

image reads:  "Indie authorship is my driven purpose and destiny, the eReader being my priority"

image reads:  "Indie Authorship is a dream, the eBook is the fulfilment"

image reads:  "You are your own best publisher"

image reads:  "A culture of reading today and beyond tomorrow over the globe"

image reads:  "Breaking boundaries in the mind of knowledge"

image reads:  "Writing centers me and is the base from which I operate"

image reads:  "Indie authors create amazing careers"

image reads:  "I publish independently because it combines two things I love - writing and running my own business"

image reads:  "I write to breath life into my characters"

image reads:  "Changing the world by writing the future"

image reads:  "I still can't believe how quick and how easy it was to publish my first eBook, and inexpensive, too!"

image reads:  "I won't let a publisher's accountant decide when my book goes out of print"

image reads:  "Writing allows me to live multiple lives at the same time"

image reads:  "I write because my words connect me with you."

image reads:  "Indie publishing allowed me the opportunity to see my dreams come true.  It gave me a platform to build from and the opportunity to share my stories with the world at large.  An opportunity that used to be denied to so many is now an open possibilility for anyone who wishes to take the plunge."

image reads:  "Self-publishing:  bringing out the Indie in Me!"

image reads:  "Publishers need to break even; I wanted to breakout" by Rebecca Forster

image reads:  "Indie Authorship - Complete control of the creative process"

image reads:  "Writing: The legal drug of creativity"

image reads:  "I write for me"

image reads:  "I write to share all the voices in my head"

image reads:  "As an Indie Author it gives me full control"

image reads:  "I am ME as an Indie Author"

image reads:  "Writing talks to my soul in a way that speech never could"

image reads:  "Creative control - not a single regret for going indie"

image reads:  "Writing is life and self-publishing is freedom"

image reads:  "I write to quiet the voices in my head"

image reads:  "Writing heals my soul"

image reads:  "Write because it's your passion, and build you tribe with positive people"

image reads:  "Every word, every sentence, every book gives voice to the world"

image reads:  "Forget traditional rejections, go indie for success"

image reads:  "Self publshing makes my dream of being an writer come true every day"

image reads:  "I've always been an indie: independent, individual, invariably experimenting... Naturally I self-publish"

image reads:  "Imaginitive words detonate vivid images in our mind's eye"

image reads:  "If I tell you a story, you might find yourself in it."

image reads:  "I belive readers should seal an author's fate - not literary agents"

image reads:  "Meet the alchmist of today - a Writer"

image reads:  "Indie authors are digital culture's creative experimenters"

image reads:  "Independent authors save on postage"

image reads:  "Self-publishing = self-sovereignty"

image reads:  "I have stories in me that have to come out!"

image reads:  "When life gives you lemons, write it down and publish"

image reads:  "Create characters.  Build them, love them.  Release them to the world"

image reads:  "I write to leave something of value"

image reads:  "Words need friends too so I put them on the page"

image reads:  "Stories are prisoners in writer's heads.  Writing sets them free."

image reads:  "Go indie!"

image reads:  "I'm living my dream to write and publish"

image reads:  "Indi-litero=masochism (n): the perverted joy of writing your own rejection letters"

image reads:  "I write to let the aliens know what I think"

image reads:  "Indie authorship is a revolution.  I want to pioneer that revolution in India."

image reads:  "Writing's my passion, my way of helping others find their passion."

image reads:  "I'm an indie 'cause I wanna be free"

image reads:  "Being Indie means I can choose my own FONT" (the word "font" is in big frilly yellow type)

image reads:  "Writing leaves me warm and fuzzy.  A bit like septicemia."

image reads:  "Writing lets me abuse the alphabet, rather than myself"

image reads (strange one, written in red type):  "I'm so niche that I have no readers (I'd like this in red Arial, bold, 36pt, please.  I'm independent, so make it happen.)  by Thomas Corfield

image reads:  "Traditional publishing conforms to culture.  Indie publishing evolves it."

image reads:  "Indie publishing means I no longer cry myself to sleep"

image reads:  "Indie authorship means telling my stories, my way, and not anybody else's"

image reads:  "When my head gets too crowded, I use writing to get it all out."

image reads:  "I am writing to make this world better and happier"

image reads:  "I kill in books so you don't have to"

image reads:  "Being an indie author gives me flexibility because there's no limitations"

image reads:  "We are authors because we live in books"

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:34:00 +0000
Smart Author Podcast Launches with Four Episodes
The Smart Author Podcast kicked off today with the release of the first four episodes! 

Hosted by yours truly, The Smart Author Podcast guides writers step-by-step from the very basics of ebook publishing to more advanced topics.

Think of it as a free masterclass in ebook publishing best practices.

If you've never had the opportunity to attend one of my recent classes at a writer's conference, now's your chance to do it from the comfort of your own home, car or wherever you enjoy listing to podcasts.

Over at the podcast hub page at Smashwords, I share the story behind the podcast.  I was also interviewed today on Tim Knox's show talking about the podcast and other topics which you view over at YouTube.

I created the podcast to cut through the clutter and make ebook publishing easy again.

I'll teach you practical, no-nonsense tips.  You'll learn proven best practices that will work just as well five years from now as they work today.  These are the foundational evergreen best practices that every author needs to master.  You'll learn the most important best practices in only a few hours.

Where to Subscribe and Listen

Apple Podcasts




Smashwords (Listen over your web browser)

Today's New Episodes (I recommend listening in sequential order):

  1. 7 Publishing Trends - learn seven trends that are determining your future as an author. You'll learn how to navigate the turbulent cross currents of change so they work to your advantage.

  2. Introduction to Ebook Publishing - learn the basics of ebook publishing.  A great introductory primer that shows authors just how fast, free and easy ebook publishing can be.  Of course, reaching readers is difficult, a topic I tackle head-on in Episode 3.
  3. Bestseller Secrets - learn how to make your book stand out from the crowd so it's more discoverable, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers.  You'll learn practical, no-nonsense best practices. These are the essential, foundational best practices you should focus on now and always.
  4. Preorder Strategy - learn how 12% of Smashwords authors are using preorders to vacuum up over 50% of the sales for new releases.  Preorders are one of the most powerful yet least-understood best practices.  Learn how you can put preorders to use today to make your next release more successful.

Coming up next week on November 3 is Episode 5, Working with Beta Readers.  You'll learn how to make your next book the best it can be with the assistance of beta readers.

More Smart Author Podcast Links

Following the release of each episode, we post supplemental links and resources along with edited transcripts at our Smart Author hub page at Smashwords.  The full transcripts for the first four episodes are up now!

Join us at Facebook at the official Smart Author Facebook Page where you can discuss each episode with fellow listeners, or pose questions following each episode.

Please take a moment to subscribe at your favorite podcast service above so you don't miss any episodes.

If you enjoy the episodes, please share with friend and leave a rating or review!

Here's the Series Trailer

Big Thanks

Big thanks to everyone who helped make this podcast and all its moving pieces come together:

Licensed podcast theme music - Valkristo
Artwork - Derek Murphy (also gave him a shout here
Technical help - Bill Kendrick and the Smashwords engineering team
Marketing - Jim Azevedo and the Smart Author Launch Team (they'll all be gettting a big thanks here on November 24)
Inspiration and encouragement - podcasters Ani Alexander and Tim Lewis and dozens of other awesome podcasters too numerous to mention.  Joanna Penn, you're an inspiration too.  Ever since we first met F2F in AU I've been thinking about how I need to get more of my stuff out there.
More encouragement - Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, who, when I approached her with my tail between my legs, horrified to realize that I had accidentally named my Smart Author podcast so similarly close to her own podcast, Smart Author Trashy Books, Sarah was so cool about it she deserves this virtual hug.
My wife, Lesleyann - who put up with me talking about this for years before I got my derriere in gear to complete it.
My cats, Dizzy and Tucker - the finicky overseers of my makeshift studio who insisted upon personally supervising every recording session.
And last but not least - Smashwords authors.  You taught me all this stuff I'm now sharing.


Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:33:00 +0000
Introducing the Smart Author Podcast
Today I'm pleased to preview the Smart Author Podcast.

Whether you're new to ebook publishing or you're already a New York Times bestselling author, the Smart Author Podcast will help you reach more readers with your words.

A short preview trailer launched this week.  Give it a listen now at Apple Podcasts, or visit any of the links at the bottom of this post.

Next Friday, October 27, marks the official launch when we'll release the first four episodes.  Subscribe now at Apple Podcasts so you don't miss a single episode!

You might wonder, does the world need yet another podcast on self publishing?  I think the answer is YES!

Here's the series trailer:

Smart Author:  A Masterclass in Ebook Publishing

There are a lot of great podcasts out there. I'm not here to replace them. I'm here to complement them by sharing a free masterclass on ebook publishing best practices.

If the publishing world feels confusing or chaotic to you, I'll help you cut through the clutter and focus on what really matters.

I'll give you the foundational building blocks you'll need to master each stage of your indie author journey.  I'll help you fill in holes you might have missed so you can take your success to the next level.

The episodes are presented in a logical, serial order that will help every writer of every experience level master these foundational elements.  Each episode builds on the episode that precedes it.

I'll start with the most basic fundamentals - an overview on the top 7 trends shaping your future as an author - and then I'll take you incrementally, step-by-step, to more advanced topics.

Over the course of the first eight episodes, you'll learn proven best practices that most indie authors DON'T yet implement.  These best practices will give you a significant advantage. Authors who implement these best practices sell more books than authors who don't. 

You'll learn practical, no-nonsense advice.  You won't find ephemeral whiz-bang gimmicks or short cuts.  Instead, you'll learn evergreen best practices that will serve you just as well ten years from now as they'll serve you today.  I'll help focus on the path to success.

Armed with this knowledge, you'll be ready to publish with greater pride, professionalism and success.  And if you're a fan of all the other great podcasts out there that touch of these subjects, I think my information will help you get more of them as well.

Smart Author Release Schedule

Friday, October 27 will be our official launch day, followed by a month-long launch  as we release new episodes. We'll  release the first four full episodes all at once on October 27, followed by one episode a week through the end of November.  The releases will continue into December.

Please visit your favorite podcast source and subscribe today.  I'm listing their buttons below.

Here's what's coming:

E0 - Trailer (out now)
E1 - 7 Trends Shaping the Future of Authorship  (23 minutes) Releases 10/27
E2 - Introduction to Ebook Publishing (37 minutes) Releases 10/27
E3 - Best Practice Secrets of the Bestselling Authors (74 minutes) Releases 10/27
E4 - How to Sell More Ebooks with Preorders (23 minutes)  Releases 10/27
E5 - Working with Beta Readers  (23 minutes) Releases 11/3
E6 - Marketing to Libraries (21 minutes) Releases 11/10
E7 - Smashwords Survey 2017 (51 minutes) Releases 11/17
E8 - The Art of Delusion (27 minutes) Releases 11/24
E9 - The Indie Author Manifesto (Releases early December, 2017)
And more on the way!

Where to listen and subscribe

The podcast is up at Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and SoundCloud.  More outlets coming.  Click one of the buttons below to access it on your favorite platform.  If we're missing your favorite platform, leave a note in the comments and I'll do my best to add prior to the big launch next week.


Listen on Google Play Music




Smart Author Links:

Smart Author Podcast hub at Smashwords - Here you'll find detailed show notes, supplemental links and resources for each episode, and an edited transcript as each episode releases.

Smart Author on Facebook - Go here to meet fellow listeners, follow new releases and pose questions after each future episode.  Give the page a follow, a like and a share and help us spread the word!


Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:21:00 +0000
Rachel Van Dyken on Overcoming Fear
The other week I attended the awesome PennedCon conference in St. Louis.  It was headlined by two amazing keynoters, Rachel Van Dyken and Jamie McGuire, both #1 New York Times bestsellers, and both fellow Smashwords authors.

Their talks were raw, deep and personal, at times humorous and gut wrenching. A common thread between the two was how to find the strength to power on.  Jamie focused on finding the courage to believe in yourself when others don't, and Rachel focused on overcoming fear.  Together, they formed two perfect bookends.  I wish you could have been there in person.

Rachel mentioned during her presentation that she had written out her speech beforehand.  She kindly agreed to share it with me for publication here on the Smashwords blog.

If you know anyone who's ever suffered from fear, anxiety or depression, you'll want to share this transcript with them.  It might change their life.


As Presented by Rachel Van Dyken
September 29, 2017
PennedCon.  St. Louis, Mo

I LOVE public speaking, I really do, when it’s in front of my grandma’s bridge group and I can tell them that I want to be a unicorn and they’ll go, “oh how sweet, you do that” and then hand me a chocolate chip cookie.

In fact, anxiety is washing OVER me right now and I would do anything to be at my grandma’s stuffing my face with cookies, because the simple fact is this:

You guys are my peers.

I’m fully aware that any one of you guys could be up here, that I in no way deserve to be at this podium more than you, so the fact that I get to stand here and address you is such a privilege that I’m having a hard time believing it. 

I honestly think the worst part about saying yes to Rick [Miles, conference co-organizer with Amy Miles] in being the keynote speaker was the fact that I had months of anxiety leading up to it, months of wondering if I was going to totally ruin everything and make everyone boo, or if I was going to stand up here and just pass out.

THE POINT— I’m honored I’m up here, but please be gentle with me, especially since…

Ugh I hate to drop a bomb but—especially since I’m gonna get real with you.

You see the other unfortunate part about having six months to think about this, maybe longer is the fact that I typically push things from my mind until the day before, then just speak on a topic and go on my merry way.

This was different. It was immediately different, especially after seeing a lot of the hate, fear, and insecurity swarming our lovely book community—it didn’t force me into procrastination, it forced me into action. This topic plagued me for months, even after I wrote it down, it had me waking up at night, it had me constantly going back to my speech—guys I wrote this down!  I don’t ever write things down. I knew it was important, and I think because of the heaviness and responsibility of it, I knew that it had to be said, it had to be spoken about.

I couldn’t get this idea out of my head, and while my greatest wish is for you guys to be like YES Rachel van Dyken nailed this, so FUNNY! I’m like uh oh, this may not be funny at all, it may be painful, but at least you’ll get a few truth bombs out of it. 

Here’s the thing. I want you to walk out of here different than the way you walked in, I want you changed from the inside out, I want to alter your perspective about yourself, about the way you think about yourself, the way you think about others, and the way you think about your role in this community. I refuse to let you leave the same way you came in.


Words are powerful, they hold power over our emotions, over our speech, behavior, over the way we react to those around us. WORDS TRULY DECIDE THE PATH OF OUR LIVES.

Think about it, when someone encourages you, when you get fed the words you so desperately need what does that do to your attitude, your demeanor? It’s life changing. Literally as if you’ve been stumbling all day in search of water only to have someone hold a hose to your face and command you to drink.


And they have power to emotionally harm us.

We live in a world where words have the power to create. I mean that’s what authors do right? We create worlds that you live in, that you can escape to, but what happens when that world ends? What happens when you hit the last page?

When you’re having a bad day and someone puts you down, you don’t remember the good words from your friend a week ago.  All you can focus on is the fact that someone saw you, measured you, and found you wanting.

YOU aren’t enough.
You aren’t good enough.
Pretty enough.
Skinny enough.
Serious enough.
Funny enough.
Smart enough.

YOU, there’s something wrong with YOU and no matter how many compliments you get in your lifetime, those negative words WILL ALWAYS feel like they hold more weight when you look at yourself in the mirror and try to decide what kind of person you are, what kind of purpose you have in this world, and what your purpose is in this book world.

SEE -  I told you I was going all dark side on you.

You totally should have picked another keynote, oh good, you’ve got Jamie [McGuire] tomorrow, she’ll be funny I swear. ;)

So here we go, here are the words, here’s the serious, here’s the transparent, buckle up.

Nine years ago I had my first panic attack; it was devastating. I was with one of my clients (I was a PSR [Psychosocial Rehabilitation] worker and counselor at the time), in my car, driving them to the library where I often had them check out books so they could have the escape I KNEW they needed in their own homes, and the world just….shifted beneath my feet. I couldn’t breathe, my chest felt tight like I was having a heart attack and the world felt like it was spinning into chaos. It was like a giant bear was chasing after me and I had to run, I had to escape.

We all know that anxiety is a manifestation of a true physical threat that doesn’t exist.  Your amygdala, the funny little almond shaped part of your brain goes BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! And your eyes search for the bear but since they see no bear and since you’re actually pretty safe, your brain manifests something internal that’s wrong, you start having physical reactions to something that doesn’t actually exist in your external environment.

It’s a very real experience, and a real thing.  No matter what people say, anxiety, depression, they attack relentlessly and the battle all takes place up here, in the head, and it is horrifying. How do you fight back something you can’t see? How do you fight back a feeling? How do you explain to someone that there’s a threat when rationally you don’t see one?

You doubt yourself.
You give into fear.
You give into defeat.
And the process repeats itself.

It’s a vicious cycle, one that I literally could not pull myself out of. I think the worst part was that I was a school counselor at the time so I’m like, "oh awesome, I have around 15 kids from the ages 4 to sixteen all dealing with this and I can’t even get a handle on my own emotions?"

I questioned God.

Why would this happen to me? Why? This makes no sense. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m helping little kids and I’m literally mentally disabled, this is how I feel. I shut my friends out, I was afraid to be in public, I was afraid people would notice. I wanted to move home. I wanted to hide away from the world that betrayed me.

And I tried. I tried to do all those things. I wanted to quit my job, move to my parents house at twenty-two, and just…hide.

I remember the day my mom looked at me after countless interviews in my hometown and said, you need to go back.

And I was like NOOOO you don’t understand, YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Loneliness, fear, so debilitating. I couldn’t understand how this person who loved me so much would tell me that I wasn’t welcome. I felt betrayed. Rejected.

And a bit ashamed. Because I knew she was right.

I was going backwards, I was reverting to what was safe, because I was afraid.

Fear has a way of latching onto us, it tells us that we can’t do things, it makes us believe lies about our sense of worth, where we are in life, and what our purpose is.

Fear kicks us off the path we were born to walk.
And it’s so ridiculously sneaky about it.

Fear comes in like your friend, it offers comfort, tells you, hey this is how you’re going to be safe.
Shut the world out, go into your little corner, I’ll hold your hand. That path you were on? Too scary. Too lonely. NO, no, do this, this is what’s going to make it better. That big book convention? Nope, no thank you. I mean I know I paid for it, but wow there’s so many people, eh why don’t you just stay in your room where its warm and safe? Why not just write? I mean you are on deadline….it would be so much easier to just, isolate.

So you believe the voice.
You believe the lie that you can’t do it, and you start digging.
You dig a safe little hold to live your life in.
You decorate it.
You buy a TV.

You hang out in your hole and keep digging as fear keeps encouraging you that you need to go deeper, people can see you, don’t let them see, don’t let them in, just put your head in the sand and close your eyes, everything’s going to be okay.

Fear has its arm wrapped around your body while its talons dig into your arm keeping you immobile.

Fear is not friend. It’s foe.

But we embrace it because for a few brief seconds it makes us feel safe.

But the thing about feelings - they don’t and CAN’T define our current state. Feelings are feelings, just because you FEEL afraid doesn’t mean you have a reason to be. Just because you feel alone doesn’t mean you are. But we put so much WORTH in feelings that we believe them as truth when they’re just natural reactions to our terrifying environment.

I moved back to Idaho that year.

I burst into tears on the first day of school in front of my boss.  I’m sure she was absolutely thrilled that I was getting put in charge of eight hundred kids haha.

Nate and I were dating. He was working a scary job that did nearly kill him numerous times. And I was like this can’t be it, this can’t be my life, where I wrap fear around my body and hold on tight and close my eyes waiting for it to lessen, to get better.

I did the only thing I knew how, to pull myself out of the cycle.
I started to inform myself.
I started to read.

I read book after book about anxiety about how to fight it, I went to my old college professor and asked her to teach me how to do desensitization therapy for my kiddos. I did it to myself.

I went through countless hours studying relaxation therapy. I studied tapping, and nutrition, and different stretches that released happy chemicals into your body, I studied hypnotism.

And I read.
And something happened.

Through those books, I found an escape, this beautiful escape that told me that I wasn’t alone, even if I really as all by myself in my house, I had friends, even if they weren’t real, they were real in my head, real to me. I poured myself into Julia Quinn books, and Eloisa James and for a few brief hours I had this…peace.

And one day, after having a few girls come into my office crying over the fact that the boys called them ugly.

I wrote The Ugly Duckling Debutante.
And it clicked.
After the first chapter, I sat back in my chair.
It was horrible but it was mine.

It’s still the worst reviewed book I’ve ever written (back in 2011), and to this day whenever I talk about it I’m like nooo don’t go buy it, don’t do it! But the point is, I wrote it, it wasn’t pretty, it was damaged, it was my damage, it was my words, my insecurities, their insecurities…it was an ugly masterpiece.

I always think back on that moment, because doing that was terrifying for me, moving back was crippling, but had I stayed in my fake safe spot, in my fear hole, I would not be where I am today.

Every single road that life takes you on has a purpose, no matter how rocky, how scary, how treacherous, THERE IS A PURPOSE.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that my mom is the reason that I am an author today, her tough love, sending me back into the pit of chaos, is what saved my life, and gave me this amazing career.
Because here’s the thing about your path. It’s normal to get thrown off of it, or even step off of it by accident, but the point is this, those accidents should propel you onward towards your main goal, they shouldn’t deter you and cause you to stop walking altogether.


WHEN YOU ARE PARALYZED you are IMMOBILE. You are living a life of stillness, when you were meant to live a life of action.

No longer are you doing what you were created to do, what you were BORN to do in this life, because you’re still, motionless.

IF YOU TAKE AWAY NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS CONFERENCE, TAKE AWAY THIS— Here’s the thing about stillness, you end up turning into an observer of life, rather than a participant…


It’s so easy to get on social media and judge, throw shade—to rant, to type hurtful words out. But how often does that make you feel better? Maybe for a second? A minute? When someone agrees with you? So thirty people agree and another four thousand are watching the train wreck going uhhh…  You aren’t changing the world by your words when you use your own fear to bring others down. Guys, the reason you see authors posting about craziness, and book sales, and negativity—it’s not because they’re suddenly bad people, or they’ve lost their minds, or they’re angry at Amazon, or angry at readers—It’s because they are petrified it’s all going to go away.

Fear leads us to anger, it causes us to lash out, it causes us to jump off our path, and live a life of observing others, and running our mouths, when we should be marching towards the purpose God has for us.

Stillness—is the devil. It really is. It gets you caught, it causes idle hands, self doubt. It causes us to look at ONLY ourselves, and not at the bigger picture. It’s kind of like the whole social media thing where you’re like ugh she would be in Bermuda right now while I’m sitting here SUFFERING in this stupid office! Meanwhile, she’s in Bermuda because it’s her last trip because she just found out she has cancer….WHAT? It’s so easy to judge, it’s so easy to isolate and only look at what we can see.

Each of you has a purpose. A calling. Something that’s bursting inside of you to get free. You know you have it because about half of you started squirming and getting that sick feeling in your chest where you’re afraid to get called out, palms sweaty, and are afraid I’m going to suddenly call for volunteers. Your sitting there trying to suck the tears back in as you pray nobody watches you sink into your chair as you go, that’s me, she’s talking about me. 

You’re right, I am.

Ready for another truth bomb—Only you can accomplish what you were born to do. Because there is only ONE you, in the world.  If you don’t do it. WHO will?

The answer? Nobody. Because nobody has what you HAVE been given. Nobody.

When we live in a constant state of defeat, we allow fear to be our guide, but fear never really takes us anywhere, does it?

Fear makes you comfortable when you’re supposed to be living a life of...

A life of terror.


IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN that FEAR IS LEARNED! You are BORN with exactly TWO fears, loud noises, and the fear of falling. That’s it.

By the time a child reaches the age of 3, they have so many fears that when I last looked it up for one of my weird psycho studies it was in the thousands.

According to Anxioustoddlers.com it shows that, [my son] Thor at this point is fearing ALL of these things, natural, learned fears, and a lot of times I know I’m the one to blame!

Guys, I’m not even allowed on Web MD. Because of my anxious over informed personality, I’ll decide that after a paper cut I only have twenty four hours to live! I wish I was exaggerating. I’m like oh, that’s blood poisoning, oh that’s MRSA!

I actually texted my doctor friend (cover model Brian Byrne) and asked him if Thor was going to be okay because he swallowed toothpaste.  No joke he was like... "well he’s going to have really minty breath?"

A lot of fears are ingrained into us because of our surroundings or the people around us, here’s a list of some of the fears Thor has right now, but I guarantee you have some too, feel free to raise your hand:

Ahem, I am afraid of at least 12 of those exact same things, that I KNOW if I was like OOOO a vacuum, he’d go OOOH a vacuum RUN!

My point? Natural fear is learned.

Look at a little kid and tell me how terrified they are of jumping off that couch, no they just stupidly trust the universe is somehow going to catch them before they break an arm!

There is no fear.

It’s astonishing that children, mere children, have more bravery then most adults.

Because they haven’t bought into the lie yet.
They haven’t heard fear’s whispers.

Nate’s always getting after me for screaming when I see a bee.
Thor used to pick them up.

And this is me, “baby you’re going to get stung.”
The next day he screamed and ran.
I did that to him.
I taught him to fear a fuzzy bee.

Why? Because I was afraid. And I wanted him to be afraid too. Why? Why would I do that?

We project our own insecurities on others, our own fears, and it just adds to the already sickening baggage we carry. It’s been so hard to retrain myself not to panic when he tries to pick up a spider and kiss it. Guys, for real, we have wolf spiders at my house and he’s like ohhhh spider, pretty! And I’m like die spider die ready to torch my house down meanwhile he’s having the time of his life—why would I ruin his fun? Why?

A few years ago I wrote a book for my uncle, called Ruin. I knew his cancer was terminal, I knew he was dying, but I wanted to give him hope. I wanted to give my family hope. And as I was mourning the loss of this beautiful man, watching him waste away, I knew that the only power I had, the only thing I could do…

Was give him my words.
Not just any words.
Words that held power.
Not fear.
Real. Power.

I wrote the book in two weeks, a complete crying mess, and the main theme is “Do it afraid.”

Do. It. Afraid.

Don’t let fear define your actions, being afraid is one thing, letting it paralyze you is completely different.

We weren’t made to be lazy humans of inaction.

We were created to be brilliant.



We were created for greatness, not defeat.

I want you to walk out of here with your head high, I want you to walk out of here knowing that before you even walked in that door, I was praying for you, thinking of you, thinking about every seat that would be filled, and all the potential in this room.

Guys get this in your heads, what if every single one of you walked out of here, not with defeat, but with victory? You want to change the world? You hold the power. You were born to be world changers. You were born to make a difference, and you cannot, and will not do that, holing up in your room, or playing it safe.

You are here because you need to hear this message.

You’re here because you need to break that trap of fear and anxiety.

The world is a scary place, I’m not going to lie to you, but you don’t have to let it force you into inaction just because you’re afraid of what will happen if you take a leap of faith.

You have to jump. 

Writing a book is scary, revising a book is scary, starting a new business is scary, going to a conference is scary.

Life is scary.

Whenever I write a book I want to puke, I put my soul into those books and yes, people rip them apart, they rip me apart, you get threats, you get angry irate readers, you even get peers who whisper behind your back. You will get it all.

But I’m telling you right now—you have a choice whether or not you let it cause victory or defeat in your life. Will it define you? Or will you let it define you?

The world needs you. That’s a fact.

Whether you’re an author, blogger, publicist, reader, reviewer, you need to know that what you do is important, what you do matters. You matter. And you are meant for greatness, whatever that means in your life.

Today we have over five hundred people in attendance.

What if every last one of you, got back on your path, and walked?
Can you imagine?

Look around you, look at all the faces, the people, the talent, you want to know a secret?
The reason fear keeps us down—is because it’s afraid of itself.

It’s afraid of what will happen when you know the truth, when you get up, when you walk.

That’s how much power you hold with your words, with your life, with what you do.

See, heavy, I never promised it wouldn’t be heavy, but so needed, in the world we live in, in the community we are a part of.  In closing all I have to say is this….

Be THE CHANGE you want to see in the book community—and in our world.

Do it afraid.


Thank you Rachel Van Dyken for sharing this with your fellow writers!

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 18:04:00 +0000
Smashwords Implements New Classifications for Erotic Fiction
Smashwords has introduced new classification requirements for erotic fiction.

Starting today, when a new erotic fiction book is uploaded to Smashwords, or when updates are made to an existing erotic fiction book, a short supplemental check box questionnaire will appear.  The questionnaire asks the author or publisher to confirm the absence or presence of certain taboo themes.

Smashwords will use this information to honor the distribution preferences of our retailers and library partners.  

iBooks, Kobo and Barnes & Noble want to carry most mainstream erotic fiction, yet all disallow erotic fiction containing themes of incest, pseudo-incest, bestiality, rape-for-titillation and sexual slavery.  iBooks and Kobo have prohibited these topics for several years.  Last month, Barnes & Noble, once the most permissive of the major retailers, brought their policies into similar alignment.

The Erotica Classification Challenge

Retailers and libraries face special challenges with erotic fiction.  To a certain extent, these challenges have cast a cloud over all self-published ebooks, including those that aren’t even erotic.

By way of example, witness the WHSmith Kobocalypse that occurred back in October 2013 when the Daily Mail wrote a salacious story about how a search for “daddy” pulled up taboo erotica alongside children’s books at UK retailer WHSmith, powered by Kobo.   The next day, WHSmith removed all ebooks from self-published authors, including all non-erotica books.  To this day, the size of WHSmith's self-published catalogue is a small fraction of all the other major retailers.

Incidents like this jeopardize trust and confidence between retailers and the indie community.  Although some might cast blame upon erotic writers who explore taboo themes, the true culprit in this challenge is a technology one, and it’s the challenge we’re tackling with today’s announcement.

Most retailers utilize standardized classification systems such as BISAC to determine the appropriate virtual shelf for your ebook.  This enables customers who want to read books in any subject to find your book.  For example, a fan of paranormal romance will look on the fiction: romance: paranormal shelf, and a fan of political thrillers might look under fiction: thriller: political.

Whereas a typical physical bookstore might only offer a couple dozen book sections under high level categories, the BISAC classification system defines over 4,400 unique categories.  BISAC is what makes it possible for ebook retailers to create thousands of specialized, micro-targeted virtual ebook shelves, if they choose.  BISAC (or its international equivalent, Thema) makes it easy for customers to find books on their favorite specialized subjects.

These classification systems also enable retailers to set rules within their store that can keep certain books away from readers who should not see them or who don’t want to see them.  For example, retailers don’t want a violent adult horror novel appearing alongside books for children. 

But with erotic fiction, the BISAC classification system falls short.  BISAC provides only a few categorization options for erotic literature.  All of the options describe mainstream commercial erotica categories such as General Erotic Fiction, BDSM, Erotica Collections & Anthologies, Gay, Lesbian, Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror, and Traditional Victorian.

Our largest retailers want to carry the mainstream erotica.

However, there are no BISAC categories for the more taboo themes mentioned above.  This means that heretofore, authors of these taboo subjects were forced to classify their books in a BISAC category that was inaccurate or inadequate. 

Restoring Confidence and Trust

The lack of support for taboo subjects in BISAC has negative implications for retailers, libraries, authors, publishers and readers alike. 

It makes it difficult for retailers to select which erotic titles they want to carry.  It diminishes the trust retailers and libraries have in self-published erotic content since the books they want are mixed with the books they don't want.

When a retailer (or distributor such as Smashwords, for that matter) must guess about the presence of certain taboo themes based on indirect inputs such as book title, book descriptions, book content and keywords, it creates an untenable, error-prone situation where disallowed books are distributed to retailers that don't want them, and where acceptable books are accidentally removed by retailers.

Our new approach empowers those who know their content best – the author or publisher – to directly categorize and certify the erotic themes of their books.  This will give our sales channels greater confidence to receive the erotica they want while avoiding the titles they don’t want.

The new Smashwords classification system is built on trust.  We trust our authors and publishers to accurately categorize their books, and we trust they recognize it’s in their best interest to do so.  As is our practice, we will continue to monitor all Smashwords titles for compliance with the Smashwords Terms of Service.  Those who jeopardize this trust through deliberate misclassification will face account closure.

Already, Gardners, a Smashwords distribution partner that previously did not accept any erotica, will begin taking erotica certified as mainstream following the launch this erotica classification initiative.  Other Smashwords retailers and library platforms are also taking advantage of our new approach to allow the taboo themes they want while blocking those they don't want.  Most retailers, for example, want to continue receiving dubcon erotica since dubcon is a common theme is mainstream fiction.

Start Certifying Today

The new classification system is in place today, and visible from the Smashwords publish page for all new uploads.

When an author selects any erotic classification (including erotic romance) as a primary or secondary category for their book, we will display a questionnaire to collect supplemental information.  The author or publisher will certify which themes are absent or present.  Authors and publishers with previously uploaded erotic works will also be asked to certify those those works.

If you publish erotic fiction at Smashwords, please click to your Smashwords Dashboard now to certify either the absence or presence of these themes in your work.

For erotica authors and publishers with large backlists, we’ve created a bulk certification tool to expedite the certification process.  The tool lists the questionnaires for up to 50 titles on the page at once.  The tool is linked at the top of the Smashwords Dashboard and visible to all authors and publishers with uncertified erotic content.

Going forward, certification of erotic content is required for all new and existing erotic fiction titles at Smashwords.  We’ll be in regular contact with our erotic authors and publishers over the next few months to help them complete the certification for all appropriate titles.

For erotica authors and publishers who neglect to certify their backlist titles, they risk the removal of those titles at the option of the retailer or library partner, even if the works don’t contain taboo themes.  Certification = trust, so please certify your titles today.

Taboo Themes Defined

If you're unsure how Smashwords and its partners define these themes, I've summarized the definitions below.  We developed these definitions in close consultation with our largest retailers to ensure uniform policy enforcement.  
Age play - One or more consenting adult characters role playing, pretending to be babies or children.  Most retailers will take this, but iBooks will not.
Bestiality - Sexual relations between humans and real-world animals (sex with Big Foot, dinosaurs, shape shifters and other imaginary creatures is not bestiality).  Few retailers will take this.

Dubious Consent (dubcon) - A common and popular theme in mainstream fiction.  Dubcon explores the gray area between consent and non-consent.  Not clear if the receiver of the sexual act was fully on board or not at the time of the act.  Most retailers will take this.
Incest or pseudo-incest - Sexual relations between family members, whether biologically or non-biologically related.  Includes stepbrother, stepsister and step-anyone.  Few retailers will take this.
Nonconsensual sexual slavery - Erotic depiction of a person captured or held against their will, such as kidnapping, imprisonment or human trafficking.  Not to be confused with BDSM, which is predicated upon informed consent and negotiation between both parties before the act, and which provides safe words so either partner can end the act if it goes too far.  If the book adheres to BDSM best practices, do not classify it as Nonconsensual sexual slavery.  Few retailers will take nonconsensual sexual slavery.

Rape for titillation - The dominant theme of this book is rape — whether the rape is by one person or a character is raped by a group of people, i.e. a gang rape or nonconsensual "gang bang" — and it targets readers who are titillated by the fantasy of nonconsensual sexual relations.  Few retailers will take this.

Others not mentioned - The above list is not all inclusive.   There are many other taboo themes that have never been allowed at Smashwords or our retailers (underage erotica, snuff, scat and necrophilia, for example).  For a full summary of Smashwords erotica policies, please review Section 9f of the Smashwords Terms of Service.

Who Takes What?

Below is a chart showing delivery preferences for Smashwords retailers and library partners as of September 14, 2017.  Please note Smashwords and all sales outlets always retain the right to refuse any title in any category for any reason.   Current policies at each are subject to modification at any time.

Smashwords Erotica Delivery Policies

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:24:00 +0000
Smashwords Introduces Global Pricing Control – Set Custom Prices in any Country
Smashwords today introduced Global Pricing Control, a new feature that gives authors and publishers control over their ebook pricing in 246 different countries and in 152 local currencies.

Pricing control is now in your hands, where it belongs.

If you're running a BookBub ad where you need your book priced at $.99 in Australia, Canada, and the US, and 

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:09:00 +0000
Smashwords Introduces “Special Deals”- Automated Merchandising of Onsale Ebooks
Smashwords today announced Special Deals, a new merchandising feature at the Smashwords Store that showcases onsale books. 

Effective immediately, your onsale ebooks will receive automatic merchandising through the Smashwords Store’s myriad book discovery options.

Most authors know Smashwords as the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks to retailers and libraries, and this remains our primary business focus.  But did you also know that thousands of Smashwords authors use our small Smashwords Store as their personal ebook promotion platform with profile pages, widgets, Smashwords Interviews (self-interviews), Smashwords Alerts (automated new release notifications to readers) and coupons?

The new feature is powered by Smashwords Coupons.

Click the box for "Make this a public coupon"
To run a sale, click to your Dashboard’s Coupon Manager screen, click “Generate coupon” or click to reactivate or edit an existing coupon, then follow the simple instructions to make your coupon public.

Of the many book marketing tools provided to Smashwords authors at no cost, Smashwords Coupons have been one of our most popular tools since we first introduced the capability almost ten years ago. 

Each month, thousands of Smashwords authors use Smashwords Coupon codes to run custom ebook promotions.  Authors can create coupon codes to run exclusive private (the most common form of Smashwords Coupon) or public promotions, all the while earning industry-leading royalties up to 80% list.

We’ve continually enhanced the Smashwords Coupon feature since its first introduction.  In the last 12 months alone we added campaign tracking (unique labels attached to each coupon to enable campaign sales tracking), metered coupons (limiting the number of redemptions if you want to create urgency with a first-come first-served get-'em-while-they-last promotion) and most recently in December, public coupons (the option to expose your coupon codes directly on your book pages). 

As with our all Smashwords Coupons, Special Deals will not change your price at retailers (if you want to run a sale at all Smashwords retailers, change the book's price in your Dashboard).

In this screen shot, the customer is filtering for bestsellers
over 100,000 words with Special Deals priced $2.99 or less
For readers, Special Deals makes it easier than ever to discover onsale ebooks at Smashwords.  Most of these deals are exclusive to Smashwords. 

Readers can browse the Special Deals catalog from the Smashwords home page and filter by category, book length, latest releases, bestsellers, after-coupon prices, and highest-rated.  Books with Special Deals are also discoverable in all other online catalogue searches.

Customers can take advantage of Special Deals simply by adding the onsale ebooks to their shopping carts.  No need for readers to enter coupon codes!

Although this new feature increases the visibility of your onsale ebooks, to get the most out of your sale you’ll still want to get out there and actively promote your deal on social media and to your private mailing lists.

If you've got a large readership or social media following, Special Deals is a great way to run short term flash sales.

You can spice up your promotion and make it more compelling by combining other Smashwords Coupon features such as using our metered coupons to make your special deal available to the first [you specify] number of readers who take advantage of it, or by giving your Special Deal a short expiration.

When you promote your Special Deal, be sure to link directly to your book’s book page at Smashwords to maximize your conversion rates from browser to buyer.  If you’re able to drive enough sales from your personal promotion efforts, it can cause your book to rise in the sales rank at Smashwords which then will increase the visibility and desirably of your books to other shoppers who browse our bestseller lists by category, price or book length for their next great read.  Since our store is small, it doesn't take a lot of sales to significantly boost your rank.


Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:15:00 +0000
2017 Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks
Welcome to the sixth annual Smashwords Survey!

Each year for the Smashwords Survey, I analyze ebook sales aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network.

We're looking to identify potential data driven insights that can help authors and publishers make their books more accessible, more desirable and more enjoyable to readers. 

The results are often just as much a surprise to me as they are to you.  When I drill down and analyze difference aspects of the data, I don’t know if I’ll find a lump of coal at end of the trail or a pot-of-gold.  This year I discovered a lot of gold.

As you review the findings, please maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. The data represents the aggregate experience of thousands of authors and millions of dollars in book sales, but your results may vary.  Your book is unique.

The factors that cause a reader to discover, sample, purchase or enjoy a book cannot be fully explained by data.  Nor can data yet determine why one story or writing style is preferable to another.  

For example, if you were to ask a reader why they purchased a given book, you might receive an answer like, “it looked interesting to me.”  But why did it look interesting?  In all likelihood, not even the reader fully understands the conscious and unconscious factors that caused them to click on one book instead of another.  Was it the color combination on the cover image, the price, the author name, the position of the sun, the day of the week, what they ate or was it a convoluted mysterious witch's brew of thousands of simultaneous factors?  I suspect the latter.

It’s also quite possible you glean insights from the data that I and others will miss completely.  If so, that's great.  My goal here, as it is with everything we do at Smashwords, is to create tools and share data that give you competitive advantage in the marketplace.  It up to you to put the tools and knowledge to work.

I first presented the Survey results last month at the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta, GA.  Below I have embedded an enhanced Slideshare Edition of the presentation which contains additional information that was conveyed verbally in the live presentation.

Each year I mix things up by examining new aspects of the data.  This year, in an industry-first, I share data on ebook preorder adoption rates among authors across different genres and categories.

And then I go a step further by exploring the percentage of that genre's sales for the Survey period that were accountable to the books released as preorders in that genre or category.  My mind was blown.  It was as if bright light suddenly illuminated a dark corner of the universe.

On the pricing front, I found signs that many indies who are selling well at $2.99 should probably experiment with higher prices.  In previous Surveys, $2.99 and $3.99 were the sweets spots.  It looks like it's time to add $4.99 to that mix.

There's much more I want to share with you.

Inside the 2017 Smashwords Survey

Here are some of the questions we seek to answer:
  • What are the top fiction and non-fiction categories?
  • What romance categories perform the best? 
  • How do box sets perform, and which types of box set perform the best?
  • Do authors who release ebooks as preorders sell more books overall?
  • How do preorder adoption rates differ across genres (New!!) 
  • What percentage of overall sales in each genre for new titles go to books released as preorders (New!)
  • What are the pricing sweet spots for full-length fiction to maximize both readership and author earnings?
  • Do longer books still sell better?
  • Does FREE still work, and what about free series starters?
  • Do series books sell better than standalone books, and if so, by how much?
And here you go, the Smashwords Survey!

2017 Smashwords Survey of Ebook Trends and Data from Mark Coker of Smashwords, Inc.

Sharing is caring!  Above in the presentation pane you see this share link.  If you find the Smashwords Survey useful, please click it to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, or embed the full presentation on your blog using Slideshare's neat embed feature.  

Additionally, please also this blog post on social media, the address of which is:  http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/06/smashwords-survey-2017.html

The sales data is aggregated from across the Smashwords distribution network of major retailer and library ebook providers for the period between March 2016 and February 2017, the same period as the 2016 Survey.  Smashwords distributes to multiple retailers and libraries.  The largest Smashwords retailer is iBooks, followed by Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Smashwords Store, Scribd, Amazon and several smaller outlets including public library aggregators such as OverDrive.  Since we only distribute a small fraction of our titles to Amazon, the results may not fully reflect how books behave at Amazon.  Use your own judgement. 

Support Future Surveys!

If you distribute with Smashwords, thank you!  You are directly contributing not only to our data, but also to our ability to continue bringing you this data. If you don't use Smashwords for ebook distribution, please consider consolidating your distribution with us.  We want your sales data, and we want to help you sell more books!  Click to learn how to publish with Smashwords and join over 130,000 authors and small publishers around the world who collectively publish over 450,000 titles with us.

Ninth Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale Kicks off July 1 - Enroll Your Books Now!
Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale
It's summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  This can mean just one thing:   

It's time for the ninth annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!

Enrollment is now open for our annual indie ebook extravaganza.  The sale kicks off July 1 and ends at 11:59pm Pacific on July 31. 

The sale represents a massive collaborative marketing event for Smashwords authors and publishers.   Each author and publisher - simply by promoting their own books - helps expose those same readers to the thousands of other participating books. 

For one month only, readers can discover tens of thousands of special deals 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (FREE!).  So whether readers are looking for a great beach read or something to keep them cozy on a cold winter's night in front the fireplace, they'll find it here.

When the sale goes live, the catalogue will appear linked on the Smashwords home page. All participating books will have their participation noted on their individual book pages.

We make it easy for readers to slice and dice their searches by discount level, category, price and multiple other factors.  It's a great chance to fill up those shopping carts and show your favorite authors some love!

Check back frequently throughout the month of July for great deals on the world's best indie ebooks because new books are always being added to the sale.

Smashwords authors and publishers:  Enroll Now

Enroll your books today with a couple clicks at https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos.

Now would also be a good time to review your publishing calendar for the next 12 months and get everything up on preorder now.  Although preorders are not included in this sale, once these new readers discover your awesomeness, you'll want to visit iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo to reserve your next books on preorder.  Learn more about Smashwords preorders here.


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Go Far, Pay Less - Luggage at $79.89 or less at ShopBentley.com!

Start: 14 Jul 2017 | End: 01 May 2018

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Личная жизнь
"Личная жизнь" - мемуары жены первого президента России Бориса Ельцина. Книга первоначально написана для детей и внуков. Но близкие уговорили автора решиться на публикацию рукописи. Мемуары охватывают большой период времени - с 1930-х годов до наших дней. Наина Иосифовна Ельцина вспоминает историю своей семьи, корни которой уходят в село Титовка, расположенное на Южном Урале. Большая часть мемуаров связана с именем Бориса Ельцина, с которым Наина Иосифовна прожила больше пятидесяти лет. Мы узнаем о том, как они встретились, как развивались их отношения, как росла их семья. В книге много подробностей, связанных с личной жизнью автора, - Наина Иосифовна очень тщательно относится к деталям. Она наблюдательна, точна и не приемлет художественные преувеличения.
Судьба Наины Ельциной сложилась так, что ее личная жизнь стала частью истории большой страны на переломе эпох. Многие исторические события жена президента видела с очень близкого расстояния. Мемуары дают возможность взглянуть и нам на эти события ее глазами - первые всенародные выборы президента России, августовский путч 1991 года, распад СССР, политический кризис 1993 года, дефолт 1998-го и многие другие.


519 руб

А. Ширвиндт Проходные дворы биографии
Проходные дворы биографии
Новая книга Александра Ширвиндта - не размеренное и скучное повествование. По словам самого автора: "Это не литература и не скрупулезная биографическая справка. Это - чехарда воспоминаний". О самых непростых моментах жизни Ширвиндт рассказывает в знаменитой ироничной манере, безо всякого снисхождения к себе и другим. Итак, "Проходные дворы биографии". Маршрут простой: от самого начала, от родильного дома, до, слава богу, пока не самого конца"....

729 руб

Кот А. Отряд Самоубийц. Книга 4. Надзирать и наказывать
Отряд Самоубийц. Книга 4. Надзирать и наказывать
Вернувшись на базу в тюрьме "Белль-Рив" с очередного провального задания, Аманда Уоллер приходит к выводу, что ее спецназ из отбросов и врагов общества нуждается в свежей крови. Ведь ее Отряд Самоубийц не случайно оказался на грани самоуничтожения.
Вместе с кардинальными переменами члены Отряда получают цель, в которую они действительно верят, и нового командира - безбашенного серийного убийцу, с разумом столь же гениальным, сколь и патологическим. Ну а кто еще поднимет командный дух, как не съехавший с катушек душегуб с неисповедимой логикой? Именно такой командир поможет Отряду сплотиться в решении общей задачи. Он незаменим в предстоящих операциях против гигантского трупомонстра, зомбированных анархистов и некоего персонажа из прошлого Аманды Уоллер, которого она не чаяла встретить снова......

569 руб

Наталья Жильцова Академия черного дракона. Ведьма темного пламени
Академия черного дракона. Ведьма темного пламени
Казалось бы, что общего между ведьмой и драконом? Вот мне бы очень-очень хотелось, чтобы ничего не было! Но - увы. У этого дракона есть академия, в которой я обучаюсь и должна продержаться последние полгода до выпускных экзаменов, ибо отчисление грозит мгновенным замужеством. А замуж очень-очень не хочется! 
Зато очень-очень хочется получить законную метелку и диплом. Но это ой как непросто, учитывая, что мой темный дар периодически выходит из-под контроля. И уважаемый ректор-дракон, зная об этом, требует... в общем, очень-очень незаконного он требует! А в случае отказа сотрудничать искренне обещает станцевать на моей свадьбе. 
Так что придется очень-очень постараться, чтобы и жениха отвадить, и из академии не вылететь и в неприятности не... хотя поздно. В неприятности я уже вляпалась.


239 руб

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