Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Amazon

Why Smashwords ?


I self-published my novel nearly seven years ago. At first, I was using FastPencil; with a print and ebook edition distributed to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a number of other retailers… Smashwords Review and Predictions

In September of last year, I switched to Smashwords.

That meant dropping the production of the print version; but, one day, I may add print back…

I feel good about the move to Smashwords—it feels “cleaner” than Amazon (none of that seemingly constant “How is Amazon mistreating authors again?” stuff…); though, I still sometimes buy a kindle e-book…

I’ve done quite a bit of posting here about Smashwords; if you take that last link, you might see this post at the top of the scrollable list…

One thing about Smashwords, even though it’s e-book-only—they distribute much more widely than Fastpencil.

I know many writers are still stuck with the idea that having a book at Amazon is required; but, that’s as outdated a notion as thinking that the only way to publish is with the Big 5…

So…

I recently got an email from Smashwords that led to two interesting articles…

The first is Smashwords 2017 Year in Review and 2018 Preview.

That one is about Smashwords, itself…

The second is 2018 Book Industry Predictions: Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?

The beginning of that second article is a fascinating history that details the travails of Indie authors vis-à-vis Amazon…

Then come the predictions for 2018—separated into Clouds and Sunshine…

Here are the bullet-points ( reading the full article will make you wise :-)

Clouds

1.  2017 will be another challenging year for the book industry

2.  The glut of high-quality low-cost ebooks will get worse

3.  Barnes & Noble is sick and will get sicker

4.  Kobo’s sales will falter

5.  Devaluation pressures will persist

6.  Single-copy ebook sales will decline

7.  Romance authors will feel the most pain from KU {Kindle Unlimited}

8.  Large traditional publishers will reduce commitment to romance

9.  Email list fatigue

10.  Pressure will build to drop author royalties

Sunshine

11.  Audiobooks will be a big story in 2017

12.  Audible will face increased competition

13.  Readers will still pay for books worth reading

14.  New subscription services will be introduced

15.  Calls will grow in the US for antitrust action against Amazon

16.  Indies will reassert control over platform

17.  Indie authors will take a closer look at podcasting to reach new readers

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#BreakingNews ~ #Smashwords and the #SmartAuthor


Here I am again, foregoing a re-blog for more details about Mark Coker, Smashwords, and the new Podcast Series, Smart Author… Smart Author Podcast

I did a post back on the 25th about this breakout podcast

That post has the schedule of audios up through November…

These podcasts are coming from a man who has the most successful e-book platform in the word—130,000 authors publish there for Free and there are currently around 475,000 books available

It took me seven years since I published my novel on Amazon and a few other places to get it on Smashwords—I really should have started on Smashwords………

So, if you’re an aspiring author, or an experienced author who’s fed-up with Traditional Publishing and/or Amazon, do, please, go read Smashwords’ Founder Mark Coker’s latest blog post about Smart Author Podcast (btw, it’s all free…)…

The Smart Author Podcast link takes you to the series online & the link with Mark’s name has other podcast services you can hear them on…

And, for those of you who watch videos, this conversation between Mark and author, editor, ghostwriter, coach, Tim Knox will reveal the fascinating history of Smashwords, give you a few reasons to check it out before you potentially get stung on Amazon, realize that traditional publishers can only judge a book on “perceived commercial merit”, and begin to work from the premise that authors often write for very different reasons than most publishers publish…

{I hope you don’t have to suffer through an ad at the beginning…}


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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

An Author Writes an Open Letter to His Publisher . . .


Jerry J. Davis - Author

Jerry J. Davis

I have a friend named Jerry Davis, an author interviewed here back in 2012.

I recently discovered a fascinating post of his from back in 2014—Open Letter to Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch.

I think it still has great validity for consideration by writers (and, writer’s friends...).

You may remember it was back when Amazon and Hachette were violently feuding

Here are just a few excerpts (but, do go read the whole thing...):

“Holding onto outdated business models by force is … well, completely backwards and ultimately a doomed path….Resisting the movement to ebooks is not the answer.”

“As a one of your authors who has also released his ebooks independently on Amazon, I have made FAR more sales on my own than with your publishing group. Far more sales, and far more income.”

“I have not seen a penny from my book with you in years, by the way, even though I KNOW it’s selling.

“But that’s beside the point.”

“…for godsake stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.”

Even though some folks would say, “What’s the big deal? They stopped fighting.”, the fact that they’re big corporations would certainly make them prone, in today’s business environment, to fighting again.

Plus, one of the smartest publishers around has pointed out some of the possible harm Amazon, itself, may cause authors this year

What’s the solution?

Radical Self-Publishing—> try this post if you’re new to the idea…

Oh! You also might want to check out Jerry Davis’ books :-)
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Ten Publishing Predictions for 2017


2017 Book Industry Predictions I’ve been published by Lulu and FastPencil and Amazon and Wattpad… 

One of these days, I want to get around to being published by Smashwords

Perhaps (whenever I decide it’s “complete”), I’ll put my Story Bazaar there…

Nevertheless, if you put “Mark Coker(the Founder of Smashwords) into the search box at the upper right, you’ll find around 23 informative posts (including this one) about the BookWorld.

His article, 2017 Book Industry Predictions: Intrigue and Angst amid Boundless Opportunity, begins with these thoughts:

“If you could see into the future, what would you do to change it?

“Each year I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and attempt to divine how the boiling crosscurrents of technology, competitive intrigue, author aspirations, and reader tastes will shape the opportunities facing authors, publishers and retailers for the year ahead.

“As I caution each year, the prediction game is fraught with folly.  No one really knows what will happen tomorrow, though there are plenty of clues.

“Book publishing is in the grip of multiple long-term macro trends.  Like strong trade winds, these forces will fill the sails of those who can harness them while swamping those who don’t.

“2017 will mark a special milestone for the ebook industry.  It marks the ten year anniversary of the Kindle.  It’s also the ten year anniversary of Smashwords’ incorporation.  In early 2007, after three years of crafting our business plan, I hired our first programmer and began active development on the Smashwords platform which we launched in early 2008.”

He then has a fascinating section entitled, Ten Years of Indie Publishing in Review

Then follow his ten predictions (do take the link to the full article for Mark’s enlightening commentary on each of these predictions):

1.  Indie authors will continue to capture greater ebook market share in 2017 

2.  The glut [of books] will grow more pronounced

3.  Ebooks will face greater commoditization pressures in 2017

4.  The publishing industry will begin to recognize KDP Select as the cancer that it is

#5 is “missing” or it’s called Boiling Frogs

6.   Large ebook retailers pushed to the brink

7.  Kindle Unlimited will continue to harm single copy ebook sales in 2017

8.  Many indies will quit or scale back production

9.  Industry consolidation will hit self-publishing

10.   Amazon to face anti-trust scrutiny for unfair business practices

And, here are some of Mark’s closing remarks (directed straight at self-publishing writers — if you aren’t one, share this post with any you may know...):

“Okay, so I’ve painted a stark picture for 2017.  What are you going to do about it?

“First, remember that you are not powerless, despite the efforts of those who seek to beat you down and take your power.

“Recognize that the collective actions of authors and publishers like you will determine the course of this industry.  If you have strong feelings about a particular future you’d like to see realized, it’s incumbent upon you and everyone you know to take a stand, organize with fellow authors and put words to action.

“I realize some authors are unable take a public stand.  I’ve spoken with many of them – including many big name NY Times bestsellers – who’ve privately thanked me for speaking out for them, and they’ve encouraging me to continue speaking out.  Some of these authors have confided to me they’re unable to speak publicly for themselves.  They’re afraid of recrimination from Amazon; they’re afraid of recrimination from their friends; or they’re afraid of seeing their books carpet-bombed with one-star reviews from Amazon partisans.  If you must remain silent, I respect that.  But if you have the ability to share your concerns with your readers and author friends, whether publicly or privately, please do.  Do it for you.

“Despite the challenges writers and publishers face, I continue to believe as I’ve believed for the last decade that there’s never been a better time to be a writer.  There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in publishing.”

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“Ten Trends Shaping the Future of #Publishing”


If you use the Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left-side bar) and click on Mark Coker ( you can also just click that last link :-), you’ll find 22 posts that are involved, in some way, with his ideas (this one will be there, too…).

Mark is the Founder of Smashwords and one of the most savvy folks on the planet when it comes to the potentials of Self-Publishing.

If you’ve never heard of Smashwords, this quote from the site should be informative:

“Smashwords offers a catalog of over 350,000 vetted, well-formatted ebooks from over 100,000 authors and publishers.”

Mark had an article in Publishers Weekly called 10 Self-Publishing Trends to Watch.

I recommend that any writers or publishers reading this post go read the full article (also, readers who want some insight into how books are evolving…); but, here are his main ideas with a few other snippets to entice you to take the link to all of Mark’s valuable information:

“The future of publishing is fraught with opportunity and peril.”

That’s Mark’s first sentence—here are his main ideas:

* The rise of e-books

* Publishing and distribution democratized

* E-books going global

* The rise of indie authorship

* Indie authors are taking market share

* The stigma of self-publishing is disappearing

* The glut of high-quality, low-cost e-books will worsen

* Amazon is devaluing books with Kindle Unlimited

* Kindle Unlimited is undermining single-copy sales

* Indie authors are writing the next chapter of their industry’s story

Now, just a few cool sentences:

“Although the rate of growth has slowed for e-books, the affordability and accessibility of digital will continue to erode print readership.”

“Much of the opportunity for authors in the years ahead will come from international markets.”

“Every week, indie e-books top retailer bestseller lists, and hit the USA Today and New York Times lists.”

“…your e-book will forever be discoverable…more books will chase fewer readers.”

“The power center of the publishing industry is shifting from publishers to writers.”

Don’t forget, this man is at the center of the e-book and self-publishing revolution…
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com