Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Self-Published Author

New Year’s Bonus — My Next Publisher’s Year-End Review, with a Look Ahead…


I’ve been published by Lulu and FastPencil and Amazon and Wattpad… Smashwords growth chart

One of my goals for 2016 is to publish with Smashwords

My email today had a special article from Mark CokerSmashwords Year in Review 2015 and Plans for 2016.

If you’re already published elsewhere and/or are considering the Indie route, you may want to study that article from Mark.

Here’s just a bit about Smashwords from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

“‘Mark was very forward-thinking, and the way he set the company up appeals to independent publishers’, said Joel Friedlander, a book designer with Marin Bookworks in San Rafael and an expert in self-publishing. ‘There’s no cost, no frills, it’s a quick way to get your e-book into print, and you can do it in a day.’

“Coker, a former Silicon Valley publicist, started Smashwords in 2008 with the lofty goal of using technology to democratize publishing – allowing writers to appeal directly to readers without having to deal with gatekeepers such as agents and editors.

“In keeping with this mission, Smashwords applies no editorial screening. The only e-books Coker refuses to distribute are ones that contain plagiarism, illegal content or incitement to racism, homophobia or violence.”

And, to encourage you to read the full article from Mark, I’ll share just a few excerpts:

“Although we’ve been in business for almost eight years, we still feel like we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. We’re looking ten years ahead and laying the groundwork today to enable a better long term future for the constituencies we serve – authors, publishers, retailers, libraries, readers, and book culture.”

“A mere eight years ago, back in the dark ages of publishing and before the advent of Smashwords, publishing was a print-centric business where print accounted for 99.5% of book sales. A few large gatekeeper publishers in New York controlled which writers could become authors, which books could be read by readers, and which books reached bookstores. Bookstores, constrained by limited physical shelf space, could only stock a small fraction of available books.”

“Contrast the conventional print book with today’s self-published ebooks. Self-published ebooks are dynamic, living and immortal creatures, constantly evolving with new metadata, new cover images and new book content, as the author or publisher iterates to make their book more visible and more desirable to readers. Indie ebooks never go out of print. Ebook stores will stock them forever.”

Lots more about the publishing world and Indie authors in that article

Finally, a special word to any readers who just can’t quite admit to themselves that they want to write and publish:

Now Is The Time :-)
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Grab A Free Novel…
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A Few Facts ( And, Speculations) About Indie Author Earnings


Much is being said about how much a writer can earn if they self-publish.

Author Earnings

Image courtesy of Thiago Felipe Festa ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/thiagofest

And, much is being discussed about the terms “Indie Author” vs. “Self-Published Author”.

Today, I want to focus on the Earnings for writers (whatever they’re called) if they Don’t use a Traditional Publisher

We have to start with considerations of how digital self-publishing is affecting traditional publishers.

And, it would also be advantageous to consider how writers can actually make a living

One other consideration, which I featured in the past post, Is The Success of Indie Authors Just A Bunch of Hype? (where I brought in the thoughts of Smashwords CEO, Mark Coker), is also an important topic.

One author who’s at the front line of exploring author earnings is Hugh Howey; and, Mark Coker explores the fuss Howey has created with his efforts to expose some facts about Indie Author Earnings in the article, Hugh Howey and the Indie Author Revolt.

By the way, if you don’t click-through on all the links I’ve already given you, and you want to clearly understand the issues of Indie vs Traditional, do make an effort to check out that last link :-)

Mr. Coker also has an article called, Indie Ebook Author Community to Earn More than Traditional Ebook Authors.

He admits that he’s in the realm of speculation but he is the CEO of “the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks”.

The article has charts and all that but I want to focus on just a few of his summary comments:

“My projections paint a picture of an indie author community poised to capture an ever-larger share of ebook profits if print continues to decline in importance.”

“But this does not mean that indie authorship is the road to riches.”

“The rise of self-published ebooks will lead to a glut of high-quality books that never go out of print.”

“These books, combined with the ebook releases of traditional publishers, will accumulate on ebook retailer shelves and lead to more high-quality ebooks competing for a limited number of reader eyeballs.”

“It means readers will become more discerning.”

“It means all authors – indie or otherwise – will face more intense competition than ever before.”

Let me add, “more intense competition” certainly, but digital publishing does give more writers the Chance to get into the game :-)

Now, I’d like your opinion

Can you agree with this last comment from Mark?

“Good books aren’t good enough anymore.  Readers want wow books. Indies will deliver.”
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Thinking Self-Publishing Is Hard Can Be Dangerous . . .


There’s no doubt, barring felicitous coincidence, that traditional publishing is hard—finding a reputable agent, checking out the legally-dense contract, trying to negotiate better terms, losing a substantial amount of creative control, dealing with the strong potential for your book’s short shelf-life

David Gaughran David Gaughran, “34-year old Irish writer, living in Sweden, who spends most of his time travelling the world, collecting stories, and writing about them,” recently wrote Publishing Is Easy.

Of course, he means Self-Publishing and I recommend his primer on the process—Basics.

The ease of self-publishing is counterbalanced by the difficulties of the writing process and the need to promote yourself as an author.

Sure, it takes a bit of exploration and self-instruction to accomplish self-publishing, so it may seem harder than writing.

And, the favorite lie of social media “experts” that book promotion is easy should be cast swiftly aside

David, in that publishing is easy article, compares the difficulties of writing and promotion to the ease of getting your book out there.

Three snippets:

“Most people who think about writing a book never start one. Most people who start one never finish it. And most people who finish a book never polish it

“When you add together lack of experience or natural aptitude with mixed messages about what’s effective, you can see why many writers find the prospect of marketing daunting.”

And, the dangerous part:

when a newbie has been convinced that self-publishing is hard or expensive….they’ll take any kind of deal, or sign up with any fly-by-night outfit, or engage one of the vanity presses masquerading as a self-publishing company.”

As always, I urge you to take those two links to David’s articles and read them—unless you’re a successfully self-published writer; but, even if you are, you might still benefit from reading them :-)

And, if you want to read the 94 posts I’ve done about self-publishing, you’ll get an abundance of links to a wealth of information as well as discovering what I went through to find what I consider the “perfect” method to get a book published

[btw, you’ll see this post if you take that last link since I’ve tagged it with “self-publishing” (just scroll a bit to find the others and take the little “older posts” link at the bottom of each page to find more {plus, check out the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar for more topic collections}]
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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