Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Smashwords

Libraries Win Again; And, So Do Writers . . .


E-Readers

Click this image to compare e-readers…

This makes the 42nd post about Libraries on this blog and the 35th post about Smashwords—and taking those last two links will show this post at the top of both lists of posts…

But, this is the first post I’ve done about Bibliotheca’s cloudLibrary

Bibliotheca’s site says:

“The world’s leading eBook and audiobook solution, cloudLibrary is designed to be accessible to library users wherever they want to read or listen.”

So, the big news was on Smashwords’ blog:

Smashwords to Supply Nearly 300,000 Titles to Bibliotheca cloudLibrary.

In case you were unaware, Smashwords “…is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  [They] make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks…”

And, here are just a few excerpts from that Smashwords’ blog post (those who are or want to be self-published writers really should read the whole post…):

“…bibliotheca, operator of the cloudLibrary™ digital lending platform…serves over 3,000 public libraries in the US, Canada, U.K. and Australia.”

“Smashwords offers indie authors and small independent presses unparalleled distribution to approximately 30,000 public and academic libraries around the world.  With the addition of bibliotheca, the Smashwords distribution network reaches most major library ebook platforms including OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Gardners UK (Askews & Holts and VLeBooks) and Odilo.”

“The cloudLibrary service is made available to library patrons as an app.  The app supports desktop and mobile devices including PCs, Macs, iOS devices, Android, Chrome and some Kindle devices.

“Patrons download the app at yourcloudlibrary.com then select their country, state and local library, after which the patron enters their library PIN code into the app.”

“Libraries will also have the option to expose the complete Smashwords catalog to patrons so patrons browse the full catalog and suggest titles their library should add to their collection.”

Any librarians reading this can check for further information here <—

As recently as last October, one of the most savvy folks on the book-beat said  that libraries are “…one of the last remaining channels that remains fairly difficult for an indie author to access.”

It certainly seems Smashwords is changing that situation
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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…
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Would a Traditional Publisher Scam an Aspiring Writer?


I’ve published a number of articles about writers being scammed.

One was, How Can Writers Avoid Being Scammed?

Another, Help! I’ve Been Scammed!!

Both of those should be read carefully by aspiring writers (especially anything I linked to...).

Today’s post takes a particular angle on scamming

It’s not enough that “young” writers are encouraged to go the traditional route—many rejections by editors, bad contracts even if accepted, a pittance in royalties—Traditional Publishers can be some of the worst Scammers

That’s one reason I’ve written 150 posts about Self-Publishing

To learn more about how the “Big” publishers use scamming, let’s look at some of what David Gaughran has to say in his article, This Is The Modern Publishing Business.

Here are a few excerpts, with the first being High-Irony:

“Publishing, you see, is far above the rough and tumble of everyday capitalism. Publishers may make profits now and then, but only as an accidental by-product of their true pursuit: the promotion of literature. Without publishers there would be no books, of course, and we should thank the heavens that an eagle-eyed intern plucked Beowulf from a slushpile or the world would be very much the poorer.”

Next follows information on a huge scam in the 60s by a very famous editor at Random House…

Then this:

“…it’s the differences between today and the sixties which are most illustrative, and disturbing. Scammers used to operate – with a few notable exceptions – at the fringes of the industry. Today, whole swathes of the publishing business is geared towards shaking down aspiring writers.

“From exploitative vanity presses owned by respectable, mainstream publishers, to writing contests with egregious, grabby terms being run by well-known newspapers, to exploitative book display services being run in conjunction with famous book fairs – none of these practices are at the fringes anymore.”

I highly encourage writers to go read David’s full article; and, I even encourage readers to do it, since they may decide to not support traditional publishers with their hard earned money

Naturally, there are “self-publishing” companies that scam writers, too; but, it’s looking like the Big 5 traditional publishers will soon have bought all the ones an unwary buyer might easily run into…

You can find self-published books on GoodReads.

Or, check out this article on The GuardianLooking for a great self-published book? Here’s where to find it.

Then, there’s the Blurb Bookstore.

Or, you could try the FastPencil Marketplace.

And, don’t forget the Incredible Smashwords.

There are more places, of course; but, I don’t want to spoil your own search for books that weren’t Scammed into being

And, even though I’m a self-published author and this post heartily encourages the purchase of self-published books; please, don’t feel guilty if you really want a particular traditionally published book—go ahead and buy it :-)
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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…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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“Looking for Truth in Time of Hype” ~ Are Writers Doomed?


Three things before I get fully underway with this post:

Looking for Truth in Time of Hype ~ Are Writers Doomed?

Image Courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski, SXC ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/mzacha-39017

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Roz Morris

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Mark Coker… 

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Porter Anderson

All three of those people are involved in an article on WriterUnboxedLooking for Truth in Time of Hype.

Porter Anderson wrote the article—Roz Morris is frequently quoted—Mark Coker is also quoted

Porter Anderson Knows Media—Roz Morris Knows Writing—Mark Coker Knows Publishing

The article is primarily for writers struggling to make their way in the rapidly shifting BookWorld (with all the hype about “Branding”, “Platform”, Traditional vs Self-Publishing, “Promotion”, failing bookstores, etc., etc., etc.).

Here come the excerpts (but, if you’re a writer, you really need to read the full article…):

‘There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be A Writer’

Roz Morris’ comments on that quote:

“I’ve seen this mantra frequently over the past few years in blog posts, conference reports and news items. And I don’t disagree there’s been a lot to celebrate.”

“But from what I see right now, this time is also tougher for authors than ever.”

“Indie authors feel it in their book sales. Hands up, who is in a forum where the chief discussion is “what can I do about my dwindling sales?” “Anybody else had a dismal month?” “Should I drop my book’s price, put it on Kindle Unlimited, write something more popular, send out more emails, spend $$$ on a marketing course?”

“The traditionally published authors I know are faring little better, with shrinking advances, ill-supported launches – even the authors who have awards to prove their worth.”

A quote from Mark Coker:

“The market for ebooks has pretty much gone flat. And so we have a problem here…. There’s a glut of high-quality, low-cost books, more books than readers will ever possibly be able to read.”

Then, Porter Anderson comments on Mark’s quote with:

“That’s something, coming from a man who says his company is:

‘Publishing 360,000 books working with over a hundred thousand authors in small independent presses around the world.'”

A bit later Porter says:

“Publishing a book was never a contest. Presenting one path or another as a cause or a movement has never panned out as anything but…hype. The real goal, by whatever means you pursue it, is to get your work in front of the right audience and, we must hope, find some decent remuneration for all you’ve gone through to do that.”

And, if you do read the full article, you’ll know how important this comment from Porter is:

“You’re no traitor to the ideal of a publishing success if you speak candidly about the struggle. We all need to hear this much more than we need to see great phalanxes of grinning indies, sunglasses flashing as they pull down those “good livings” off their books.”

Then, Porter says this (which generated one Official Slew of Comments…):

“How frequently do you think authors feel they can share their experiences honestly? Do you feel the pressure to make it seem you’re doing better than you are? If you tend to sugarcoat your own experience for others, do you find that it’s helping your sales? —or your outlook?”

And, since I’ve been covering Reading, Writing, and Publishing on this blog for over 5 years, if you want more info on any aspect of those excerpts (or, what you might read in the full article), do put a few keywords in the search bar in the upper right or check out the Top Tags widget further down in the left side-bar—you more than likely will find more information :-)
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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