Smashwords Seminar (By Kristy McCaffrey)

Kristy McCaffrey wrote an awesome post about the information Mark Coker shared at a seminar.  With her permission, I am posting it some of it here.  I’ll direct you to her blog post for the rest of it.  I love how she broke everything down.  Thanks, Kristy for letting me share it over here!


I recently attended a seminar by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, a self-serve digital platform for authors to publish electronic books. Smashwords distributes to retailers such as Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble, hosting over 350,000 books and 100,000 authors. What follows is information that he shared.

In 2008, about 1/2% of sales were ebooks. In 2015, that has risen to 26%. We are currently in a slow-growth market for ebooks, with the explosion of the ebook market finally reaching an equilibrium. However, ebook reading is on the rise. The Indie author movement is greatly affecting this market, with romance authors leading the charge. Being an Indie author is no longer a stigma—offering books that never go out of print, the ability to publish a book immediately, lower expenses, lower prices to consumers, and total creative control.

A career writer must have a long-term focus. The reality is that it’s difficult to make money as a self-published author, just as it is for many traditionally published writers. However, there’s never been a better time to self-publish a romance ebook. Of the top sellers at Smashwords, 87% are romance. This is an increase of 70% from 2014.

Marketing suggestions—focus on activities that lead to permanent discoverability and platform building. Coker also touched on the aspect of luck. At some point, every author will receive a lucky break, perhaps through a blogger loving their book or a random promotional opportunity that could expand their reach. But in order for that lucky break to pay off, an author must have already laid the groundwork by doing the following (otherwise known as the secrets to ebook publishing success). Without it, the lucky break will fall flat.

To read the rest of it, click here.


  1. Thanks to Kristy for letting me put this over here! It was an excellent one. 😀

    Here’s her blog if you want to check her out:

  2. Hi Ruth!
    I’m pleased to share the info I learned. It’s a constantly changing landscape in self-publishing and we can all benefit from current stats. I’m also happy to discover THIS blog. Cheers!!

    1. Thanks, Kristy, and thank you for letting me share your post! 😀

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