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10 Trends Driving the
Future of Authorship
September, 2013
Mark Coker
Founder, Smashwords

Twitter: @markcoker
Notes for the Slideshare edition of this
presentation
This is the companion deck to a Smashwords video workshop
available ...
About this Smashwords video
• What you’ll learn
• 10 trends driving the future of authorship
• How authors can position th...
My Backstory
(Cliff Notes version)
Who’s this dude talking?
About me
• Wrote a novel about soap operas
•

Rejected by every publisher

•

Decided publishing industry was broken

•

R...
Back to Publishing
The Problem:
Publishers Controlled Everything
• They controlled the …
• printing press
• distribution
• knowledge to profe...
My solution: Smashwords

• FREE eBook Publishing Platform
 Free ebook printing press
 Distribution to major ebook retail...
Ebooks published at Smashwords
250,000+
September 2013

250,000

191,000

200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000

92,000
28,800
14...
Enough about me.

Let’s talk about your future as an author
WE LIVE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
CHANGE BRINGS BOTH THREAT AND
OPPORTUNITY TO AUTHORS AND
PUBLISHERS
YOUR REACTION DETERMINES YOUR
OUTCOME
Let’s examine the forces of change, and
what these changes mean for your future
10 TRENDS THAT WILL TRANSFORM THE
FUTURE OF PUBLISHING
TREND ONE:
The Rise of Ebooks
Screens are the new paper
A blast from the past: US ebook
market share in 2008
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Source: As...
Ebooks as a percentage of US
wholesale trade market
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

Source: Associa...
Ebooks to overtake print
Print books
Ebooks

Print books
Ebooks

Dollars

Units
Why ebooks are hot
•

Screens offer better reading experience than
paper
•
Changeable font size

•

A

B

C

D

Ebooks off...
TREND TWO
Bookselling moving to the
Web
US Percentage of book purchases
made online vs B&M, Print and E-

Web

Brick &
Mortar

Today?
Bookselling moves to the Web
• Brick and mortar stores
disappearing
• Decline of print
• Consumer drivers:
• Price
• Conve...
TREND THREE
Democratization of Publishing
Publishers Once Controlled
Publishing

• Publishers controlled the…
• Printing press
• Access to retail distribution
• The...
Today, authors have free tools to
e-publish
• FREE ebook printing press
• Ebook distribution available to all
• The knowle...
Publishers losing their monopoly

• Writers no longer need publishers to
publish, distribute and sell
• Writers asking two...
TREND FOUR
Self Published Ebook Authors Gaining
Competitive Advantage over
Traditionally Published Authors
Benefits of Indie Authorship
• Indie ebook author advantages
• faster time to market
• greater creative control
• lower ex...
QUADRUPLE +
Indie Ebook Authors Earn Higher
Percentage of List Price

Indie

Traditional

60-80%

12-17%

• Indies earn more at lower ...
TREND FIVE
Traditionally published authors
suffering from high prices
Book buyers are price sensitive
Authors Yield Two Benefits from
Every Sale
1. Money from the sale
• Unit sales X royalty per unit = profit

1. Gain a read...
How Price Impacts Units Sold
What Price Yields the Greatest
Author Earnings?
TREND SIX
Print is Dead for Most SelfPublished Authors
(and will become less and less
important to traditionally published...
Print is Dead for Most Indie
Authors
•

Most self-pubbed authors don’t have access
to brick and mortar distribution

•

Br...
TREND SEVEN
Ebooks are going global
The Global Ebook Opportunity

•

Countries outside the US are entering the
exponential growth phase of their ebook
markets...
TREND EIGHT
Big NY Publishers getting into self
publishing
In July 2012, the parent company of
Penguin acquired Author Solutions

Author Solutions earns over 2/3 of its
income selli...
TREND NINE
The Previous Stigma of SelfPublishing is Disappearing
Stigmas to reverse
Aspire
Traditional

Aspire
Indie

Aspire
Indie

5 yrs ago

Today?

Future?

Aspire
Traditional
TREND TEN
Indie Authors Are Beginning to
Outsell Traditionally Published
Authors
Indies are Now Out-Publishing
Big Publishers
• Self-published ebooks scaling all
the bestseller lists
• Every week, indie ...
The Plan Forward
The 10 Trends Create a Future that

Benefits Self-Published
Authors
&

Disadvantages Traditionally
Published Authors
The Plan Forward for Writers
• You’re in charge now
• You decide when you graduate
from writer to published author
• Honor...
Thanks for considering the future.
Free Ebook Publishing Resources

•

Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best practices of
successful authors)

•

Smashwo...
Publish and Distribute with
Smashwords
•

Learn to publish like a pro


Join Smashwords – www.smashwords.com



Learn th...
Thank you for considering the
future!
Q&A
Connect with Mark Coker and Smashwords:

Web: www.smashwords.com
Blog:

blog.sma...
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10 Trends Driving the Future of Authorship (Smashwords tutorial series, #4)

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Learn the 10 publishing industry trends that will most impact the future for book authors. Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, examines how the simultaneous rise of ebooks, self-publishing and democratized access to retailers will forever transform the publishing landscape. Learn how the power center in the publishing industry is shifting from publishers to writers, and how self-published authors now how the tools to out-sell and out-compete the big publishers. Learn why the former stigma of self-publishing has been replaced with growing pride as indie authors scale all the international bestseller lists. Meanwhile, the stigma of traditional publishing is increasing as publisher missteps cause authors to lose faith in big publishers. View the companion video of this presentation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbT7r-DUa6M

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  • Transcript of "10 Trends Driving the Future of Authorship (Smashwords tutorial series, #4) "

    1. 1. 10 Trends Driving the Future of Authorship September, 2013 Mark Coker Founder, Smashwords Twitter: @markcoker
    2. 2. Notes for the Slideshare edition of this presentation This is the companion deck to a Smashwords video workshop available on YouTube Here are links to each video in this 5-part series: #1 - An Introduction to Ebook Publishing (a primer and e-publishing checklist) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khM4czIJUVM #2 - The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best practices secrets for reaching more readers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnd7jYcjqm8 #3 - Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More Books (pricing strategy and fun metrics) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rrl4NExo3Y #4 - 10 Trends Driving the Future of Authorship (indie authors are the future of publishing!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbT7r-DUa6M #5 - How to Reach More Readers at Apple iBooks (merchandising secrets to grow sales!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKwwcL_FS_c The complete video collection is at http://www.youtube.com/user/smashwords View more Smashwords presentations on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/Smashwords/presentations
    3. 3. About this Smashwords video • What you’ll learn • 10 trends driving the future of authorship • How authors can position themselves to benefit from the trends • Why traditionally published authors face increased disadvantage when competing against indie authors • Who this video is for • All authors, both indie, traditional and aspiring
    4. 4. My Backstory (Cliff Notes version)
    5. 5. Who’s this dude talking?
    6. 6. About me • Wrote a novel about soap operas • Rejected by every publisher • Decided publishing industry was broken • Realized author community deserved freedom to publish • Founded Smashwords to try to change the way books are published, marketed and sold • Previously: • Founded BestCalls, an investor web site that published earnings conference call schedules for individual investors • Ran a Silicon Valley PR agency for about 20 years
    7. 7. Back to Publishing
    8. 8. The Problem: Publishers Controlled Everything • They controlled the … • printing press • distribution • knowledge to professionally publish
    9. 9. My solution: Smashwords • FREE eBook Publishing Platform  Free ebook printing press  Distribution to major ebook retailers and libraries  Best practices knowledge to help writers become professional publishers
    10. 10. Ebooks published at Smashwords 250,000+ September 2013 250,000 191,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 92,000 28,800 140 6,000 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
    11. 11. Enough about me. Let’s talk about your future as an author
    12. 12. WE LIVE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
    13. 13. CHANGE BRINGS BOTH THREAT AND OPPORTUNITY TO AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
    14. 14. YOUR REACTION DETERMINES YOUR OUTCOME
    15. 15. Let’s examine the forces of change, and what these changes mean for your future
    16. 16. 10 TRENDS THAT WILL TRANSFORM THE FUTURE OF PUBLISHING
    17. 17. TREND ONE: The Rise of Ebooks
    18. 18. Screens are the new paper
    19. 19. A blast from the past: US ebook market share in 2008 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org.
    20. 20. Ebooks as a percentage of US wholesale trade market 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org. 2012 Smashwords estimate
    21. 21. Ebooks to overtake print Print books Ebooks Print books Ebooks Dollars Units
    22. 22. Why ebooks are hot • Screens offer better reading experience than paper • Changeable font size • A B C D Ebooks offer better consumption experience • Lower cost than print • Convenient sampling and purchasing • Huge selection
    23. 23. TREND TWO Bookselling moving to the Web
    24. 24. US Percentage of book purchases made online vs B&M, Print and E- Web Brick & Mortar Today?
    25. 25. Bookselling moves to the Web • Brick and mortar stores disappearing • Decline of print • Consumer drivers: • Price • Convenience • Selection • Implications for publishers…
    26. 26. TREND THREE Democratization of Publishing
    27. 27. Publishers Once Controlled Publishing • Publishers controlled the… • Printing press • Access to retail distribution • The knowledge necessary for professional publishing
    28. 28. Today, authors have free tools to e-publish • FREE ebook printing press • Ebook distribution available to all • The knowledge of professional best practices is free and available to all
    29. 29. Publishers losing their monopoly • Writers no longer need publishers to publish, distribute and sell • Writers asking two dangerous questions: 1. Do I need a publisher? 2. Will a publisher harm my ability to reach readers?
    30. 30. TREND FOUR Self Published Ebook Authors Gaining Competitive Advantage over Traditionally Published Authors
    31. 31. Benefits of Indie Authorship • Indie ebook author advantages • faster time to market • greater creative control • lower expenses • better distribution to global market • immortal ebooks never go out of print • lower prices to consumers • earn more per book
    32. 32. QUADRUPLE +
    33. 33. Indie Ebook Authors Earn Higher Percentage of List Price Indie Traditional 60-80% 12-17% • Indies earn more at lower prices • At $2.99, indies earn ~$2.00. Trad. author would have to price at $10-$15.00 • Lower price = reach more readers = more sales at higher profits per sale • Higher price = reach fewer readers
    34. 34. TREND FIVE Traditionally published authors suffering from high prices
    35. 35. Book buyers are price sensitive
    36. 36. Authors Yield Two Benefits from Every Sale 1. Money from the sale • Unit sales X royalty per unit = profit 1. Gain a reader • Readers lead to more readers  Pricing strategy essential to maximize both
    37. 37. How Price Impacts Units Sold
    38. 38. What Price Yields the Greatest Author Earnings?
    39. 39. TREND SIX Print is Dead for Most SelfPublished Authors (and will become less and less important to traditionally published authors)
    40. 40. Print is Dead for Most Indie Authors • Most self-pubbed authors don’t have access to brick and mortar distribution • Brick and mortar bookstores disappearing • Customers choosing low cost ebooks over high-priced print books • Exceptions: • Face to face print sales will continue • Some books are meant for print (for now) • Specialty souvenir books sold in non-traditional outlets
    41. 41. TREND SEVEN Ebooks are going global
    42. 42. The Global Ebook Opportunity • Countries outside the US are entering the exponential growth phase of their ebook markets • Ebook retailers going global • • Apple iBooks (51 countries), Amazon (~13), Kobo (14+), B&N (US, U.K.+) ~45% of Smashwords/iBooks sales global
    43. 43. TREND EIGHT Big NY Publishers getting into self publishing
    44. 44. In July 2012, the parent company of Penguin acquired Author Solutions Author Solutions earns over 2/3 of its income selling over-priced services to authors $25,000 publishing packages! Blood sucking parasites
    45. 45. TREND NINE The Previous Stigma of SelfPublishing is Disappearing
    46. 46. Stigmas to reverse Aspire Traditional Aspire Indie Aspire Indie 5 yrs ago Today? Future? Aspire Traditional
    47. 47. TREND TEN Indie Authors Are Beginning to Outsell Traditionally Published Authors
    48. 48. Indies are Now Out-Publishing Big Publishers • Self-published ebooks scaling all the bestseller lists • Every week, indie ebooks in retailer bestseller lists of every retailer • Multiple Smashwords authors have hit New York Times bestseller list in the last year • Prediction: Within three years, most bestselling ebooks will be selfpublished ebooks
    49. 49. The Plan Forward
    50. 50. The 10 Trends Create a Future that Benefits Self-Published Authors & Disadvantages Traditionally Published Authors
    51. 51. The Plan Forward for Writers • You’re in charge now • You decide when you graduate from writer to published author • Honor your readers • You have the opportunity to publish… • Faster • Smarter • More profitably • at lower prices
    52. 52. Thanks for considering the future.
    53. 53. Free Ebook Publishing Resources • Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best practices of successful authors) • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book) • Smashwords Style Guide (how to format an ebook)
    54. 54. Publish and Distribute with Smashwords • Learn to publish like a pro  Join Smashwords – www.smashwords.com  Learn the best practices of professional indie e-publishing  Download and read my guides (all FREE!)   Smashwords Book Marketing Guide   Smashwords Style Guide Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success Watch the Smashwords videos on Youtube  Upload to Smashwords  Stay connected with your fans  Get to work on your next book!
    55. 55. Thank you for considering the future! Q&A Connect with Mark Coker and Smashwords: Web: www.smashwords.com Blog: blog.smashwords.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/markcoker Facebook: facebook.com/markcoker HuffPo: huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker Twitter: @markcoker
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