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Introduction to Ebook Publishing
How to Produce, Publish, Price, Distribute,
Promote and Sell an Ebook
March 28, 2014
Mark Coker
Founder, Smashwords
About this Presentation
• During a five-week period in 2014, 116 high school students collaborated to
professionally produce, publish, distribute and promote Windows to the
Teenage Soul, an anthology of original poetry.
• Purchase the ebook at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588
and at most major ebook retailers. The book includes a Teacher’s Guide in
the appendix designed to help fellow educators bring ebook publishing to
their classrooms. It includes project plans, timelines and other guidance.
• To kick off the project, Mark Coker presented this introduction to ebook
publishing to students. The week after, he presented a talk on ebook
publishing best practices, integrated into this Slideshare deck as Part II.
• Educators interested to incorporate an ebook publishing project into their
classroom have Mark Coker’s permission to download these presentations
from Slideshare and modify them for their own purposes. Or, contact
Smashwords for more recent versions.
My Backstory
The Smashwords Backstory
• Met wife-to-be
• Wrote a novel
 got great agent
 got rejected by publishers
 decided to try to fix the
problem
The Problem: Why Traditional
Book Publishing is Broken
• Publishers judge books based on
perceived commercial merit
• they can only guess what readers want to
read
• Publishers unable to take a risk on every
author
• millions of writers rejected
• Print books are too expensive
• limits affordability and accessibily
Back in the Dark Ages (6 yrs
ago), Publishers Controlled
Everything
• They controlled the …
• printing press
• distribution
• knowledge to professionally publish
My Answer: Smashwords
• * FREE * eBook Publishing Platform
 Free ebook printing press
 Distribution to major ebook retailers and
libraries
 Free learning materials help writers
become professional publishers
Ebooks published at Smashwords
140
6,000
28,800
92,000
191,000
276,000
How Smashwords Works
• UPLOAD
• Word .doc or .epub
• Instant, free ebook conversion
• Instantly for sale
• DISTRIBUTE
• Distribution to retailers and
libraries
• GET PAID
• Author earns 60-80% list
Quick Overview of The Ebook Market
Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org. 2012-13 Smashwords estimate
Publishers losing their monopoly
• Writers no longer need publishers to
publish, distribute and sell books
• Writers asking two questions:
1. “What can a publisher do for me that I can’t
do for myself?”
2. “Will a publisher actually harm my ability to
reach readers?”
Indies are hitting the bestseller
lists
• Self-published ebooks scaling all the
bestseller lists
• Self-published titles on the NYT list
nearly every week
• Prediction: Within three years, over ½ of
ebook bestsellers on NYT list will be indie
ebooks
Advantages of Indie Authorship
• Indie ebook author advantages
• faster time to market
• creative control
• better distribution to global market
• immortal ebooks never go out of print
• lower expenses
• lower prices to consumers
• earn more per book
QUADRUPLE +
Indie Ebook Authors Earn Higher
Percentage of List Price
• Indies earn more at lower prices
• At $2.99, indies earn ~$2.00. Traditional author
would have to price over $10 to earn $2.00
• Lower price = reach more readers = more sales at
higher profits per sale
60-80% 12-17%
Indie Traditional
Let’s learn how to publish, distribute and
sell an ebook!
Checklist for Publishing an Ebook
 Finish a super-awesome book
 Format the book prior to conversion
 Prepare cover image
 Prepare the metadata
 Ebook conversion to multiple formats
 Pricing
 ISBNs
 Copyright
 Distribution to retailers, libraries
 Piracy
 Marketing
Finish Your Super-Awesome Book
• Ebook publishing tools make
publishing fast, free and easy …
• … but they don’t make it easy to write
a great book
• Your book must move the reader to an emotionally
satisfying extreme
• You are the author and the publisher
• Edit, revise, edit, revise
• Involve beta readers (then revise again)
Ebook Formatting
Formatting is the layout and design
process to prepare your book for
publication
Formatting for Smashwords
350,000+
downloads!
It’s FREE!
Formatting Secrets
• Forget (some of) what you know
• Don’t try to make e- look like p-
• Ebooks consumed differently than print
• Design for reflowability, small screens
• Less = more with ebooks
Reflowability: Ebook devices
(and customers) shape shift text
• Example of Smashwords novel, Heller
by JD Nixon as viewed in iBooks e-
reading app
• Users can select font style, font size and
nightime mode, or view in portrait or
landscape mode. Reflowability enables
this!
Cover Image
Create Your Ebook Cover
• Covers are important
• First impression
• Great covers make a promise
• Make it:
 engaging, matched to target audience
 professional
 good as thumbnail
What’s this book about?
Don’t be sloppy
Don’t do this either
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Great covers make a promise
Metadata
Metadata is data that makes your
book discoverable in a store
Book title
Book description
Author name
Book category
Price
Publication dateISBN
Language Tags
Ebook Conversion
Conversion = Turning your formatted
manuscript into an ebook file readable on
multiple ebook reading devices
E-reading Devices
Automated Ebook Conversion
Works at Smashwords
Pricing
How Price Impacts Units Sold
What Price Yields the Greatest
Author Earnings?
ISBN
What’s an ISBN?
• What it is:
• Unique digital identifier
• A 13-digit number
• Helps supply chain communicate about book
• Required for Smashwords distribution to Apple,
Kobo, others
• Where to get an ISBN:
• FREE at Smashwords
Copyright
Copyright Simplified
• By publishing something you created,
you have copyright
• Copyright entitles you to an exclusive
bundle of rights
• The notation of © is optional
• For best legal protection, go to
Copyright.gov and register copyright
online
Distribution to retailers and libraries
Smashwords Distribution Network
Piracy
Everything you need to know
about piracy
• Don’t worry about piracy
• Obscurity is your biggest risk
• Black hat pirates who steal your book
wouldn’t have purchased it anyway
• Most piracy is accidental – think of it
as enthusiastic fans marketing your
book for you
• Combat piracy by making the ebook
easier to buy than steal
Marketing
Marketing
• Marketing is a catalyst, not fuel
• Your book is your best marketing
• Reader word of mouth determines your success
• Focus on discoverability
• Viral catalysts amplify word of mouth
What’s a Viral Catalyst?
• A viral catalyst is something that makes your
book more available, accessible, desirable
and enjoyable to readers
• Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (it’s
FREE!) to learn how viral catalysts spur word-of-mouth
Viral Catalysts
• Every thing you do right increases
virality
Great cover
Great book
Broad distribution
Fair price
Good categorization
Professionally edited
Great formatting
Great title
Great book description
Great marketing
Social media enabled
Sampling enabled
Multiple formats
LUCK!
• Fall short anywhere and you create
unnecessary friction
The Plan Forward
YOU have a right to publish
YOU are your own gatekeeper
YOU decide when your writing
graduates to published book
Honor your readers
Give them a great book
(and do it faster with lower prices)
Why this LGHS/LGPL/Smashwords
Project is Important
This Project will Inspire the Next
Generation of Writers – Your Peers –
to Write and Publish Great Books
This project will likely be duplicated
in thousands of other classrooms
around the world
Let’s Change the World
Free Ebook Publishing Resources
• NEW! 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)
Learn how to e-publish like a pro with
Smashwords Tutorials at Youtube at
youtube.com/user/Smashwords
65
Thanks for Listening!
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
About Part II
• During a five-week period in 2014, 116 high school students
collaborated to professionally produce, publish, distribute and
promote an anthology of original poetry.
• View the ebook at
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588
• This is part II of the presentation, in which he discussed ebook
publishing best practices (how to publish like a professional).
• Educators interested to incorporate an ebook publishing
project into their classroom are invited to download these
presentations from Slideshare and modify them for their own
purposes. Or, contact Smashwords for more recent versions.
Let’s talk best practices
Q:
What’s a best practice?
A:
It’s the secret to accomplishing your
goal
Most Common Writer
Goals:
Reach readers
Earn income
Platforms like Smashwords make
ePublishing and eDistribution Easy…
Reaching Readers is Still Difficult *
* but achievable if you emulate best practices
Let’s review the best practices of
the best-selling indie authors
Secret One
#1 Your best marketing is a
great book
• With the power to publish comes the
responsibility to be a great publisher
• Honor your reader with a great book
• Move reader to a satisfying emotional extreme
• Turns readers into evangelists
• Be fanatical about quality
• Edit, revise, edit, revise, repeat, proof
• Leverage beta readers
Secret Two
#2 Create a Great Cover image
• Invest in a quality cover image
• Your first impression on path to discovery
• Look professional
• Resonate with target audience
• Should arrest reader with thumb nail
• Makes a promise to the reader
What’s this book about?
Don’t be sloppy
Don’t do this either
Would you buy this book?
Or dimmer
Great covers make a promise
A case study…
The evolution of one cover
to this cover
… to this cover…
The cover sparked a breakout at
Apple
And landed her on the NY Times Bestseller
List
Secret Three
#3 Publish Another Great Book
• The best-selling authors on
Smashwords offer deep backlists
• Each new ebook offers
opportunity to
• cross-promote other titles
• build trust with your reader
• build your brand
Secret Four
#4 Give (some of) Your Books
away for Free
• If you have a deep backlist, offer at
least one full-length book for free
• Eliminates financial risk for first-time
readers
• ~91X more downloads
• Turbocharges a series
• Free works for standalone promos too
• The highest grossing authors at
Smashwords offer at least one free
book
Secret Five
#5 Patience is a Virtue
• Ebooks are immortal
• Never go out of print
• When your book lands at retailer, it’s a
seedling, nourish it
• Never remove
• Ebooks develop differently
• Traditional print books – big sell-in, then yanked
from shelves, then sales go to zero
• Ebooks – can start small and grow slowly before
breakout
• Let’s look at some examples…
Slow boil, breakout, slow boil,
bigger breakout
Slow boil, breakout, slow boil,
smaller breakouts
Slow boil to breakout
Ruth Ann Nordin’s An Inconvenient Marriage
Secret Six
#6 Maximize Distribution, Avoid
Exclusivity
• Ebook retailing is not like sports, politics or
religion
• If your book is not available at every retailer,
it’s not discoverable or purchasable
• Exclusivity
• angers fans
• limits audience
• limits merchandising opportunities
• increases your dependence upon a
single sales outlet
Smashwords Distribution Network
Secret Seven
#7 Build a Platform You Control
• Platform is your ability to reach and cultivate
fans
• Platform gives you control, leverage
• Let fans decide how to connect
• Facebook
• Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
• Blog and/or website
• Mailing list subscription
• Include “Connect with the author” links at the
end of every book (more on this later!)
Secret Eight
Secret #8 Use Viral Catalysts to
Drive Word of Mouth
• Books have always been a word of
mouth business
• Think about the first reader
• Every reader represents a chance to reach
more readers
• How they react determines your success
• Viral catalysts improve your odds of
sparking word of mouth
What’s a Viral Catalyst?
• A viral catalyst is anything that makes your
book more available, accessible, desirable
and enjoyable to readers
• Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (it’s
FREE!) to learn how viral catalysts spur word-of-mouth
Viral Catalysts
• Every thing you do right increases
virality
Great cover
Great book
Broad distribution
Fair price
Good categorization
Professionally edited
Great formatting
Great title
Great book description
Great marketing
Sampling enabled
Multiple formats
Patience
LUCK!
• Fall short anywhere, and you
undermine true potential
The Viral Dream
First reader
More Readers
Viral Decay, The Reality
First reader
Readers
Negative Virality
First reader
This book
sucks!!!!
= Last reader
Fun fact: 29 of 30 Apple bestsellers
had rating of 4.5 stars
Secret Nine
Secret #9 Leverage Preorders!
• A preorder allows you to collect orders
before the book officially goes onsale
• At Apple and Kobo, accumulated sales
credit all at once on “onsale” date
• Budget 4-6 week preorder “runway”
• Execute multi-part advance marketing plan
• Increases retailer merchandising opps
• Smashwords delivers preorders to
Apple, B&N and Kobo!
A Smashwords Preorder at B&N
A Smashwords Preorder at
iBooks
A Smashwords Preorder at Kobo
Apple iBooks Merchandising (1)
Your preorder is automatically
merchandized alongside all your
other titles, making it easy for
fans to reserve a copy now,
before they forget.
Apple iBooks Australia Home
Page Preorder Merchandising (2)
Cool beans. Three
Smashwords
preorders featured on
iBooks homepage.
Huge! Thank you
Apple iBooks
Australia, and
congrats to
Smashwords authors
Lili Saint Germain,
Kirsty Moseley and
Amy Miles!
WHEN ENJOYING THE CHASE WENT
ONSALE, IT HIT #1 IN MULTIPLE
COUNTRIES
Secret Ten
Secret #10 Collaborate with
Fellow Authors
• Authors working together to reach
more readers
• Publish collaborations
• Short story collections
• Box sets of full-length
• Joint promos
• They have fans you don’t reach, you have
fans they don’t reach
• Everyone wins
Secret Eleven
Secret #11 Add three sections to
backmatter
1. About Yourname Lastname
• Short bio
1. Other books by Yourname Lastname
• Title 1
• Title 2
1. Connect with Yourname Lastname
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Web site:
• Blog:
• Smashwords author page:
Secret Twelve
Secret #12 Pinch Your Pennies
• You’re running a business
• Profit = Sales minus Expenses
• Most books don’t sell well (!!!!)
• NEVER borrow money to publish a
book
• NEVER spend or invest money you
need for food and shelter
• DIY then reinvest
Secret Thirteen
Secret #13 Think Globally
Apple, B&N, Kobo, Amazon and
others are going global
You Have the Tools to Reach a
Worldwide Market Today
The tools are FREE
The market for your English-language books
outside the US will soon dwarf the US market
Apple operates iBooks in 51 countries. We
distribute to Apple. In 2013, over 40% of
Smashwords Apple iBooks sales were outside
the US
NOW GO FINISH YOUR SUPER-
AWESOME BOOK
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
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)

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Ebook Publishing in the Classroom

  • 1. Introduction to Ebook Publishing How to Produce, Publish, Price, Distribute, Promote and Sell an Ebook March 28, 2014 Mark Coker Founder, Smashwords
  • 2. About this Presentation • During a five-week period in 2014, 116 high school students collaborated to professionally produce, publish, distribute and promote Windows to the Teenage Soul, an anthology of original poetry. • Purchase the ebook at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588 and at most major ebook retailers. The book includes a Teacher’s Guide in the appendix designed to help fellow educators bring ebook publishing to their classrooms. It includes project plans, timelines and other guidance. • To kick off the project, Mark Coker presented this introduction to ebook publishing to students. The week after, he presented a talk on ebook publishing best practices, integrated into this Slideshare deck as Part II. • Educators interested to incorporate an ebook publishing project into their classroom have Mark Coker’s permission to download these presentations from Slideshare and modify them for their own purposes. Or, contact Smashwords for more recent versions.
  • 4. The Smashwords Backstory • Met wife-to-be • Wrote a novel  got great agent  got rejected by publishers  decided to try to fix the problem
  • 5. The Problem: Why Traditional Book Publishing is Broken • Publishers judge books based on perceived commercial merit • they can only guess what readers want to read • Publishers unable to take a risk on every author • millions of writers rejected • Print books are too expensive • limits affordability and accessibily
  • 6. Back in the Dark Ages (6 yrs ago), Publishers Controlled Everything • They controlled the … • printing press • distribution • knowledge to professionally publish
  • 7. My Answer: Smashwords • * FREE * eBook Publishing Platform  Free ebook printing press  Distribution to major ebook retailers and libraries  Free learning materials help writers become professional publishers
  • 8. Ebooks published at Smashwords 140 6,000 28,800 92,000 191,000 276,000
  • 9. How Smashwords Works • UPLOAD • Word .doc or .epub • Instant, free ebook conversion • Instantly for sale • DISTRIBUTE • Distribution to retailers and libraries • GET PAID • Author earns 60-80% list
  • 10. Quick Overview of The Ebook Market
  • 11. Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org. 2012-13 Smashwords estimate
  • 12. Publishers losing their monopoly • Writers no longer need publishers to publish, distribute and sell books • Writers asking two questions: 1. “What can a publisher do for me that I can’t do for myself?” 2. “Will a publisher actually harm my ability to reach readers?”
  • 13. Indies are hitting the bestseller lists • Self-published ebooks scaling all the bestseller lists • Self-published titles on the NYT list nearly every week • Prediction: Within three years, over ½ of ebook bestsellers on NYT list will be indie ebooks
  • 14. Advantages of Indie Authorship • Indie ebook author advantages • faster time to market • creative control • better distribution to global market • immortal ebooks never go out of print • lower expenses • lower prices to consumers • earn more per book
  • 16. Indie Ebook Authors Earn Higher Percentage of List Price • Indies earn more at lower prices • At $2.99, indies earn ~$2.00. Traditional author would have to price over $10 to earn $2.00 • Lower price = reach more readers = more sales at higher profits per sale 60-80% 12-17% Indie Traditional
  • 17. Let’s learn how to publish, distribute and sell an ebook!
  • 18. Checklist for Publishing an Ebook  Finish a super-awesome book  Format the book prior to conversion  Prepare cover image  Prepare the metadata  Ebook conversion to multiple formats  Pricing  ISBNs  Copyright  Distribution to retailers, libraries  Piracy  Marketing
  • 19. Finish Your Super-Awesome Book • Ebook publishing tools make publishing fast, free and easy … • … but they don’t make it easy to write a great book • Your book must move the reader to an emotionally satisfying extreme • You are the author and the publisher • Edit, revise, edit, revise • Involve beta readers (then revise again)
  • 21. Formatting is the layout and design process to prepare your book for publication
  • 23. Formatting Secrets • Forget (some of) what you know • Don’t try to make e- look like p- • Ebooks consumed differently than print • Design for reflowability, small screens • Less = more with ebooks
  • 24. Reflowability: Ebook devices (and customers) shape shift text • Example of Smashwords novel, Heller by JD Nixon as viewed in iBooks e- reading app • Users can select font style, font size and nightime mode, or view in portrait or landscape mode. Reflowability enables this!
  • 26. Create Your Ebook Cover • Covers are important • First impression • Great covers make a promise • Make it:  engaging, matched to target audience  professional  good as thumbnail
  • 29. Don’t do this either
  • 30. Great covers make a promise
  • 31. Great covers make a promise
  • 32. Great covers make a promise
  • 33. Great covers make a promise
  • 34. Great covers make a promise
  • 35. Great covers make a promise
  • 36. Great covers make a promise
  • 38. Metadata is data that makes your book discoverable in a store Book title Book description Author name Book category Price Publication dateISBN Language Tags
  • 40. Conversion = Turning your formatted manuscript into an ebook file readable on multiple ebook reading devices
  • 44. How Price Impacts Units Sold
  • 45. What Price Yields the Greatest Author Earnings?
  • 46. ISBN
  • 47. What’s an ISBN? • What it is: • Unique digital identifier • A 13-digit number • Helps supply chain communicate about book • Required for Smashwords distribution to Apple, Kobo, others • Where to get an ISBN: • FREE at Smashwords
  • 49. Copyright Simplified • By publishing something you created, you have copyright • Copyright entitles you to an exclusive bundle of rights • The notation of © is optional • For best legal protection, go to Copyright.gov and register copyright online
  • 50. Distribution to retailers and libraries
  • 53. Everything you need to know about piracy • Don’t worry about piracy • Obscurity is your biggest risk • Black hat pirates who steal your book wouldn’t have purchased it anyway • Most piracy is accidental – think of it as enthusiastic fans marketing your book for you • Combat piracy by making the ebook easier to buy than steal
  • 55. Marketing • Marketing is a catalyst, not fuel • Your book is your best marketing • Reader word of mouth determines your success • Focus on discoverability • Viral catalysts amplify word of mouth
  • 56. What’s a Viral Catalyst? • A viral catalyst is something that makes your book more available, accessible, desirable and enjoyable to readers • Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (it’s FREE!) to learn how viral catalysts spur word-of-mouth
  • 57. Viral Catalysts • Every thing you do right increases virality Great cover Great book Broad distribution Fair price Good categorization Professionally edited Great formatting Great title Great book description Great marketing Social media enabled Sampling enabled Multiple formats LUCK! • Fall short anywhere and you create unnecessary friction
  • 59. YOU have a right to publish
  • 60. YOU are your own gatekeeper YOU decide when your writing graduates to published book
  • 61. Honor your readers Give them a great book (and do it faster with lower prices)
  • 62. Why this LGHS/LGPL/Smashwords Project is Important This Project will Inspire the Next Generation of Writers – Your Peers – to Write and Publish Great Books This project will likely be duplicated in thousands of other classrooms around the world
  • 64. Free Ebook Publishing Resources • NEW! 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)
  • 65. Learn how to e-publish like a pro with Smashwords Tutorials at Youtube at youtube.com/user/Smashwords 65
  • 66. Thanks for Listening! 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
  • 67.
  • 68. About Part II • During a five-week period in 2014, 116 high school students collaborated to professionally produce, publish, distribute and promote an anthology of original poetry. • View the ebook at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588 • This is part II of the presentation, in which he discussed ebook publishing best practices (how to publish like a professional). • Educators interested to incorporate an ebook publishing project into their classroom are invited to download these presentations from Slideshare and modify them for their own purposes. Or, contact Smashwords for more recent versions.
  • 69. Let’s talk best practices
  • 70. Q: What’s a best practice? A: It’s the secret to accomplishing your goal
  • 71. Most Common Writer Goals: Reach readers Earn income
  • 72. Platforms like Smashwords make ePublishing and eDistribution Easy…
  • 73. Reaching Readers is Still Difficult * * but achievable if you emulate best practices
  • 74. Let’s review the best practices of the best-selling indie authors
  • 76. #1 Your best marketing is a great book • With the power to publish comes the responsibility to be a great publisher • Honor your reader with a great book • Move reader to a satisfying emotional extreme • Turns readers into evangelists • Be fanatical about quality • Edit, revise, edit, revise, repeat, proof • Leverage beta readers
  • 78. #2 Create a Great Cover image • Invest in a quality cover image • Your first impression on path to discovery • Look professional • Resonate with target audience • Should arrest reader with thumb nail • Makes a promise to the reader
  • 81. Don’t do this either
  • 82. Would you buy this book?
  • 84. Great covers make a promise
  • 85. A case study… The evolution of one cover
  • 87. … to this cover…
  • 88. The cover sparked a breakout at Apple
  • 89. And landed her on the NY Times Bestseller List
  • 91. #3 Publish Another Great Book • The best-selling authors on Smashwords offer deep backlists • Each new ebook offers opportunity to • cross-promote other titles • build trust with your reader • build your brand
  • 93. #4 Give (some of) Your Books away for Free • If you have a deep backlist, offer at least one full-length book for free • Eliminates financial risk for first-time readers • ~91X more downloads • Turbocharges a series • Free works for standalone promos too • The highest grossing authors at Smashwords offer at least one free book
  • 95. #5 Patience is a Virtue • Ebooks are immortal • Never go out of print • When your book lands at retailer, it’s a seedling, nourish it • Never remove • Ebooks develop differently • Traditional print books – big sell-in, then yanked from shelves, then sales go to zero • Ebooks – can start small and grow slowly before breakout • Let’s look at some examples…
  • 96. Slow boil, breakout, slow boil, bigger breakout
  • 97. Slow boil, breakout, slow boil, smaller breakouts
  • 98. Slow boil to breakout Ruth Ann Nordin’s An Inconvenient Marriage
  • 100. #6 Maximize Distribution, Avoid Exclusivity • Ebook retailing is not like sports, politics or religion • If your book is not available at every retailer, it’s not discoverable or purchasable • Exclusivity • angers fans • limits audience • limits merchandising opportunities • increases your dependence upon a single sales outlet
  • 103. #7 Build a Platform You Control • Platform is your ability to reach and cultivate fans • Platform gives you control, leverage • Let fans decide how to connect • Facebook • Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn • Blog and/or website • Mailing list subscription • Include “Connect with the author” links at the end of every book (more on this later!)
  • 105. Secret #8 Use Viral Catalysts to Drive Word of Mouth • Books have always been a word of mouth business • Think about the first reader • Every reader represents a chance to reach more readers • How they react determines your success • Viral catalysts improve your odds of sparking word of mouth
  • 106. What’s a Viral Catalyst? • A viral catalyst is anything that makes your book more available, accessible, desirable and enjoyable to readers • Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (it’s FREE!) to learn how viral catalysts spur word-of-mouth
  • 107. Viral Catalysts • Every thing you do right increases virality Great cover Great book Broad distribution Fair price Good categorization Professionally edited Great formatting Great title Great book description Great marketing Sampling enabled Multiple formats Patience LUCK! • Fall short anywhere, and you undermine true potential
  • 108. The Viral Dream First reader More Readers
  • 109. Viral Decay, The Reality First reader Readers
  • 110. Negative Virality First reader This book sucks!!!! = Last reader Fun fact: 29 of 30 Apple bestsellers had rating of 4.5 stars
  • 112. Secret #9 Leverage Preorders! • A preorder allows you to collect orders before the book officially goes onsale • At Apple and Kobo, accumulated sales credit all at once on “onsale” date • Budget 4-6 week preorder “runway” • Execute multi-part advance marketing plan • Increases retailer merchandising opps • Smashwords delivers preorders to Apple, B&N and Kobo!
  • 114. A Smashwords Preorder at iBooks
  • 116. Apple iBooks Merchandising (1) Your preorder is automatically merchandized alongside all your other titles, making it easy for fans to reserve a copy now, before they forget.
  • 117. Apple iBooks Australia Home Page Preorder Merchandising (2) Cool beans. Three Smashwords preorders featured on iBooks homepage. Huge! Thank you Apple iBooks Australia, and congrats to Smashwords authors Lili Saint Germain, Kirsty Moseley and Amy Miles!
  • 118. WHEN ENJOYING THE CHASE WENT ONSALE, IT HIT #1 IN MULTIPLE COUNTRIES
  • 120. Secret #10 Collaborate with Fellow Authors • Authors working together to reach more readers • Publish collaborations • Short story collections • Box sets of full-length • Joint promos • They have fans you don’t reach, you have fans they don’t reach • Everyone wins
  • 122. Secret #11 Add three sections to backmatter 1. About Yourname Lastname • Short bio 1. Other books by Yourname Lastname • Title 1 • Title 2 1. Connect with Yourname Lastname • Facebook: • Twitter: • Web site: • Blog: • Smashwords author page:
  • 124. Secret #12 Pinch Your Pennies • You’re running a business • Profit = Sales minus Expenses • Most books don’t sell well (!!!!) • NEVER borrow money to publish a book • NEVER spend or invest money you need for food and shelter • DIY then reinvest
  • 126. Secret #13 Think Globally
  • 127. Apple, B&N, Kobo, Amazon and others are going global You Have the Tools to Reach a Worldwide Market Today The tools are FREE
  • 128. The market for your English-language books outside the US will soon dwarf the US market Apple operates iBooks in 51 countries. We distribute to Apple. In 2013, over 40% of Smashwords Apple iBooks sales were outside the US
  • 129. NOW GO FINISH YOUR SUPER- AWESOME BOOK
  • 130. 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
  • 131. 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)