- in 2008, Smashwords published 140 titles. In 2009 that figure jumped to 6,000. Last year, the company released 28,500 ebooks into the ether. So far, in 2011, some 35,000 titles are available.
- Ebooks now comprise 10% of the trade market.
- The tools of the publishing industry are now democratized (Tunisia was the analogy here.)
- The seeds of revolution come when people feel they can't participate in the system.
- Ebooks represent our own, free, virtual printing press. Now the retailers want our book and that is a total game changer.
- Shelf space for ebooks is unlimited. It won't go out of print before you find your audience or hit your stride.
- YOU control your ebook, its price, its art.
- Traditional publishing means you get 7-10% of a book's earning.
- Epublishing means you keep 60-100% of the list price.
- You can therefore offer it as a lower cost and keep a higher percent per copy.
- Authors are now asking themselves: What can a traditional publisher do for me that I can't do myself?
- Whereas it used to be that authors were asking themselves if it would hurt them to not work with a traditional publisher
- He cited authors who offered series starters for free, thereby enticing readers to buy their next books.
- Before the decade is out, ebboks will outsell print. By 2020, publishers will look like software companies.
- Word of mouth will become "word of mouse."
Mark Coker, founder of SMASHWORDS the digital publishing and distribution platform that will no doubt be in my future, presented at the San Francisco Writer's Conference again this year. His company also provided the lanyards once more, serving as a metaphorical reminder that the real albatross around our necks might be the traditional publishing industry, rather than the do-it-ourselves spirit infecting so many writers I know. Coker shrugged off some serious jet lag and presented coherent thoughts on the state of the industry. Here they are in bullet points:
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