That someone is Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords and as much an evangelist for eBooks as anyone I could mention. Sure, Mark makes a living out of Smashwords, so it's fair to say he has a vested interest in promoting the medium of eBooks, but I've been reading his blog entries, his site updates and his other material for some time now and it's pretty obvious that Smashwords is more than a job for Mark, it's a vocation.
One advantage Mark has over most of us is the ability to see anything that crosses the Smashwords digital threshold. He will have seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly. He also has access to the stats regarding the books in his store and promoted onwards to the likes of Apple, Kobo, WH Smith, Sony, Barnes & Noble etc. He knows what's selling, what's being browsed even if they're not making sales and, critically he can see which books are being ignored.
On top of this, Mark has clearly taken the time to talk to the authors that do sell on Smashwords and it is clear from his writing that he is someone who is prepared to keep on learning. So Mark has put all of his experience over the last few years into an eBook that has a lot to offer budding and existing authors. Not only is the book brimming with common sense advice and observations, but it is absolutely free. It is also available in any format you wish to read in, too.
But Mark isn't just leveraging his position as CEO of Smashwords to make observations on the trends he can view from his exhalted position, he's also drawing on many years of marketing experience, which is Mark's professional background. To add credibilty to Mark's perspective, he has recently downgraded his belief in the value of marketing in eBooks, recognising that there are many other aspects of the process that contribute to success, should it happen.
And Mark is extremely upfront about the prospects for most of us authors - he tempers expectations right from the off, rightly so, I may add.
Pop along to Smashwords and download a free copy of Mark's book 'The Secrets to eBook Publishing Success'. Even if you've self published successfully there's a fair bet on that you'll find at least one extra nugget you haven't thought of before. Highly recommended.
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