Mark Coker self publishing two drops of ink smashworfds

Huffington Post: The Future of Indie Authors and Kindle Unlimited

Editor’s Note:

I found this article this morning as I was researching news about literary agents. Mark Coker is one of the founders of Smashwords.com, one of the best indie publishing platforms available. I have used both Smashwords and CreateSpace (Amazon’s self -pub), and both have their strengths; however, I would say Smashwords has the easiest interface with a huge list of retailers that will accept your book into their catalogs, if you follow the Smashwords publishing guide – which is free.

This post by Mark Coker looks at the future of indie publishing and some of the road blocks that are being put in place by big retailers like Amazon. He shows how KDP and KU are being used to gain back control of pricing from indie authors. This is well worth a read.

Scott |Editor


Mark Coker, Contributor

Founder, Smashwords

2018 Book Publishing Predictions – Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?

01/01/2018 02:37 pm ET Updated 1 day ago 

Welcome to my annual publishing predictions post where I prognosticate about the future and share my views on the state of the indie nation.

Each year around this time I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and ask it what the heck is going to happen next.

My crystal ball was a bit surly this year. The first thing it told me was, “you don’t want to know.”  Less than helpful.

The second thing it told me was, “Re-reread your 2017 predictions.  2018 is going to play out as a continuation of last year.”

That’s a little more helpful.  Most of my predictions for 2017 were pretty close.

When I think about the future, I start by looking at the past and then I look for patterns and trends.

What are the entrenched macro trends and forces that, like gravity, are likely to continue in the same direction for many years to come?  And how will these trends impact what they touch, and how will that change the course of the future?

It’s a fun exercise, even when what I see doesn’t fit within the rim of rose-colored glasses.

By imagining possible outcomes, we can formulate strategies for the future, or we can take steps to prevent that future from happening.

Things are tough out there for most authors.

This is nothing new.  Authorship has always been a tough business.  Even before the rise of indie authorship, most traditionally published authors still had to maintain day jobs to make ends meet.

Indie Authors Assert Control: Continue reading…


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6 comments

  1. Wow Scott, this article is highly insightful stuff you shared with us. Emotion driven industry, for sure.
    Also appreciate your take on the two self publish platforms. I’ll have to review it. As always, good takeaways, Thanks! 🙂

  2. Many thanks to Mark, and to you, Scott, for this excellent article. I have a completed memoir and have been trying to get an agent with no success. So, I am turning to indie publishing. I’ve set up an account on Amazon, but have not completed the book upload or the cover.

    Sometimes procrastination is a good thing. In this case, it is excellent. Next step is to check out Smashword.

    • Hello Mary Jo,
      I haven’t used Smashwords since 2011/12; however, I can say that they offered, at that time, the easiest ePub interface (if you download and follow their premium catalog guide). If your manuscript layout followed the guide, they would shelve your book in a vast array of retail outlets.

      I did use Amazon’s CreateSpace as well, both for a personal book and as an editor/designer for clients. CreateSpace is fairly easy as well; however, their export to an eBook in Kindle was really bad at that time. I published a book for a client in England last year, and it wasn’t much better.

      The importance of this article is that while indie authors made headway in getting a larger percentage of the profits for books sold, Amazon figured out a way to stop that by offering Kindle Unlimited. To indie authors, this appears at first glance as an easy way to get more exposure and more readers to read their books; however, as Mark points out, the subscription price for Kindle Unlimited is low so it affects the profit margins of the books offered in KU.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

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