Write. Edit. Share. Repeat.

About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there


Why give it away?

secrets to ebookFree is the most misunderstood and underutilized book marketing tactic for indie authors. It’s one of the best-kept secrets for the best-selling authors at Smashwords… “

That’s from Chapter 11 of the free book, Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords:

He continues: “Publishers have legitimate business reasons for their decisions. Because they’re in the business of selling books, they must try to acquire only titles that they think have the greatest commercial potential. The challenge here, though, is that although publishers are smart, well-intended people, their decisions are ultimately guesses. Readers, and specifically the word-of-mouth of readers, determine which books go on to become bestsellers….

“inspired by the tremendous download rates of free books at Smashwords, [my wife and i] decided to price [Boob Tube, our first book] for free. Over the course of six months, 40,000 copies of Boob Tube were downloaded. We started receiving our first reviews … we began receiving fan mail … About six months ago, as an experiment, we put a price on it. We tried $2.99. We immediately started selling 15-30 copies a month. … odds look reasonable we’ll be able to earn a nice annuity stream of $300-$500 a year from the book for many years to come.”

Authors on Smashwords can do very nicely. One fantasy author, Brian S. Pratt, earned over $100,000 in 2011 and was expected to earn more in 2012.

Along with the book I’m reading, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, Mark gives away two other books—My Smashwords Style Guide and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. (see his author page on Amazon for all his titles). He is upfront about why: “I’m on a mission to share the secrets of successful ebook publishing with all the world’s writers, authors and publishers. … Although each of my books mentions Smashwords, none push a hard-sell for our services. I trust that once authors and publishers are armed with sound knowledge, they’ll make the best decision for them and their readers.”

A Forbes magazine article about Coker in June 2012 says: “Now a top supplier of titles to the iBookstore, Smashwords reached profitability in September 2010. Coker projects $12 million in revenue this year … with an expected 2012 pretax profit approaching $1 million.”

Success begins with a good book. “Write a Good Book” is the first “secret” in Secrets to EBook Publishing Success: “If your book is poorly conceived or poorly edited, readers will reject it,” Coker writes.



Are you ready to publish? I offer editing, self-publishing and marketing help to writers. Go to my website to find out more: www.arzoomaneditorial.com.