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Self-Publishing Advice & Inspirations

Aug 28, 2016

Ep#41: Indie Author Fringe Highlight with Mark Coker from Smashwords Authors are in the midst of rapid and dizzying change, and Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, shares his insights about the "10 Trends Driving the Future of Publishing" in our latest ALLi podcast.

Mark kicks off the podcast talking about his epiphany moment that helped to get Smashwords off the ground in 2008. Mark's company was at the forefront of of the indie revolution, and for those of you who aren't familiar with Smashwords, they're an eBook publishing platform that makes it fast, free and easy to publish and distribute your books.

At the time of recording, Smashwords features 400,000 books from 115,000 authors and small independent presses. Mark's discusses 10 key elements that are driving the future of publishing, and and how indie authors can can maximize their potential for self-publishing.

  • Trend 1: THE RISE OF EBOOKS.
  • Trend 2: The Democratisation of Publishing.
  • Trend 3: Ebooks are Going Global.
  • Trend 4: The Rise of Indie Authorship.
  • Trend 5: Indie Authors are hitting all the Best Seller Lists.
  • Trend 6: Previous stigma of being self-published is disappearing.
  • Trend 7: A glut of high-quality low-cost books means it's becoming more and more difficult to reach readers.
  • Trend 8: Amazon is exploiting this product glut.
  • Trend 9: Kindle Unlimited is undermining the market in single copy sales.
  • Trend 10: Indie Authors will write the next chapter in this industry's evolution.

The power centre in publishing is shifting from publishers to writers. So as an indie authors you decide where, when, and how you're going to publish. It's the collective decisions of writers that will determine the course of the publishing industry, and really shape the industry for the next generation. It's a pivotal moment in publishing, and as an indie author you have the tools and the knowledge to publish with pride and professionalism. You also have the freedom to self-publish as an indie author, or go the traditional route. It's your choice. Mark is supportive of all the options available to writers, and only time will tell whether Amazon will strip indies of their independence. Are Amazon trying to control the supply of books?

Mark believes that's true, but at the end of the day, Indies control the supply if they decide to to wield their collective power. So imagine twenty years from now. Imagine the future that you want and then make the decisions today that enable the future to come to fruition. Do your best to support a thriving and dynamic ecosystem of multiple competing retailers, by supporting all of the retailers that distribute your books. As an Indie author, fight for your right to be the captain of your own destiny. 

Our weekly Self-Publishing Advicebroadcast is brought to you by ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. This Indie Author Fringe Highlight  is one of four regular shows, which include an ALLi Member Q&A, a beginners' salon and an advanced self-publishing salon.
Find more author advice, tips and tools at our self-publishing advice center, And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at
If you're not familiar with our Fringe event, it's three-times a year, online conference for self-publishing authors, brought to you by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and fringe to the major global publishing fairs; London Book Fair, BookExp, and Frankfurt Book Fair. ALLi brings together the most up-to-date self-publishing education and information available and broadcasts it to authors everywhere. Running 24 sessions over 24 continuous hours allows our members, and other authors round the globe, to attend sessions, no matter where they’re located. For more information, visit our Conference Home Page.
Now, go write and publish.