I have to agree - Mark Coker speaks ebooks

A little while ago I read this news article - a statement from Mark Coker of Smashwords, and I have to agree with him.

Smashwords is another option for those with ebooks to get their titles out there to other ereader platforms in a single one stop shop way. It's not without it's issues and the interface can be a little clunky, but when you are on and approved I have nothing but good things to say.

I put each of my titles on to Smashwords for one very simple reason - they gave me the opportunity to sell my books to people who don't have a Kindle but another electronic device. Why? Because, contrary to what Amazon would like you to believe, not everybody owns a Kindle!

So why should I as an author effectively slap potential readers in the face by saying "don't have a Kindle? Then don't bother me - if you want my books it is Kindle or nothing". That would be completely crazy. As such, I am pleased that my Smashwords listings appear on the likes of Nooks and Kobo's and Sony readers.

Now I am not being naive here - Kindle IS the biggest selling ereader and as such, my Kindle copies of my uke books in circulation are the greatest number, but to me, even if I sold only one copy of my books to an interested reader in another format, then that to me makes Smashwords worth it. I don't want to alienate. Of course, Amazon are a business and they want market share, and they think they have found that with a way to strong arm their readers. KDP Select.

I never joined KDP select ( a service which allows authors to have their books loaned in return for a payment and allows authors to run short term promos offering books for free) for one very good reason. To do so means I would have to take down all books on other non-Kindle sites. That's right - in return for these 'toys' Amazon want to own me.

For me, those delights of loaning and freebies were of no interest. In fact the huge surge in freebies on Kindle is now leading to drops in sales of books as Kindles around the world groan under the weight of readers just clicking on every book they saw that was priced ZERO. No thanks - my books are specialist - you either want them or you don't. So I thought that was that. Then something else happened.

At the moment Kindle authors get a competitive 70% royalty for books over a certain price point. Then Amazon started to offer it's Kindle service in India (huge potential market), but with a catch. To get 70% in India, you have to join KDP select otherwise it's 35%. Hang on Amazon - isn't that bullying tactics? And isn't this the thin end of the wedge?

Authors all over are flooding discussion boards with concern about the way Amazon is treating it's authors - the very people that make the Kindle so popular.  As such I totally agree with what Mark Coker is saying - we want a healthy market not one that bullies it's authors into submission. For me, with Nooks and Kobos gaining new users everyday, I am sitting tight, but will guarantee one thing - I will always make my books available to whatever device my readers use. The only way that would change is if Amazon continue to tighten the screw, then it may be Kindle that loses my trade.

If you want to support Smashwords - my books are here and sales through there give them a cut of the proceeds.

They also take something from sales direct, such as my books on Barnes and NobleKobo and Sony


  1. Those freebies on Amazon, are not much inducement to stay loyal. You only get one per month, and that's only if you're a Prime member which costs about $75/year.

    I'm a Kindle user (and love it), but good for you for not letting the Man boss you around!

    1. Agreed. Didn't see much attraction in KdP anyway, and then for amazon to start only offering full royalty if I join...? Well it stinks


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