Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker

There are a lot of how-to books about self publishing your ebooks. Most are written by authors, many are overpriced, and the quality varies from extremely useful to downright offensive.

SECRETS TO EBOOK PUBLISHING SUCCESS is different. It’s by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. Coker not only knows what he’s talking about, he has the data to back it up. Plus, this book is free.

Unfortunately, the 28 “secrets” he reveals are mostly common sense. “Write a Great Book” and “Create a Great Ebook Cover” aren’t really secrets. Besides, even truly crappy books represent someone’s best efforts. Nobody deliberately puts out a bad book with an ugly cover, so I’m not sure who Coker is talking to, here. A few of the “secrets” might be useful to an absolute beginner, like the chapter on being patient or the chapter on thinking globally, but the majority are self-evident to anyone who has published even a single ebook.

Coker repeats himself throughout SECRETS TO EBOOK PUBLISHING SUCCESS and a lot of it reads like a commercial for Smashwords. Any chance he can, Coker explains the advantages of using a single distributor and the ease of pushing your books to all the major selling sites by using Smashwords. A book needs to be available everywhere, Coker says, so of course you’re going to use his distribution company. He warns of the harm authors do their books by participating in KDP Select, which makes their books exclusive to Amazon.

The longest, most detailed chapters are the ones called “Maximize Distribution” and “Avoid Exclusivity,” making me think they are the point of the whole book. However, I doubt that any author who has tried KDP select feels harmed by it. The majority have enjoyed a significant sales boost from the program.

I’ve met Mark Coker. He is just a super person, truly invested in his authors’ success. Smashwords is a stellar business. It’s so good that I don’t know why Coker had to keep piling on the Smashwords propaganda in this book. A business as wonderful as his should speak for itself.


rating: 3 stars


This book is best for: beginning writers


I recommend this book or Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

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