Forbes article on Smashwords

From Forbes magazine interviewed Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, on June 7, 2012.

Smashwords publishes 127,000 titles by 44,000 writers, each of whom collects at least 60% of royalties—four times the amount offered by traditional publishers. The company takes a 10% cut of the proceeds from partner sales and 15% (after credit card fees) from books sold through its own website.

Launched in May 2008, Smashwords published 140 books in its first seven months—a number Coker found thrilling, until he looked at sales. On a good day the company was selling $6 worth of books through its website, its own take barely more than a dollar. Coker switched to a distribution model the following year, offering retailers a 30% commission in exchange for digital shelf space. After inking agreements with four major partners in a matter of months, Smashwords debuted in the iBookstore with 2,200 titles when the iPad launched in January 2010.

The company has grown at a steady clip since. Now a top supplier of titles to the iBookstore, Smashwords reached profitability in September 2010. Coker projects $12 million in revenue this year, double last year’s take.

Read the complete article here.

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