Print your ebooks for free

One of the complaints I hear about ebooks is you can’t print them, but that is not true. Perhaps you bought an ePub ebook which has some pictures you’d love to print out, or maybe some recipes you’d like to print and keep.

If your ebook is in ePub format you can easily print out your ebook with Adobe Digital Editions.

Download Adobe Digital Editions from this link.


eBook Pricing Around the World

Statista released a report on ebook pricing around the world.

The release of Amazon’s first Kindle e-reader in 2007 rang in a period of rapid growth for electronic books in the United States. Between 2008 and 2015, eBook revenue grew from $270 million to more than $5 billion as screen technology advanced and more and more people decided to give electronic reading a try.

As of late, the once booming eBook market has slowed down significantly though. Analysts from Statista’s Digital Market Outlook expect revenues to grow at an average rate of 0.1 percent over the next five years while the number of eBook readers in the U.S. is expected to stagnate at around 90 million people. The same can be observed in many European markets, where eBooks sales never quite took off in the first place and aren’t expected to do so in the near future.

According to Statista’s analysts, one way of reigniting growth in the eBook market would be to change the pricing structure and pass on the cost advantage that eBooks have over printed books to the readers. Looking at current bestsellers in the United States, in Germany and in China reveals a difference in eBook pricing between the three markets. While the eBook editions of the Top 10 bestsellers in the U.S. and in Germany are roughly 20 percent cheaper than the corresponding hardcover editions, Chinese readers can purchase eBooks at an average discount of 74 percent.

For a more in-depth analysis of the global ePublishing market, download Statista ebook publishing report 2016 in PDF: epublishing_outlook_2016

Two new ebook sales/outlook reports

I recently published on my Smashwords Forum two new reports on ebook sales and ebook sales outlook for 2016. Below is a brief summary.

  1. For Libraries: According to OverDrive, “based on the activities of 50 top circulating public libraries for Q1 (Jan. 1, 2016 – March 31, 2016), eBook, audiobook, and digital magazine checkouts through OverDrive are on track to grow 30-40 percent for 2016 over the record levels achieved for 2015.”
  2. Independent report predicts U.S. ebook market growth leaving print far behind. Technavio Research has just released a report, titled “E-book Market in the US 2016-2020″, which predicts “the e-book market in the US to grow at an impressive CAGR of approximately 14% until 2020,” reaching a striking dollar market size of $13 billion. That’s a dramatic contrast to the Big Five-led narrative of stabilizing or even contracting ebook sales.

Authors interested in joining for free our Smashwords Forum may click here.

Readers wanting more information on this post may do so by following these links:

2) Sources:

Bald Knob, Arkansas & Other Strange Tales

Bald Knob, Arkansas & Other Strange Tales

“Bald Knob, Arkansas” is a collection of 7 short stories. “Minnie Tushi Meets Her Love in Bald Knob” is the second short story. It is about finding love. “Bob the Road Painter” is about solitude, “Bob and the Dickheads” is about a musical family, “An Ordinary Man” is about workplace stress, “The Dumb Clucks Who Caused All The Trouble” is about family relationships, “Sal Acious meets Tim Orous” is about desiring love, “The Beautiful Ms. Ann Thrope” is also about desiring love but with a tinge of jealousy thrown in.

Available now for $0.99:
Amazon Kindle Edition:

Apple iTunes iBook Edition:

Barnes & Noble Nook Book Edition:
Kobo/Chapters Indio Kobo Edition:



New survey says most authors continue to earn less than $500 per year

The Guardian newspaper reports most authors earn less than $500 a year according to the latest research.

Almost a third of published authors make less than $500 a year from their writing, according to a new survey, with around a half of writers dissatisfied with their writing income.

In the wake of a year that has seen a bitter war of words rage between traditionally published and self-published authors, the survey shows that the old way of doing things continues to reap the most financial rewards for writers, with traditionally published authors making a median annual income of $3,000–$4,999, and independent writers a median of $500–$999. So-called hybrid authors, however – those who publish in both ways – did best, earning $7,500–$9,999 a year.

The survey also found that while roughly half of traditionally-published authors would prefer to follow the same route for their next book, two thirds of independently-published writers wanted to indie publish again.

“In opening and running their own publishing companies, these authors are finding that they can do things on their own terms and do better for themselves on average than many traditional publishers who might not have the same kind of commitment or investment in their work. That has to be very satisfying,” said Weinberg. “Having taken little monetary risk in their publishing endeavors, these authors may be pleased to earn even a little money.”

Traditionally published authors, meanwhile, are paid royalties and give up rights in exchange for the risk the publisher takes. They therefore “are likely to expect the publisher to deliver much more than they could do for themselves”, said Weinberg.

“There is frustration and disappointment when authors have given up control or future rewards and don’t receive the investment or see the results they expected. This finding speaks to the optimism in indie publishing that comes with the control and investment choices of indie authors, and I see it in my own experiences publishing fiction as DB Shuster,” said Weinberg.

“I know that if my book doesn’t sell today, there’s more I can do to promote it tomorrow, or maybe it will see a boost when my next book comes out. The time horizon is longer for indie authors: I don’t have to worry that the book doesn’t do well in the first few weeks because my publisher (me) is totally committed to my work and will continue to promote it even years from now. Finally, I’m in control of my own definition of success, and I’m not limited to particular sales numbers and dollar figures.”

The Guardian newspaper report was published January 23, 2015.

European Union VAT and Ebook Orchard update.

European Union VAT and Ebook Orchard update.

Following discussions regarding VAT and its implications to Ebook Orchard authors it has been decided to disallow residents of the European Union (EU) to purchase ebooks on Ebook Orchard until further notice.

The reasoning is that Ebook Orchard isn’t conducting B2C activities but is instead, due to no revenue earned by Ebook Orchard on any sale, acting as a financial service for authors. As a financial service provider Ebook Orchard would be required to provide authors with the details of each EU sale as well as the VAT tax collected – relationship between Ebook Orchard and author being B2B – and the author would then be responsible for complying with the rules & regulations concerning VAT within the EU. This would place an extra burden on an author by requiring said author to register with VAT even if author had only 1 EU sale every month or 1 EU sale a year.

Disallowing residents of the EU access to ebooks won’t be a burden on ebook purchasers from the EU or Ebook Orchard authors as the majority of ebook sales will occur on the traditional retailers like B&N, Apple, Kobo, Amazon, and subscription services.

What’s happening with Ebook Orchard

A lot has been happening with Ebook Orchard since I last posted about it. Here’s what I’ve done in the past week or so.

First, the logo is going to be changed in the next few days because the logo text style needs to be more modern.

The fact is I suck at that sort of stuff. A Smashwords Forum member was kind enough to remind me of that fact and offered to correct the logo. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

There is now an Amazon button for registering and logging into Ebook Orchard by Amazon members. Visitors don’t need to register on Ebook Orchard to purchase an ebook, but registering does provide members future access to all their downloads in case something happens to an ebook.

Visitors may also join/sign-in to Ebook Orchard by filling out a simple form.

Here is the link for information on downloading an ebook from Ebook Orchard to your device, whether it be a desktop PC or Mac, or an ereader or tablet.

Visitors can now easily find all ebooks by an author simply by clicking on the name of the author found on each ebook page. I was looking at all this complicated coding when it was pointed out a simple one line of code would accomplish what I wanted. I like simple.

I added a bar at the bottom of page which has a search area and a checkout button. This makes it easier for visitors to find things or checkout as they don’t have to scroll to the top of a page to perform a search or checkout.

There’s still more testing and adding/subtracting of ‘stuff’ on Ebook Orchard before it is ready to go live to everyone. But feel free to drop by and see what I’m doing during this beta testing phase.

Don’t be surprised if the site looks different one day to the next.


Low Prices From Corporate Publishers Like Penguin and Harper Collins Dominate First Ebook Best-Seller List of 2015.

Major publishing houses like Penguin and Harper Collins are lowering their ebook prices. Finally.

On the first Ebook Best-Seller List of the new year, low prices appear to carry the day.

The average price of a best-seller is just $4.36, down from $5.96 the week before the holidays. Discounting meant to appeal to last-minute holiday shoppers is the likeliest reason for the sharp drop.

Only a single title among this week’s top 25 has a price-tag greater than $10.

Read the article and see the top 25 list here.

Ebook Orchard open to the public for beta testing

Starting today, Ebook Orchard is open to the public for viewing during our beta testing period.

Ebook Orchard is an online ebook store run by authors for authors. Ebook Orchard provides authors benefits such as 100% retail fee to authors, plus marketing and promotion of their works and our site across multiple social networking sites.

Read our FAQ’s; or

Read our About Us page; or

Visit our Ebook Orchard web site; and

If you like, please leave a Comment on the Ebook Orchard Blog.



Mark Coker’s Book Publishing Predictions for 2015

Straight from Mark’s Blog:

Mark Coker’s Publishing Predictions for 2015. You may add your comments here or on his blog.

1.  More authors will aspire to publish indie – In 2008 when I founded Smashwords, nearly all writers aspired to traditionally publish.  Self-publishing was viewed as the option of last resort – the option for failed writers.  Today the former stigma of self publishing is evaporating.  Indie authorship has become a global cultural movement, as I described when I published the Indie Author Manifesto earlier this year. The indie author movement will grow stronger in 2015.  Traditionally published authors will continue to transition to indie, led by midlist authors.  We’ll also see more hybrid authors reorient their publishing strategy back in the direction of indieville.

2.  Indie authors will capture more ebook market share – The percentage of reader dollars going to indie ebooks will increase.  The growth will be fueled by a continued increase in the number of indie-published ebooks, and by more indie authors adopting best practices to publish with greater pride and professionalism.  In March I shared some of my longer term market share projections here and here.

3.  Screen reading will increase, but at a slower rate – For readers of English language books, the early adopters of ebooks have adopted.  I think reading will continue to transition from print to digital, yet the rate of growth will slow.  One bright spot will be the continued growth in screen reading in developing countries aided by the ubiquity of smart phones.

4.  2015 will be slow growth for most authors, indie and traditional alike – I blogged about this topic last month in my post titled, Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult From Here.  While some indies had a fabulous year in 2014 (look no further than the Smashwords bestseller list published in Publishers Weekly each month), most authors experienced a slower growth year – especially when compared against the go-go days of exponential growth from 2008 to 2012.  The causes for this slow down include a new equilibrium between print and ebook formats; immortal ebooks published by publishers and indie authors alike that will never go out of print; the continued growth of self-published titles; and myriad low-cost and free non-book alternatives competing for slices of consumers’ time such as social media, Internet video and games.

5.  Indie authors face increased competition from traditional publishers – For the first years of the ebook revolution, large publishers all but ceded the $4.99 and lower ebook market to indie authors.  Publishers tried to maintain higher prices, and indies – empowered with the ability to earn royalty rates of 60-80% list price –  offered budget-conscious consumers high-quality books at low prices.  The low prices, including the ultralow prices of FREE and .99, made it easier for readers to take a chance on unknown writers.

In the last year, large publishers, borrowing a page from the indie author playbook, have stepped up their price-cutting in the form of temporary promotions on titles from big-name authors.  In 2015 we’ll see the temporary promotions from large publishers that were so common in 2014 give way to permanent lower prices on backlist titles from big names, and faster, more aggressive discounting on recently released titles.

This means indies will face increased competition in the sub $5.00 price points.  In the past, you could identify indie titles on the bestseller lists by price alone.  This is no longer the case.  Large publishers will also make greater use of ultra-low prices.

6.  Large publishers step up usage of FREE – Inspired by the success of indie series writers who’ve had enormous success pricing series starters at permafree, large publishers will start making increased use of this unconventional price point.  Although few large publishers have made use of free as a promotional tool to date, this will begin to change in 2015.  As retailers such as iBooks run more “First in a Series Free” promotions which heretofore have been dominated by indie authors, publishers will feel the pressure to jump in.  As I write these predictions, iBooks is running a major multi-genre First in a Series Free promotion with nearly all the titles supplied by indie authors. Fifty nine Smashwords titles are featured!

7.  FREE will lose more mojo – Since 2008 I’ve encouraged authors to utilize free as a price point to turbocharge downloads, build readership and reader trust, and drive readers to priced titles.  Authors who followed this advice early on reaped the most benefit.  However, free is losing some of its gusto as the market becomes flooded with free ebooks. At Smashwords, nearly 50,000 titles are priced at free.

In our 2014 Smashwords survey we found that free books at iBooks were downloaded with 39 times more frequency than books at a price, down from a multiplier of 91 in the prior 2013 survey.  In 2015 I predict the multiplier will drop further.  Despite the anticipated drop in effectiveness, free remains one of the most powerful merchandising tools for indie authors, especially when applied to series starters. This also means that authors who utilize free today will get much more mileage from it than authors who use it a year from now (hint:  If you’re using free, make sure your free titles are upgraded with enhanced backmatter so they direct readers to your priced titles. See my blog post and video on this subject).  If you haven’t experimented with free yet, now is the time.

8.  Many indies will quit in 2015 – Authorship is tough work.  Discouraged by weak or slumping sales, many indie authors in 2015 will either give up on publishing or will decrease their production rates.  With the rapid rise of anything – whether we’re talking tulips, dot com stocks or real estate – bubbles form when the market becomes too frothy, too optimistic, too euphoric, and too crowded.  All markets are cyclical, so this boom-to-bust pattern, while painful for many, is healthy for the long term, especially for authors who stick it out.

Indie authors will be forced to take honest stock of their dreams, motivations and commitment.  What drives you?  Is it the joy of writing, or the necessity of putting food on the table, or both?  Either reason is respectable, but if your family’s next meal is entirely dependent upon your book sales, you’re under extra pressure.

9.  Time management will separate winners from losers – Raise your hand if you have too many hours in the day.  I’d hazard to speculate that each and every one of us fails on time management to some degree each day.  We only have so many minutes in a day, and only so many heartbeats in a lifetime.  Are you optimizing your author time so you’re spending more time writing and less time on the nonessentials?

For example, if it takes you multiple hours to format your ebook, why not hire a low cost formatter for $40 or less?  I’ll give you another example, and this one’s entirely self-serving but will resonate with many Smashwords authors – using a distributor.  Smashwords is a distributor.  Our job is to help you quickly deliver your book to multiple retailers, and then help you manage and control it with minimal effort.  When an author works with Smashwords, in exchange for a small commission we earn on every sale, the author gains the time-saving benefits of a single upload, centralized metadata management, and consolidated sales reporting and tax reporting.  I think this is why the vast majority of Smashwords authors choose to fully distribute with Smashwords rather than uploading direct to retailers.  The time-saving advantages of managing your publishing with a distributor become even more pronounced once you’re managing multiple titles.  No author’s career will fail because they gave 10% list to a distributor, but many authors will fail because they’re not focusing enough time on writing.

Another example. Many authors spend too much time on marketing and social media when they should be spending more time writing.  Your best marketing is a book that sparks enthusiastic word of mouth, so focus on the book.  If you enjoy social media, that’s great, but try to make it your end-of-day brain break after you’ve completed your daily writing quota.

10.  Amazon Will Use Kindle Unlimited to Pay Authors Less – Whether you love it or hate it, KU is already a massive disruptor in the world of ebook publishing. Many writers are claiming it caused their sales to plummet, while others say it has helped them reach new readers.  You can check out my prior analysis of KU here and here, or check out David Streitfeld’s recent story on KU in the New York Times.

KU will have broader impact in 2015.  Unlike its ebook subscription competitors Oyster and Scribd which allow authors and publishers to set prices and receive retailer-level margins on qualifying reads (Smashwords authors earn 60% of their book’s list price), KU pays from a shared pool.  Author/publisher compensation is based on a book’s prorated share of readership multiplied against the size of pool.  If it sounds opaque, that’s because it is. Amazon determines the size of each month’s pool and the value per qualified read after the month ends.

This wouldn’t be a problem if Amazon was a benevolent player, committed to paying their publishers 70% list.  In November Amazon paid only $1.39 per qualified read, regardless of the book’s length or price.  $1.39 works out great if your regular retail price is $.99 (a $.99 ebook sold at Amazon otherwise earns about 34 cents).  Yet if your regular ebook price is $3.99 and you’re accustomed to earning almost 70% of that or $2.80, then KU means your effective royalty rate was cut by almost half  in recent months to 35%.

Kindle Unlimited represents Amazon’s end-run around the Agency pricing model.  With Agency, Amazon is obligated to pay publishers 70% of the list price set by publishers and cannot discount books. KDP has an “Agency-lite” equivalent model in which Amazon doesn’t discount except in price matching situations.  With KU, your book’s price becomes irrelevant to Amazon.  It also gives Amazon the ability to pay you less than 70% list for each qualified read.

By providing KU preferential in-store merchandising, Amazon discourages customers from purchasing individual ebooks.  Since Amazon has a critical mass of over 700,000 books in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s most voracious power readers already have nearly one million fewer reasons to purchase indie ebooks at full retail price.  This means that for many budget-minded readers who love indie ebooks, your $2.99 and $3.99 ebook is now too expensive when they can read it (or similar books) for free as part of their subscription.

As I mentioned in my last post, Is Kindle Unlimited Devaluing Books, most of Kindle Unlimited’s catalog is supplied by indie authors enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select.  Without indie author support and participation in KDP Select, there’d be no Kindle Unlimited.

Will indies step up to the plate in 2015 and say no to KDP Select?  Since most indie authors sell poorly, I fear many indies will hear KU’s siren song and decide that earning $1.39 or less is better than earning nothing, and this will then perpetuate a slippery slope that will jeopardize earnings for all authors at Amazon.

11.  New VAT rules in Europe will put a damper on European ebook sales – Indie authors will suffer a drop in earnings from European ebook sales in 2015.  The cause?  New European Union VAT (Value Added Tax) rules.  On January 1, 2015, new VAT rules go into effect in the European Union.

In the past, the VAT imposed on ebooks was based on the VAT rate for the country in which the retailer was based.  To reduce the tax hit, retailers located their European headquarters in Luxembourg, where the VAT was only 3%.  At Smashwords retailers, the price set by the author was always VAT-inclusive, which meant the author and retailer’s cut was calculated after the 3% VAT was deducted.  At 3%, the rate was negligible and went unnoticed by most customers and authors.

Effective with the new EU rules that start January 1st, VAT is charged based on the customer’s geographic location.  Rates across the European Union will range from 15% to 26%.  This means that effective January 1st, myriad tax rates will be applied to your ebooks sold at Smashwords retailers such as Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble UK, Txtr, and Kobo.

Indie authors must now decide whether to raise their prices to pass the tax burden to readers, or hold the line on prices which means the author absorbs the tax hit.  Either way, the author loses.  The ebook retailers are harmed as well since the tax comes out of the purchase price before the retailer earns their 30% cut.  As one retailer told me, “we’re all hit with the same stick here.”  To help mitigate the pain, Smashwords is developing new pricing tools for authors.  Stay tuned.

12.  Back to basics:  The bestselling authors in 2015 win with best practices – The formula for bestseller success isn’t rocket science.  Success is all about best practices.  For every well-executed best practice implemented by the author, the author gains an incremental advantage in the marketplace.  What are some of these best practices?  1. You must write a super-awesome “wow” book that takes the reader to an emotional, satisfying extreme (this applies to fiction and non-fiction).  2.  Your books should be professionally edited and proofed  3.  A great cover image makes your book more discoverable and more desirable to your target reader.  Great cover images make an honest and visual promise to your target reader about the experience your book offers.  4. Give your book a fair price.  5.  Release your book as a preorder.  If you’re not doing preorders, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful merchandising tools today (click here to learn how preorders work).  6.  Avoid exclusivity and distribute your book widely.  7.  Write another book, rinse and repeat.

Although the best practices aren’t secrets any more (check out my Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success for a refresher on best practices – or watch my best practices video tutorial), most authors fall short on the best practices front. Some authors fall into the trap of searching for easy silver bullet shortcuts. There is no single silver bullet.  You must do many things right and avoid pitfalls that undermine your opportunity.

An ebook store by authors for authors

Ebook Orchard is an ebook store started by an author for the benefit of authors, and it is different than other retail outlets in that it doesn’t earn one cent from the sale of ebooks.


I decided to create Ebook Orchard after trying to get an author co-operative started. Like many people, authors have little time left over from their jobs, family, and writing to volunteer additional time managing a co-operative of the size and type discussed.

There were many authors who loved the concept of a store by authors for authors and felt comfortable financing the site by a small monthly subscription rather than 30% to 40% or more per sale of an ebook. These authors viewed the co-op as an additional marketing tool for their ebooks, not just a store.

The additional benefits of numerous marketing and promotion opportunities being performed by the proposed store were important to authors.

Some authors shared their experiences with co-op book stores, both good and bad. These stories were most beneficial in understanding what worked and what didn’t work with the co-operative.

Ebook Orchard is in alpha stage of web site development right now as I add code and test ‘stuff’. With the holidays upon us the site will remain in alpha stage until perhaps mid-January, 2015. Beta stage hopefully by February so visitors can poke around Ebook Orchard as the final touches to the site and final testing take place.

There is an Ebook Orchard Facebook page, where I’ll post information about ebooks, reading and related topics. The posts will be sporadic during alpha and beta testing, but will become more frequent after Ebook Orchard goes live.

There is also an Ebook Orchard Shop on Facebook. The store will be functional after beta testing is complete sometime in February, 2015, and accessed by clicking on the Shop tab on the Ebook Orchard Facebook page.

Will Ebook Orchard be perfect when it starts? No. There will be growing pains as unexpected events popup here and there with a new product, as Apple and Microsoft well know.

If you want to visit the site next year and see if Ebook Orchard is in alpha stage – password protected site – or beta testing stage and open for checking us out then just type in your URL address bar.

Authors. Interested in forming a co-op for your own online retail store?


If you are tired of giving 30-40% of the retail price of your book or ebook to somebody else then you may be interested in joining our author co-op and forming our own online retail store.

We want to keep most of the retail price to ourselves, because it’s tough out there and coughing up 30-40% on each sale adds up quickly.

We want a professionally looking and working site, one which satisfies both the visitor and ourselves. We want a professional site we are proud of owning. We want to still be able to offer our works anywhere we want.

If you are an author who is fed-up giving a sizable chunk of your money to somebody else and would rather keep most of it yourself, send me an email at the address at the end of this post.

I will build a list of authors interested in keeping more of their money in their own pocket and will contact each sometime in the new year.

Is there a cost involved? Yes, there are the ever-present credit card fees. There should be a small fee to cover expenses. What are those expenses? There are monthly fees for hosting, monthly fees for all the bells and whistles needed to make the site professional and meeting the needs of authors. There will be accounting fees, legal fees, federal and local taxes, and other expenses involved in running a business.

Gee, that sounds expensive. I don’t think I want to join.

What if I told you it would be about the cost of a Starbucks coffee a month if enough authors agree to get together and start their own online retail store. Would you be willing to exchange one coffee for the 30-40% on each book you now give somebody else? And still be able to sell you ebook/books anywhere else?

Okay, that is reasonable.

But what’s the catch? There is always a catch.

In the beginning the site will be for authors who have published works and have the skills to upload a mobi or epub file to the site, although there is a suggestion of a way around this which is being considered. There won’t be any conversion service nor any adult material permitted until the site is capable of hiring sufficient staff to review adult works.

That being said, if enough authors agree to join the group then things could change.

It doesn’t cost you anything to send me an email saying you’re interested. Let’s make 2015 the year authors give back to themselves.

UPDATE: There was lots of interest in forming a co-operative but no volunteers for forming a board of directors, or assist in forming bylaws, and only one person offering to assist in site creation and design.

I believe the concept of authors having their own retail store operated on a small subscription fee with authors keeping 100% of the retail price, minus transaction fees, currency exchange fees and other costs/taxes involved in sale of an ebook, is still something worth pursuing.

In that regard, I’ve taken it upon myself to create such a site for authors. I’ve named the site Ebook Orchard and during the next several weeks will be alpha/beta testing the site before Ebook Orchard is officially launched.

In the beginning of the New Year the site will be in beta testing stage but should be ready enough for authors to view it and read more about it.

Here is the link to Ebook Orchard. It may be open for previewing if you’re reading this sometime in January, 2015.

Only 18 authors to go


Only 18 authors to go before the Smashwords Forum reaches 1,000 authors helping each other with questions about publishing or formatting or editing, promoting their works on the Smashwords Forum and other sites, and having fun chatting with one another.

The Smashwords Forum began life in 2011 and very slowly gathered members. I started the forum because Smashwords had no way for authors to meet and discuss problems they were having, other than using the Smashwords Support system on their Dashboard – a system often overwhelmed by new users asking the same questions and overwhelming the support staff. Many Smashwords Forum members wrote they were surprised to find a forum for Smashwords authors, and why isn’t this mentioned on the Smashwords site. I asked Smashwords the same question many times.

In 2013 the Smashwords Forum had an upgrade. New tools and enhancements made it easier for our members to use the forum in a more secure environment. This week some Smashword Forum members are now discussing publishing multi-author ebooks, which I find exciting for readers and authors.

Growing membership is akin to growing sales; both take time. Membership in the Smashwords Forum is free, so if you’re an author on Smashwords or are considering publishing a work through Smashwords then why not join our Smashwords Forum?

Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014 – 2018

Price Waterhouse Cooper Canada has released a comprehensive report on media and entertainment which contains information on books and ebooks. This overview may be useful for authors.

Key insights at a glance

1 Digital gains returned global consumer books revenue to growth in 2013. Global consumer books revenue grew in 2013 after years of decline, as the increase in e-books revenue surpassed the fall in print. Global consumer books revenue will increase at a CAGR of 0.9% to US$64.9bn in 2018.

2 China will become the second-largest book market in 2017. China will overtake Japan in 2014, and Germany in 2017, to become the second-largest book market in the world, with revenue of US$13.2bn, after the US with revenue of US$37.0bn. Education is increasingly a priority for many Chinese, as is professional development. In 2018, China will account for 35% of Asia Pacific’s total books revenue.

3 Growth in consumer e-books is strong, but slowing. While global consumer books electronic revenue remains high, increasing at a 17.6% CAGR over the next five years, growth is slowing as the market matures, with year-on-year growth down to 10.3% in 2018. With more reading taking place on tablets, publishers will increasingly have to compete with video, music and game content for attention.

4 Educational e-books have yet to gain traction…E-books are still to have a major impact in the educational space. Only 14% of global total educational books revenue will come from e-books in 2018, compared with 7% in 2013, falling behind consumer and professional e-books. The industry’s reliance on government budgets is preventing further increases.

5 …But educational publishers continue to invest in digital publishing. Despite barriers to growth, educational publishers are still backing digital publishing initiatives, especially in higher education. College electronic revenue in the US will reach US$2.2bn in 2018, accounting for 43% of total college book revenue.

6 Professional books will see the fastest migration to digital. No matter the size of the economy, businesses and the staff working in them will require the most up-to-date information available. Consequently, professional books is the category with the highest share of digital revenue, with 18% of global professional books revenue coming from digital sources in 2013, rising to 36% in 2018, when electronic professional books revenue will be US$8.8bn.

The above information – with graphs – is available for viewing here.

Overviews of the report on various segments of Media and Entertainment is available here.

The full report on Media and Entertainment is available on a fee basis and subscription.

Is sharecouponcodes a scam, fraud, or something else?

Authors of ebooks are always an open target for scams and other nasty business. Today I was notified of yet another site I never heard of offering one of my free ebooks, this time with a coupon code and a “Buy from Amazon” button.

A “Buy from Amazon” button for a free ebook, plus offering a coupon code for a special discount seems a bit much even it the outfit offering this ebook is an Amazon affiliate.

I mean, c’mon, offering to sell a free ebook? With a coupon code? That is so wrong.

I don’t have a coupon code for this or any other ebook on Amazon. Heck, I don’t have hardly any of my ebooks on Amazon because of the problems I’ve had with them over the years.

Is this coupon code site some kind of scam or fraud perpetrated on Amazon? Or just another Amazon affiliate?
From the page for my ebook on sharecouponcode14:

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Link to web page where you can see the buy from Amazon buttons:

(Page link active on August 30, 2014, but I don’t know how long the site will be around.)
Other ebook authors might want to check their listings on this site.

This could be some sort of Amazon affiliate site, but having a buy from Amazon button for a free ebook seems to be a little much.

UPDATE: Reply from Amazon Support states “…can confirm we are not affiliated with this website.” The reply doesn’t go on to say whether or not the site is operated by an affiliate or what, if anything, Amazon may do about the site. I’ve replied to Amazon asking for clarification.

Author Earnings report on Amazon using 2013 data

Author Earnings has published a report using data gleaned from Amazon by their Internet spider.

From the article, “What is presented here is but one snapshot of the publishing revolution as it stands today. That revolution isn’t over. These reports can be run so long as books are ranked. Our hope is that the future brings more transparency, not less. Other artistic endeavors have far greater data at hand, and practitioners of those arts and those who aspire to follow in their footsteps are able to make better-informed decisions. The expectations of these artists and athletes are couched in realism to a degree that the writing profession does not currently enjoy.” (Bold text highlight by Ted)

Good information on earnings by authors publishing on Amazon. Whether the results can be similar or not at other ebook retailers remains to be seen.

Still, for authors curious about such matters you may read the full report here.

How to printout my ebooks

Purchasers of my puzzle ebooks, or any ebook for that matter, can easily printout the puzzles from any device allowing email of the ebook or downloading of ebook to your laptop/desktop.

1) Email ebook to yourself for printing, or download/synch the ebook to your laptop/desktop/tablet which allows printing. Most ereaders allow downloading/synching to your desktop/laptop;

2) Download a free conversion program called Calibre. Install on your desktop/laptop;

3) Open Calibre program, click on the down arrow of Add Books and choose your option, or just click on Add Books. Find your puzzle ebook, add it to your Calibre Library;

4) Click on the book in your Library to highlight it , then click on the ‘Convert books’ button and choose PDF as the output.

5) Find your PDF version on your desktop/laptop and print it out using Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar free PDF reading program. If you don’t know where the file is stored, perform a Search of your desktop/laptop using the name of the ebook file you saved. You should fine 2 versions; one an ebook file, the other the PDF file.

6) If you are printing out my puzzles, print out only the pages with the puzzles and use the PDF file to check your solutions. This way you’ll save ink and paper.

7) Some purchasers of my puzzle ebooks use them as gifts in book form. To do this send the PDF file to a retailer like Staples or Office Depot which can print out and collate the file in a book format with a plastic ring binder.

How to sell your ebooks directly on Goodreads and earn maximum royalties

Goodreads is a popular book/ebook review site recently bought by Amazon, but there is an easy way to sell directly to readers on Goodreads and earn maximum royalties.

Self-publishing authors can have links to mobi, ePub, PDF or some other file format, making it very easy for readers to click on the link, see your ebook cover, read your description, view the price you’ve set – even “set your own price” if you wish, before purchasing your ebook.

Method works on ANY secure site or blog having the https in the URL of the site, as Goodreads does.

Step-by-step instructions available at the Smashwords Forum link below.
NOTE: The Smashwords Forum viewing policy is like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites – free registration required to access all content on the site.
To view the article at link below you’ll have to register for free at the Smashwords Forum if you are not already a member.

How to easily sell your books or ebooks on your blog or web site

The other day I found an easy way to sell my ebooks directly on my free wordpress blog, and other self-publishing authors can easily sell their ebooks or books following the steps outlined on the article link at end of this post.

The catch. There’s always a catch.

Buying something on the net always requires an SSL connection, the HTPPS// you see in all secure URL’s. An SSL certificate costs money. Even Godaddy charges $75/year for an SSL certificate.

Gumroad requires an SSL connection, the old HTTPS you see on all secure sites. Yup. You have to pay to play. Or do you?

ME? I’m frugal. I don’t want to have to buy an SSL certificate.

I use a free SSL conversion method in my FireFox browser to ALWAYS have an SSL connection on ALMOST ANY site. Chrome users also have the ability, but not IE browsers. Chrome is very popular on many desktops, mobile phones and devices, and FireFox is my preferred browser for safe and secure Internet surfing.

The free SSL extension is called HTTPS Everywhere, and is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. HTTPS Everywhere is produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by using a clever technology to rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.

WordPress free blogs, like this one you are visiting, don’t have HTTPS and you can’t add HTTPS directly to your free wordpress blog. Some other free blogs or web site services may have the same problem.

Having HTTPS Everywhere as an add-on in your Chrome or FireFox browser not only makes your Internet surfing much safer and secure but allows you to sell your ebooks on sites which don’t have HTTPS or won’t allow you to add HTTPS directly on your site.

I created a Spanish Word Search Puzzles in PDF and uploaded it to the Dashboard on Gumroad. Clicking on the link above, if you have added HTTPS Everywhere to your FireFox or Chrome browser so you are viewing this page safely and securely in HTTPS, takes you to that page where you may purchase the PDF containing 50 full-page puzzles for 99 cents. Simple, eh. Yes, HTTPS Everywhere doesn’t work with Internet Explorer, but that is a piece of crap anyway and no one should be using it to surf the Internet. Get FireFox, it’s much faster and safer.

The reason I chose PDF is Gumroad personalizes each PDF a reader purchases, so the file is stamped with the name of purchaser on the front page of the PDF.

Besides selling your ebooks/books using Gumroads system, you can pre-order.

With the new feature, instead of uploading a file, creators just enter a release date. Fans can use their credit cards to purchase the product, then when the date comes, all those pre-order cards are charged, the content is delivered to the customers, and the listing is turned into a regular Gumroad product listing. Creators can send messages to people who placed orders before the release date, just as they can afterwards.

Create your pre-order, use twitter and facebook to announce it, and do the same on your blog or web site. Seems pretty darn simple to me.

There is no minimum price threshold that I’m aware of, plus they allow pay-what-you-want pricing.

Refunds are handled on your Gumroad Dashboard, and one gumroad user wrote on his blog there are no fees for refunds. You can also offer works as ‘All sales final. No refunds’.

Sales tax may not be applicable where you live in, so check your local laws and tax laws for your country.

The cost for this service? 5% of list price and $0.25.

If you sold a $3.99 ebook on Amazon you’d earn a maximum of $2.79

The same $3.99 ebook using Gumroad earns you $3.55.

To read how and what I did to be able to sell my ebooks on the free wordpress blog and learn more about Gumroad, and to see how to sell your books or ebooks on your own blog/website whether or not it’s wordpress, click this link to the Smashwords Forum article.
NOTE: The Smashwords Forum viewing policy is like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites – free registration required to access all content on the site. To view the article you’ll have to register for free.