Nice revenue figures there from Mark Coker in Forbes. Even at a low percentage commission charge (and Smashwords charge 10% of retail price for sales through their retail and library distribution network and at their Smashwords store) this would yield quite a chunk of change. Nice work by Mark and his team:
Indie ebooks are starting to sell in a big way. Our revenues are going to be over $12m for 2012, which means that our retail partners are going to sell between $18m and $20m of books. And our books are starting to appear in bestseller lists. Today, when I look at the Apple iBook stats for the US store, Smashwords’ authors occupy five of the top 20 bestselling slots, and one of the top ten, maybe even two today. A year ago, we didn’t have any books in the top ten at Apple. I think that’s really exciting!
via Mark Coker: Significant Disruption For Traditional Publishers Still To Come – Forbes.
That Mark Coker is one smart fellow!
8. International ebook market explodes, causing publishers to rethink territory rights restrictions – The proliferation of affordable, high-quality dedicated ereading devices, smart phones and ereading apps, and the international expansion of big US-based ebook retailers into green field markets, will power significant revenue for US authors, publishers and retailers. Large publishers will miss some of this growth due to self-inflicted territory rights restrictions, whereas indie authors and small publishers won’t face the same limitations. Publishers begin to realize geographic territory rights hinder ebook sales by limiting distribution, and will instead look to carve rights (or hold on them) language by language.
via Predictions for 2011 from Smashwords Founder – GalleyCat.
You know, I think Mark Coker & smashwords is a little revolution in a small and smiling package. How long will it last as an independent? Would anyone be brave/smart/clever enough to buy it?
For the second part of the agreement, Diesel has selected Smashwords to power its new Diesel Publishing Portal. Like most smart ebook retailers, Diesel is committed to offering its customers the broadest possible selection of ebook titles. By partnering with Smashwords to power its publishing portal, Diesel makes it faster and easier for indie authors and small publishers to sell their titles on Diesel. Diesel is the second major ebook retailer to choose Smashwords to power their co-branded publishing portal. Sony was the first.
via Smashwords: Smashwords and Diesel Partner to Expand Ebook Distribution Opportunities for Indie Authors and Publishers.
I’ve had a soft spot for Smashwords since it launched. This is quite the milestone!
Traditional publishers have always been challenged to predict which books will become commercial successes. They acquire books they think they can sell. In my view, the Achilles heel of traditional publishers is their myopic fixation on commercial potential. Sure, they have businesses to run, and Manhattan sky rise rents to pay. And yes, they employ brilliant and generous people who are passionate about books. Yet because they’re running businesses limited by decades-old business models and cost structures, they’re not able to take risks on every author. Nor do they want to.
I created Smashwords so I could take a risk on every author, including the author who writes for an audience of one. Because our platform is self-serve and extremely automated, we enjoy a low cost structure that enables this risk-taking, and also allows us to return up to 85% of all net sales back to the author or publisher.
via Smashwords: Smashwords Publishes 15,000th Indie Ebook.
Now this is very cool news
Smashwords have announced a rather great piece of news:
Smashwords has signed an agreement with Barnes & Noble to distribute Smashwords ebooks.
As you might imagine, we’re thrilled.
Until today, it was difficult if not impossible for many independent authors and publishers to gain such mainstream digital distribution. Now with Smashwords, virtually any deserving author, anywhere in the world, can receive broader distribution for their ebook.
Read the rest of the Smashowrds post here and some coverage from Teleread here.
I have much to add here, I’ll post more later today.