MARK COKER IS THE CEO OF SMASHWORDS, THE LARGEST EBOOK DISTRIBUTOR IN AMERICA. MARK WAS KIND ENOUGH TO OFFER US AN INTERVIEW, AND HIS ANSWERS ARE TRULY FASCINATING, A MUST READ FOR ALL READERS AND WRITERS.
Smashwords is a wonderful platform for authors and publishers. What sparked the idea for Smashwords?
Smashwords grew out of my personal experience trying to sell a novel my wife and I co-wrote.
My wife is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine. About 12 years ago we wrote a novel titled Boob Tube that explored the dark underbelly of Hollywood celebrity.
Despite enthusiasm from beta readers and representation from a top New York literary agency, traditional publishers rejected it. Our agent told us that previous novels targeting soap opera fans had performed poorly which made publishers reluctant to take a chance on our book.
Our failure to land a publishing deal opened my eyes to what I perceived as a horribly broken publishing ecosystem that was no longer working for authors and readers.
Read the full answer and interview here