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The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

Rated 4.76/5 based on 120 reviews
Learn the 30 best practices of the bestselling self-published ebook authors.

This updated January 2014 edition of the The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success has already helped tens of thousands of self-published ebook authors publish more professionally.

This ebook is a must-read for every writer, author, publisher and literary agent. More
Download: epub mobi (Kindle) pdf Online Reader
Words: 41,550
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476000411
About Mark Coker

I'm Mark, founder of Smashwords. Our mission is simple: we want to create the world's single best ebook publishing and distribution platform for our indie authors, publishers, literary agents and retailers.

I'm co-author with my wife of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of Hollywood celebrity. I also wrote the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book for free), the Smashwords Style Guide (how to format, produce and publish an ebook) and The 10-Minute PR Checklist (helps entrepreneurs and business managers think more strategically about public relations. It's not written for authors, though some authors find it valuable.).

When I'm not writing or working on Smashwords, I enjoy gardening, traveling and hiking tall mountains, the tallest of which has been Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Write me at first initial second initial at you know where dot com (though please direct all support inquires to the "comments/questions" link you'll find on any Smashwords page).

About the Series: Smashwords Guides
Learn how to publish ebooks with pride, professionalism and success! These free guides have been downloaded over 700,000 times, making them an indispensable resources for authors looking to learn the best practices of the most successful ebook authors.

Also in Series: Smashwords Guides

Also by This Author

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Review by: GiselleAndTomB on July 25, 2018 :
I think i can now master writing for e-books. this book was easy to understand.
(review of free book)

Review by: BongoDog on June 19, 2018 :
also helpful!
(review of free book)

Review by: Ross Lyn Cairns on March 29, 2018 :
I am so glad i stumbled across Mark Coker. I had researched a variety of self-publishing books, but the Smashwords Style Guide was so practical and detailed I know I wouldn't have got anywhere without it. I love the Secrets because of the acknowledgement 'First write a great book' being 80% of the job. I am aware the indie market is crowded now, which is exactly why we need to study the marketing guide, to become the cream rising to the top. Thanks for your generous help, Mark
(review of free book)

Review by: Ronald Walker on Dec. 15, 2017 :
The Secrets To Ebook Publishing Success flourishes the mind with the many outlooks to look upon eBook marketing rewardingly, wisely, and successfully. Not only is it a knowledgeable guide prevailing many marketing outlets that you could perceive from. It installs within you the rationality that could give you the ability to reach for higher perspectives. Indeed, it’s a book to have in your arsenal towards helping you inspiringly reach higher bounds. Ronald Walker
(review of free book)

Review by: Chris Mason on Oct. 28, 2017 :
A good book. A bit basic perhaps. Also many of the things talked about in the book seemed to me to be common sense. However, this was still a good read.
(review of free book)

Review by: jellyroll5000 on Sep. 26, 2017 :
Great ideas a few years ago, but the indie author space is so crowded. It's a one in a million chance of achieving success. Either way, this book can help for anyone who wants to try. Thanks, Mr Coker
(review of free book)

Review by: jackjohnson on July 20, 2017 :
Simply put this is required reading for anyone who even hopes to achieve any success as an indie author. The market is massively overcrowded, so all of these tips and tricks are needed just to get started.
(review of free book)

Review by: TiraGP on July 20, 2017 :
A very nice set of instructions for marketing your ebooks, but these methods will likely apply to selling just about anything on line. The author is savvy to the various technology and marketing / networking methods, but I wonder if someone does all this will it really increase their chances of success?
(review of free book)

Review by: Charlotte Underwood on June 28, 2017 :
Very informative and helpful to a first time e-book publisher and also for someone like me who has only just released their first book. I love the amount of detail and history put into this book.
(review of free book)

Review by: BooksAndCocktailsBlog on March 06, 2017 :
Three years ago-it was much easier to publish an indie and make money. Now with the crazy amount of authors and the sites who publish books under 5000 word means all the good and full-length books are buried beneath them and no one can afford to market them on their own. I am completely burned out on social media to promote it too. Coker does point out some great ways to do it-but you need persistence or $$$ to carry it out. If publishers charged $300 per book there would be a lot less authors who are not serious. Of course, they could offer scholarships to the starving writers. So-no one get mad at me for suggesting things--OK?
(review of free book)

Review by: A.R. Young on March 04, 2017 :
Finally, a book that can help indie authors give traditional publishers a run for their money.
(review of free book)

Review by: J. J. Garcia Cozar on Jan. 03, 2017 :
SPANISH: Este libro me parece de lo mejor para empezar en el mundo de la autopublicación. Se nota que el autor sabe de qué habla y muestra pasión y entrega en cada párrafo.
Leer este libro es casi obligatorio para cualquier escritor novato como lo soy yo, la sabiduría escrita aquí no tiene precio.
Como siempre, Mark Coker, impecable y firme, defiende con fuerza a los autores indie y la inmortalidad de los ebooks.
ENGLISH: This book seems to me the best to start in the world of self-publishing. You can see that the author knows what he is talking about and shows passion and dedication in each paragraph.
Reading this book is almost mandatory for any novice writer as I am, the wisdom written here is priceless.
As always, Mark Coker, impeccable and firm, strongly defends the indie authors and the immortality of ebooks.
(review of free book)

Review by: deerbulldozer on Nov. 21, 2016 :
If I have to choose between marketing and formatting my eBook, I'm going to spend my time marketing. The reason I'm more into marketing is because it's mostly about networking in person and on line. This book is full of great ideas to build my audience and that suites my personality. But this is a catch 22, because if my book is not formatted properly it won't look good and it won't sell. Still, though, I'll hire a MS Word expert to format my book and do the marketing myself. This book is full of great ideas but it needs an update for 2017.
(review of free book)

Review by: Greeenie on Nov. 18, 2016 :
I will enjoy marketing my ebooks more than I will enjoy formatting them. Marketing sounds fun and creative, according to this book it's a lot of socializing and social networking.
(review of free book)

Review by: ManlyDude on Oct. 22, 2016 :
Many good tactics for building an audience for your ebooks. You could probably use many of these same ideas for selling anything online. Did seem a bit dated, since it hasn't been updated since 2014.
(review of free book)

Review by: Eraser Head on Oct. 18, 2016 :
I grabbed this ebook a few months ago and I'm glad I did. I've been chipping away at establishing my social media presence in prep for publishing my ebook. There are so many great tips and tricks in here. I just hope I can find more people to buy my book, not just my mom and brother (lulz). Wish me luck.
(review of free book)

Review by: Mr Keef, Sr on Oct. 09, 2016 :
Great advice for indie authors, but any author who does all this will have very little time to write. The trick, I believe, is to be selective and very focused when choosing which ebook marketing strategy to use.
(review of free book)

Review by: Maddie Suosa on Sep. 01, 2016 :
Very good to read and now I have learned some new things.
(review of free book)

Review by: Paul Ian Cross on Aug. 03, 2016 :
This is an excellent how-to guide. I've recently joined Smashwords and this was a must-read for me. Mark's tips are easy to follow and quick to implement. I have now successfully published my first ebook via Smashwords thanks to the advice in this book. A must-read for new indie authors!
(review of free book)

Review by: Red1111 on July 10, 2016 :
This book has plenty of tasks for the indie author to do, but will they work? What is needed to sell lots of eBooks and to become popular? Even if you write a great story it may not be enough. Is it possible that the eBook of the future needs to evolve? I think an eBook must include something special. How about some of these ideas: Pictures, puzzles, links to a great blog, a video game tie-in, videos, music or an App tie in? Plain old reading is on the way out. People want something more, something special.
(review of free book)

Review by: Redondo B on July 05, 2016 :
Like the other books by Mark Coker, I can't say it strongly enough: Indie Authors Read This Book and Follow the Many Great Tips and Tricks. I must admit, though, that I am one of those analysis paralysis people. I write a little, and I want to publish, but I keep reading and researching. I read books about writing and publishing and I love them. I keep making a plan to write my novel and publish it. I keep reading novels and short stories (I read A LOT!). Mark my words, I'll write my masterpiece and publish it on here . . . some day.
(review of free book)

Review by: KG1001 on July 04, 2016 :
Filled with great tips and tricks for anyone marketing themself or their products (esp ebooks) on line. I never would have thought of most of this. You will have better luck using this guide across all your social networks.
(review of free book)

Review by: Steven Bright on July 03, 2016 :
This is a great self help book, and I'm glad I had it the right time. In fact, I'm already implementing the ideas gotten from it. Thanks!
(review of free book)

Review by: jackjohnson on May 25, 2016 :
It's simple: If you want to be a successful indie author this is great place to get started.
(review of free book)

Review by: N Jams on May 09, 2016 :
Are you considering trying to make it as an indie author? If so this is a great place to start. It seems there is a lot more to it than writing great stories and novels or non-fiction. In addition to writing the indie author must spend many hours marketing on line and in person. It seems that with all the social networks and on-line groups it might just be possible to build up a following of fans. I also get the impression that one must pick an area in which to write (a niche if you will) and stick to it. This books makes a case for working in a particular area and building a community around yourself through marketing your online presence. It's less likely to work for you if you just write whatever pops into your head. Rather, you should make yourself an expert in a specific area weather it's horror, crime, business, project management, history, military hardware, self-help, time management or whatever. Seems an indie author has to pick a specialty and become the online master of that universe. Very interesting approach that I had not considered.
(review of free book)

Review by: Mike White on May 05, 2016 :
This book does a good job of showing all of the ways in which eBook publishing is different from traditional publishing and how becoming successful as an indie writer is different from becoming successful as a traditional writer. Given all of the generic advice that is now written about the subject, it is great to get information that is much more specific.
(review of free book)

Review by: RockySlattery on April 17, 2016 :
This is a great place to start for anyone who wants to be successful with eBook publishing. There are so many things you have to do to set up your online presence in the social networks. Some of this is high tech and probably warrants hiring someone with special skills in web design and marketing.
(review of free book)

Review by: jellyroll5000 on April 12, 2016 :
This is exactly the book I am looking for. Very happy to find it, and especially because it is written by the king of self publishing Mark Coker. Thank you Mark for sharing your depth and breadth of experience with us. I look forward to using these valuable techniques to market my ebook when I publish it later this year.
(review of free book)

Review by: Larry_T on April 12, 2016 :
Well written and full of solid advice from cover to cover. I believe that doing most or all of the things in this book increase your chances of success with ebook publishing, however it takes great writing and lots of luck to sell a lot of books.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ronda Del Boccio on April 02, 2016 :
I'm new to Smashwords. I've had books out for a while (print and e), and I can honestly say there are TONS of golden nuggets in this guide even for those not using Smashwords. Help with platform building, catching the reader's attention, how readers find your book and more are all terrific teachings inside this book.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.
Ronda Del Boccio
(review of free book)

Review by: Jack Parker on March 29, 2016 :
If you are an indie author, this book explains everything you need to do, how to do it and why to do it -- when it comes to laying the foundation for your brand and your marketing plan. There are many other things you need to do, but this is a great place to start.
(review of free book)

Review by: Malcolm Torres on March 25, 2016 :
I've actually done most of this in an attempt to sell and give away free eBooks under my pen name. I can report that some of these tactics are more useful than others. I don't think blogging or asking your friends and relatives really contributes to success. The most helpful thing I've found is to give away free short stories and novels, and if people like them they will come back and buy your other books. The golden rule is your writing has to be good.
(review of free book)

Review by: PaulS972 on March 25, 2016 :
I can do everything in this handy book myself, unlike eBook formatting which I have to hire an expert to do. I'm hoping that following the step by step instructions here will help me sell some books. Thanks to the author for sharing all this secret knowledge.
(review of free book)

Review by: CloudeySkyes on March 24, 2016 :
I was sitting here trying to think what I'd write for a review. I was trying to think of something witty and clever to say. But I couldn't come up with anything . . . so I read the review below this one by someone names TexMex, and I have to agree. I think the review below mine by TexMex really nailed it. I'd like ad a huge thank you to Mr. Coker for everything he's doing and to all the people ate Smashwords. Indie publishing is changing the literary world and Smashwords is totally making it happen.
(review of free book)

Review by: TexMex on March 11, 2016 :
I read this entire book and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand it is a list of a whole lot of things for the new indie author to do. Creating accounts, setting up a website, telling friends, tagging metadata, blogging, joining groups, etc. I went off and did most of these activities and achieved a great sense of satisfaction. On the other hand, all the while I had a vague feeling that none of this will actually lead to selling books. Sure my mom and my cousin will grab my book, maybe a few people I meet online, etc. But will any of this add up to a best seller? Sorry to sound jaded but a lot of this reads like it's from a 'golden age' of indie publishing, maybe 5 years ago when the space was new and the possibilities were endless. There will be some great best sellers from the indie author space, but will an indie published book go viral because the author did all the tasks in this book? I'm not sure. I'm not confident that this book is a recipe for success. I think an author needs to write a great book first of all. After that, there are a lot of reasons why it might or might not become a best seller. I think fate and chance and dumb luck and magic are involved. Sure, do all the stuff in this book but it's entirely possible that taking advice from a gypsy psychic might help you even more . . . that and write a great story.
(review of free book)

Review by: DoloresMatthews on March 09, 2016 :
I just read this and enjoyed it. I've been thinking about publishing some poems and a collection of stories. This book has many good ideas for building your network, marketing books. Lot's of high-tech and creative ideas I never would have thought of.
(review of free book)

Review by: MarkRuggs on March 04, 2016 :
Thanks, Mark Coker, for giving me a whole bunch of reasons to spend hours on my computer writing fiction and then surfing social networking sites promoting my eBooks.
(review of free book)

Review by: Pops on Feb. 29, 2016 :
After reading Mr. Coker's book on how to format my manuscript for Smashwords, I almost gave up on self publishing because that process was too complicated. However, I feel much better about marketing my book using the advice he presents here. I do wonder if all these tips will actually add up to the sale of books. I'd like to see thsi book updated with hard data on actual book sales on Smashwords, iBooks and B&N. There's a lot of 'stuff' out there in the media on how Amazon is dominating the market. It seems Apple and B&N are not being too aggressive about capturing the eBook market. Sorry in advance if this hurts anyone's feelings, but here on Smashwords, I don't see much in the way of best sellers. The most downloaded books are published 4 or 5 years ago. The 'highest rated' books seem to have lots of reviews that could be written by friends. Maybe the business aspects of this website would benefit from a facelift.
(review of free book)

Review by: Flex X on Feb. 27, 2016 :
Really motivated me to get started marketing my ebook. With all the social networks today connecting with readers is easier than ever. What this book made me realize is that I have to get started marketing now.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ray1184 on Feb. 25, 2016 :
This well written book is filled with things any author should do to sell their books. I just wonder if all this activity adds up to selling lots of books or not. I mean after my relatives and friends buy it and tell their their friends, then what? I guess what is really needed is a great story that is well written to begin with -- and that is the hard part. Either way, I can't stop writing so I'm doomed to try this. Thanks.
(review of free book)

Review by: Chief Crenki on Feb. 19, 2016 :
This great little book is required reading for anyone who is thinking of self-publishing a book. Chock full of great tips and tricks that you would probably never think of.
(review of free book)

Review by: Chad Ruggerio on Feb. 16, 2016 :
Thank you Mark Coker for another excellent book full of tips and tricks for Indie authors. There is no way that the average person like me who's thinking about writing and publishing a book on my own whatever no the information contained in this book. It's going to take me a while to finish writing my book but I'm glad I read this because it's full of things that I can start doing now. Indie. authoring is absolutely fascinating and I'm very excited to be a part of it .
(review of free book)

Review by: Lusty Soul on Oct. 20, 2015 :
eye opener. very useful
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Review by: James Heath Lantz on Aug. 28, 2015 :
This is another great guide. I can't thank you enough for it. Thank you so much.
(review of free book)

Review by: Toortsie se Skribbels on Aug. 21, 2015 :
Very inspirational.
Thank you!
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Review by: Tanya R. Taylor on June 09, 2015 :
Very informative read.
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Review by: Stephen Gane on Feb. 07, 2015 :
A good read with lots of interesting stuff to try...
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Review by: Rhapsodie McClintick on Jan. 31, 2015 :
Thank you so much for practicing what you promote, having your book on Amazon is great for reading on the Kindle.
(review of free book)

Review by: Wlodzimierz Sochacki on Jan. 26, 2015 :
Very useful book :)
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Review by: Bruce Carroll on Jan. 13, 2015 :
The surprising thing to me was discovering that this book is engaging! Yes, there is a lot of information included (and at 41,000+ words probably more ideas than I will use), but the text is just so amazingly well-written!

Highly recommended for anyone wishing to promote an eBook (or a series of eBooks), and also recommended for most anyone looking for an entertaining nonfiction read.

Kudos, Mark!
(review of free book)

Review by: Adrian Juhl on Nov. 12, 2014 :
Thanks for the book. I discovered several issues with how I set-up Dalynia and Kayne. Very much appreciated. This is definitely recommended reading!
(review of free book)

Review by: Nora Char on Oct. 18, 2014 : (no rating)
Perfect book for self-publishers! I was really happy to read works of Mark Coker. I hope, some tipps will be really helpful for all of us! ;)
(review of free book)

Review by: Rowan Kohll on Oct. 08, 2014 :
This book was most helpful to me in writing, publishing and marketing my book, 1-Minute Chinese. And more than that, it's a really good read! Thanks, Mark!
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Review by: Jamil Hammoud on Sep. 10, 2014 : (no rating)
thanks Mark Coker
(review of free book)

Review by: Prasant on Sep. 02, 2014 :
Sorry to say...you have given an example how that book's sale jumped to 100 copies/day.... is it really true because I never experienced such a thing?

Reader's psychology seems to be only one - 'download whenever free'... never look at the same book when a price is added....

Why most of the marketing tips looks brilliant in books, none work in reality?
(review of free book)

Review by: Martin Peltz on Aug. 03, 2014 :
From Cape Town ( where I live ) to Cairo and far beyond; the steps here will yield results if worked consistently over time.

Use together with Coker's other guides.
(review of free book)

Review by: Tikiri Herath on May 19, 2014 :
A must read for any self-publishing author.
(review of free book)

Review by: Geetanjali Mukherjee on Jan. 04, 2014 :
Packed with useful tips, I was pleasantly surprised by how useful this book is. I am still working through the suggestions, doing as Mark suggests, to implement the easy tips first. I highly recommend this to any author of e-books, not necessary only for those published on Smashwords.
(review of free book)

Review by: David Dockery on Aug. 07, 2013 :
I was really impressed with the information here and I am sold on publishing with smashwords. I worked very hard on my book and now that it's ready for submission to a publisher I hunted all over and I really feel like smashwords is the only distributor that has their author's best interest in mind. It's very apparent that Mr. Coker cares about his customers and more importantly he respects the author, the writing process and he is an advocate for the future of ebooks.
I can't wait to get started with smashwords, but this book taught me that you can't just upload it right away. You have to do your homework, some promotional work and more. I also read the other 2 books on style guidelines and marketing by Mark Coker and those were very helpful too. Frankly when I looked at Amazon submissions I was a little intimidated. I don't feel like that with smashwords. I also enjoyed Mark's blog which has even more great information if that's possible. Thanks for such a great book Mark and I can't wait to work with smashwords to get my new indie book out there.
(review of free book)

Review by: J. Aleksandr Wootton on Aug. 05, 2013 :
Plenty of good information here, but the book would strongly benefit from a re-write - it's plagued by arguments ended in mid-thought, lack of internal transition between thoughts in paragraphs, missing words, many sections that simply repeat or rehash previous sections, and so on. Not quite enough to spoil the reading experience, but enough to jeopardize the credibility of content. A reader who didn't already know Smashwords and author Mark Coker's credentials would likely be turned off.
(review of free book)

Review by: Paul Morrison on June 12, 2013 :
It is certainly the right material to anyone in the e-book business to read. Sharing your knowledge just shows how you believe in this business and I am enjoying every tip and advice. I would also like to congratulate you for doing it for free, but I have to say that I would gladly pay for your books!
(review of free book)

Review by: Adra Young on May 27, 2013 :
Every time I read one of Coker's books, I feel as if I'm taking one of my favorite college prerequisite's courses once again. The Secrets to Ebook publishing is the kind of read that keeps indie authors such as myself having continuous "Aha Moments." From sharing the best way to sell your books, or the reason why your e-book may simply not be having any success at all, this book is great for all authors simply to trying to raise the bar revenue wise. I liked the fact that there were some secrets I already had knowledge on. On the other hand, I loved the fact that there were a lot of secrets listed that I simply were not aware of. The information provided allows me now to look upon the e-books that I write from a wide range of various angles. The e-book terminology towards the end of the book comes in very handy as well. More importantly, Coker chooses to provide all this priceless information for free to any author who's simply interested at getting better at their craft. Thanks again Coker.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ayla Pendragon on May 23, 2013 :
Lu en anglais, critique en français.

Un ebook intéressant, je suppose. Certaines évidences, mais surtout des moments de réalisation. Comme les habitudes des acheteurs, les prix à apposer son livre et le marketing de livre électronique.

Pour quelqu'une comme moi qui a beaucoup de difficulté à faire les premiers pas vers les autres, IRL ou dans la vie virtuelle, il y a abordé plusieurs trucs de façon assez vague. C'est sûrement pour nous redirigé vers son autre ebook gratuit, aussi, Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Livre électronique qui sera ma prochaine lecture.

Je patauge dans l'écriture depuis un bout et les sujets de mes histoires ne sont pas des sujets favoris des maisons d'édition. Smashwords est un bon endroit où jeter sa ligne pour la pêche à l'infos. Et ce ebook, malgré quelques erreurs de frappe, de formatting (j'ai téléchargé le format PDF), est très instructif.

Mark Coker supporte ses informations avec plusieurs données et quelques années d'expérience dans le monde de la publication indépendante avec son site. Le nombre de pages, la légère répétition de ses idées et le style d'écriture rendent la lecture du ebook simple et claire.
(review of free book)

Review by: Chantel Rhondeau on May 11, 2013 :
Great, practical advice. Easy to understand and helpful ideas. I'm off to read the other marketing books by this author.
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Review by: J B Bergstad on May 03, 2013 :
I have only three words to describe Mark Coker's Secrets of eBook Publishing Success...Great, great, great. Many of the secrets are common sense, but common sense all writers need to be reminded of once in a while. Writers, like actors, have big egos and even bigger expections. Two of the most important lessons I took from Mr. Coker's book were: don't cheat your book out of quality by a rush to publish. Don't plan on being a #1 bestseller thirty days after you're accepted by the Premium catalogue. Thanks for Smashwords,(not saying some things don't need a little more work), and thank you for compiling these simple truths and making us aware of them. Jim Bergstad writing as Matt James.
(review of free book)

Review by: John Ellis on March 30, 2013 :
this is a fantastic ebook and highly recommended.

naturally you have to take the stuff about rejecting amazon exclusivity with a pinch of salt - some moral hazard there..

my only problem is that I read this, got all excited about Smashwords, tried to publish something (i had been exclusive to amazon before then), and found that Smashwords is utterly terrible. I tried about 10 times to publish a single book and the system would keep rejecting it. Their idea of 'help' or 'support' was providing no specific solution, just pointing me towards FAQs and the Style Guide.

So, in short, read this book for its helpful general advice and good motivational info, avoid Smashwords.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kimaya Mathew on March 28, 2013 :
Mark coker, as always, gives you the basic principles of how to get successful in the ebook's bussiness. I am going through his other book right now, along with this one.I am finding his words both successful and inspiring.
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Review by: Julie Pfeifer on March 22, 2013 : (no rating)
Easy to follow and packed full of information. Thank you!
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Review by: S Long on March 07, 2013 :
Awesome book! Read it twice... A must-have book, especially for newbie writer/publisher!
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Review by: Jean MacIntyre on March 02, 2013 :
A must read for anyone aspiring to be a published author. Well done, Mark, and thank you so much for giving us this Smashwords venue!
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Review by: Daryl R. Smith on Feb. 28, 2013 :
Excellent advice for new ebook writers. Thank you!
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Review by: emmeebee on Feb. 14, 2013 :
I'm not even close to looking into publishing yet and was fairly certain that I would at least try traditional publishing first, but decided to read this anyway as it seemed interesting regardless. It definitely was. It has me excited about self-publishing (which may not be a good thing as I have to keep reminding myself that I really am not ready for that yet) or doing a mixture of self-publishing and traditional publishing, if it works out, depending on what's right for a particular book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kristine Cuevas on Feb. 12, 2013 :
Haven't finish reading it yet, but this is really helpful. :)
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Review by: My Ebook Publishing House on Feb. 07, 2013 :
Very usefull!!
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Review by: Ed Skidmore on Jan. 23, 2013 :
I just finished reading Mark Coker's free book, "Secrets to EBook Publishing Success". I appreciated his helpful and collegial attitude. All that info and at no cost! I already used several of his suggestions on my own recently published book in order to expand "my platform". (He writes about that in the book.) Thank You Mark!!
(review of free book)

Review by: Christine Rice on Dec. 23, 2012 :
Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker is a thorough self-help manual about how to succeed as an ebook author. It is a good book for a soon-to-be-published author, but it is also helpful for an author who has already published a book, or several books for that matter.

This book covers a lot of information, which is pleasing since it is free. You usually can’t go wrong with free, and this book is no exception. It emphasizes the importance of writing a well-written and edited book with a great title and cover design. It talks about the value of connecting well with your readers, distributing your ebook to as many online retailers as you can, giving your book away for free, developing your author platform, maximizing “virality,” and studying bestsellers in your genre. It covers the most popular cycles or trends of ebook sales, how to deal with negative reviews, and how to set an appropriate ebook price. It goes into adequate detail about twenty-eight “secrets” to having a successful ebook; plus, there are additional chapters of other helpful information.

I have published four ebooks myself, and even though I have heard of most of the tips Coker provides - because of my five years of publishing experience - it is a well-written book with lots of insights that would help aspiring authors, new authors, and authors who don’t have much experience with editing, formatting, publishing, marketing, and networking, and anyone who is looking to learn a new tip or two to improve their ebook’s sales.
(review of free book)

Review by: Daniel Hardie on Nov. 29, 2012 :
Great book to get started on eBooks. If only I started by reading this... would have saved so time. I've already read through this a few times now and plan to keep it for reference. Thanks Mark.
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Review by: Joseph Henry Gaines on Nov. 22, 2012 :
So pleased I downloaded this! Some fantastic information written in common sense so that newbies like myself can easily understand it. Excellent Book Mr Coker!
You have my sincere thanks and once I sell a million copies of my novel you will have my sincere gratitude (LoL)
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Review by: Leora C. Waldman on Oct. 09, 2012 :
This book is AMAZING. It is written by a genuinely good and outstanding person who doesn't mind sharing his wisdom and experience with the rest of the people who need it.
I believe that for as long as there are people like Mark out there the world is definitely a better and more inspiring place. I strongly recommend this book not only to young and inspiring authors, but to anyone who needs a sound knowledge of how marketing and PR works.
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Review by: Rouge Publishing on Sep. 27, 2012 :
This book actually made me cry at the end and that is unusual for a non-fiction book. It just gave me the validation as a writer that I've never had before. Seldom do I run across other writers in person and so reading Mark's book really was a confidence booster. I recommend this book to all writers especially those who are new. It's the added boost we all need to see our little "babies" rise from the literary crib to adulthood.
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Review by: Richard Colletta on Aug. 20, 2012 :
Great book! Although a few portions of it are geared towards Smashwords and sort of shilling for SW (nothing wrong with that though) the majority of it can be applied to ebook publishing in general.

If you're new to writing/publishing this isn't a bad book to give a thorough read to. If you're not entirely green it's still worth a decent skim.

I kind of Cliff-noted the book. Here are some of the best general tips I picked out below.

-ebooks/tablets are revolutionizing book publishing
-write a great book, proofread, reread, edit, get
honest critical feedback, do market research
-don't spend more in an attempt to make more money
-create a great ebook cover
-edit your metadata, make it work for you
-write another great book, give more for your readers
to look forward to, build reader trust
-maximize distribution, smashwords + direct upload to
Amazon to cover all bases
-avoid exclusivity contracts
-consider avoiding Amazon's KDP Select program (one
free book a month to users) because it requires
-give some of your books away for free, free books
introduce your readers to you
-you can change your price
-use a cover image that catches the eye
-inform your distributor of big upcoming titles for
marketing possibilities.
-aggregate your distribution
-be patient with sales
-get reviews, get great covers, edit!, write a great
story, get distributed
-drm inconviences customers more than pirates
-use google alerts to stay abreast of of search terms
phrases used in your book to watch out for
-market your book/brand, blog, fb, twitter
-get beta readers
-never-ending book launch
-study bestsellers in your category
-highest earners write 150-200k words
60-80k are considered full length tho
-top 50 bestsellers on smashwords average 100k words
-write series
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Review by: Adam Drake on Aug. 18, 2012 :
Great stuff. Mark makes no promises of guaranteed success, but simply provides the techniques and information that can help an author along the way. It gave me a lot to think about. I've got some work to do...
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Review by: C.M. Skiera on Aug. 14, 2012 :
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success is a must-read for any self-publishing author. Possibly a little wordy with some obvious instructions, it's still chock-full of excellent advice, tips, and resources. Although I liked The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide a little better, they are a great companion set. It's well-written and organized in a logical manner. Definitely a steal for free, as it is easily worth paying for.
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Review by: Carolyn Flynn on July 19, 2012 :
I really appreciate that Mark Coker looks after the best interests of both authors and readers. Thank you for another great resource!
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Review by: Maaja Wentz on July 08, 2012 :
Mark Coker does it again with this in-depth guide to epublishing success. I used his previous formatting guide to publish a children's screenplay with little expectation of financial gain. With this new guide, Coker has inspired me to consider epublishing my current manuscripts-in-progress, instead of submitting to agents or publishers. Informative, clear and inspiring, this guide is a must-read for prospective Smashwords authors.
(review of free book)

Review by: [email protected] on June 27, 2012 :
Having published some 30 books, most of them also on Smashwords, I was pleasantly surprised that I still had quite a few titbits to learn. Thanks, Mark. Here's hoping.
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Review by: Sam Reeves on June 23, 2012 : (no rating)
Firstly, the negatives (there's only one to be honest):

Mark is a bit repetitive at some stages of the book, mentioning the same thing or point quite a lot of times. 'However', I've noticed this happen a fair few times in 'how to' books, and personally I don't think it's a problem as it's a good way of teaching and hammering a point home. If you ever read the best-seller 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad', you'll see much the same thing.

Now onto the positives:

Although I was already aware of Smashwords, I had been searching online for the answer to a particular question, that of 'Should an author go Amazon KDP exclusive, or non-KDP exclusive'.

Mark answered that question for me, and very logically I might add too, with strong points in his arguments favor. It makes sense in my estimation, but a previous reviewer has the opposing view, so what can you do. Personally, I got exactly what I was looking for, and more...

Mark lays out some good methodology for first time e-book publishers with also a fair few facts useful to authors who have already published e-books, yet may have overlooked key points.

He also gives some good motivational anecdotes for authors who may feel their e-book is a flop. He does this by presenting Smashwords sales figures charts for some authors books, and shows how sales of an e-book can fluctuate over time.

To sum it up, I'd say everyone wishing to self-publish an e-book really should read this first. You can't go wrong, it's free, and although some have said some of the points in the book are obvious, I do not really agree. One persons 'obvious' is not another persons obvious.

I give it four stars and not five, only because of the repetition, and that's saying something bearing in mind people say 'I'm' repetitive, people say I'm repetitive, people say I'm repetitive. Not only that, people say I'm repetitive.

What do they know!

I've already downloaded his other two books on the subject of e-book publishing and I'm sure they will be just as useful.

Thanks Mark.
(review of free book)

Review by: Eric Marcelo on June 15, 2012 :
The book's been updated since it was first published so the errors mentioned by Niall Teasdale have been corrected. The "secrets" are very helpful and taken from experiences by other successful authors. I think it can do with a little more tweaking to consolidate some of the points though. Four stars for me.
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Review by: Velvet Hands on May 20, 2012 :
se qualcuno vuole veramente incominciare a capire un pochino come riuscire ad arrivare col proprio libro digitale, qs libro diventa una fermata obbligatoria. è oro solido. congratulazioni Mark, sei grande
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Review by: Roy E. Klienwachter on May 12, 2012 :
I have published 10 eBooks on smashwords over two years and have 3 others waiting. I lost interest shortly after because I did not see the results I was expecting, it was short sighted of me. After reading "The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success" I have been inspired to start marketing again. This is just the encouragement I have needed. Thanks Mark!!
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Review by: M.G. Edwards on May 11, 2012 :
This is a gem of a book for the price (free!). It's a good read for aspiring authors who are just starting to self-publish and need some guidance getting started in the seemingly chaotic, unorganized, and ever-expanding galaxy of the self-publishing industry. As founder of Smashwords.com, Mark Coker leans heavily on Smashwords’ self-publishing platform to help the reader understand what it takes to publish and distribute an e-book(s) successfully. The book complements his other free companion pieces, the “Smashwords Book Marketing Guide” and “Smashwords Style Guide.” The three books together are great primers for using Smashwords and leveraging it as a distribution and marketing tool.

Coker’s book offers 28 secrets to publishing a successful e-book. Some “secrets” are common sense, and the book doesn’t go into great deal on how to take advantage of them. The biggest “secret” to success is to write a great book that resonates with readers, but Coker doesn’t explain how to do it. That’s up to you. He does, however, generally point writers in the right direction, getting them to think about the different elements of self-publishing success. For example, he suggests writers think beyond the price to generate sales. Should a book be priced at $0.99 or $9.99? It depends on the writer’s objective. Price is just one aspect of book sales an author should consider.

Coker does not offer as many specifics in this book as he did in his marketing and style guides, but I appreciate the holistic view of self-publishing he offers. Experienced self-published authors may have a few “duh” moments when something strikes them as common sense. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile for any writer to read this book and learn from one of the masters of the self-publishing industry.

I give Coker’s book five stars and highly recommend it to all writers, including those interested in traditional publishing who might be persuaded to self-publish after reading the book. If nothing else, the price point -- free -- should be an incentive.
(review of free book)

Review by: R. L. Blackhurst on May 09, 2012 :
This is such a great book for indie authors, for both novice and seasoned indies. I found myself engrossed in this book, drinking in every detail and tip even though I normally avoid "How to" books. An excellent book to keep referring back to aswell, and for reading again if you ever feel blue about things. Thanks Mark for your generosity in offering such an informative book for free. Gives you a real boost!
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Review by: Mark Oetjens on May 08, 2012 : (no rating)
Great book and great information. Mark sets out step-by-step how the best selling ebook authors do it. It's not necessarily geared to Smashwords authors, but to all indie and self-pubbed authors. Some of the info is common sense but a lot more is stuff I didn't realize. A must-read for every indie author.
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Review by: Unicorn Productions on May 05, 2012 :
A must for all indie authors - even those who are already aware of those "secrets". There's no one way for everyone, but it all starts with one Great Book. And another. And another.
Fair companion to the Marketing Guide by the same author.
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Review by: Buddy Wagner on April 30, 2012 :
This is filled with good information for folks like myself who are new in the ebook publishing world. It is easy reading and is enjoyable reading. I appreciate Mark Coker's willing spirit to assist and encourage writers to publish.
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Review by: Peggy Collins on April 30, 2012 :
I read this book in a day and was so excited by some of the information that I couldn't get to sleep. I now have an extensive "to-do" list that I'm eager to chip away at. Although I realize that the majority of authors aren't as successful as the ones interviewed, it's still very inspiring to hear their stories...and they didn't have this book to help them either. Invaluable information + free = irresistible! Thank you for your experience and advice, Mark Coker.
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Review by: Joanne Clancy on April 27, 2012 :
I can't believe this book is free! Mark Coker's previous free guides were outstanding. I'm downloading this ebook today and shall post a review asap. I can't wait to read it and I'm sure it will be very informative.
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Review by: David Jackson on April 26, 2012 :
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Review by: June Ahern on April 26, 2012 :
I appreciate the book, Mark. It supported and encouraged the writer while giving valid points and suggestions about marketing. In the 22 years of self publishing (two and one to come) I thought I knew it all, but, no! learned a bit more from your book. I envisioned the other authors I know who reading and improving their writing and marking skills. Thank you for it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Niall Teasdale on April 26, 2012 :
Sadly I was a little disappointed with this one. It gets marks for including a lot of points which are valid, and almost certainly appear in a number of books which you have to pay money for, and for being free. There are some very good points, though it would have been better if they were backed up by the graphs and charts Mark has now released from his presentation since the book gives broad ideas and the charts give more accurate figures.

There was an element of "teacher, take thine own advice." After telling us to have a book carefully edited and proofread, I found glaring errors and a severe need for repeated points to be edited out.

What I really didn't like, however, was the propaganda. It may be a very valid point that exclusivity is bad, but an entire section on why Amazon KDP is bad (because it requires exclusivity) is just a focussed attack. If you want to make the case that DRM is bad (and it may be) then put forward your quite cogent arguments for why it is (not that it really makes much practical difference), don't say things like "don't infect your file with DRM." Intelligent readers will recognise this for what it is, propaganda, and downgrade your other arguments.

Some useful tips for the first time publisher. Some useful tips to help sell more books, particularly around pricing, for existing authors. Cut back on the repetition and self-advertising/propaganda. But thanks for the advice (and for Smashwords) Mark.
(review of free book)

Review by: Angela Oliver on April 26, 2012 :
I'm reading this now and finding it very helpful! I shall endeavour to put my plans into action.

One thing I would like to point out though, is that Kobo DO take self-published books directly from the author. I have actually published one of my novels (the second is due to be released early next month) on kobo.com. I emailed them directly and they were very helpful. It was a fairly straightforward procedure, although I did have to acquire my own ISBN first.
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Review by: Raja Sharma on April 25, 2012 :
This is a must read for the indie authors, for Marks' experience is invaluable and he has always shared it with authors and publishers. His selfless devotion and guidance to the indie authors is widely appreciated and recognized.

The tips provided by the author in this guide are the definite leads to success and ultimate prosperity and recognition.

Yet another Guide book by Mark Coker, a warrior in his own style.
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Review by: Larry B. Gray on April 10, 2012 :
This is an excellent guide and must-read for all ebook authors and writer wannabes such as myself. I look forward to applying the tips to my works and seeing the results.
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Review by: Jemima Pett on April 07, 2012 :
As others have said, this book is invaluable. What I found most useful were the descriptions of slow burners and break-outs with the accompanying sales graphs. It gave me the data behind the indie author's motto "It's a marathon not a sprint". In short, it gave me both confidence I was doing things mainly right and doing mostly the right things. Now to do them better, and spend more time doing what I should be doing, which is writing. Thanks Mark.
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Review by: Will Patching on April 04, 2012 :
This is an excellent handbook for anyone who is either considering or has already self-published an eBook. We are pioneers in this together and Mark is leading the way. This is an exciting time for any writer who has been let down by a publisher or met a roadblock thrown up by agents when trying to get their work into print. The economies of scale and infinite shelf life now mean relatively low sales make publishing well worthwhile, and serving niche audiences that were not viable before is possible and profitable. I had one agent tell me she loved my novel but it 'would only be a mid-market seller' and therefore her firm would not allow her to to represent me. That was six years ago - how the world has changed, partly thanks to Mark. Brilliant insights, great read and an excellent companion to his marketing guide.
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Review by: K.B. Mason on April 04, 2012 :
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, perhaps even ironic, I recommend downloading this book, along with Smashwords Style Guide and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide in PDF format and then printing all three books and putting them in a three ring binder. This creates the definitive Ebook publishing bible.
That they are all made available at no cost is a testament to Mr. Coker's commitment to aspiring authors everywhere. The new dawn in publishing is not coming ... it has arrived!
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Review by: The Snoop Sistas on April 04, 2012 :
Being new eBook author/publishers, we found this book to be very informative! Thanks so much for covering everything from writing a good story to distribution, marketing and everything in between!
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Review by: Sharon E. Cathcart on April 02, 2012 :
This is a book that belongs in every indie author's reference library. There is information here on marketing, formatting, building a platform ... and even some encouragement for what to do when faced with bad reviews.

Author Mark Coker (founder of Smashwords) drew on his own experience and that of several bestselling "Smashers" (as Smashwords authors call themselves) to present some great information.

Highly recommended. C'mon, folks -- it's free!
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Review by: Peter Robert Scott on March 30, 2012 :
Full of clearly written useful advice, in particular about pricing strategy. I read it in an evening and it put me firmly onto a path I'd hesitated to take on my own. Many thanks.
Peter Robert scott
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Review by: Mary Ann on March 29, 2012 :
Thank you for this book. The digital book publishing landscape is evolving so fast and this is a helpful guide. I didn't realize how cool Smashwords really is when I first joined and I'm so happy to be part of this publishing experience. Love reading books that help improve quality.
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Review by: Shawn Michel de Montaigne on March 29, 2012 :
Mr. Coker has written a handy guide to those of us seeking a foothold along the path to ebook publishing success. It's concise, easy to read, and presented in a friendly, affable manner that demystifies much of the processes involved both in publishing an ebook and enjoying some success in the publishing game. Too, there are interesting factoids, graphs, and other forms of data that back up his thesis that today is the right time to become an author.

I cannot in good conscience give a full 5 stars for this ebook, sadly, as I feel very strongly that one of the authors Mr. Coker holds up as a positive example of success is anything but one; said author, I believe (as do many others), "games" the system in ways that does nothing but erode trust between readers and writers (or authors: there is a difference: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=352158648169334). To that end, Mr. Coker's late and brief discussion about defining one's own success falls rather flat and attains a whiff similar to the high school football coach who goes on and on about how everybody is a success if they just believe they are--but then only lets the best players on his team play. The speech reveals the speechmaker at that precise point.

Still, if you can stomach the praise lavished on said author (I almost couldn't, and had to decide if I wanted to press on with the book), you will find yourself illuminated, educated, and entertained.
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Review by: Lost Luggage Studios, LLC on March 29, 2012 :
I've heard some of this advice before (like setting some book prices at FREE). But in this book it's worded in a way that makes me rethink my previous stance, and then backed up with interviews, survey data, and sales figures. Every indie author/publisher should read this book.
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Review by: Mark Stewart on March 28, 2012 :
The information on eBook marketing is perfectly explained in Mark's book and a must read. full of information that is gold in this field. Smashwords is a great place to launch your books.
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Review by: Robert Henry Willgren on March 27, 2012 :
Mark your Secrets to eBook Publishing Success was fantastic. It covered all the topics that a new or established author can need to know. It offers everything a self-publisher needs in one place, in one document. This is a must-read.
Well done Mark.
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Review by: Gary Alan Ruse on March 27, 2012 :
This is great! Anyone thinking about getting into eBook publishing should start with this primer, and keep it handy. Mark Coker clearly and succinctly explains the eBook market and how best to enter it and maximize your success, and also gives insights to traditional trade publishing as well. There's plenty of detail and useful information, but it's all highly readable and to the point. Don't pass it up!
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Review by: Ted Summerfield on March 27, 2012 :
Every author can gain something from Mark's latest work, and I highly recommend it.

The chapters 'Create A Great Ebook Cover', 'Pinch Your Pennies', "Write A Great Book', and 'Build Reader Trust' help answer some of the questions often asked on the Smashwords Forum. A link to your book is going on our forums ASAP.

Well done, Mark. Thanks for helping authors succeed with Smashwords.
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Review by: Linda Nelson on March 27, 2012 :
This book is a great marketing resource. If you write and publish eBooks this is a must read for you. It covers all the important things one needs to know about successful eBook publishing.
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Review by: Crescent Suns eBooks on March 27, 2012 :
The book everyone has been waiting for and it's FREE. Thanks to Mark Coker for giving us what we need to make all our books a success.
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Review by: Irene Taylor on March 27, 2012 :
What a great resource for ebook writers! This guide covers everything, and is especially helpful for the ebook newbie! A must-read!! Thanks for your advice and expertise, Mark!
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Review by: Steve Sutton on March 27, 2012 :
It's full of a lot of useful advice for beginners, as well as seasoned authors. Anyone who wants to be successful at writing ebooks should definitely give it a read.
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Review by: Adonis Marrero on March 27, 2012 :
A Must Read for Self-Publishers!
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Review by: Delphine Cull on March 27, 2012 :
Many kudos to Mark for sharing his wisdom and knowledge so readily with the writing community. Not only does he instruct and encourage, but his emphasis on quality writing and patience may be just what all writers need to remember.
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Review by: Secret Narrative on March 27, 2012 :
Inspirational, helpful, friendly and free! If you are an Indie you NEED this book! Mark Coker’s authoritative voice is also warm and friendly; he has a way of writing that generates feelings usually created by a cosy face to face. Mark packs his latest share full to bursting with brilliant advice from the pointy end of Indie wordage...
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Review by: Dana Kokla on March 27, 2012 :
Loved it! Thank you so much for making it FREE - it's filled with great advice and simple explanations. My favourite line - "Unless you suck (and I'm guessing you don't suck because you're taking the time to read an ebook about ebook publishing best practices), there are thousands of readers out there just waiting to discover you" That caught my breath!
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Review by: Wayne Watson on March 26, 2012 :
Another great 'How To' by Mark, but perhaps more importantly, to the new author, this work contains HOPE!

Ebooks- The brave new world.
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