Mark Coker Predicts Author Services Boom for 2013

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Mark Coker of Smashwords predicts 2013

Predictions are all the rage this time of year and it seems that Mark Coker, founder of the popular eBook publishing platform Smashwords, is no exception. And his predictions for the publishing industry include a few warnings for the coming year.

One that struck me, as an independent publisher, was his warning  for aspiring writers: “In the self-publishing gold rush, more money will be made in author services than in book sales.”

This is not untimely, as even some of the big publishers (Penguin, Random House, to name two) are now offering services for authors to publish their books -- and not cheaply, either. Coker went on to say:

With the shift to self-publishing, writers must carry the publishing burdens once borne by traditional publishers, such as the cost of editing, proofing, book production, packaging, and distribution, as well as backoffice tasks such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and year-end tax reporting … With this burgeoning demand for professional publishing services, thousands of service providers will open up virtual author services shops in 2013. The challenge for writers is to procure the highest quality services at the lowest cost. Plenty of scamsters and over-priced service providers will be standing by to help.

He also warns that the ongoing eBook ‘glut’ is going to continue, it’s going to get harder to sell eBooks, not to mention that traditional publishers will continue to lose out as they search for the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James (but will they use initials for their first names?).

Coker does see some positive things, though, including the ability of self-pubbed authors to reach a global market as well as the ‘stigma’ of being self-published transferring to traditional publishers - ha!

I have to say I’m feeling pretty positive about the upcoming year - how about you?

You can read his complete set of predictions on the Smashwords Blog.

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated January 3, 2013 - 6:32am

I think that if they keep trending upwards till the economy really recovers ebooks will have a huge explosion of growth. If not, who knows?