Ebook Publishing in a Post COVID-19 World | Mechanics' Institute

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Ebook Publishing in a Post COVID-19 World
a conversation with Jim Azevedo from Smashwords

In partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.

This event took place on June 18 and includes additional information from the talk (scroll down).

Talk Description: As the world grapples with the pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders, many readers have discovered—or rediscovered—the joy and convenience of ebook reading. This has led to an increase in sales for most major ebook retailers. But will it continue? As the US and other countries around the world slowly emerge from the pandemic and adjust to a new normal, we’ll briefly talk about remaining challenges, yet spend most of our time addressing ways in which authors can position themselves to overcome the inevitable twists and turns that publishing, and life, can present without warning. We’ll discuss:

  • The impact sheltering-in-place has had on the major ebook retailers. Some have fared better than others
  • What authors can do right now to address a challenging economy and nervous consumers
  • The advantages of indie ebook publishing
  • Why an author platform you control is vital for long-term author success
  • A new Smashwords tool to help indie authors/publishers turbocharge newsletter subscriptions

Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks. Since 2008, Smashwords has helped more than 146,000 authors, publishers and literary agents around the world release over 526,00 titles and distribute their work globally to top ebook retailers, subscription services and public libraries. Jim, a convert from Silicon Valley's tech industry, earned his “indie cred” from 18 years of drumming, recording and touring with an indie punk rock/metal band. In his spare time Jim is a certified nutrition consultant.  Follow Jim on Twitter: @Smashwords or @jazzervedo.

Additional Content:

1. The Smashwords Style Guide - This is Smashwords' ebook formatting guide. It will walk authors through the step-by-step process of formatting their original manuscripts to prepare them to be converted into ebooks.

2. Smashword Book Marketing Guide - Newly revised for 2020, this ebook provides over 60 tips and techniques to help authors reach more readers. There are deep dives into social media marketing, beta reader marketing and even auto-pilot marketing.

3. The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success - This book unveils 30 best practices of  bestselling, self-published ebook authors. You'll learn to publish with greater pride and professionalism.

4. The Smart Author Podcast with Mark Coker - Hosted by Smashwords founder Mark Coker, the podcast covers topics ranging from the basics, like "Introduction to Ebook Self-Publishing" to more advanced topics like how to execute an effective ebook preorder campaign, or how to market to libraries, or how to manage a successful beta reader round.

5. Mark's List - Formatting came up a couple of times during the interactive discussion part of our meeting. For authors who'd rather spend more time writing and less time formatting, we manage a list of low-cost formatters and book cover designers. All of these service providers can provide you with references and a portfolio of previous work. As I mentioned during our Zoom meeting, these are not Smashwords employees, nor do we receive kickbacks for our referrals. They're simply service providers who've been recommended by other Smashwords authors.

6. Smashwords Blog - I failed to mention during our Zoom meeting that Mark Coker, our founder, published a deep-dive into ebook publishing in a post-pandemic world via the Smashwords blog yesterday. I only touched upon a few key elements, but Mark goes much deeper. In addition to this latest blog post, the Smashwords blog is a good place to visit to keep up to date on key trends and issues impacting the industry. I refer back to it all the time when I'm preparing for my talks!

7. Finally, for anyone who has a question they didn't think of during our talk, they can reach me at [email protected]. They can also follow me via Twitter via @Smashwords or @Jazzervedo.















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