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Nothing there that hasn't been said a million times here. Write a good book, a decent blurb, and make a great cover. Write next book. Repeat.

His insistence to get involved in Social Media totally ruins the rest of the article.

I wonder if he is worried at all about Amazon Coins making headway into the ebook market?
 

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Mark Coker slamming Amazon, whaaaaaat? :)

If I could get Mark in a room I'd have only one thing to say to him.

Why, oh WHY is Smashwords so god-awful ugly? ;)

He preaches cover design like crazy in that interview, right?

WHAT DOES HE THINK A WEBSITE UX IS?!

:D

***

Select is a tool. Other resellers offering tools of their own would mitigate Amazon's offering. But they don't. (iTunes is JUST NOW starting to give some discovery . . . to people who have already made it.)
 

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Folks,

Let's remember that Mark Coker is a member here and reads these posts; if you have a question for Mark that you want to post here, that's certainly appropriate; however, please do it with the civility we require in all our KB conversations.  It's the KindleBoards way.

Thank you.

Betsy
KB Moderator
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
...please do it with the civility we require in all our KB conversations.
I stand by the totally legit question. WHY WITH THE UGLY?

I'm of course happy that SW now takes EPUBs (HUZZAH) but the thing which has, from the beginning, bothered me about the site is that it's really, really not pretty to the point of looking unprofessional.

Now, it's great to say "your cover sells your books" but the truth of the matter is your website sells your service, and since it's ALSO a place that sells books, well, it sells my books if I list them there. Or would. If it were not so hideous.

I can think of only one other bookstore type of site that routinely has a UX like SW. That's RPG retailers.

So yeah, you'd think with a cut of the royalties over the years they could manage a redesign? If you're going to encourage people to spend money on their covers you should spend money on your UX. (It just makes sense.)
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
If I could get Mark in a room I'd have only one thing to say to him.
Why, oh WHY is Smashwords so god-awful ugly? ;)
He preaches cover design like crazy in that interview, right?
WHAT DOES HE THINK A WEBSITE UX IS?!
I took the opportunity of leaving a comment on that Huff Post article in an attempt to prompt Mark on that one:
"When are they going to revamp the visuals? A talented graphic designer could work wonders with that site."

I thought it was only I who had noticed the dodgy visuals. I've never heard anyone point this out before. I agree that it's ugly and unprofessional, but what strikes me most is that it looks *dated.* It looks like a kid put it together in their bedroom in 1998.

None of the above is meant to offend Mark Coker. He is clearly ace. But ... that website does need a good seeing to, and quickly.
 

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NatashaHolme said:
None of the above is meant to offend Mark Coker. He is clearly ace.
I agree. What Mark has done is absolutely great. And I hope that he continues to have success doing it.
 

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Mark is great and he's single-handedly done a lot for the indie community.

But I totally agree that the website is visually just...not good. I bet they would get a lot more onsite sales if they had a storefront that looked a lot sharper.
 

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Mark has already said here that they intend to revamp the website in 2013:

http://blog.smashwords.com/2012/12/smashwords-year-in-review-2012-power-in.html

2013 is the year we will give the Smashwords store a facelift, not because we have designs on becoming a large ebook retailer (well, actually, we already are, even though that's not our focus), but because we think an updated site will help us attract more books and more customers that we can feed to our retail partners.
 

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Soothesayer said:
Nothing there that hasn't been said a million times here. Write a good book, a decent blurb, and make a great cover. Write next book. Repeat.
Exactly. I'm looking for that "It doesn't matter how good your book is. All you have to do to sell books is..." advice. Now THAT would be useful.
 

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Ugh, I always read these articles. They're fine, you know, but they don't have a lot of specifics.

I guess they can't, because what makes a book catch fire in one genre isn't the same as another genre.

There've been a few people spouting the same "trick" on the board lately, and I'm going to repeat it:

Write a trilogy and make the first book perma-free.

There you go. The one "hack" trick we're all looking for. And it works.
 

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I don't want to sound geographically insensitive but I have always wondered why all the top books are written in gibberish whenever I log onto Smashwords.  They might be best sellers, but I don't want to see books that I can't read.

The website doesn't bother me.  It's very functional and easy to use on the back end for managing and uploading books.  However from a non-content creator visiting the page while looking for something to buy...  It's pretty bad.  Even on my old arse low rez monitors there is a TON of unused white space.  Probably a good third of the page is white on each side.  On a high rez widescreen monitor, I bet over half the page is blank.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
But I totally agree that the website is visually just...not good. I bet they would get a lot more onsite sales if they had a storefront that looked a lot sharper.
I bet you're right.

SBJones said:
Even on my old arse low rez monitors there is a TON of unused white space. Probably a good third of the page is white on each side. On a high rez widescreen monitor, I bet over half the page is blank.
You are not wrong. Which is fine if you're a blog. Not so awesome if you're a store.

MegHarris said:
Mark has already said here that they intend to revamp the website in 2013:
Here's hoping for a fluid layout with graphics from this century!
 

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"Ugh, I always read these articles. They're fine, you know, but they don't have a lot of specifics."
Lots of conclusions and no details. Write better books. Keep writing. Engage in social media. Develop a following. Get a great cover. Hire an editor. Be a professional. Have a knockout website. Do what's in my best interest.
 

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SBJones said:
I don't want to sound geographically insensitive but I have always wondered why all the top books are written in gibberish whenever I log onto Smashwords. They might be best sellers, but I don't want to see books that I can't read.

The website doesn't bother me. It's very functional and easy to use on the back end for managing and uploading books. However from a non-content creator visiting the page while looking for something to buy... It's pretty bad. Even on my old arse low rez monitors there is a TON of unused white space. Probably a good third of the page is white on each side. On a high rez widescreen monitor, I bet over half the page is blank.
No idea what you're talking about, but I do know that referring to a language your can't read as "gibberish" is pretty bloody rude. There is no need for that.

That said, there is something to be said for a geographically sensitive site, where each region sees their own local rankings. Kobo does this.
 

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I think it's useful advice. True, it's the same advice you hear everywhere, but that's only because it's generally right. And it's not always followed.

The emphasis on diversifying beyond Amazon is a bit self-serving. That doesn't mean it isn't right. But some numbers would be useful. As in: people who have listed on all retailers make, on average, $X on Amazon, $Y on Kobo, etc. I'm hearing more that non-Zon sales don't add up to a big fraction for most indies. If that's not the case, some hard numbers would be useful.



 

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Patty Jansen said:
No idea what you're talking about, but I do know that referring to a language your can't read as "gibberish" is pretty bloody rude. There is no need for that.

That said, there is something to be said for a geographically sensitive site, where each region sees their own local rankings. Kobo does this.
Thank you! You beat me to it. I was left in shock after reading that. Very rude indeed.
 
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