I recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Coker, one of the visionaries of the indie author movement. In 2008, Mark founded Smashwords to accelerate the death spiral of the bloated, inefficient, out-dated publishing industry—or as he put it: to change the way books are published, marketed and sold.
Mark and his wife co-authored Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of Hollywood celebrity. He also wrote the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, The Smashwords Style Guide and The 10-Minute PR Checklist.
Mark says when he’s not writing or working on Smashwords, he enjoys gardening, traveling and hiking tall mountains, the tallest of which has been Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Here, I ask him nine questions, and he gives expansive and fascinating answers.
Once upon a time, Mark and his wife Lesleyann wrote a novel about daytime dramas (soap operas). Despite having a top tier New York lit agent, they were unable to elicit any interest from the traditional publishing houses. So, in 2008, Mark founded Smashwords to accelerate the death spiral of the bloated, inefficient, out-dated publishing industry—or as he put it: “to change the way books are published, marketed and sold.”
One cannot help but wonder if the indie author movement would be what it is today had his and Lesleyann’s novel, Boob Tube, been picked up by any of the publishers to whom it was shopped. That sounds like a good idea for an alternative reality novel. I wonder if Random Penguin, or whoever, would be interested in that idea for a book? Probably not. They don’t like ideas at Random Penguin.
Anyway, thanks to Mark Coker making Lamborghinis out of lemons, there is a vibrant indie author movement. Today is the gentleman’s birthday. What better way to celebrate it than to buy a copy of the book that started it all?
Welcome to Boob Tube, a novel that takes readers behind the scenes of the wild and wacky world of daytime television soap operas.
When Actress Gina Martin lands a role on a top daytime soap, she soon discovers herself immersed in a strange but exciting world filled with mystery, intrigue and danger. Days after she joins the cast, her predecessor is found dead in the Hollywood hills. Will Gina be next?
Boob introduces a cast of characters inspired by real soap opera industry insiders.
As research for the novel, Lesleyann Coker (a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine) and her husband Mark performed in-depth interviews with dozens of soap opera industry insiders who dished stories stranger than fiction. The authors wove their stories into Boob Tube. Enjoy!