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.
Born in Udine, in Northeastern Italy, in 1952, Guido Mattioni has lived and worked in Milan since 1978. Writing has always been his job and his life as well. During 33 years of journalism he has worked for daily newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines while holding almost every professional title possible, from reporter to editor-in-chief and deputy editor to special correspondent. He has traveled all over the world, especially in the USA, where he has visited almost every state. Mattioni, who recently retired, is still an active columnist and freelancing contributor to Italian national dailies and magazines. When he was younger he wrote two non-fiction works: one historical and the other on Economics. Whispering Tides is his first novel, and it is also available in its Italian version – Ascoltavo le maree. One of the yet few Italian “Indie” writers, he is utterly convinced about the positive impact of this revolutionary wave that is giving – he says – full meaning to the expression “freedom of press”. He is married to Maria Rosa, an Oncologist who is, quoting Guido, “someone much more socially useful” than he is, “apart from being definitely a much more beautiful person too”. If he could be reincarnated he would like to do it as a chef because cooking is the pastime he is most fond of. He is an atypical Italian because he suffers an incurable allergy to soccer.
Whispering Tides by Guido Mattioni
When his beloved wife Nina suddenly dies – after 23 years of life together – Alberto Landi understands he has to leave Milan Italy, where he has always lived and worked. He leaves his friends, colleagues, a good job and the polluted big city he has never loved which has now become even more intolerable to him. He is fifty, he is totally alone and he is confused, but he definitely knows that he has to escape very far away, across the ocean, to the only place he and Nina had always loved together. He lands in Savannah, Georgia. There, in a natural paradise governed by the breath of the tides and with the help of many dear friends – colorful human characters as well as wise animals – he starts to rebuild his new life. His dream is coming true until the day he wakes up one morning and discovers that… Whispering Tides is available from Apple iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.
In this week’s post, I want to demonstrate the power of what Mark Coker calls the “rise of the indie author collective” (The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success). Indies Unlimited is every bit a part of that rise, that revolution really, one that has eroded the power of traditional publishing and significantly democratized the entire process.
Now, there are as many tips and tricks out there for helping independent authors “maximize their brand” or “utilize the tools of the internet” as there are slightly dodgy-looking punters at a female mud wrestling contest, and the debate continues to rage over the effectiveness of reciprocal Facebook “liking” or Amazon “tagging” every bit as fiercely as it does over that of Mona’s standing moonsault and tilt-a-whirl crossbody press on Dolores back in the Fifth Round.
And I have no more answers to those questions than your average… well, dodgy-looking punter at a female mud… But enough of that; in the tradition of great pitchmen everywhere… I wanna tell ya about what works, folks! Continue reading “The Power At Our Fingertips”