When I got this alert in my inbox about getting people to read books, by Mark Coker, of Smashwords, I figured I would post something for those who might be interested. The article itself was in Huff Po and written by David Henry Sterry, author and book doctor.
Anything I could add would only be redundant. It's a good article you can read in full here.
I first met Mark Coker over the Internet. Which seems appropriate, given how he has done such great things for writers in the world of ebooks. I was trying to upload a book onto his company's website, Smashwords. I have a problem formatting files. I'm very bad at it. It's a weakness. I'm not proud of it. But the first step is admitting you have a problem.
That day, I got very frustrated and sent a flaming email full of vicious vitriol and a few flagrant f-bombs. I expected to get back some generic, useless response, which is what you almost always get back from e-companies. Imagine my surprise when the president of the company himself, Mark Coker, emailed me back. He was so helpful and kind and nice. I was completely embarrassed. It led me to formulate a strategy for what to do when I get flamed -- and believe me, I get flamed online every day. Now, before I respond, I think, "What would Mark Coker do?" And I try to give my flamer some love. You'd be shocked by how many times it works wonders.
I have to say I'm relieved to hear that someone else had a problem formatting files on Smashwords, because we nearly pulled our hair out by the roots trying to figure out how to do it there. Tony could explain it better than I can, but for some reason Smashwords was harder than other sites. However, because Smashwords is such an *important* web site for digital books...it really is if you are an indie author...we were determined and we figured it out through a long series of trial and error.