It started with romance

Romance writers were at the forefront of the book revolution, and that opened up a lot of opportunities says Smashwords founder Mark Coker.


When did romance writers embrace ebooks?

Romance writers have led the ebook revolution. They were the first writers to embrace ebook self-publishing. They were the first writers to start achieving commercial success with this, and their readers have propelled it along. The romance reader is a special reader. They are hyper-engaged in the genre. Romance readers are the readers who will read a book a day. They’re voracious readers, and when we saw this combination of low priced ebooks, greater availability of romance ebooks, sales just exploded. And even today, when you look at The New York Times ebook best-selling list, you’ll see self-published ebooks on that list, and most of them are romance titles. Romance authors have been the most innovative, the most experimental, the most forward looking in this ebook revolution, so I’m just totally blown away and impressed by the intelligence and the foresight of the romance community.

Romance writers were the first authors to embrace ebooks, so the first ones to put out their books. And in fact many of the first early pioneers here were the romance authors whose books had gone out of print, so the rights had reverted back to the authors, and the authors were bringing their books back to life as a self-publishee book priced at 99¢, or $2.99. And what these authors found is that they started making more money from their self-published, low cost ebook than they did during their entire publishing contract, and that caused people to open their eyes. And so more romance authors flooded into the ebook market, and then it opened up the eyes of authors in other genres, so it really started with romance.

Download a transcript.

Share this