Each year I provide Smashwords authors and publishers a review of our progress in the year as well as hints of our plans for the coming year. So here goes.
2014 marked another exciting year for Smashwords as we create new ebook distribution tools and capabilities that give our authors and publishers a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
If you’re new to Smashwords, a brief introduction to Smashwords is in order.
I founded Smashwords in 2008 to empower writers to become professional self-publishers. I wanted to transfer the power of publishing from publishers to authors. Back in 2008, large publishers controlled the printing press, the knowledge of professional publishing, and the all-important access to retail distribution. Publishers had the power to determine your fate as an author. No more. I wanted to make authors the captains of their own destiny.
Over the last six going on seven years, Smashwords introduced our free ebook printing press, Meatgrinder, which made it possible for any writer anywhere to publish an ebook in minutes; we opened distribution for the first time to major retailers and library partners that were previously inaccessible to self-published authors; we developed sophisticated yet easy-to-use publishing tools that help writers and small indie presses publish with pride and professionalism; we worked to actively educate our authors and publishers how to leverage best practices to publish with greater success; and we’ve been fierce (but friendly!) advocates for the rights and long term interests of the indie author community.
We exist to serve our authors and publishers, and we serve you by developing tools and relationships that help you publish faster, smarter and more effectively. Our time-saving tools help you spend more time writing and producing and less time managing multiple upload platforms.
In the years since we launched, Smashwords has grown to become the world’s largest distributor of self-published books. To the extent we’ve been successful is entirely thanks to the continued support of the authors, publishers and retailers we serve. You’re running a business, and we realize you work with Smashwords by choice, not by necessity. Through continuous improvement of everything we do, we will always work to earn and deserve your continued business, trust and partnership.
So let’s take a look at our progress for the year.