Smashwords’ Mark Coker Responds To Apple Rumors

We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple is hosting a press conference this month to announce a new software. One report suggests that it will be a new self-publishing platform for iBooks, but Mark Coker, the CEO of self-publishing platform Smashwords, is not convinced.

Pointing out that Apple already has some self-publishing tools, and calling the rumors “unfounded,” he told eBookNewser over email: “Apple has a unique (and in my opinion extremely successful) approach to content acquisition in which they complement their own self-publishing platform with a carefully selected list of recommended aggregators. Smashwords been on the list since the iBookstore’s launch. All of the aggregators are subject to ongoing audits where Apple scrutinizes every aspect of our business for our ability to serve their publishers, and if any of us don’t make the cut we’re dropped from the program.”

According to Coker, there isn’t another retailer with such a rigorous qualification process for authorized aggregators. He said, “Unlike others, Apple actively encourages authors and publishers to deliver books through their aggregators. Apple realizes that they’re going to earn a 30% commission whether they source the book from an aggregator or from their own platform, and books sourced from aggregators are more profitable for Apple because they can be sourced at lower cost (no need to invest millions of long term dollars to maintain and staff their own platform) and greater scalability than from one’s own platform.”