The Quick'n'Dirty read on ebooks, with Smashwords

Quick'n'Dirty podcast explores ebook self-publishing...and wine.

This week's episode of the Quick'n'Dirty podcast was "reunited" part deux for me and co-host Aaron Strout. It almost seems as if we've been apart more than together this year, with his being a jetsetter as part of his CMO job and me being... well it's mostly due to his being a jetsetter. However, we're back on track for good after with this week's episode, and oh what an episode it was.

Our very special guest was Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, an ebook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers and readers. Mark is a serial entrepreneur who has a most interesting story -- he founds companies to address significant holes in their respective industries. Not a stranger to innovation having launched BestCalls.com and Dovetail Public Relations, Mark launched Smashwords after being told that a book he authored with his wife, Lesleyann, did not have enough "commercial appeal."

"After pouring thousands of hours, everything we had into this book, we wanted to see it published," he said.

Smashwords not only gives authors a vehicle for self-publishing, but authors and publishers have control over all aspects of their written works, including sampling, pricing and marketing.

For more on this interview with Mark, during which he talks about how there will not be a killer ebook reader, check out the replay of the Quick'n'Dirty podcast.

Aaron and I kicked off the show by having him give a recap of what he most prominently saw at South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) this week. He told a story of how issues with Foursquare privacy settings -- and a little bit of bad luck -- was causing rampant issues for many of the conference attendees. This turned into a bit of an impromptu point / counterpoint so we postponed our scheduled topic to next week. Give it a little listen.

Finally, we did give some love to our chat room attendees. Many thanks to Christopher Burgess, Doug Haslam, Keith Burtis, Jim Turner and Jeremy Pepper for joining us this week. They all got to witness the wonder that was our featured Twitterer of the week, none other than Evan Cover (@evancover), CEO of Cruvee. I met Evan last week at the Napa Valley Tweet-Up sponsored by Robert Mondavi Winery, and learned a bit about his cool company which provides business intelligence solutions specifically to the wine industry. Follow Evan for his insights on wine and technology, and for a truly entertaining stream.

Speaking of wine, next week our special guest will be Paul Mabray, chief strategy officer of VinTank, a digital think tank for the wine industry. Have you noticed a wine theme? This is what happens when Jen goes to Napa. Join us at 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m ET on March 25.

Important announcement regarding the Quick'n'Dirty podcast. Don't worry, we're not going anywhere. Sort of. Beginning April 29 we will move the show to noon PT / 3 p.m. ET and will cut the show format from 45 minutes to 30 minutes to make it truly "quick and dirty." If you're a regular live listener and chatter, be sure to mark your calendars. Otherwise you can still catch our replays on Blog Talk Radio or find us on iTunes by searching "quickndirty."

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