Mark CokerPete NikolaiBob YoungChad Jennings

What Traditional Publishers Can Learn from Self-Publishers

O'Reilly TOC Online Event Series

Date: This event took place live on June 23 2011

Presented by: Mark Coker, Pete Nikolai, Bob Young, Chad Jennings

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: Free

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The lines between traditional and self-publishing is blurring. In fact, some traditional publishers are launching their own self-publishing imprints. We've lined up four leaders of the self-publishing world to share lessons learned and how we can all work together. The webcast features insights from Eileen Gittins (CEO of Blurb), Bob Young (CEO of Lulu), Mark Coker (Smashwords Founder) and Pete Nikolai (Director at Westbow Press, the self-publishing imprint of Thomas Nelson).

About Mark Coker

Mark Coker is the founder of Smashwords, an ebook distributor serving indie authors and small presses. In three short years, Smashwords has helped nearly 20,000 authors and publishers around the world release and distribute over 45,000 ebook titles. Smashwords distributes books to the Apple iBookstore, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store, and to mobile app catalogs including Stanza and Aldiko. Mark is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post , where he blogs about e-books and the future of publishing. He's on Twitter at @markcoker

About Chad Jennings

Chad Jennings is a founding employee and VP of Product at Blurb, the creative publishing platform that enables you to design, publish, share and sell commercial-quality print and digital books. Chad leads the product strategy, user experience, and design of Blurb's Webby Award winning Web Site, creation tools, book and digital products, and brand. He has developed products and experiences for a range of product, web, and mobile clients including Samsung, HP, Adobe Systems, Autodesk, Sun Microsystems, Reuters, Gucci, Microsoft and Palm. He has spoken on product development, user experience design, and the future of book at range of conferences including IDSA, AIGA, HOW and UX Week. He's on twitter @chadjennings.

About Pete Nikolai

After nearly 10 years in sales for Thomas Nelson Publishers, Pete Nikolai made the transition to the product development side in October 2000 to start and manage the Backlist Development department which creates products based on previously published content. In 2005 Pete took on additional responsibility for the continued development, improvement, and implementation of our publishing process across the company. And most recently, in 2009, Pete led the creation and launch of Thomas Nelson's WestBow Press division, providing publishing services to aspiring authors who want to self-publish their books.

About Bob Young

Bob Young is the founder and CEO of, a premiere international marketplace for new digital content on the Internet, with more than 660,000 recently published titles and more than 15,000 new creators from 80 different countries joining each week., founded in 2002, is Young's most recent endeavour. The success of this company has earned Young notable recognition; he was named one of the "Top 50 Agenda-Setters in the Technology Industry in 2006" and was ranked as the fourth "Top Entrepreneur for 2006," both by