Smashwords an Official Sponsor of Read an E-Book Week March 8-14

International Literary Event Celebrates of the Joys of Ebook Reading

Los Gatos, Calif., February 2, 2009 -- Smashwords, a publisher of ebooks from independent authors, today became an official sponsor of Read an E-Book Week, to be held March 8-14.

"The mission of Read an E-Book Week is to raise international awareness about the benefits of ebooks to authors, readers, educators and the media," said Rita Toews, founder of the non-profit event. "As a sponsor of the event, Smashwords will help promote the initiative, and will work with its authors to develop special Smashwords book promotions during the week."

Digital reading is on the upswing. According the IDPF, ebook sales in the United States grew 108 percent year over year for the month of November alone. The dramatic sales increase came despite weak overall book industry sales (for in-depth analysis, visit this post on the Smashwords blog).

"We're pleased to sponsor and endorse Read an E-Book Week," said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. "We hope to introduce thousands of new readers and authors to the joys of ebooks. Thanks to advances in e-reading devices such as the iPhone+Stanza, the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, electronic reading is often more enjoyable than paper reading. Once book lovers try ebooks, they're hooked."

In addition to improvements in screen technology, other factors driving ebook adoption include greater availability of DRM-free ebooks and lower book costs. Many self-published and previously print-published authors are also beginning to embrace ebooks using digital publishing platforms such as Smashwords.

"Our mission at Smashwords is to provide independent authors free tools to publish, promote and sell their ebooks," added Mark Coker of Smashwords. "Authors simply upload their finished manuscript as a Microsoft Word document and then we automatically convert it into nine different ebook formats, ready for immediate sale online, and readable on any e-reading device."

About Read an E-book Week
Read an E-Book Week (, is a not-for-profit initiative organized by Rita Toews, an award-winning novelist and children's author who resides in Winnipeg, Canada. Rita Toews first registered the week with Chase's Calendar of Events in 2004 as an officially recognized worldwide global literacy initiative. Read an E-Book Week celebrates the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media, school children and readers worldwide are welcome to join in the effort by orchestrating public readings, library displays, reading challenges, school visits, newspaper and blog articles, talk show appearances, internet radio interviews, e-book promotions, and banners on your website. Official sponsors of Read an E-Book Week include Smashwords (, E-Ink (, Sony Canada ( and Steve Jordan Books ( Additional partners and supporters can be found at

About Smashwords, Inc.
Launched in 2008, privately held Smashwords operates a digital publishing platform and online book store for independent ebook authors. The free service puts authors in full control over the publishing, pricing and marketing of their works. In addition to receiving exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential readers on the Smashwords web site and via distribution on Stanza, authors receive up to 85% of the net proceeds from sales of their works. For readers, Smashwords offers the opportunity to discover exciting new voices in fiction and non-fiction. Smashwords, Inc. is based in Los Gatos, California, and can be reached on the web at Visit the official Smashwords blog at