RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award

The RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award is presented to one or more professionals in the romance-publishing industry, who is not a writer, who has contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner.

Named for one of RWA's founders, the RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award is for an accumulated body of work and may not be presented every year if no candidate is clearly identified as meeting the level of excellence established by past recipients of the award.


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2019 RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award Recipient

Mark Coker, Smashwords

Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to empower authors to self-publish and distribute e-books. Today, Smashwords has grown to become the world’s leading distributor of self-published e-books representing over 140,000 authors and small independent presses around the world that publish and distribute over 500,000 books with Smashwords. Mark is an outspoken advocate for romance authors, a contributing columnist for Publishers Weekly, and the host of the popular SMART AUTHOR podcast where he teaches evergreen best practices that help authors publish e-books with pride, professionalism and success. Mark appeared in the 2015 documentary film, Love Between the Covers, where he stated, “Romance writers have led the e-book revolution. Romance authors have been the most innovative, the most experimental, the most forward-looking.” Mark blogs at  Follow Mark on Twitter@markcoker.

View Past Recipients


Mark Coker