Smashwords’ spoof reveals the automatic Kindle Author

Ebook distributor Smashwords added to the general April 1 hilarity with a blog post headed, New Amazon Service Eliminates the Need for Authors‏ (at least I hope it’s a hoax).

It said: ‘The publishing industry is reeling today after news broke this morning about Kindle Author, Amazon’s new service that generates high-quality fiction using complex software algorithms.’

That clinches it, it must be a prank, if it uses the word ‘reeling’ in the opening par. It’s a clever spoof though, with a mocked-up logo and neat screenshots, including tick-box selections for the automatic author’s choices.

It’s also a remarkably long post, particularly for a jape, and it looks like Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker really got into it with this one, which makes a lot of good points about Amazon’s ebook business.

He does admit at the end of the article that it’s a hoax, much to the relief of all concerned — for the moment at least.