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Self-publishing

Suing e-book reviewers and being a public jerk: Two bad ideas in one
April 19, 2014 | 3:10 pm

withoutruleoflawA friend pointed out to me a slightly older blog post that is rather interesting. In fact, it’s interesting not just for the article, but for the comments. It’s kind of a gift that keeps on giving. The blog post, by writer Greg Strandberg, quotes (and screencaps) a post by self-publishing writer Joe Nobody on KBoards, a semi-private forum for people who self-publish through Amazon. Nobody is a highly-successful pseudonymous self-publishing author, who Strandberg estimates has made over a million dollars from his e-book sales. Nobody writes in the post-apocalyptic SF genre, in the footsteps of mens-adventure writers like...

The Guardian creates monthly literary prize for self-published authors
April 9, 2014 | 12:30 pm

guardianThe Guardian has created a new monthly literary prize for self-published authors. The newspaper is joining publisher Legend Times to find the best writing from self-published writers. The contest is open to novels written in English (translations also welcome). The submissions will be read by a panel of Legend’s readers, according to The Guardian. Ten titles will be short-listed from submissions and then be read by judges who will pick the monthly winner. The judges include literary agent Andrew Lownie, Legend Press's commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, author Stuart Evers, and HarperCollins author Polly Courtney "We are hoping to be a magnet to find the...

Publishers go off deep end, pay consultant to tell them what they want to hear
April 3, 2014 | 1:24 pm

Diogenes-statue-Sinop-enhancedSo, let me get this straight. Frank Luby, a consultant speaking at Digital Book World, says that e-books are more convenient than printed books, and therefore, they should cost more. Is this some kind of a joke? Apparently not; it was posted April 2, and people elsewhere seem to be taking it seriously. This is so wrong I hardly even know where to begin. It’s true that I can see how publishers would want to hear what this guy has to say. Basically, he’s telling them only what they already believe themselves. And it’s a belief they...

Book editors really do edit books. Really! They’ll tell you so themselves!
March 30, 2014 | 3:18 am

find-an-editor1What does it say about what people think of you if you have to write a lengthy editorial insisting that, no, really, you actually do do your job? That’s how a piece by book editor Barry Harbaugh in The New Yorker comes off. Entitled, “Yes, Book Editors Edit,” it insists that, despite Amazon claiming otherwise, book editors at major publishers actually do edit books. The fact that this piece had to be written in the first place possibly says more than does the entire piece itself. Especially since there are just a few problems with it. ...

Genre lines: Why literary writers won’t self-publish
March 29, 2014 | 5:58 am

jetpackI just happened to sit down and read the Robert McCrum article on struggling literary fiction authors that Paul covered earlier this month. It was interesting enough, and I’m don’t think I have substantively anything more to say about the content of the article itself than Paul did. But I was intrigued by a couple of the comments. Paul Bowes suggests that the reason literary writers can’t or don’t want to self-publish is a genre thing. Guardian Books, and the literary world generally, have a tendency to conflate 'writing' with literary fiction: or at least, with literary fiction and the kind of...

Who is more relevant now: BookExpo America or GenCon?
March 28, 2014 | 7:29 pm

avenue-close-up Earlier today, Susan wrote about Book Expo America adding a celebrity author convention this year. I find this interesting, but I wonder what they're trying to prove here. Not many of those celebs are known for being writers; they're celebs who are also writers. (Martin Short? Angelica Huston? Really?) And even the ones who are writers, like Grisham and Stan Lee (who didn’t even write for a book publisher to begin with), became so famous for their writing that now they’re more famous for being famous. Why don’t they just drop all pretense and get Snooki in...

UK Alliance of Independent Authors launches #PublishingOpenUp campaign
March 25, 2014 | 4:25 pm

self-publishersThe UK's Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has announced the start of a campaign called #PublishingOpenUp,  "a petition, lobbying of the industry and guidebook," which "urges but also aids the book and literary industries to incorporate more self-publishers into their programmes." The petition, up on Change.org, is here, and begins: "Many independent self-publishing authors are producing work of proven value to readers. Literary organisations, events managers, book stores, libraries and reviewers must now find ways to include them." ALLi director Orna Ross, in her post on the topic entitled "Why Self-publishing Is So Good For Literary Culture," points out that: "Half...

Ryk Spoor launches Kickstarter to fund new Oz novel
March 15, 2014 | 5:27 am

polychromeHere’s a worthy-looking Kickstarter project. Ryk Spoor, one of the Baen stable of authors, is looking to self-publish Polychrome, his modern-day pastiche on the public-domain Oz setting. He’s already offered it to multiple publishers, but none of them seems to have been able to figure out quite what to do with it. He hopes to raise at least $5,000 to cover the cost of having the book professionally edited, formatted, and polished up for self-publication. Of course, you can make the argument that he could just self-publish it as-is, for free; if it’s good enough for a zillion other...

Self-publishers should call themselves whatever they want
March 8, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Yep, I’m the jerk who clicked on the link because I thought the headline was idiotic. Then, I read the post and still thought everything about it was idiotic. Now, if you have read my previous posts on Teleread, I tend to aim for a balanced approach to things, usually sticking to the news of a story. However, I couldn’t ignore this post on Good E-Reader. The premise: Shockingly (that was sarcasm), Michael Kozlowski at Good E-Reader wrote a post saying that self-publishers should not be called authors. Here’s an excerpt: Just because its easy to upload your written word, so that it can be...

Outskirts launches a self-publishing platform for iBooks
March 6, 2014 | 2:18 pm

Denver-based Outskirts Press, which claims to be "the fastest-growing full-service book publishing and book marketing firm," has just launched a self-publishing platform for authors targeting the iBooks platform, with an iPad/iPhone standard edition package for $299, according to an announcement made via the London Book Fair. How this offering differs from the current "iPad/iPhone Premium Edition with Private Label iBooks Distribution" package available off the Outskirts website for $699 is not clear. The product blurb for the package outlines what it can achieve but not how it works - such as whether Outskirts undertakes to edit a manuscript delivered to it,...

One survey on marketing for self-publishing
March 4, 2014 | 6:25 pm

With the glut of surveys, polls, and studies of all kinds on the mechanics and economics of self-publishing, it's no surprise to see another one released, especially when that one is backed by an entity with a strong interest in the business area surveyed. As recounted by a press release with the modest title "New Survey Reveals Best Practices in eBook Self-Publishing," this report, "based on a survey of over 300 independent authors ... identifies trends and best practices around planning, executing and measuring a successful promotion of an eBook." The survey was conducted by Sellbox, which "specializes in helping...

Amazon lowers royalty rates on Audible ACX-created audiobooks
February 28, 2014 | 5:56 pm

Troubling news out of Amazon. GigaOm’s Laura Hazard Owen reports that Amazon’s Audible audiobook platform, which launched audiobook self-publishing in 2011, has announced it is now lowering the royalties it pays on audiobooks created through its “ACX” audiobook creation platform, as well as changing its “Bounty” audiobook incentive program. The ACX platform serves as a clearing house that matchmakes audiobook rights holders with producers and narrators to create a finished product. Previously, audiobook creators who sold via Amazon received 50% to 90% royalties (depending on number of units sold) if they sold exclusively through Amazon and Audible, or 25...