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Self-publishing

The Guardian names the winner of its first monthly self-published award
June 10, 2014 | 10:25 am

9146LOKgNIL._SL1500_The Guardian announced the first winner of its new monthly self-published book contest. The winner was “Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers,” a debut novel from Tom Moran. On Amazon, the book’s summary reads: “Enter the mind of Walton Cumberfield, an amateur gas and electricity meter-reader who is about to discover a cow that is independent of the space-time continuum. The debut novel by comedian and writer Tom Moran, Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers is like nothing else you'll ever read - beautifully bonkers and bizarrely brilliant. It has to be read to be believed.” But that doesn’t really say a lot about the book....

Editors should play nice with agents and authors, says Agent Orange
June 2, 2014 | 3:17 pm

Here’s a post on the Bookseller by the pseudonymous Agent Orange, a UK literary agent who I’ve cited in these pages before. He or she notes the overall decline in power of the agent—it used to be important for editors to stay on agents’ good sides so as to be sure the agent would show them the good stuff. But over the last few years, the market has changed, and suddenly agents are having a hard time selling even their best stuff. As the balance of power has shifted, so standards of behaviour have shifted. It...

Hachette vs. Amazon: Big publishers messed up, small publishers rejoice, investors beware, and ordinary people don’t care
June 2, 2014 | 1:08 pm

Late-night comedy hosts and political radio pundits love Presidential elections. No matter who wins, they’re guaranteed four more years of great material. I feel kind of the same way about the Amazon/Hachette spat currently going on. There are so many great articles coming out, and I am desperately trying to resist the temptation to blog them all! Let’s see here: the Minneapolis StarTribune has an interesting story about public reactions to the Amazon-Hachette spat at BookExpo. As might be expected, the reaction by the general public was generally positive toward Amazon and “Huh? Who’s that?” toward Hachette. Most attendees...

Publishers, Amazon, and competition: Three points of view
June 1, 2014 | 11:00 am

There’s a theme in the triad of Amazon/Hachette articles I found this morning, and the theme is…competition. First of all, here’s a rare op ed in favor of Amazon that originally appeared in CNN’s “Fortune” section. (Though it seems to have vanished from there; the link no longer works and the author reposted it on his own blog.) Len Sherman rebuts an earlier anti-Amazon piece by Adam Lashinsky and argues that Hachette’s background as an illegal colluder suggests it is more interested in keeping prices high, whereas Amazon wants to keep them lower for consumers. ...

Can publishers win if they dare?
May 31, 2014 | 12:29 pm

primematrixDare - dare to believe you can survive You hold the future in your hand Dare - dare to keep all of your dreams alive It's time to take a stand And you can win, if you dare —Stan Bush, “Dare” That seems to be the chorus that publisher advocates are singing these days: as publishers fight against the evil market-devouring Amazon much as the Transformers fought the evil world-devouring Unicron, the publishers...

ALLi launches Choosing a Self Publishing Service 2014 guide
May 27, 2014 | 7:28 pm

indie authorsThe UK's Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has announced the launch of its Choosing A Self Publishing Service 2014 - "a comparison of twenty of the key self-publishing service players" - at this year's Book Expo America (BEA). According to the ALLi press materials, the new guide features "case studies, service analysis and the experiences of author-publishers and ALLi members," and "also shows author-publishers how they can make informed and empowered decisions about their publishing future, offering insight and impartial advice on key comparison points and criteria for selecting a service." Orna Ross, director of ALLI, said of the guide: "Many...

Hugh Howey gets behind self-publishing for literature
May 27, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Hugh Howey[caption id="attachment_94689" align="alignright" width="150"] Hugh Howey[/caption] Hugh Howey recently posted a thoughtful piece on the future contribution of self-publishing to literary fiction which seems to have sort of got lost amid all the excitement over his latest AuthorEarnings report and the Hachette/Amazon face-off. It's no surprise to see him come out in favor of self-publishing in no uncertain terms - to whit, "Self-publishing will save literary fiction ." But as alway's it's worth hearing his arguments. Howey takes issue with the alarmist talk of Philip Gwyn Jones, former books publisher of Granta, in The Bookseller that literary publishing is in crisis, and...

Author Earnings: More indie than Big Five debut authors can earn a living self-publishing
May 26, 2014 | 5:49 pm

indie-old-vs-new-pieHugh Howey’s Author Earnings has come out with that report I mentioned yesterday, on the implications of the data they’ve gathered for new and tenured authors, and boy is it a doozy. It’s overloaded with charts and statistics, and I’m sure I missed the full import of what they’re saying, but there were a few interesting facts to come out of the way they massaged the numbers. If the figures can be believed, Big Five publishers are earning most of their money out of established authors, either in long-tail backlist or new books by well-known writers. Only 37% of...

April Author Earnings report remains consistent with February report
May 25, 2014 | 3:20 pm

dailybestsellersLast week, Hugh Howey came out with another Author Earnings report. He’s got some interesting analysis of the figures, but perhaps the most interesting thing is how consistent the numbers are. The market share values only changed by a couple of percentage points from the February sample to the April sample (and generally did so in favor of indie publishers). Indie-published books represent 30% of overall daily unit sales, up from 27% in February. Big Five sales are down to 37% from 39%. In terms of daily revenue to authors from bestsellers, Big Five has held steady at...

Sneaking books into bookstores is not a good idea
May 25, 2014 | 10:36 am

Here’s another one from the “probably not a good idea” department. Self-published writer Brendan Leonard had a bright idea: he might see if he could get his book more exposure by planting it in a Barnes & Noble store. All that was necessary for it to ring up was to have an ISBN bar code on it, which it did. He then had the idea to use it as an Instagram promotional gimmick: place books in various stores and post their location to Instagram so people could go buy them. Granted that he was giving money away by giving his...

Router maker threatens lawsuit over Amazon review (Updated)
May 9, 2014 | 10:12 am

Origin 582014 63201 AM.bmpRemember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about a self-publishing author who considered suing one of his readers for posting a bad Amazon review? Ars Technica reports that one company with products listed on Amazon has threatened just that. Update: And, as a result, said company has reportedly lost its Amazon selling license. In brief, the review as originally posted to Amazon (and quoted in the lawyers’ letter) accused router manufacturer Mediabridge Products of falsifying positive Amazon reviews and rebadging a $15 Chinese OEM router to sell for a $100 suggested (and $50 usual) retail price. As...

Smashwords’ Mark Coker continues to champion with indie author manifesto
April 25, 2014 | 10:25 am

Indie Author Manifesto Yesterday’s roundup by Joanna had an interesting post from Smashwords’ Mark Coker. The site’s founder created an indie author manifesto, empowering and highlighting just how far the world of self-publishing has come. Certainly, the freedom of publishing has allowed many more to find their voices and given them a bigger platform to be heard. Some of the points from Coker’s manifesto include: - I have experienced the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from self-publishing - I have a right to publish - My creative control is important to me. I decide when, where and how my writing graduates to become a published book. The manifesto is...