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Posts tagged self-publishing

Amazon adds pre-order option to KDP
August 14, 2014 | 5:22 pm

KDPHmm. This is an interesting development, which I just noticed via Passive Voice. Amazon just opened up pre-orders to self-published authors through Kindle Direct Publishing. I say interesting because one of the complaints in the Hachette/Amazon conflict has been the removal of pre-order buttons from Hachette books. I've seen many indie authors who say one of the reasons they have little sympathy for Hachette is that Amazon is removing something indies have rarely had access to. No more. You can make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. Setting a pre-order allows customers to order your book as early...

Hachette responds to Amazon advocates’ email on pricing its e-books
August 11, 2014 | 1:24 am

Digital Book World is carrying the response Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch is sending to those people who write him at Amazon’s behest. Since I posted the Amazon letter in full, it seems only fair to do the same for this. Pietsch (or whoever wrote the response for him) maintains that “Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion with anyone” (technically true, I suppose, since he said books, not e-books). He also maintains that the vast majority of Hachette’s titles are priced at or below $9.99, that the ones that cost more are nonetheless...

Amazon asks Kindle Direct authors and readers to lobby Hachette in contract negotiation
August 9, 2014 | 3:37 am

Amazon’s PR push in the Hachette negotiation seems to have moved beyond simply posting announcements to forums. I just had a rather lengthy email show up in my inbox from “Kindle Direct Publishing,” which begins with the salutation “Dear KDP Author.” I’m not sure if I received it because I created a KDP account at some point while looking into it, or as a member of the press. Either way, I’m reproducing the letter here in full. The letter essentially expands upon Amazon’s recent forum post about the situation, laying out Amazon’s belief that Hachette wants to charge too...

Shatzkin shares latest on maximizing the backlist in digital publishing era
July 30, 2014 | 6:47 pm

mikeshatzkin.jpgMike Shatzkin's commentary on developments in the publishing industry has often featured in TeleRead in the past - not always in entirely respectful terms. All the same, he's often good for wrap-ups of not-quite-leading-edge newly-received wisdom in mainstream publishing, and one such piece is his latest post entitled (deep breath...): "Publishers need to rethink their marketing deployments and tactics in the digital age to take advantage of their backlists." Shatzkin delves into the traditional publishing priorities of frontlist versus backlist marketing ("Books have always been launched like rockets. The publisher commits maximum firepower to getting them off the ground. Most crash to...

Morning Roundup: Kindle Unlimited-good or bad for authors? Barry and Joe fisk The Guardian
July 21, 2014 | 9:00 am

barry eislerOpen Journalism Leads The Way In Investigating The Crash Of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (Techdirt) Things are made much more difficult by the refusal of local armed groups to allow inspectors full and free access to the crash site. It is in precisely this context, where traditional reporting finds it hard to provide useful information, that an alternative -- open journalism -- shows its strengths. *** 20 Marketing Questions Self-Published Authors Must Answer (Digital Book World) If you’re a self-published novelist, your line of books is your small business. Like any small business, you need a marketing strategy. *** Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for...

RR Haywood fills London’s streets with zombies
July 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

Undead billboard ad Horror writer RR Haywood pulled off one of the UK's more striking self-publishing promo stunts in London recently - but focused on something more serious than just driving sales. Struggling with lack of recognition from established publishers and agents despite self-publishing bestsellerdom for his The Undead Series (currently running at some 16 volumes), he decided to take a mobile billboard on lorry-back to London's literary quarters, to get the message across at first hand, with the help of door-to-door calls round agents and flyer handouts. The result you can see above, with Haywood, who writes pseudonymously owing to his day...

New Smashwords Survey gives more tips, stats on self-publishing sales
July 15, 2014 | 12:31 pm

Smashwords Distribution NetworkAs one more contribution to the author earnings and self-publishing debate, alongside the UK Society of Authors, the UK ALCS, and Hugh Howey's AuthorEarnings, we have the 2014 Smashwords Survey from Mark Coker's Smashwords. Available in full via Slideshare, the Survey examines "aggregated retail and library sales data of Smashwords books," amounting in this period to "$25 million in customer purchases  aggregated across Smashwords retailers," over the period April 2013-March 2014, with one or two updated insights, and then parses the results "to identify Viral Catalysts ... anything that makes a book more discoverable and more enjoyable to readers." The key...

Guardian takes up UK Society of Authors statement: Traditional publishing terms no longer fair or sustainable
July 13, 2014 | 1:41 pm

SoA logoAfter UK Society of Authors head Nicola Solomon wrote to TeleRead in the wake of the release of the UK Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) report on author earnings, The Guardian picked up the same statement from her to endorse the SoA view that "the terms many publishers are demanding are no longer fair or sustainable." And this time The Guardian, hitherto a more than somewhat anti-Amazon publication, only mentioned Amazon briefly and in positive terms, in the context of self-publishing. The Guardian mostly covers the same ground that Solomon already went over in her Q&A with TeleRead, and the arguments also covered here,...

UK career writer numbers down three quarters, incomes down 30 percent in one decade
July 8, 2014 | 2:16 pm

ALCSSome alarming numbers about the falling number of full-time career writers in the UK, and the falling incomes of writers of all kinds, have emerged courtesy of the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS), Britain's central clearing house for authors' rights and payments. Their study "What Are Words Worth Now?,"  a survey of almost 2500 working writers commissioned from Queen Mary, University of London, found that "in 2013, just 11.5 percent of professional authors (defined as those who dedicate the majority of their time to writing) earned their incomes solely from writing. In 2005, 40 percent of professional authors said...

SFWA ‘doubles down’ in support of Douglas Preston’s petition
July 8, 2014 | 6:26 am

sfwaPassive Guy over at The Passive Voice reports receiving an email from SFWA headed “SFWA doubling down,” clarifying its position on signing onto Douglas Preston’s open letter decrying Amazon’s hardball tactics in its negotiation with Hachette. (Odd that they didn’t also send it to me, given that TPV carried the story I posted about it in the first place.) The letter reads as follows: SFWA’s support of Douglas Preston’s open letter reflects our concern about Amazon’s tactics in their dispute with Hachette and the way those tactics are impacting writers and their careers. We are,...

Is Philip Jones really standing up for the book?
July 7, 2014 | 2:28 pm

In the context of Joanna Cabot's recent post asking "Would Anyone Care About the Amazon/Hachette Dispute If it Wasn’t About Books?", it's worth picking up the editorial "Disinterested? Moi?" by Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, about the primacy of the book. "It is the books that should do the talking, not the publisher," he declares. "Publishers may make books, but it is the books that maketh the business." Few actual authors would disagree with that. Jones follows with the creed he came into the job with: "my job was to support the book. We could be rude about publishers, booksellers,...

Morning Roundup: Do writers need a union? Reinventing the bookstore and more
July 7, 2014 | 9:00 am

books-262431_640How I Failed at my Book-Buying Ban (Book Riot) So in order to at least catch up a little bit on reading the books I already owned, I decided, at the beginning of 2013, that I wouldn’t buy books anymore... *** How J-Schools Are Tackling the Demand for Data Journalism Skills (Media Shift) Gone are the days where journalists could boast about not being math people. *** Do Writers Need a Union? (Hugh Howey) On the website ThePassiveVoice, commenters bring up trade and labor disputes and organizations, and I think these and class warfare comments I’ve seen elsewhere are spot-on. *** The Problem of Reinventing the Bookstore (The...