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Posts tagged self-publishing

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...

Big Five publishers, it’s time for some tough love
July 6, 2014 | 4:32 pm

ToughLoveSo, Andrew Updegrove has a blog post in which he expresses concern about the future of competition in publishing. (Found via The Passive Voice.) His thesis seems to be that traditional publishers exert a competitive pressure on Amazon—Amazon can’t lower the rates it pays self-publishing writers as long as traditional publishers represent some kind of alternative. He writes: If Hatchette and the other big publishers are successful in holding off Amazon, then it’s pretty safe to assume that not much will change with the way they do business. But if Amazon wins, the traditional publishers will...

In taking sides in Amazon/Hachette dispute, John Scalzi tells readers to do as he says, not as he does
July 4, 2014 | 3:48 am

John Scalzi has written a blog post noting that publishing “is not a football game” and people shouldn’t be rushing to take sides. Like many of Scalzi’s posts, it seems superficially reasonable. Scalzi’s point seems to be that business is business, and big companies aren’t your friend or your enemy—they do what big companies do, which is whatever is best for them. Their interests might align with yours, or not. That doesn’t mean they like you or hate you. (Though he does make clear he thinks “what Amazon’s doing to US Hachette authors at the moment well and truly sucks.”)...

SFWA endorses Douglas Preston’s open letter without consulting its membership
July 4, 2014 | 2:43 am

Two “open letters” came out yesterday, one berating Amazon and another praising it. Now it turns out that SFWA has emailed its membership endorsing one of those letters, and it should be pretty easy to guess which one. Author Don Sakers has posted an essay to his blog complaining that the SFWA has endorsed Douglas Preston’s letter. Sakers, an independent author who makes most of his sales through Amazon, is annoyed that SFWA’s leadership did not make any attempt to consult or discuss the matter with its members before acting, and points out that this comes only a...

Hugh Howey launches Change.org petition letter thanking readers for their support
July 3, 2014 | 11:49 am

You know that open letter I mentioned Douglas Preston circulating? Self-published author Hugh Howey has just launched one of his own, as a Change.org petition from self-publishing writers, thanking readers for their support, explaining self-published authors’ side of the Amazon/Hachette feud, and asking them not to boycott Amazon. It’s a remarkably clever idea, and already has over 500 signatures. The letter, and signatures below it, are replete with endorsements from authors explaining that Amazon has made it possible for them to earn a living, or (in my case), expect to earn a living at some point, from self-publishing their...

David Gaughran announces Writer’s Digest split with Author Solutions brand
June 23, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Writer's DigestAs readers may remember, in February David Gaughran reported that UK book trade bible The Bookseller had severed its advertising links with Penguin Random House vanity press powerhouse Author Solutions, and would no longer accept advertising from any of its brands. Gaughran has now followed up with dramatic news that U.S. writer support and services platform Writer's Digest is also cutting its ties with Abbott Press, the joint venture it launched with Author Solutions to considerable criticism in TeleRead and elsewhere. As can be verified on the Abbott Press website, the company no longer carries any logo or other information specifically...