In this week’s Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with a new collaboration tool from PublishDrive, and the launch of this year’s Audie Awards.
In a week where technology dominates the self-publishing news, it feels fitting to celebrate the news that Alan Turing will be the face on the new £50 note. So much of what we talk about here, the things we take for granted and the things we mention in hushed excited tones we owe to him. If only he were here to see, and help us with his thoughts.
Abacus: A New Tool to Make Collaboration Easier
A key part of self-publishing 3.0 is collaboration. Authors increasingly work together on collections, and as collectives. Managing that as you run your own business can be incredibly complex. Especially if you publish a lot of books. PublishDrive’s Abacus is a tool to help with this.
Abacus allows you to create a definitive index of collaborators on a project. You can set royalty shares to each of your collaborating authors, and when you get paid, Abacus will ensure each of them gets paid automatically.
The Audies are Open
It’s been another of those mixed weeks for audiobooks. “Are audiobooks changing our relation to the written word?” is the latest journalists’ favourite variant of “the death of the novel.” And this week the question comes from the Guardian’s Stephen Poole. He has the usual takes. There are new format opportunities for short length material. Are audiobooks eating into print book sales? No. *Something slightly vague about changing attention spans*. Most interesting though is this is a mainstream journalist who highlights that audiobooks, like ebooks, are locking people into proprietary file formats, which is not a wholly good thing.
On a positive note, the 2020 Audie Awards are open for entries. The Audies are run by the Audiobook Publishers’ Association, but the competition’s 24 categories are open to indies. You simply submit your title as the book’s rights holder, and take your place alongside everyone else. Full details of how to enter are here.
Blockchain and Copyright Redux
Anyone who wants to study the hype cycle in real time simply has to follow blockchain. After last spring’s ubiquity and last winter’s disappearance, the technology is slowly reappearing. In many industries, the most promising application is the securing of the supply chain. Blockchain provides a way for you to track products through their life to ensure no tampering at any stage. In the book world, the obvious application for this is in copyright. And the latest move in this sector is Canada’s Prescient Innovations Lab. They have been working on research into exactly how this will work. And last week the Canadian government gave them half a million dollars toward the task.
As Publishing Perspectives points out, however, no one has yet resolved the issue of how to process large volumes of data quickly on the blockchain. And to stick to this week’s theme, the article points out the real issue with many of the new applications. They do not use a truly distributed ledger. They control who runs the ledger’s nodes. For many (including me, as I said at last year’s London Book Fair) that loses the main benefit of blockchain.
New Cable Opens Up Africa’s Internet Capacity
Talking of technology, we often fail to overlook the importance of infrastructure. Specifically cables. The finance industry is so dependent on high speed cables that trading companies compete to be a few metres closer to exchanges so their data will travel quicker down the wires. But in publishing we can lose sight of this. Cable infrastructure matters immensely to the digital economy. That’s why the news of a new cable connecting West Africa and North America is so exciting. Equiano, named after a Nigerian writer, will be finished early next decade. The possibilities for opening up markets in Africa is huge.PublishDrive launch a new tool that takes the hassle out of collaboration, this year's Audie Awards are open & other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway… Click To Tweet
Over to You
How do you currently arrange your back office to ensure all the people you work with are paid when they need to be? Let us know in the comments below.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Novel London Literary Festival, 17 Aug [London]
DigitalBookWorld, 10-12 Sep [Nashville]
Independent Self-publishing Authors Fair, 17 Nov [Henley-in-Arden]
Self-publishing Conference, 25 Apr [University of Leicester]