Catch up on the week's self-publishing news with Valerie Shanley as she gathers the latest industry-related developments of interest to indie authors from ALLi partners and friends. Included are a new screenwriting tool, an upcoming rights service from ALLi, the global connection between smartphones and e-reading, plus independent bookstores' answer to impossible-to-avoid Black Friday.
More drama as Amazon offers to screen your scripts
Amazon’s newly launched Storywriter offers writers a free, cloud-based, auto-formatting screenwriting tool for the web, plus a built-in capability to send a finished script directly to a film or television studio. The company’s press release details how this expands on options through Amazon Studios.
“Amazon continues to accept original scripts for feature films, primetime comedy series for adults, series for children between the ages of 2-14, and now for the first time also welcomes drama series submissions. In addition, Amazon will no longer take a free option on script submissions, thus allowing Writers Guild of America and the Animation Guild members to submit their original material through the online submission process.”
Storywriter is yet another digital step forward for the company, who along with Netflix and YouTube, are steadily making their presence felt in Hollywood. Start preparing those Oscar acceptance speeches …
Licence to thrill ALLi members
Film & TV rights are, of course, just one of the subsidiary rights options that authors can license directly now and the selling of publishing rights has been a major focus for ALLi recently. Last week we wrote of how Professional Members' work will be distributed to rights buyers at London and Frankfurt Bookfairs, in association with TMA Literary agency (see Orna and Toby discuss that in this video). This week, ALLi announces another exclusive rights service for members, in association with the digital rights platform, IPR Licence.
“IPR Licence already offers a discount to ALLi members but we found many authors were confused by the rights process, so now IPR Licence is to give each ALLi member on their platform a free rights consultancy session,” Orna explains. “This will include a one-to-one phone consultation with one of their team members, reviewing the author's current situation and providing insight on potential rights opportunities in their arena and areas to target.
“Following this consultation, each member will receive a Preliminary Report, providing an in-depth critique of their author profile and book records to ensure all relevant information is up on the platform, maximizing their visibility and making them as appealing as possible to rights buyers.”
IPR will also produce a dedicated ALLi Members Page, to showcase all ALLi author members on their platform. “This will be linked to the author's book records and profile and can be used for cross promotion. This new service allows ALLi to take those authors whose sales do not meet the criteria for representation by TMA to the book fairs at Frankfurt, London and Book Expo America.”
These benefits start in January 2016 and members will be emailed with full details of both services shortly.
Public libraries get clearer e-book guidance
What public libraries can offer readers online, and how publishers can legally supply them, has just become clearer with a new e-Book Licensing Guide for Public Libraries and Publishers. The guide – a collaboration between industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, digital distributor Bookwire, and digital business advisor Dosdoce.com – gives “a broader insight into the numerous opportunities offered by new e-book licensing models and [should help] to dissipate any doubts or preconceived ideas in relation to those models,” explains the Publishing Perspectives report. The guide describes the eight types of licenses most used by public libraries across the world. Read the full story here.
Civilised – it's the new Black
Independent bookshops across the UK tomorrow will not only welcome shoppers in their usual mannerly fashion, but many will also offer a glass of Prosecco, cake and a comfy chair, according to The Guardian.
Good sense, and the sensibilities of sister and fellow shoppers, is the focus of ‘Civilised Saturday’, which is being promoted as the antidote to the American tradition of Black Friday which is now spreading worldwide. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, the day that kicks off the holiday spending spree and sees stores offering huge discounts to keen consumerists.
Last year, scuffles broke out in some stores between customers elbowing each other for bargains, with one woman reportedly injured by a television falling on her head. Alan Staton of the Booksellers Association wants to call order on such behaviour, saying it is “the antithesis” of what bookshops stand for.
Calming music and even hand massages are promised by some stores, while another is hosting a competition to see who can walk down the high street balancing a book on their head to ensure correct posture. (Miss Austen would surely approve.)
Meanwhile, in New York on “Giving Tuesday”, this year the 1st December, staff from Penguin Random House will be handing out free books outside several of their city offices as part of their #GiveaBook social media campaign. At ALLi Towers, we're discussing the possibility of starting an indie-author tradition for next year. Your suggestions please, in an email, to Anna at [email protected].
Smartphones will answer world's e-reading call
Interesting stats from the International Indie Author blog stating 51% of the world’s total population (7.3bn) now own smartphones – a massive potential readership. Although not all owners are connected to the net for now, eventually the global e-book market will collectively dwarf the US market over the next few years, says blog editor, Mark Williams, referring to a regional overview of SE Asia just released.
“With over 600 million people – almost twice the size of the US population – SE Asia should be on every author’s radar as a place to reach readers,” says Williams going on to give a breakdown on social media preferences by users in the various territories.
“Fast forward five years and the Global New Renaissance is real, it’s happening.” Check out the full post here.
Dates for your Diary
Latest #indieauthor stories on #selfpub news by @vshanley Click To Tweet
Self-Publishing Summit: Jan 2016 [London, UK ] Rock & Read Vegas Author Event: Jan 15 – 17 2016 [Las Vegas, USA]
Writers in Paradise: Jan 16 – 23 [Florida, USA]
Annual Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway: Jan 15 – 18, 2016 [New Jersey Shore, USA]
San Diego State University Writers’ Conference: Jan 22 – 24, 2016 [San Diego, USA]
Mountains to Sea – dlr Book Festival: Mar 9 – 13, 2016 [Dublin, Ireland]