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Self-Publishing News: TikTok And Indie Booksellers Challenge Amazon Prime Day

Self-Publishing News: TikTok and Indie Booksellers Challenge Amazon Prime Day

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

Welcome to July. While the start of the month technically represents just the very beginning of the second half of the year, from here on in it can feel like one endless sale season. It kicks off with Amazon Prime Day. But this year, the everything store isn’t being left to own the field of early season sales. Two very different challengers will be of note to the writing community.

When I saw the headline for the first story, about indie bookstores taking on Amazon with an Olympic-themed campaign, I naturally assumed this would be related to France. French booksellers, of course, have form when it comes to taking on Amazon. There have variously been boycotts of prizes open to Amazon-published titles and a challenge to free deliveries that allow Amazon to undercut many of its competitors.

But the “Indies Take the Gold” campaign, running in opposition to Amazon Prime Days on July 16 and 17, is being run in the United States by the American Booksellers Association. The aim is to build up a head of steam and passion for indie bookselling that will last through the Olympic season with a set of medal-themed campaign imagery.

On a slightly different scale is TikTok’s announcement that from July 9 it will be running a series of “Deals for You Days” in the United States. The move will seek to boost TikTok’s status as a shopping destination and will inevitably lead to a large number of videos designed to push bargains. What I find really interesting is how seriously the company is clearly still taking its plans to expand into the US market given the current legislative threat to close it down. It’s almost as though they know something!

And finally, while we’re on the subject of challenges to Amazon, last week saw another class action hit the company. Two hundred thousand sellers in the UK are seeking £2.7 billion ($3.4 billion) in damages arising from alleged anti-competitive practices. Specifically, the allegation is that Amazon has been using its market position to push its own products over those of third-party sellers. This, of course, is a variant of one of the oldest complaints indie authors had, around Amazon’s recommendation of titles it had published through its in-house presses and their striking prominence in bestseller charts.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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