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AI And Creativity

Self-Publishing News: AI Research Reveals Impact on Creativity and New US Bill to Protect Copyright

AI has been quiet in the news of late. But this week, there is a suitably chunky round-up of stories related to a technology that is increasingly ubiquitous. There has been a lot of debate about whether generative AI is good or bad for creatives, and whether creatives should, and increasingly do, use generative AI in their practice. But there hasn’t been much discussion (as opposed to opining) about whether or not it actually makes you more creative. This is, of course, not surprising, as the technology is so new that there hasn’t been much time yet for accurate academic studies on the matter.
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Kindle Storyteller

Self-Publishing News: 2024 Kindle Storyteller UK Launches and RBMedia Expands Audiobook Offering for Indies

It’s clearly Amazon competition time. Last week (reminder to enter!) they launched the first-ever Vellys, with $62,000 in prizes for US-based serialized fiction authors. Now in the UK, we have the flagship Kindle Storyteller Award. This has a £20,000 first prize and is open to books published through KDP between the start of May and the end of August. Books must be available as an e-book and a paperback, and must be enrolled in KDP Select until the closing date at the end of August.
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Audio Social Network

Self-Publishing News: Spotify is Slowly Building an Audio Social Network to Connect Creators and Listeners

Is Spotify building an Audio Social Network? It’s interesting that Spotify has nudged its way back into the news of late with a couple of moves relevant to writers. First, there was the decoupling of audiobooks from its music streaming by allowing listeners to select between a premium service that included fifteen hours of audiobooks and a dollar-cheaper basic service that didn’t. Now they are supporting comments on podcasts, and TechCrunch has a fascinating article suggesting that may get rolled out across all audio.
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Vellys Awards

Self-Publishing News: Amazon Launches Vellys Awards with $62,000 Prize for Serial Fiction

It’s always a pleasure to share some encouraging news that will pique the interest and get the juices flowing for a large number of you. And I get to round out this week with the news of a competition that’s open to everyone based in the United States. The Vellys, as Amazon would like us to know it affectionately, is a brand-new competition based on its Kindle Vella format. Entries are open until August 20. Prizes total $62,000 and include a first-time author award of $15,000 and a grand prize of $25,000.
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Wattpad

Self-Publishing News: Wattpad Parent Company Webtoon Receives Nearly $3B Valuation in IPO

Last week, we saw another reminder that there are actually bigger parts of our world than the traditional publishers, including Wattpad. Remember when Simon & Schuster was up for sale, and the valuation was just north of $2 billion? I’m fairly sure I commented at the time on the fact that although we think of the big traditional publishers as the behemoths of our industry, the figures didn’t stack up.
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Amazon Prime Day

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

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.
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AI-Written Film

Self-Publishing News: Cinema Cancels Screening of AI-Written Film

Cancel culture on the rise or institutions standing up for creatives? That’s the question that came to my mind as I read through the main story for today’s news about an AI-written film. We know many creatives feel an angst bordering on the existential about the use of AI. And nothing is as certain to raise hackles as moves that seem to endorse the artistic merit of entirely AI-generated works, especially when the AI is not really the point but just an everyday tool for production.
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