In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with a look at Futurebook 2019, Dean R Koontz's deal with Amazon, and the death of the long tail.
This Friday is the start of Being Human, the UK’s leading nationwide festival of the Humanities. I will be in Oxford being creative with the public. All across the country people will be exciting the public about the possibilities of the arts. And many indie writers will be at the heart of it!
Futurebook: Data Guy and beyond
We are gearing up for Futurebook. This is one of those events I struggle to get to grips with. On the one hand, its title, Futurebook, is everything I love. And the publication of the same name it emerged from is the brainchild of indie champion and force for good Sam Missingham. On the other, Futurebook the conference often feels a long way behind the curve on the issues and technology under consideration. And at between £400 and £500 a ticket it is out of the price range of many indies – who often are at the cutting edge.
This year, though, Futurebook has some things to pique my interest. First among them is the Day of Code. This comes from Consonance, run by force of nature Emma Barnes who regularly advocates for everyone in the industry to at least understand how coding works. This event will help many to do just that. It’s also great to see that Sam Missingham will be there, steering an indie-friendly ship.
An interesting addition is Futurebook’s keynote. Paul Abbassi is much better known as Data Guy. Data Guy is the epitome of the Gartner Hype Cycle. When he teamed up with Hugh Howey there was a fanfare – here was indie-friendly data giving a true picture of the state of the market. A few years in people realised Data Guy’s data was, not so much ropey as inconsistent. Then it became really ropey. Now he has settled in to selling data to publishers through his company Bookstat. Talk about being assimilated by the Borg.
The Future of Publishing
Talking of things we once got excited about and now scratch our heads at, this has been a week of taking stock. A very thoughtful article on the Long Tail asks whether it really served anyone well. We are used to thinking that, far from early evangelists’ message, it benefitted distribution platforms not content creators. But this study of the music industry offers stark figures about the way that unlimited choice has led to a less diverse sales landscape than the oft-derided scarcity model. And after reporting previously on how artificial intelligence is leaving the literary world behind, this week sees some more positive analysis of how our world might change.
Amazon: Dean R Koontz to store layout
One story to take a rest for the week is the libraries v publishers battle. But the elephant in that particular room is very much in the news. Dean R Koontz will be launching his new project, Nameless, through Amazon. This will be a series of six short thrillers. The first is now available to Prime subscribers. Koontz will also be bringing out five full length woks with Amazon. If you were wondering about my earlier comment, this deal means these works will not be available through your local library.
Meanwhile, it seems Amazon’s bricks and mortar stores are changing, as reported over at The Digital Reader. No longer will all books on the shelves be displayed face out. On the plus side though, e-ink display information sounds really cool.
When will ebooks be more accessible?
A new European Union rule requires ebooks to be “born accessible”. Accessibility is a large part of my day job so I find this very exciting. Less exciting is the suggestion that publishers might not be ready to go down this route until 2025. For us as indies, though, there’s some encouragement – ePub 3.2 comes with a lot of accessibility features as standard and this article gives some great guidance on how we can do more to make our ebooks accessible.Futurebook 2019, Dean R Koontz's deal with Amazon, and the death of the long tail & other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy… Click To Tweet
Over to You
Do you feel you've been harmed or helped by the long tail? Let us know in the comments below.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Authors' Book Fair, 14 Dec [Brighton]
San Francisco Writers' Conference, 13-16 Feb [San Francisco]
London Book Fair, 10-12 Mar [London]
Self-publishing Conference, 25 Apr [University of Leicester]