Valerie Shanley sharpens her pencils and discovers who's making news this week among our ALLi partners and friends.
Is Your Indie Book Worth Reading?
C’mon, of course it is, so get your literary skates on and link up to ReadFree.ly for the chance to be included in their 50 Self-published Books Worth Reading, closing date 30th June By way of introduction, ReadFreely take the opportunity to contradict J.K. Rowling who, they say, “does not like self-published authors”. Even though Potterworld could be considered a self-publishing enterprise? Maybe J.K. can check out these nominations and discover how indies are real wordy wizards too.
Our Allies in International Awards
ALLi members are again conspicuous among the shortlisted authors for this year’s International Rubery Book Award, including Paul Murphy for his classic author homage As I Walked Out Through Spain InSearch of Laurie Lee and Rosie Morgan for her fantasy, The Time Smugglers. The Rubery Award, one of the better UK awards devoted only to self-published authors, was set up by Heather Painter, as indies are currently excluded from so many international book awards. There are so many good reasons apart from prize money why self-published authors should devote time to entering awards, as set out in Heather’s post earlier this year. Or ask Paul – when not winning awards, he also runs our Bristol & SW ALLi Meetup group.
Born in the USA – Self-Published Bookstore Opens in Florida
Appreciative shout-out this week to the Gulf Coast Bookstore and its innovative co-creaters Patti Brassard Jefferson and Timothy Jacobs. Their new venture at Fort Myers will stock only works by self-published authors as reported in Authoright. Children’s author and illustrator Patti and history author Timothy were determined to create a space welcoming to indies to sell their books. “It’s just hard to compete with Stephen King or Dan Brown in a mega bookstore that has tens of thousands of books for sale,” says Timothy. So move aside, you Angels and Demons…
IBW for the UK and Ireland culminates this weekend but you can still check out events for tomorrow 27th by following Twitter account – @IndieBound_UK – for regular updates on events and bookshop happenings and also check out the IBW Book Award shortlisted titles. Why are bricks and mortar bookstores important to indies? Our own Debbie Young’s encouraging post explains why we should strive to preserve these endangered pleasure domes worldwide, along with 21 helpful tips on how authors can support them. Also, we’d love to hear from far-flung indies around the globe about any forthcoming big events celebrating their relevant country’s independent bookstores – suggestions on a (virtual) postcard please.
Amazon To Weed Out the Phonies
Indies don’t need inspiration from a Taylor Swift-style rebuke to get a mega corporation to improve policy. Ethical authors have been sending open letters to Amazon for some time regarding suspect ‘customer reviews’ and these complaints may have helped persuade the company to take action, when it sued a handful of alleged fake reviews websites in April. The welcome news is that US authors should now begin to benefit by introduction of the company’s new review monitoring system, developed in-house. The will give more weight to newer reviews, reviews from verified Amazon purchasers and reviews that more customers vote up as helpful. No announcement yet on when this new platform will roll out to Amazon sites in other countries – but 5 stars to Amazon for starters.
Authors Guild Showing Initiative on Fair Contracts
A shout out too this week to the Authors Guild for their preview following announcement of their Fair Contract Initiative in May. The goal is “to shine a bright light on the one-sided contract terms that publishers typically offer authors and to spur publishers to offer more equitable deals.” This is not an abstract issue, says the AG: today’s contracts directly affect authors’ livelihoods and ability to control their works. As standard terms have become less favorable to authors in recent years, their ability to make a living has become more precarious. Here's the small, and large print
And for Any Agonising Authors Out There – a shout out (sorry about all the shouting this week) that our next Ask ALLi Q&A with Orna Ross at Alliance of Independent Authors and Joanna Penn is on June 30th. If you have any self-publishing questions, please submit them here.Latest news on indie books, author publishers & the world of #selfpub Click To Tweet