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Self-publishing News: 2020 Selfies Winners

Self-publishing News: 2020 Selfies Winners

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway

In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a look at Jemma Hatt and Clare Flynn triumphing at the 2020 Selfies Awards. 

A reminder that ALLi has created a resource that seeks to answer any questions you may have about Covid 19, from concerns about the impact on events to ideas and news about how the services we rely on are responding.

ALLi Authors Clare Flynn and Jemma Hatt Triumph at the 2020 Selfies

It’s lovely to be able to lead with some really good news. This year’s Selfies Awards, the leading awards for self-published books, were one of the casualties of the cancellation of London Book Fair. But like many events, they moved online and went ahead anyway. And it’s a pleasure to announce that both the adult’s and children’s winners, who receive £1000 each from sponsors Ingram Spark, are ALLi members.

Selfies winner in the adult section was Clare Flynn with The Pearl of Penang. And in the children’s section the winner was Jemma Hatt with The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle. ALLi authors were well represented on the shortlist, and this of course follows a win in the inaugural Selfies Awards last year for ALLi's Jane Davis with Smash All the Windows. We look forward very much to next year's awards, hopefully back at London Book Fair!

Authors' Anger at Open Library

The Internet Archive, especially its Open Library project, has always been divisive. While some have hailed it as a cornerstone of the open access movement, authors and publishers have tended to take a dim view of its digitization and lending of print books. The anger has just got a lot more intense. In response to Covid 19, the Internet Archive has declared itself the National Emergency Library. What this means in practice is that it has removed its waiting lists. Previously, it has only lent out at any one time as many digital copies of a book as it had physical copies. Now it will lend without limit. It has a list of academic and library institutions who support the move, which is primarily designed to keep research and teaching ticking over where people have no other way of accessing content.

Writers and publishers have been swift to condemn the move. The Authors Guild of America has led the way with an open letter. The argument is simple. This is authors' hour of greatest need. Not to mention publishers and bookstores and editors and illustrators and the whole industry. Physical events have all but ground to a halt. We need, now more than ever, to be able to connect with our readers digitally, offering comfort through our words, while what we hope is an increased demand for the vital role we play at such a time will enable us to avoid complete ruin. This project endangers that. Besides, the more basic argument goes, it's piracy. You can read a full account here.

The Library of Congress has attracted somewhat less controversy in expanding its open access ebook collections.

Responses to Covid 19: Helping bookstores and the UN wants you!

Bookstores have taken a massive hit to their footfall. While many, like my local, Blackwells, are holding online events, they have had to close the doors on their physical stores. In the UK all bookshops are closed, being classed as non-essential, despite James Daunt's controversial request that this be changed. In the US, more than 400 of Daunt's new acquisition Barnes and Noble has closed 400+, around two thirds, of its stores. One response has been a growth of fundraisers for bookstores. You can find details of a host of US-based initiatives to help indie bookstores here, while in the UK the Booksellers Association has launched an umbrella campaign to help its members.

Many authors, meanwhile, have been turning to Patreon. The online funding platform which enables creatives to receive a monthly income in exchange for exclusive material has seen a jump of more than 30,000 creatives since the crisis began. One call for creative talent in response to Covid 19 particularly caught my eye this week. The United Nations has issued a brief. It wants any and all creatives to join a task force in finding novel ways to promote the key public health messages around the virus.

How much have you been disrupted?

We know Covid 19 has caused massive disruption through the book world. Even if some small parts of that world are still a little in denial (July BookExpo, really?!), most of us realise things have changed completely. But what specific impact has Covid 19 had on you? The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) wants to know. You can tell them through this survey, and your responses will help shape the industry's response in the months ahead.


Clare Flynn and Jemma Hatt of @indieauthoralli triumph at the Selfies Awards and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet

Over to You

Let us know about great online events of interest to indies, and novel ways of moving what you do online in the comments below.

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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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