In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at the winners of the 2022 Selfies Awards, and Substack's introduction of podcasting.
The new Self-publishing News Podcast is out in which Howard and I discuss, among other things, why Amazon removed indie authors' books without warning or explanation earlier this year. This week's #indieauthorchat is back to the usual time. It will happen on Wednesday at 8pm UK time, 3pm Central and midday Pacific. This week we'll be getting to grips with some valuable nitty gritty as Tim leads a discussion of Amazon keywords and categories.
2022 Selfies Awards Winners Announced
Of course, the highlight of London Book Fair was ALLi’s 10th birthday. But the event also plays host to the Selfies Awards, the highest profile awards dedicated solely to indie authors. Now 4 years old, the Selfies have expanded of late into three categories. The original adult fiction category was joined a year later by children’s fiction, and this year by autobiography/memoir.
I am a particular fan of the awards, which are sponsored by Ingram Spark. And not just because I edited the first winner, but because unlike several indie-focused awards they place the emphasis firmly on the quality of the books rather than their saleability. It would be great to see this year’s fabulous roll of honour get the coverage they deserve in the mainstream media.
The adult fiction winner was The Other Times of Caroline Tangent by Ivan D. Wainewright, with runner up Breathe by Elena Kravchenko. Both authors are ALLi members, continuing ALLi’s rich tradition at the Selfies. In the children’s book category, the winner was Conker the Chameleon by Hannah Peckham. Runner up was Frederick the Fox by Kim Ansell, illustrated by Lisa Read. And the winner of the inaugural memoir/autobiography award was The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix A Faulty Brain by Hannah Powell,
Substack Adds Podcast Function to Its Subscription Newsletter Offering
One of the stories of the past few years is the rise of audio. And podcasts have been as much an integral part of that as audiobooks. Here at ALLi, one of the highlights of my month is talking to Howard for our self-publishing news podcast. As people consume more and more culture through podcasts, it only makes sense that as people who produce culture writers should explore how to make the most of creating things for podcasts. And making money from what we create is getting easier. Easier, that is, in terms of having the platforms available to us to monetise our podcasts. Not easier in terms of actually drawing listeners.
The first of two stories about monetising podcasts this week features a familiar name to this column. Substack is the leading paid newsletter platform. As such it has proved to be a haven for journalists and non-fiction writers looking to make an income selling their high quality, often topical, short form content direct to subscribers. Substack has now introduced a podcast option. This, of course, will greatly appeal to anyone who wants to keep all of their content in one place. It feels like a great chance to give extra value to readers/listeners. And that makes it a more compelling sales proposition.
Second up is YouTube, who are set to provide better analytics for podcast creators. This is part of a drive to exploit the lucrative podcast advertising revenue market. And that, in turn, will mean more ad revenue for podcast creators.
Facebook changes to author pages
If you have an author page on Facebook, you will have noticed that things have changed. The changes have actually been in place for a couple of months now. But authors have begun to feel their impact at different paces. ALLi members have been voicing increasing frustration.
What happened in February was that Facebook changed the way that pages work. In essence they became more like our personal profiles. Pages no longer accumulated likes – just followers. One of the problems this has created is that anyone who “liked” your page but was not “following” it will be lost.
And there were several changes to the back end and the front end. The most frustrating of these is that you can no longer manage the page using a mobile browser. You have to use the mobile app or desktop browser.. The fullest breakdown of all the changes I have found is here.
SelfPubMiniCon on April 16
It’s an ALLi tradition to mark the world’s biggest book fairs not just with our physical presence, but by providing great content to anyone with an internet connection through our SelfPubCon events. This Saturday sees a special event to mark both London Book Fair and ALLi’s 10th birthday. You can find the full line-up for the event here.
Etsy Sellers Protest Against Increasing Fees
Fees are one of the greatest sources of confusion for any indie creator. Audiblegate has shown us that the lack of transparency over royalty payments can play havoc with business planning. I wanted to include this story in part because Etsy is a great place for indies to consider selling special editions and merch. But also to show that the fees platforms take from indies is a huge issue across all creative industries. Etsy has just raised its fees from 5% (already an increase in 2015 from the 3.5% it had charged for a decade) to 6.5%. And 14,000 sellers have gone on strike in protest.
And Etsy seems to have a further problem. One which has shades of Audiblegate’s utter lack of transparency. Etsy promotes its bigger sellers, ones with a revenue over $10,000. With off site ads. That’s great, surely? Except that where an ad referral leads to a sale it takes a 12% cut. On top of the transaction fee. And without much transparency over which sales generate those fees. Which makes business planning a nightmare.Self-publishing News: 2022 Selfies Awards Winners Announced at London Book Fair Click To Tweet
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Wild Words Festival, 3-5 June (Cuffley End UK) – click the link for an ALLi discount (adult tickets £100 from £120, 5-12 years tickets £40 from £60)