In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a look at DigitalBookWorld banning MacMillan over publishing's library fees debacle.
It's not often that typography is in the mainstream media. But this week, fonts formed the basis of an internet meme. Nothing better brings out people’s character than their attitudes to typeface. Times New Roman seems to have won the battle of the fonts this time. And as Brexit finally happened, a literary furore broke out over the 50 pence piece minted to commemorate. Its inscription was stamped without an Oxford comma, sparking outrage from Philip Pullman. Writing, it seems, is always relevant!
DigitalBookWorld Bans MacMillan Over Their Fees to Libraries
In the two years since it rebooted, DigitalBookWorld has made substantial waves and marked itself out as the go-to conference for the cutting edge of both the traditional and indie scene. ALLi proudly teamed up with it last year.
This week, DigitalBookWorld has made the biggest waves yet. It has announced that Big 5 publisher Pan MacMillan is not welcome at this year’s event on 14-16 September. This is in direct response to MacMillan’s position as first mover in publishers’ war on libraries. No employees of the company will be allowed to speak at this year's DigitalBookWorld so long as the pricing policy which sees libraries have to pay large sums for limited use newly-published ebooks remains in place. This is a dispute which is not just hotting up, but in which people in the industry are taking clear stands. Expect more news!
And to show just how strong their commitment to libraries is, DigitalBookWorld have launched a library scholarship. This will provide 25 free passes to the event for librarians.
More audio growth
Audio is still very much in the news. This week that comes thanks to RB Media, who have announced that, through their audio channel they are the largest audiobook publisher in the world. They published 6500 audiobooks in 2019 on Audiobooks.com and achieved 14 million hours of listening. This is significant given the news we broke over Christmas. That was when RB Media’s parent company, the equity company KKR, purchased Overdrive from Rakuten. It’s clear that something serious is afoot behind the scenes. It will tie together audio, ebook, and libraries. Exactly what their next step is will be fascinating to see.
American Dirt: Is Something Rotten in the State of Publishing?
It’s fair to say that traditional publishing’s diversity issue has dominated the literary news so far this year. In January, it was the Romance Writers of America under scrutiny.
This week, it has been Flatiron Press, publishers of American Dirt. The issue has been around the way the book, a thriller focused on people fleeing Mexico for the US, was sold. In a bid to create the next Great American Novel, publicists, erm, overplayed the author’s own personal history, leading to allegations of exploitation and silencing of Latinx voices to the benefit of a white author writing for a white audience. The reason I am including the story here is what appears to me to be the root cause of the publisher’s questionable actions. A seven figure advance. When you pay that, you have to make your book a success. And that leads bad places. Yet another tightrope we don’t have to walk as indies.
Amazon: $1 trillion and other news
It’s fair to say that this has been a landmark week for Amazon. Many start-up tech companies dream of the day they might become a unicorn (worth $1 billion). This week Amazon notched up the kind of figures most of us can’t imagine as they achieved a market valuation of over $1 trillion.
Still on the subject of Amazon, and going back to libraries, Nate has a question for you over at the Digital Reader. He wants to know where the rumours about Amazon figures showing libraries are hurting ebook sales come from. If you have first or second hand knowledge of such figures, Nate wants to hear from you. He is, of course, expecting tumbleweeds. Which would raise the question just where the rumours did come from.DigitalBookWorld bans MacMillan over library charges and Amazon tops $1 trillion market cap and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy… Click To Tweet
Over to You
How much thought do you give to getting your books into libraries? Let us know in the comments below.
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