My voice finally gave way on Saturday morning, but before that I had the privilege to be part of something wonderful here in Oxford. Saturday was Oxford Translation Day,
a wonderful gathering of writers from around the world, and the translators bringing their work to new audiences, talking about all the challenges and opportunities that brings. The night before, I was honoured to host several of the participants at Waterstones, sharing poetry in original and translation, talking about what the translator does, recording the wonderful diversity of languages represented for the linguistic project Language Landscape. It was a wonderful reminder of the multiplicity of the literary world, and how much further our stories can travel once we lay down our pens.
A New Self-publishing Prize
Following on from that, very exciting news this month of a new prize for self-published books. Der Deutsche Selfpublishing-Preis (The German Self-publishing Prize) has a 10,000 Euro first prize, with an additional package of 80,000 Euros worth of assistance. The deadline for submissions is the end of July. For this year, only submissions written in German originally are accepted, but translations may be eligible in future.
What's Going Up (Spanish ebook sales) and What's Going Down (US newspapers)
Fabulous news from the Spanish ebook market – headline figures suggest a 41% rise in sales in Spain and 110% across Latin America. You can download the full report, The Spanish and Markets Digital Evolution Report, from Bookwire here.
The news is not so good for newspapers in the US though. A new factsheet on falling press revenues makes for fascinating reading for trend followers.
We hear differing things about what trends are doing in ebooks and print, but the one thing everyone agrees on is the importance of audiobooks. Thanks to Russell Phillips for being the first to point me to the fabulous news that Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is now available in Ireland and Canada. ACX is the platform that allows authors and voice actors to hook up and negotiate terms that work for all parties – for indies looking for an in to the audiobook market who might not fancy their chances at reading 80,000 words out loud and keeping readers hooked it is a godsend.
Amazon's Problem and Book Expo Goes Big Data
It's been a while since I shared anything from the always-fascinating David Gaughran, but this week he shared a fascinating piece that looks at the way Amazon is still falling foul of some of the loopholes in its Kindle Unlimited programme. In this case, Gaughran takes apart the Kindle free charts, which seem to include, at the very top, a high proportion of books with a lot of pages and dubiously original content. Once those titles come off their free promotion, they benefit from a surge in page reads that quickly allocates the cream of Amazon's monthly pot to the gaming “authors”.
Whilst last week was all about Indie Author Fringe, it was also the associated Book Expo (formerly book Expo America). The best write-up of what really mattered at BE17 comes, as so often, from Porter Anderson. The focus of this great piece is on the way publishing used the event to look at big data – this is a hot topic, of course, in the light of revelations about the use of big data in recent elections, but you've got to find it somewhat exasperating that an industry that should be at the creative cutting edge has taken quite so long to reach quite such a basic level of interest.
Indie Author Fringe as it Happened
Another fabulous 24 hours of indie goodness took place over the weekend. All the goodies from the event, which focused on book marketing tips from a whole host of experts, will stay on the web for a while to come. Do make sure you scour all of it here.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Thrillerfest, Jul 11-15 [New York]
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