In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a close look at the Findaway Voices' offer of a royalty bonus to authors leaving ACX exclusivity.
You can find my ultimate guide to what Brexit means for indie authors here. It covers things you may have thought of such as sending books to or from the UK and selling ebooks. But it also covers things you might not have thought of but need to know. Like whether you should take books with you to sell on overseas tours. And whether the GDPR work you did on your website is still up to date.
Findaway Voices Extends Royalty Bonus Offer to former ACX Exclusive Authors
ALLi has a very exciting new partner member. Findaway Voices is a platform many of us will know. They are one of the biggest alternative platforms to ACX/Audible for those of us producing and selling audiobooks. That is something that might be particularly appealing right now!
In the wake of #Audiblegate, many people are reconsidering what to do with their audiobook titles. One of the concessions ACX made when they changed their terms last month was to allow authors who were previously signed up to long term exclusivity to take their rights back. From the start of this month, if your book has been on exclusive terms for more than 90 days, this will apply. That means that the choices authors have include titles currently with ACX/Audible as well as anything forthcoming. Findaway Voices has a very timely offer. Anyone who moves out of the ACX exclusive terms and signs with Findaway Voices in February will receive a 10% bonus on their March royalty statement.
Findaway Voices will be adding an “Author Spotlights” section in the near future. It promises to shine a light on indies using the platform. This kind of initiative can be a bit of a token, or confine indies to a silo. Or it can be a great opportunity to introduce readers to brilliant new writers. The signs are promising that it will be the latter. Also make sure to check out Findaway Voices’ new report on audiobook trends.
UK considers Online Sales Tax
You’d think we’d had enough talk about tax following the Brexit trade deal. But, it seems, the UK government at least still has an appetite for more. This time, it’s sales tax on online sales. There are many reasons why online sales might be in the cross hairs for tax. One is the way that Covid has changed, at least temporarily, the way we shop. High Street sales have fallen by more than 10%. We can’t go to shops on the high street, but we are still buying things. This is a change that might last well beyond Covid, though. And it’s one that has many worried about or at least interested in what the high street of the future might look like.
So what does this have to do with sales tax? After all, items bought online attract sales tax the same as items bought from bricks and mortar. The answer, it seems, is all down to one company, and whenever that’s the case, we all know who. At £71.5m, Amazon’s business rates amount to just 0.37% of its sales. That compares to 2.19% for companies who sell through shops. And that, added to Amazon’s utter domination of the online retail sector, has people worried about an unfair advantage. So an additional 2% tax on online sales is being considered as a way of levelling the playing field. This may or may not affect ebooks. But any new tax would affect services, such as editing or cover design.
Are Indie Bookstores Thriving Online?
This is intertwined with the next story. A fascinating piece in Publishers’ Weekly looks a how indie bookstores in the US have moved online. Many, it seems, have finally turned to ecommerce as a result off Covid having hesitated or delayed previously. And the positive results are, again, likely to change the way they do business long term.
My main thought on reading this piece was to be reminded of many reactions to Bookshop.org. The company has pitched itself as a way to help your local indie store when you buy a paper book online. This is a positive alternative to Amazon, the story goes. But given the rates paid, if the alternative is actually to the indie store itself, now happy selling online direct, it doesn’t sound so good.
New Features from Draft2Digital and Bookship
Two other platforms have announced new features that will be of interest to indies. First is Draft2Digital. Many of us use this platform to send our ebooks out to a wide range of retailers. A new feature provides an easy way for authors to split royalties with collaborators. This kind of thing is perfect for anyone who is editing a collected volume, or who uses an illustrator.
Bookship (not to be confused with Bookshop) is a social reading app. In rather timely news, following last week's close-up on social reading, they have a new feature of interest to indies. “Meet the Author” allows authors to interact direct with members of virtual book clubs who are using the app to discuss their book.Findaway Voices offers royalty bonus to authors leaving ACX exclusivity and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet
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