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Self-publishing News: Format Wars

Self-publishing News: Format Wars

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

OK, wars is too strong a word, but this week, the predominant theme I have been coming across is that of digital and physical, and the relation between the two. It's a perennially fascinating thing to get played out, and this week was given some added interest by the fact I took part in a very lively session at Waterstones on the way the internet is changing poetry (or not).

Advertising with Amazon

kdpVery interesting news in relation to Amazon this week. Since the middle of last year, writers have been able to pay to advertise their books within Amazon, but only if they were within the KDP Select programme. As we reported here, Amazon has recently updated its KDP terms and conditions (John Doppler has written an excellent piece on what that means). An observant soul at a German self-publishing site has noted that the guidance pages for marketing have also changed, and that KDP Select exclusivity is no longer a requirement for those wishing to advertise with Amazon.

An Expanding Platform

Staying in Germany, self-publishing platform Tredition is expanding from Germany to the UK and US, offering a combined print and ebook package along with various add-ons. It is always interesting to hear such developments, and a German company moving to these markets is newsworthy, but until our ever-vigilant Watchdog has taken a closer look, newsworthiness should not, of course, be considered an endorsement.

Rise and Fall (of ebooks and print)

Here we were this week, in a physical bookshop, with a real life audience, reading from our print books, talking about how the internet had changed literature. Interesting times!

Here we were this week, in a physical bookshop, with a real life audience, reading from our print books, talking about how the internet had changed literature. Interesting times!

On the subject of “newsworthy, but”… the Association of American Publishers has announced that in the first half of 2016 sales were down 3.4% compared to the first half of 2015. I add the “but” because it is getting to the stage where yet another report of rising print book sales and falling ebook sales fails even to raise an eyebrow.

Ebooks and Libraries

The Bodleian's Duke Humfrey Library in Oxford

The Bodleian's Duke Humfrey Library in Oxford

Something that is very interesting, though, is the latest European Union ruling on ebooks. It’s not long since the EU ruled that for VAT purposes ebooks could be treated the same as print books. Now a new decision has taken that logic further, ruling that ebooks are to be treated in the same way as print books when it comes to library lending. The ruling states that ebook lending must follow the “one user, one copy” model of lending, so that a legally obtained ebook may be located in the library and the right to read it given to readers serially, with authors being compensated the same way as they are for physically borrowed copies. You can find the full ruling here.


Halloween is but a distant memory. Shop displays have long since turned their attentions to the festive pocket. And businesses and number crunchers the world over have begun to shuffle the year’s facts and figures into order in the form of the annual survey. Last week we told you that BookBub had launched a survey to discover what you wanted to see on their marketing blog. This week we have two more for you. International trade news site Publishing Perspectives would like to know what you want to see more of from them, while Bookbaby are launching a self-publishing survey that, having just completed it, I can say is very detailed and focuses mainly on the efficiencies of marketing techniques as well as the usual attitudinal stuff.

Upcoming Conferences and Events


Bizarrocon, Nov 17-20 [Oregon] Book Week Scotland, Nov 21-27 [Scotland] Amazon Academy, Nov 23 [London]


Futurebook, Dec 2 [London]


Digital Book World, Jan 17-19 [New York]


San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb 16-19 [San Francisco] Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Feb 8 [Washington]

APRIL 2017

Resonate, Apr 19-22 [Belgrade] The Self-publishing Conference, Apr 22 [Leicester]

MAY 2017

99U Conference, May 5 [New York] All the week's top #selfpub news from @indieauthoralli for #indieauthors Click To Tweet

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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