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Self-publishing News: Is 1000 True Fans Becoming More Feasible For Indie Authors?

Self-publishing News: Is 1000 True Fans Becoming More Feasible for Indie Authors?

In this week’s Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at Hugh Howey’s self-publishing competition and new ways to hold author events.

Dan Holloway head and shoulders

ALLi’s News Editor Dan Holloway

In this month’s self-publishing news podcast, Howard and I look back at a month in which subscription reading flexed its muscles. We focus in particular on the launch of Amazon’s new serial subscription platform, Kindle Vella. On tonight’s #indieauthorchat with Tim Lewis, at 8pm GMT, we’ll be talking about author bios.

Self-publishing 3.0: New Platforms Offer New Ways to Engage 1000 True Fans

I’ve reported a lot in recent weeks about the changing face of large events. Book fairs and festivals will take a long time to return to anything like the events we are familiar with. But what about smaller events? In particular, what about readings? Libraries and bookstores have been steadily opening their doors again. But the kind of events that I am (and so many of us are) so used to still feel a long way off. Publishers will be re-evaluating their marketing plans, and many will never go back to the kind of literary tour that was once their staple. But where does that leave us as indies?

Discord’s Stage Discovery

On the one hand, it might give us new opportunities to reach out to shops with empty calendars. But it also allows us to rethink what an author event actually is. I’ve spoken to many authors who have talked about the differences between selling at live online events and at in person events. In short, it’s harder. But reimagining live events might give us a more effective way of doing it. Discord’s new Stage Discovery is particularly interesting. It comes as the much-touted Clubhouse has seen initial take-up fall off a cliff. Clubhouse was meant to be a way to hold the kind of in-person discussion that seems fabulous for an author event. But the mix of formal and informal but high effort seems not to have the magic dust after all.

Discord is one of several platforms to grow in prominence during the pandemic. Stage Discovery is its latest tool for helping audiences find live events that work for them. One of the things about platforms like Discord is that they are great places for fandoms to evolve. They focus on fan communities. And those fan communities are what can make events zing. This is one of the things that makes something like Wattpad so effective.

Fave Joins Fans and Creators

Fave is a platform that takes this idea even further. It has been designed with dedicated fandoms in mind. Starting with Taylor Swift, the aim is to roll it out to as many fandoms as possible, and give fans the chance to access cool stuff from the artists they love. For creators, it’s a fabulous way to meet dedicated fans, nurture connections, and sell merchandise.

Both of these developments feel like an evolution of the online event space towards that very old digital marketing idea – 1000 true fans. This, of course, is something at the very heart of ALLi’s self-publishing 3.0. For me, the barrier to making this a reality has always felt as though it’s the lack of a suitable platform for doing it. These new developments suggest we may be close to solving that part of the problem.

Hugh Howey Launches Self-publishing Competition

I wouldn’t usually give time to a competition without a cash prize. But on the other hand, this is Hugh Howey. So when one of the things on offer is exposure, it probably is the kind of exposure worth having! The Self-published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC) follows a similar model to the Self-published Fantasy Blog-Off. The idea is simple. Dedicated book bloggers will each get 30 books to read. They will review each one and pick a favourite. Then they will all read and review the finalists and come up with a winner. Entries should be more than 50,000 words. It would be fabulous to see some ALLi finalists, and I look forward to talking about the winner around this time next year.

Subscription Reading Giant Kakao Keeps Growing

I want to preface this, as I often do, with a reminder that when the Big 5 publishers became the Big 4, Penguin Random House paid $2bn for Simon & Schuster. I do this to remind people just how big the money is in some of the new ways of reaching readers we’re seeing. This week, we learned that the Korean giant Kakao has acquired subscription reading platform Tapas. This is an addition to the recent acquisition of Radish. In total the two cost almost $1bn. Subscription is big money. Kakao is looking to target growth in English-speaking markets. This is just another reason why we should all be looking into the possibilities subscription offers.

Hugh Howey launches Self-published Science Fiction Competition and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months.

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) – Zoom meetings the 2nd Saturday of each month

MAY 2021

Love Lambeth Ebook Open Day, 15 May
Byte Confluence, 19 May

JUNE 2021

Indie Author Week, 12-19 June
American Libraries Association Annual Conference, 23-29 Jun

JULY

Comic Con, 22-25 Jul

Over to You

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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