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Self-publishing News: Indies On The Curriculum

Self-publishing News: Indies on the Curriculum

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

As this goes to press, I will be standing in front of a class of 30 or so Masters students on a publishing module in one of the UK’s leading universities in the area. And I will be talking about self-publishing. For three hours. Well, I hope I won’t be talking for three hours – there’s only so much time you can spend demonstrating the delights of the Tingle Title Generator – but you get the idea. I find this massively exciting. And not just because the one thing I love more than writing is public speaking, but because this means a whole generation of students of publishing will graduate realising that self-publishing is an integral part of their landscape.

New Opportunities

wattpadFor me the very best thing about being an indie is the freedom it gives me to experiment. In particular, to experiment with the most fundamental questions – just what *is* literature? How far can we take ourselves from the notion of the written word and still have something with a claim to be literature. And technology occasionally offers us the possibilities and constraints that help to push us in those new and exciting directions. Texting gave us the cellphone novel. The internet gave us the image macro. And now the ever-inventive people at Wattpad bring us Tap, an app providing a reading experience that mimics an unfolding message conversation. The writing side of the app hasn’t yet rolled out to all Wattpaders, but that is promised soon. I have spent years thinking I ought to join Wattpad. Maybe this is the final push I needed.

Indie Author Fringe

iaf-2017It’s under three weeks to the next Indie Author Fringe, and as ever this online extravaganza, accompanying the London Book Fair, has a whole host of fabulousness for you to explore. Do head over to the dedicated Indie Author Fringe page for full information of the sessions and speakers as well as this fringe’s fantastic competition.

Kobo Plus

kobo_720wThe latest players to enter the all you can eat subscription game are Kobo, who have just launched Kobo Plus, a 9.99 Euro/month service that is currently available only in the Netherlands and Belgium, though other region are sure to follow. Distribution to the service will be available not only through Kobo Writing Life, but also through Draft to Digital, though as yet not through Smashwords.

More Good News From Libraries

even more reason to get into libraries (though Oxford's Duke Humfrey, repository of the world's earliest print books, may not have yet moved to digital audio.

even more reason to get into libraries (though Oxford’s Duke Humfrey, repository of the world’s earliest print books, may not have yet moved to digital audio.

Good news for those of you seeking to exploit the expanding opportunities offered by libraries. The UK government has just announced that it will be expanding the Public Lending Rights scheme, which pays a small commission every time an author’s books are borrowed from a library, to ebooks and audiobooks (around 7p/9 cents per loan). Though if I were being jaded enough to find the negative in the story, it is that the Bookseller’s go-to commentariat remains stuck at the Society of Authors – obviously important, but it would be great to see journalists breaking stories that obviously have such a big effect in Indieland come to indie mouthpieces for comment as well.

Surprise Surprise – ebook Sales Down, Print Sales Up

While on the subject of audiobooks, the Association of American Publishers has released the latest set of figures to reveal a now-familiar trend. Sales of ebooks were down year on year in the first three quarters of 2016 by 18.7%. Meanwhile sales grew in all other sectors, with paperbakcs up 7.5%, hardbacks up 4.1% and audio download sales increasing by a stoking 29.6%. As always, these figures should be taken with a big enough pinch of salt to pay a Roman legion for several months, and it is worth reading the Data Guy’s very detailed comment on The Passive Voice’s reporting of the story – in short the AAP reports on just 27% of ebook sales.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

MARCH 2017

London Book Fair, Mar 14-16 [London] Indie Author Fringe, Mar 18 [Online] Leipzig Book Fair, Mar 23-26 [Leipzig] Words for the Wounded, Mar 25 [High Wycombe, UK]

APRIL 2017

Resonate, Apr 19-22 [Belgrade] The Self-publishing Conference, Apr 22 [Leicester] Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, Apr 22 [Hawkesbury Upton, UK]

MAY 2017

99U Conference, May 5 [New York] Crimefest, May 18-21 [Bristol, UK] Book Expo America, May 31 – Jun 2[New York]

JUNE 2017

Indie Author Fringe, Jun 3 [Online] Xpo North, Jun 7-8, [Inverness] Dublin Writers Conference, Jun 23-25 [Dublin]

JULY

Thrillerfest, Jul 11-15 [New York]

OCTOBER 2017

Frankfurt Book Fair, Oct 11-15 [Frankfurt] Indie Author Fringe, Oct 14  [Online] BuCon, Oct 14 [Germany]

 

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Good that the PLR system is expanding to include ebooks but it would be good to learn that the new system will no longer restrict itself to “sample” libraries – a list which varies only marginally from year to year. I often miss out on payments because many of the libraries which hold my books aren’t on the list and haven’t been for some time. In the days of digitally logging books in and out, it ought to be fairly straight forward to include all libraries which use a digital system. Perhaps it’s on their To-do list?

    1. Yes, as you say these should be incredibly easy data to gather centrally, the same way that after downloads came into play the pop charts were no longer based on sales in sample stores

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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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