In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a look at IngramSpark's 10 years providing a print service to indies.
Do have a listen to the new self-publishing news podcast. Howard and I have been talking about the way the legal cases that are being brought against Open AI, as well as the FTC investigation. We've also been considering whether Meta's new Threads social media platform will be a viable alternative to Twitter.
Happy Anniversary to IngramSpark
Most indies will not only know about but have thought about IngramSpark, however new their journey. Every interest and industry has its “either/or” debate. As a trail runner who likes a bit of padding under foot, I have spent hours reading “Altra or Hoka” threads. I imagine mediaeval pliers of our own trade standing in the market squares arguing whether goose or swan make the best quill, parchment or vellum the best receptacle for ink.
For indie authors, there are two either/or debates that probably take up more than half of the space on all forums. “KDP Select or wide” in the digital corner. And in the world of paper it's “IngramSpark or KDP Print (formerly Createspace).” So familiar is that debate that I was surprised to learn that this is the 10th anniversary of IngramSpark. Because it feels like a lot longer since the big hitting wholesaler started offering that service to indies. However you print, I am sure most of you will join me in wishing the IngramSpark team all the best for 10 more years. And then some.
One goal, many journeys: Jane Friedman’s Publishing Paths Updated for 2023
For 10 years, Jane Friedman has been producing an annual infographic illustrating the different paths to publication. It’s an invaluable resource, and you can find the latest iteration here. Friedman outlines five different forms of publishing, from the traditional route with a big house, via small presses and hybrid publishing, to full indie.
But the column that is really interesting for me is the one that’s further over still from those routes. And that’s social publishing. This includes platforms like Wattpad, where writers post work in instalments for groups of avid readers who often then form communities around the best-loved stories. It’s great to see this section of Friedman’s chart also acknowledging the role of fanfiction communities and forums like Archive of Our Own.
Wattpad's 14th Watty Awards
Which is a perfect segue into the next item, also courtesy of Jane Friedman. One of the big events in the social publishing world is upon us. Wattpad's 14th Watty Awards closed for judging just yesterday. For those who still doubt the power of Wattpad to get eyeballs on words, Friedman has a multi-headed interview this week with three of the biggest names to come through the platform. Claudia Tan, Ariana Godoy, and Beth Reekles have had huge success as writers. Each started on Wattpad, and have gone on to have hit screen adaptations of their work.
Simon and Schuster Sold to the Hedge Fund that Owns Overdrive
The next story takes us right back to the other side of the Key Book Publishing Paths chart. Many of us will not be publishing with a big house. Many of us have no desire to do so. But the macro-politics of the publishing world can still affect us. And big publishing stories don’t come much bigger, or more prolonged it feels, than the sale of Simon and Schuster. This is the company that Penguin Random House tried to buy for $2.2bn. The courts decided that was too anti-competitive.
Fittingly for a publisher, the sale is finally going ahead after a bidding war. The buyer will pay a substantially lower $1.65bn. Which would probably tell its own story, but I spent the weekend running 50 miles and I’m all out of snark to finish the punchline. The buyer is likely to be the hedge fund KKR. If that’s a name that sounds more familiar than most hedge funds, there’s a reason. KKR in the past bought RB Media, which it has just sold, and Overdrive.
Amazon’s Ebook Monopoly Case Headed for Courts
Two of the big traditional publishers may have settled their antitrust issues among themselves. But the same cannot be said for Amazon’s relationship with them. After unsuccessfully arguing last year that Amazon and the big five publishers had colluded to keep ebook prices artificially high, the law firm behind that suit filed a second suit, arguing that Amazon’s ebook dominance allows it to, in effect, coerce publishers into maintaining inflated prices. And the courts have just ruled that the case can be heard.IngramSpak celebrates its 10th anniversary, and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet