It’s time for a round-up item here at ALLi's Self-publishing News column, bringing together three fascinating and useful things that have come my way in the past week or so. Collectively, I hope they provide variety and more than a little practical help.
First up is the latest from StreetLib, who seem to be on an expansion roll at the moment. All aimed at something increasingly valuable – taking the effort out of being an indie by bringing things under a single umbrella. StreetLib has partnered with Bowker to offer the latter access to its global distribution network. It will benefit authors and publishers who use Bowker, the organization through which many writers purchase their ISBNs.
Next up is a cool Web3 update that came to me from ALLi’s own Robin Philips. It’s now possible to turn your WordPress blog into a Fediverse server. You can do this straightforwardly from your dashboard for free, personal, and premium WordPress.com blogs. For independently hosted and commercial sites, you can do this using a plugin called ActivityPub.
Opportunities for Mastodon interaction
What this means, is that your blog becomes part of a decentralized network of servers. Your blog acquires a Fediverse address – a location within that network. It’s the same virtual space in which Mastodon sits. And that means that you can interact with Mastodon – for example having people comment on your blog directly from their Mastodon account. It’s a functionality that will be of interest to those for whom the recent shifts in X’s direction have pushed them first to Mastodon and through that into the world of decentralized services.
Finally, we stay digital but transport ourselves back several (six and a half) centuries for another tool that looks invaluable for writers of historical fiction as well as numerous other genres. The British Library has digitised its entire Chaucer manuscript collection. The resulting archive, available for all to research, comprises 25,000 high resolution images of stunning manuscripts including but not limited to The Canterbury Tales.