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Self-Publishing News: Pirates Walking The Plank

Self-Publishing News: Pirates Walking the Plank

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

I could start off by telling you about a wonderful 24 hours I spent running through woods encountering badgers. But even that pales in comparison to the week's Big Business story. This is the week Apple beat Amazon to become the world's first $1Trillion company. Figures like that bring home the size of the sea we are all swimming in. And the importance of finding a shoal to swim in for fear of getting utterly lost in the deep.

Taking Down the Jolly Roger

picture of dolphin in blue ocean

For authors, the only thing oceans should be full of are the likes of dolphins Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Piracy has been a big topic for as long as I've been writing here, but the past few weeks it seems to be everywhere. And this week we have three stories on the subject. The week began with Oceanofpdf going offline. The site specialised in file sharing, with readers requesting books they couldn't find locally and other members uploading pdfs. The site had become infamous among both indies and trad published authors like Joanne Harris. This coincides with the second study in recent months which shows a statistical impact of piracy upon sales in different art forms. Encouragingly, the study shows piracy figures on the decrease.

Of course, copyright problems for authors aren't just about what readers do. Sometimes the problem can be other writers, and this week author Rachel Ann Nunes won her 4 year battle against plagiarist Tiffanie Rushton.

Platform News: Bookbeat and Draft2Digital

Photo by Le Tan on Unsplash

We have talked about the demise and repositioning of the UK arm of Bonnier's assisted publishing venture Type and Tell, but this week some more encouraging news for the behemoth, as their subscription service Bookbeat clocked up 100,000 UK subscribers. In itself that's a powerful little parable – there's an ever increasing market for audio and digital content but the platforms that provide it aren't always happy to provide a platform for indies to access that market.

Fortunately Draft2Digital doesn't fall into that category. The platform has a new look dashboard which should make the self-publishing experience even easier to use for indies. Information has been reformatted more graphically and actually looks, for the first time I can think of for a publishing platform, like something produced by someone who understands user experience.

Audible and Indies

Audible seems to be adopting the bait and switch tactics we have seen since the start of the internet to draw in content with great terms to get a monopoly and then pull the plug. Finders fees for new users are being slashed from $50 to, er, nothing unless the referral comes through a particular channel. This comes on top of a cut in royalty rates. We know the audiobook is growing. But who is benefitting from that growth?

Micropayment options multiply


Are micropayments how authors will survive in today's vast marketplace? Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

This seems to be becoming the slot in the news for talking about the week's fascinating technological development. This time, that is Portal, a new social micropayment site. At the moment the site is video-only though it has stated ambitions to expand to cover all forms of media. Like Medium or Steemit, the site allows readers to reward articles they really like by making in-system micropayments for them, starting at 10 cents. The twist Portal has is that it will not be using any algorithms to decide which content is “popular”. And that means fewer possibilities for gaming the system. Everything will be delivered in a strictly timeline fashion with no filters. Interesting!

Top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #cockygate #publishingopenup Click To Tweet

Upcoming Conferences and Events


Historical Novel Society Conference, Aug 24-26 [Scotland]


What Makes a Writer, 5 Sep [London] Act Like a Writer Think Like a Business, 20-22 Sep [Las Vegas] Gothenberg Book Fair, 27-30 Sep [Gothenberg] Indie Lab, 29-30 Sep [Cincinnati]


Digital Book World, Oct 2-4 [Nashville] Ness Book Fest, Oct 4-7 [Scotland] Frankfurt Book Fair, Oct 10-14 [Frankfurt] Helsinki Book Fair, 25-28 Oct [Helsinki] Croydon Litfest, 27 October [Croydon, UK]

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


This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Thank you for sharing the news with us, Dan! It’s good hearing about a victory against piracy, especially when it seems overwhelming at times. Sometimes technology appears to racing ahead so fast it makes my head spin, although the changes are quite exciting, too!

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