In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway says goodbye to indie legend Joel Friedlander and takes a look at how the publishing world is entering the world of NFTs.
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 judging a good self-publishing service.
RIP Joel Friedlander
It is with great sadness that the indie community responded to news of the death of Joel Friedlander. Many of us knew him through the website TheBookDesigner.com. He wrote and published non-fiction, including guides for self-publishing, worked as a consultant, designed covers and templates and created books that were beautiful in every way for so many of us. And he worked tirelessly for self-published authors for two-and-a-half decades, as an ALLi advisor and in many other ways. It is hard to think of someone who has done more for the indie cause. He changed our world for the better. He is irreplaceable and will be desperately missed. Love, gratitude, and so many thanks from us at ALLi. I am sure there will be more articulate words than mine from many others in the days and weeks ahead and if you would like to express your sympathy or admiration, his family has set up a Facebook Page here.
Bookwire Launches Literary NFT as Platforms Proliferate
If there’s one thing you can be sure of with tech trends, it’s that most go down as fast as they go up. And some time later the publishing industry gets involved. And perfectly on cue, the book world is entering the fray. Bookwire has made the biggest announcement yet from the industry. The German company will be setting up an NFT market place from this Autumn.
I first reported on NFTs (non-fungible tokens) a few weeks ago when the artist Beeple sold a “digital first edition” of the artwork “The First Five Years” for $69m. For a full rundown of what NFTs are, and what they mean for indie authors, please see that post. Long story short – you can sell digital special editions of your work on the blockchain for cryptocurrency.
There are many issues with NFTs. Top of the list is their reliance on blockchain technology that has a truly eye-watering carbon footprint. But also up there are the high upfront costs to “mint” new tokens. This is in part because many platforms use the Ethereum blockchain which is, for want of a better term, logjammed. That means to get anything done you pay a high prince. This is a reason some see NFTs as a technology in which platforms get rich at the expense of creators. Sound familiar? So it's at least a step to see platforms start emerging on other blockchains.
Enter Publishing Reinvented's Free to Enter NFT Competition
This comes as Publishing Reinvented launches a free to enter competition to be part of its first NFT collection (click here to enter – entry colses on May 21st). Authors are asked to submit a file of the work's text, a cover, and something that makes the work unique. That means something that people who buy the regular version won't have. You can suggest any price you think you can fetch. The winning entries, which will get the full services of the Books Go Social NFT platform, will be selected based on what judges think are their chances of selling. That in itself makes for an interesting development.
London Book Fair to Sprawl Over 3 Weeks
London Book Fair announced a few weeks ago that it would be going wholly digital. This week it told us what that means. There will be three weeks of online events. They will start on June 7th, take a break for Bologna Children's Book Fair the Following week, and then finish off. The date that matters for us is June 29th, when there will be a virtual Author HQ. Author HQ is, of course, London Book Fair's nod to self-publishing. It's where you usually go to hear Mark Dawson and Rachel Abbott. It's also right next to the ALLi stand where you get to hang out with us. I will of course update you with what this year's virtual event brings as soon as I know.
Frankfurt Offers Guarantees to Exhibitors
Frankfurt has the considerable advantage of being scheduled four months later than London. It has been part of pandemic life that organizers have thought, “we might not be able to now, but we will by then.” Only to find they couldn't after all. But this really does feel like it could be the crucial four months. Organizers clearly think so. The German government's cultural kickstart programme has been co-opted to underwrite things. What this means, essentially, is that exhibitors can plan to turn up in person without risk. In essence, it's the same set of conditions as some travel firms are using to let people book with confidence.NFTs for books are here and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet
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