In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at the expansion of The Selfies Awards' eligibility to British writers living in Europe and what the Brexit deal means.
The very happiest of New Years to everyone. And if you want/can bear to look back, in our latest self-publishing news podcast, Howard and I look back at the year's biggest story, Audiblegate. And if you want even more of a look back at the year, in tonight's #indieauthorchat on Twitter at 8pm GMT, Tim will be asking how 2020 was for you.
This happened right at the start of our news week so you probably know about it by now. But if you don’t, Netgalley has been hacked. The recommendation is that people change their passwords as soon as possible. Thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for spreading the word on this.
What the Brexit Deal Means for Us
It has been four and a half years since the Brexit referendum in the UK. The UK is currently in what’s become known as a “transition period” where it still follows European Union rules, but that is due to end the day after tomorrow. It is only this week that the UK and EU finally agreed a deal which lays out the terms of their relationship from then. The Publishers Association has welcomed the fact that there is a deal. If there hadn’t been things could have been catastrophic for anyone who trades with Europe. At first sight, the Publishers' Association's welcoming of “seamless trade” continuing seems a little premature. There would appear to be an increased bureaucracy that is hardly a walk in the park. I highly recommend following Snowbooks’ Emma Barnes on Twitter to follow her attempts to keep up with the changes, in particular the declarations about export goods. I will endeavour to report on exactly what the deal means for those of us in the UK who sell digital or physical books into the EU shortly.
UK Selfies Awards Extend Eligibility Criteria
The Selfies have, in the past two years, established themselves as the premier award for self-published fiction. It’s also great to point out that, ever since providing the first ever winner of the UK Selfies, Jane Davies, ALLi authors have a proud history of doing rather well! One of those authors is Clare Flynn. Clare has also been campaigning for the UK Selfies to expand its eligibility terms to include British writers based in Europe. Now they have announced that they are doing just that. The Selfies have also partnered up with The Really Useful Company. They will be offering a great mentorship prize. You have until January 8th to enter!
What Changed This Year?
It wouldn’t be an end of year post without a little look at the major changes that have happened during the year. And there can’t have been many years when as much changed as it has done this year.
The most obvious change, and probably the first to be noticed, was the change to events. London Book Fair was scheduled to go ahead in the second week of March. Many of us realised it wouldn’t, but the organisers, Reed, held off and held off cancelling until the very last minute, causing no end of not only anxiety but expense for many. Reed’s slowness to act would be a theme running through this year. And it ended with the announcement that Book Expo and its partner event Book Con have had the plug pulled on them, possibly for good. Others have adapted better. Bologna Children’s Book Fair showed what could be done, and what audiences could be reached, with online events. And Frankfurt will continue with a mixed in-person and online programme for the foreseeable future.
How We Read and Buy Books
It has been a very hard year for bookshops. And the closure of bookshops has made it hard for authors who rely on them for launches to get a book's sales going. Indeed, as I write this, in the UK more bookshops are about to close their doors again for an indefinite period. One of the things that has happened during Covid is that people have continued to read paper books. But a lot of those books have been sourced from Amazon rather than local stores. And the worry is that when this is over that may continue. For those stores that survived, that is. There have been some high profile rescues like City Lights. But most stores haven't had it so good. Bookshop.org, the app that lets you order paper books online and have your local bookstore get a cut has stepped into this gap. It’s certainly made a splash, but some publishers and bookstores remain sceptical.
Small publishers have also found it hard. Many of them rely, like bookshops, on word of mouth selling from dedicated staff because many of the regular outlets like newspaper reviews and prizes are closed to them. The latter of those, at least, took a small step of progress this year as the Booker Prize scrapped its hefty pay to play gatekeeping. Such prizes remain closed to us, however. ALLi will continue to campaign hard to ensure that this changes. In the meanwhile, don’t forget the Selfies!!The Selfies Awards expand their eligibility criteria, and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months.
Over to You
Let us know about online events of interest to indies in the comments below.