This week there are several fascinating stories around the distribution platforms we use as ALLi members and self-publishing authors, which I am combining in brief here to give a flavour of the fact that the indie world outside of Amazon has not been kicking its heels doing nothing.
First up is the announcement that two big players in mainland Europe have joined forces. Bookrix is Germany’s leading print company for indies. StreetLib is the Italian-owned digital distribution platform. By joining forces, the two companies seek to make it easier for indies across Europe to combine their print and digital. This is, of course, the latest in a succession of consolidation from platforms that realise, in a world of fragmented rights and multiple formats, there is real value to offering a one-stop-shop for time-pressed authors.
Meanwhile, Nordic audiobook platform, Bookbeat, has issued its latest annual insights into the state of audiobooks. A couple of fascinating insights include:
- 30% of all audiobook listening is at a slightly sped up rate,
- people tend to listen to audiobooks before the working day begins and late at night.
Analysis of Audio Market
Mark Williams has some fascinating analysis not just of this report but of how the audio subscription industry as a whole is shaping up. He has some particularly choice words about the Society of Authors’ call for transparency to Spotify that I reported on last week. His take is the very pragmatic, “streaming is here to stay and we need therefore to learn how to work with it” type. He also suggests that the Spotify deal with publishers might be the first of many that subscription services are able to negotiate. Bookbeat, which technically has a presence in the UK, will be next to follow.
While I share concerns about transparency, years of reporting on the state of the industry has left me also sharing the “subscription isn’t going away” pragmatism. Whether it’s platforms with different specialisms coming together, or platforms expanding the markets in which they operate, the landscape is changing rapidly. And if we are to make the most of the opportunities that will bring us as writers, we need to keep abreast of developments in the industry and trends among readers. I hope to continue to help you do both.
Find Out More:
Take a look at these ALLi articles on publishing wide and the distribution process for advice on distributing your books successfully.