The Society of Authors and indie writers in the UK have had a mixed relationship over the years. But in the 15 years I have been self-publishing, it feels as though that relationship has changed. Many of the prizes which the Society of Authors administer open their arms to indie entrants. We’ve even become used to seeing indies on the shortlists. And indie authors are increasingly welcomed as members of the Society itself. One of the pivotal moments in this evolving relationship was the appointment of an indie representative at the highest level of the society, the first of whom was ALLi’s own Margaret Skea.
New leadership for Society of Authors
Presiding over this increasingly warm relationship since becoming CEO in 2011 has been Nicola Solomon. This Wednesday, the Society of Authors announced that Nicola Solomon will be retiring at the end of April 2024. The advert for her successor is expected later this month. I hope that the embrace of the indie publishing world that began in earnest during her time at the reins will continue and even pick up pace under the new regime.
The press release the Society of Authors sent shares many of the things the union achieved during Nicola’s time. From growing membership (including many indies!)) by more than a third, to securing public lending rights on ebooks. From growing the authors’ contingency fund, to increasing diversity. And of course campaigning, including recently on AI.
But for me, it’s the growing recognition of the vital role indies play in the literary landscape that stands out. The wider destigmatising of self-publishing spans much of Nicola’s 12-year tenure. It is to her great credit that she went with as much of that shift as she did, rather than push back against it as others have. I wish her, and the SoA, well in their coming time apart.
Find Out More:
To explore the wider world of publishing in more detail, take a look at ALLi's book ‘Opening Doors'. This book, and many more, is available for purchase in multiple formats on our bookstore. Members enjoy free access to the ebook as one of the many advantages of membership. To find out more about joining ALLi, take a look at the ALLi Member Information.