Attending last week's What Makes a Writer event made me think long and hard about the factors that came together to bring me here (not for the first time – I had already filled in the survey). Events that have made their way into my books have certainly not come from great places in my life. On the other hand, the fact that I had writing available to me as an outlet is a wonderful good fortune. Like many in the survey, the two most important elements I can point to in that are growing up reading every day and teachers who told me to keep going.
What Makes a Writer
As you will have seen on yesterday’s blog, ALLi so proud to have been one of six partner organisations for the first in-depth academic study of the ingredients that go together to make a writer. Professor Alison Baverstock from Kingston University and economist and statistician Jackie Steinitz presented their initial findings last week, including noting a higher correlation between writing in adulthood and reading in childhood than writing in childhood. More detailed study into what the figures mean will emerge in the coming months but not only is it fabulous to have this dataset, it’s great to know that the indie community is fully included within it.
CreateSpace is Dead; Long Live CreateSpace
We all know by now that KDP Print has all but finished digesting CreateSpace. But the old bruiser isn't dead yet. This week Bande de Français by Marco Koskas was shortlisted for France's Prox Renaudot. Digging showed that the title was, in fact, self-published through CreateSpace. Great news for indies! Only that's not where the story ends, as French booksellers took the extraordinary step of boycotting the award. The reason: outrage that if they promote the award they will be forced to pay money to CreateSpace's owner, Amazon, who, they say, wants them dead. If you're a self-published writer in France deliberating between CreateSpace and IngramSpark, I guess your choice just got a bit easier. Huge thanks to Mark Williams for breaking this story.
The Week in Bookselling
It’s been a momentous week in the bookselling world. As Amazon prepares to launch its biggest “Go” store yet in the US, in the UK the high street chain Waterstones bought up one of the best loved and most iconic of all stores (now a mini chain), Foyles (in the light of the previous story it is noteworthy that the ostensible reason given was to protect Foyles from Amazon). Whilst this has many ramifications for the way we buy books, possibly the most significant for us is the very different experience indies have had with each organization.
Whilst experience is by no means universal (that’s often part of the problem), many of us have found Waterstones, shall we say, a little awkward to deal with. Foyles on the other hand have been redoubtable supporters of indies. Watch this space. Though if this year’s Booksellers Association conference is anything to go by, we still don’t come close to being on mist bookstores’ radar.
Copyright: Society of Authors Weighs in on New Legislation
I have been following the ongoing story of the European Union’s Article 13 proposed amendment to copyright law for some time. The Article would make websites, including aggregators ad platforms, responsible for ensuring content embedded on it does not breach copyright. As a final vote on the article ramps up, campaign groups have gone into overdrive. The Society of Authors has launched a detailed, forceful defence of the proposal. It focuses on the importance of copyright for creators. Many internet freedom and open access activists have thrown their weight against the proposal. Techcrunch has a really excellent, balanced summary of what Article 13 really means and who stands where.
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
Digital Book World, Oct 2-4 [Nashville] (ALLi discount and scholarships available)
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] Wattcon, 27-28 Oct [New York]