One of the things I love so much about being an indie is the tendency to end up in places you never imagined seeing yourself – whether that's literally or metaphorically. Because as an indie, you have a certain openness to saying yes to opportunities and seeing where they lead. This week found me led to “Original Remix”, a seminar on Hip Hop and education run by the amazing group HipHopEdUK, where I talked about creativity-as-remix. It is always wonderful to step outside of the bubble of what can be a very narrow world of books and blogs and be reminded that the verbal creative arts can be as much as we want to make them.
Wider Offerings from Pronoun and IPR
It was only a month or so back I remember reading a note of caution that Pronoun was a great platform unless you were trying to get into libraries. Well, this week sees news that Pronoun will now distribute to Overdrive and Bibliotheca. Full details of how to opt in to the expanded distribution to these outlets can be found here on Pronoun's support pages. Meanwhile, IPR License, the leading brokers for international rights sales, have launched Instant Rights, an off the peg rights-buying service designed to make smaller rights transactions easier and therefore more attractive – we'll keep you updated on how/whether this service opens up to indies.
Reedsy and Blurb Team Up
Very exciting news from two of my favourite service providers. Reedsy and Blurb are teaming up to offer a streamlined end to end service for indies. Reedsy are the award-winning introductions platform that links up writers with developmental editors, proofreaders and other specialist professionals, and Blurb are one of the most innovative print services, specialising in photo-books, journals, and unusual and interesting projects but also delivering a high quality service for word-only formats.
A New Look KDP Dashboard
From time to time new things appear on the KDP dashboard (paperback sales being a recent addition). The latest change is the addition of graphs to a lot of the reports. Which for infographic lovers like me is lovely, but a very nice extra functionality to go with that is the ability to export into Excel.
Audiobooks and Indies in the News
We know that audiobooks are a consistent growth area, but this post over at Publishing Perspectives, based on information from the Audiobook Publishers' Association presented at Book Expo provides some really interesting information about that growth. Of particular note is the figure that almost half of audiobook listeners are under 35. It is always great to see positive portrayals of indies in the mainstream media, and this week saw a particularly positive piece in the Guardian about what they call self-publishing's “hidden authors”. Of course if you know the indie world then the likes of L J Ross are hardly “hidden” but it's a really positive piece (I have to say at this point big shout out to Danuta Kean, who has taken over as mainstay of the Guardian Books Blog recently and is doing a great job).
Two stories to end with from Australia this week. The first is on what you will know by now is one of my favourite topics – Australian copyright. I include it here rather than in the main section because it verges slightly on the opinion rather than reporting, but it is a fascinating piece nonetheless, describing the efforts of creators in Australia to stop the dilution of copyright laws by big business. Thanks to Rebecca Lang for the tip. And thanks to Dale Furse for this fantastic final piece. One of the things that started this phase of my writing life, just over a decade ago, was travelling. I love seeing amazing places, and I love incredible hotels, especially ones with connections to the arts like the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York, or the UK's Art Residence. But this has to be the final word – Tasmania has just opened the world's first storytelling hotel, the Macq01. It has shot straight to the top of the dream list.
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Self-publishing Conference, Apr 28, [Leicester]
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