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Self-publishing: Pastures New

Self-publishing: Pastures New

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

Resolutions. They're strange things, and you will find all kinds of statistics about how no one since the dawn of time has ever kept one for more than 28.7 seconds. Or something. But still we make them, and I'm still convinced that a regular overhaul of our trajectories and where our paths stand in relation to our values is not only good but essential.

I may be more of a magpie than most, but if you're anything like me you'll see new and shiny things all the time (especially in literature. Especially if you read this column and all the tech stuff I post), wander off to explore, and before you know where you are find yourself lost in the woods. Or stuck in a complicated metaphor from which you can't extricate yourself. Anyway, feel free to share your resolutions here, if for no other reason than having somewhere to find them should you want to make yourself accountable.

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Huffington Post: That article

Becky Chambers' multi-award winning masterpiece The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet: "An insult to the written word apparently."

Becky Chambers' multi-award winning masterpiece The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet: “An insult to the written word apparently.”

This is a column for news items not think pieces, but every now and then a think piece about self-publishing *becomes* news. And wow, did that happen this past week. The Huffington Post's piece “Self-publishing: An Insult to the Written Word” provoked the kind of response that you might expect, not just from writers, but from readers who felt their intelligence and their taste was being a little, um, insulted.

So far the post, whose central logic seems to be “gatekeepers, Malcolm Gladwell, tsunami, brain surgeon” or something, has attracted more than 400 comments and a whole sub-section of twitter all to itself. I guess if we're attracting this much vitriol we're making our presence felt!

Read our ALLi response to that Article.

What We All Did in the Holidays

Here I am at Oxford's legendary Albion Beatnik bookstore: but while we may be posing for photoshoots, are we actually buying our books in bookstores?

Here I am at Oxford's legendary Albion Beatnik bookstore: but while we may be posing for photoshoots, are we actually buying our books in bookstores?

This is the bit that's like being at school. “So, Rosamimaquin, tell us all what you did in the holidays.” Apparently, what *we* did in the holidays was spend a whole load of money with Amazon but very little in traditional bookstores. Amazon has said it had its best holiday season ever, with over 1 billion things shipped through its Prime scheme.

Meanwhile bookstores in the US saw a 6% decrease in sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with that drop-off getting more severe as the weeks went by. With adult colouring (despite the flurry of belated interest on its tax status) no longer the thing it was, and fewer books appearing with either girls or differentiated colour palettes in the title, this LA Times piece isn't the only article suggesting that publishing needs 2017 to provide a “next big thing”.

The End of All Romance

The biggest actual news story of the holidays by far is the seemingly out of the blue closure of distributor All Romance Ebooks, a platform used by many self-published authors. The biggest shock of all is the announcement that the company is offering to pay only 10% of the owed royalties for the last quarter of 2016.

The announcement, and the site itself, has now been taken offline, so this is the capture from The Passive Voice. Needless to say romance writers are both up in arms and disconsolate about it, and there are some interesting side stories on blogs such as this one emerging. Not something to bring much Christmas cheer.

Digital Reading Tech News

duobookI am glad to be able to start the new year with a piece of tech, in this case the Duobook app from Findaway, which enables you to switch seamlessly between audiobook and ebook reading. available now for the iPad and iPhone, and Android version is imminent. And the Croatia Reads app gives Croatians who install it access for free to 100,000 ebooks in exchange not for money but for personal data. It's well worth reading up on the story behind this fascinating scheme, the brainchild of open access advocate Mila Roncevic.

Upcoming Conferences and Events


New Delhi World Book Fair, Jan 7-15 [New Delhi] Digital Book World, Jan 17-19 [New York]


San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb 16-19 [San Francisco] Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Feb 8 [Washington]

MARCH 2017

London Book Fair, Mar 14-16 [London] Indie Author Fringe, Mar 18 [Online]

APRIL 2017

Resonate, Apr 19-22 [Belgrade] The Self-publishing Conference, Apr 22 [Leicester]

MAY 2017

99U Conference, May 5 [New York] Book Expo America, May 31 – Jun 2[New York]

JUNE 2017

Indie Author Fringe, Jun 3 [Online] Dublin Writers Conference, Jun 23-25 [Dublin]


Frankfurt Book Fair, Oct 11-15 [Frankfurt] Indie Author Fringe, Oct 14  [Online]


All the week's top #selfpub news from @agnieszkasshoes for #indieauthors Click To Tweet

Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


This Post Has 10 Comments
    1. 🙂 Lovely to say hello! Any news stories from Germany would always be most welcome – also, you are hugely valuable where I do my day job – we have a large Neurolinguistics/Psycholinguistics lab and do a lot of work on bilingualism, usually German/English so we are always looking for people to come and do experiments (that usually involves watching David Attenborough DVDs with the sound down whilst listening to a series of repeated syllables and wearing a cap full of electrodes 🙂 )

  1. Hey, you forgot the Leipzig Bookfair 23rd to 26th of March in Germany. It’s much more reader oriented than the bigger fair in Frankfurt.
    Also there’s BuCon, a small Science Fiction and Fantasy oriented bookfair parallel to the Frankfurt Bookfair, in Dreieich, a subburb of Frankfurt, which might be of interest to those who are already in town. Information is in German only: http://buchmessecon.info/

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