It's been a week of memories since we last spoke. Specifically, one of my self-publishing heroes and inspirations has been back in the UK for the first time since we collaborated on a pop-up art and literature project back in 2010. It was working with her that launched me firmly in the direction I've tried to follow (with varying success) ever since. Seeing the things she has achieved by staying true to her vision has been a timely reminder of the need not to be swayed from the path, however shiny the grass that glistens on either verge. As an indie we have no one telling us where to go or how to steer. That is incredibly liberating and incredibly challenging all at once. Steer true, and enjoy the news!
BEA Time Again!
Book Expo America is upon us, this year running from Chicago. And this year, UPubU is out of the ghetto! The self-publishing conference was previously run on a separate day and located in the basement!, out on the floor this year with the rest of the publishing people.
Progress…. yes, but there's still a long way to go before authors are integrated into this trade fair, the largest books and publishing event in North America.
ALLi is there, with Orna delighted to be meeting the Mid-Western membership in person for the first time. Yesterday Thurs 12th), we ran five sessions, which will be brought to you tomorrow, as part of Indie Author Fringe online conference, as part of our mission to bring the large publishing fairs to you, at home.
As always, there will be 24 sessions over 24 hours. Highlights include Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant on Writing Better Stories Faster, CJ Lyons on new publishing models, and an insider's look at trade publishing.
You can follow the fun on twitter with the #IAF16 hashtag. Here's the list of speakers and the full agenda and don't miss your last chance to enter the fabulous cover competition. You could win a top of the range speech-to-text software.
And we're told there are plans to expand the author presence at BEA next year, when it returns to NYC. We hope so and we'll keep talking to them about how to make it more meaningful for authors who self-publish.
Last Saturday saw ALLi Partner Troubador's 4th annual Self-publishing conference, always a highlight in the self-publishing calendar. Lots of meaty stuff there again this year, and you can read some great accounts – this from Nick Corble on Alison Baverstock's plenary; this from Julian Jackson, and this from Catherine Dunn.
On the Slide?
Moving out of the conference hothouse, the issue that seems to have been taking the column inches in a week when nothing from the usual big hitters has really taken over has been the figures “showing” that ebook sales have “most definitely” now plateaued. My vertiginous eyebrows pleaded with me not to include the story, and I listened last week, but it's still there in this piece in Publishers Weekly, and it's my job to bring you the news, so there it is. You may want to have the sodium chloride to hand as you read.
Hugh Howey has written a fascinating piece (here) maintaining there's never been a better time to self-publish and to sell your self-published books. Still scanning the self-publishing horizon, thank you to Jules Horne for pointing me to this intriguing piece on why distributors are the new gatekeepers, and what that means for self-publishers.
ebooks: to buy or not to buy?
Non-buying of ebooks has been a big topic this week. Fussy librarian has this interesting piece on free ebooks, whilst still with librarians, Cory Doctorow has produced this very interesting article on how authors and libraries might band together to take on publishers, while Porter Anderson brings this news that outside the US ebook subscription services are doing rather well.
Top Tips from Around the Web
Lots of really useful pieces for indies around the web this week. Dean Wesley Smith has not one but two (here and here) great pieces on how to sell short stories, while Liz Craig has a fascinating piece on genre hopping (here). Ron Bueker has this on Jane Friedman's blog on how to choose a platform for your writer's website. And while we're on the subject of websites, Bookbub recommend the best non-publishing sites for indies to follow to keep abreast of the business here.
Literary Fiction, the oldest of indie chestnuts
What the place of literary fiction is in indieland is one of the oldest questions in self-publishing (admittedly not as old as the question of what literary fiction actually is!). Literary author Jay Lemming has put together a survey to collate information on indie lit fic-ers, which you can find here – with the full lowdown over here.
Upcoming conferences and events
Auckland Writers Festival: May 10 – 15 [New Zealand] Book Expo America: May 11 – 13 [Chicago, Illinois, USA] Franschhoek Literary Festival: May 13 – 15 [South Africa] Varena-Sydney Writers Festival: May 14 – 22 [New South Wales, Australia] Sydney Writers Festival: May 16 – 22 [New South Wales, Australia] Indie Author Fringe: May 14 [Online, Global] – brought to you by ALLi
Warsaw Book Fair: May 19 – 22 [Warsaw, Poland] Writecon: May 21 [Zurich, Switzerland] Kingsmead College Book Fair: May 21 [Johannesburg, SA] International Literature Festival: May 21 – 29 [Dublin, Ireland] Australian Booksellers Association Conference & Trade Exhibition: May 29 – 30 [Melbourne, Australia]
(The above list may not include all the major events; please feel free to email us with any important ones we’ve missed out, or include in comments below.)All the week's top news for indie & #selfpub authors Click To Tweet