Here in the UK it's been, shall we say, a week of all change. It seems that the UK can get rid of many things, but one thing that can't be ditched (sorry) is my presence in your Friday lives, so buckle in for this week's bumpy ride!
Brexit and indies
So, this is a politics free zone, but anyone who knows anyone in the UK will know that last Thursday the country voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (the so-called Brexit – you can read Porter Anderson's summary of the publishing industry's response here). In time this may mean changes for indie authors based in the UK or in the EU and how they trade with each other, and for those from elsewhere trading with the UK. Nothing will happen immediately – the UK has not yet invoked article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (and is unlikely to do so before October) that will start the clock ticking on a two year negotiation period after which the UK's membership automatically lapses. Indies were affected significantly by the recent VAT rule change that required accounting for VAT at the rate applicable in the country of each buyer within the EU. At the moment these regulations also apply to suppliers outside the EU, so UK -based writers may not be affected, though writers based elsewhere may find themselves dealing with the UK differently. Complex legislation such as this, and the recent consultation on copyright, means that we would do well to keep abreast of developments. You can follow the developments on VAT at the EU VAT Action Group site (here – they have a Facebook group here. Thanks to Henry Hyde for the link).
This week's viral post (here) was a timely reminder that the self-publishing waters still need to be navigated with care. Linda Formichelli's account of what she got for the $6,500 she spent on launch expenses with service provider Insurgent Publishing is eyewatering. And shows just how important it remains to keep abreast of ALLi's Watchdog.
On a positive note, we have been hearing more and more the past few months from Unbound, who have now emerged as a well-respected platform that straddles (heavily curated for quality) crowd-funded self-publishing, assisted publishing, and, thanks to a Booker shortlisting, traditional small presses. Their new short story competition (here) offers a hefty £2000 first prize, and the opportunity to launch a book through the Unbound experience. And it wouldn't be news time these days without bringing you something from Wattpad! This time it's the launch of the Wattys, Wattpad's annual writing contest, with some very interesting, reader-oriented categories (as you'd expect) including Trailblazers, Hidden Gems, and Voracious Reads (full details here). Meanwhile, in print land, it looks from this story as though indies will be able to (potentially) get their books on the shelves of Barnes and Noble through the Nook Press print on demand service. According to this latest announcement, readers could be buying your books from those B&N shelves and then reading them in store over a cold beer.
Flipping Heck! What's happening in Amazonia
In Amazon-related news, Page Flip (news here, with a demonstration here) is the latest advance designed to make reading ebooks an experience more like reading their paper equivalents – it's the virtual equivalent of dog-earing pages and doing that not quite as dextrous as it could be thing with your thumb. A
Upcoming conferences and events
Evesham Festival of Words July 1-3 (Evesham, UK]
Beacon Lit, July 2, Ivinghoe UK
ThrillerFest X, July 5–9 [New York City] Romantic Novelists' Association Annual Conference July 8-10 [Lancaster, UK] Comic-Con International, July 21–24 [San Diego, Calif] Hong Kong Book Fair: July 20 – 26 [Hong Kong, China] South African Book Fair: July 29 – 31 [Johannesburg, South Africa]
Writer’s Digest Conference, Aug. 12–14 [ New York City]
Historical Novelists' Association Annual Conference Sept 2-4 [Oxford, UK] Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Sept. 16–17 [Lexington] Word on the Street, Sept. 25 [Toronto, Canada] RomCon, Sept. 30–Oct. 1 [Denver] Chicago Writers Conference, Sept. 23-25 [Chicago]
(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