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This Week’s Self-publishing News: The art of Discovery

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

OK, we all know that the very best advertising for your books is the last book you wrote. But you can write the greatest book in the world and if no one knows it exists then no one is going to read it. Services and companies that tell devoted readers about your books are an author’s lifeblood, but many of these services are feeling an increasing squeeze.

Hello, I’m Over Here!

Pixel_Of_Ink_HEADER_FINALAfter last week’s news seemed to be all about how you got your book “out there”, this week the news has been dominated by how you let people know where “there” is. Where to start? Pixel of Ink, one of the first regular ebook discovery mailing lists announced here that they are hanging up their boots. That announcement seems to have triggered this piece from Digital Reader which looks at whether Amazon’s crackdown on the use of affiliate links in emails might be responsible, and connected to their own ebook discovery service. No comment to offer on that theory, but ALLi can confirm that far from being a first casualty, Fussy Librarian is alive and emailing. This flurry of stories coincides with this interesting survey from Penguin Random House looking at how readers discover new books (thanks to Roz Morris for the piece). Perhaps what’s most interesting of all is the absence of email lists like BookBub and Fussy Librarian from the options respondents were given. Maybe another sign traditional publishing has some catching up to do! And on the subject of discovery, a fascinating report here from LitBlog, a German conference organised for book bloggers and booktubers, reflecting the growing importance of new media reviewers as trust agents.

Opening Up: A Very Indie Festival and Indie Booksellers Week

TLF_LogoWe love to feature festivals that welcome indie authors, but particularly exciting is the first Triskele Literary Festival, organised by the fabulous indie collective Triskele, who have been instrumental in organising the Indie Author Fair pop-up festival. The event will combine indies and traditionally published authors on a completely equal footing, with the focus on what is produced rather than the means of production. With an inclusivity-led programme, it’s one to look out for on September 17th in London. Full details here. This coming week is also Independent Booksellers Week in the UK – if you go here you can find some of the many fabulous events celebrating and supporting our partners in Indieland.

Print and Digital Developments in India

Very interesting news from India. This announcement from Repro India of a deal with Ingram to see their titles available for print on demand is one to watch. Meanwhile, on the ebook front, a project to see Gandhi’s works more widely disseminated has led to the launch of a new ereading tablet, details of which here.

 And finally…How the digital world is changing language

How are new words formed in a digital age? Image from the wordovators site, by Visual Voice

How are new words formed in a digital age? Image from the wordovators site, by Visual Voice

Indies have two great creative advantages for the digital age. We are forced to keep up with technology because we have no one who is going to do it for us. And we have the freedom to ignore convention and strike out in interesting new ways as we see fit. And one of the really interesting things that is happening digitally is the changing of language itself (there are massive global projects, such as Wordovators, devoted to mapping these changes) in its new electronic surroundings, something we have the freedom to pursue so we stay several steps ahead of any mainstream curve. This week has seen this change hit the news in two ways that indies would do well to keep an eye on. First there is Facebook’s assertion (here) that text will all but disappear from our online lives in five years to be replaced by images and video. Then there is this news that the full stop/period is slowly disappearing from use. Alarmist dystopian fantasy or not, it is clear that language is changing, and rather than panicking about having to keep up, maybe as indies we could see this as a great opportunity.

Upcoming conferences and events

JUNE 2016

Dublin Writers Conference: June 24 – 26 [Dublin, Ireland]
Seoul International Book Fair: June 15 – 19 [Seoul, Korea]
ALA Annual Conference,  June 23–28 [Orlando]

JULY 2016

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]

AUGUST 2016

Writer’s Digest Conference, Aug. 12–14 [ New York City]

SEPTEMBER 2016

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]

OCTOBER 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair, Oct. 19–23 [Frankfurt, Germany]
Frankfurt Book Fair Indie Author Fringe, Oct. 12 [Online Conference]

(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.)

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9 Responses to This Week’s Self-publishing News: The art of Discovery

  1. Jay Lemming, Author June 18, 2016 at 1:50 am #

    Hey Dan, I attended the James River Writers Conference in Richmond, Virginia a few years ago and found it very rewarding with lots of great writers in attendance. This year’s conference is from October 14 to 16, again in Richmond. http://www.jamesriverwriters.org/what-we-do/programs/annual-conference I’m not sure what standards you may use for including conferences on your list but thought I would share this one, if it’s helpful. Jay

    • Dan Holloway June 19, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      That’s great, thanks – the only real criterion is that an event should in some way be indie-friendly

  2. Alice Orr June 17, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Thanks Dan. I never miss your column. It moves me from the microcosm to the macro every time. This week “The Art of Discovery” does that. Like everybody I struggle with Discovability and am overwhelmed and stymied by it too. The wide wide world is so wide wide. Where to turn is the daunting question. Thanks to you I’m going to check out Fussy Librarian asap. I’ve had her on my might-want-to-date list for a while but feared we might be a dud match. Now I shall take the bold step. Speaking of lists, yours of worldwide writer/book stuff conferences is my regular travel fantasy fix. Gratitude abounds for all of that. Plus re: the microcosm, please check out this interview and share it if you can. https://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/2016/06/orr.html. Alice Orr

    • Dan Holloway June 19, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      Thank you! I am sure I shouldn’t share in an official capacity but I will most definitely take a look “as me” 🙂

  3. Georgia Weinkauf June 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    I am currently writing a book about my life from a Journal I have kept for 3years. It is a story of confinement, and the struggle for survival. I would like to Self publishing it when I have Finished, but I do not know how to do this, so that is why I am signing up for your advice. Thank you, Georgia weinkauf

    • Dan Holloway June 19, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      You couldn’t have come to a better place than ALLi if you are starting out – very best!!

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