The change in the law by the European Union (EU) in January this year to fix the issue of VAT on ebooks continues to have the expected detrimental effect. That is, not on the big boys as the EU thought, but on indie authors and other micro-businesses which they overlooked in drafting the legislation. Watch ALLi Director Orna Ross discussing the issue earlier this year. Mick Rooney at The Independent Publishing Magazine reports this week that for small businesses faced with the job of calculating myriad tax rates, the new regime has turned out to be an administrative nightmare, citing author Cory Doctorow who said he was “forced to spend £700 on software and accountancy fees.” Many of our members have stopped direct selling altogether.
Join the Bookshop Crawl
Independent Booksellers Week has launched a dedicated site for the UK and Ireland event and is encouraging people across the trade to tweet using the #giveabook and #bookaday hashtags. Also, this year’s IBW Bookshop Crawl on Saturday 27th June invites publishers and book trade organisations to take part for the first time by blogging or vlogging about their visit to an independent bookshop. Australia’s National Bookstore Day is scheduled for Saturday 8th August, while plans are already underway for the 2016 Independent Boookstore Day in the US. Find out more on how you can support your local bookstores wherever you are through ALLi’s #Authors4Bookstores campaign.
Chasing Awards, Or Getting On With Your Writing?
ALLi’s Watchdog Victoria Strauss guests on the Writers Beware blog on why she is not a big fan of writing contests and awards.
“Partly this is because so many are a waste of time, with minimal prizes, negligible prestige, and zero cachet on your writing resumé. Why not spend your energy on something that can get you closer to building a readership – submitting for publication, or publishing on your own?”
Check out her argument on what she describes as “the hidden agenda of so many awards which are really about making money for the sponsor. Such awards aren't really about honouring writers at all.”
Reviewed by Parasites and Bullies?
The Writers Circle highlights again the story that 1,100 authors have taken Amazon to task over spiteful and nasty reviews on the site. The Horror Writers Association (HWA), a non-profit organization for writers and publishing professionals promoting horror literature, wrote an open letter to Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos asking for a review of the policies around Amazon's review system. The report includes comments from author Anne Rice, apparently no stranger to online bullies, and who has named these “reviewers” on Amazon as “parasites, posting largely under pseudonyms, lecturing, bullying and seeking to discipline authors whom they see as their special prey.” Vampires, the lot of them.
2018: The Year of No Men?
The big pow-wow in publishing over the past week is over Kamila Shamsie’s provocative suggestion, reported in The Guardian, to make 2018 the Year of Publishing Women. That’s as in, no titles by men. Kamila is exercised by the gender-skewed situation existing currently in terms of reviews, top positions in publishing houses, literary prizes etc. Gender is very much a topic just now, as we reported in last week’s self-publishing news blog. Why 2018? It is the centenary of women over the age of 30 getting the vote in the UK, so no better time in highlighting inequality. ALLi's Jill Marsh has the less-combative idea of a Women’s Literary Festival .”I believe the way forward is not by excluding, discriminating or preventing any group of people from publishing their work. When faced with a wall, you have more options than knocking it down,” says Jill, adding, “Kamila Shamsie – how do you fancy being keynote speaker?”
Get With The Plan, Whiny Author!
Have you checked out IndieReader’s entertaining feature on marketing? Rachel Thompson’s post is worth a read – she also references ALLi’s Joanna Penn whose marketing plan forms part of the feature. You will then no longer be, as Rachel says, one of those “whiny authors who claim they’ve done all they can do to market their books and still aren’t seeing any sales.” Right, so, Rachel.This week's #publishing industry news round-up for #selfpub authors Click To Tweet