How To Avoid Publishing-Assisted Suicide Bewares Publishing

I regularly take aim at “assisted self-publishing” because it often results in a shoddy product, a serious price-tag and/or a big chunk of the author’s royalties going to a middleman that is doing little more than uploading (which is the easiest part of the process). However, I’m not against assisted self-publishing per se, and today’s guest post sketches out a potential model for such companies, an author-centric approach that can benefit all parties, particularly the author. And it’s not just theory. Phoenix Sullivan is an author, self-publisher, and IMO one of the smartest people in the publishing business. Regular readers will know that she was one of the brains behind figuring out the Popularity list and the subsequent algorithm changes to Read More…

The Alliance of Independent Authors – a Q&A with Orna Ross Publishing Resources

When I cover publishers behaving badly, self-publishing scams, or authors’ rights, I always get asked if there is an organization which advocates for self-publishers. The general feeling seems to be that we are particularly ill-served by the status quo, given that the pre-existing writers’ organizations either don’t let us in, don’t care about the issues that matter to us, or take up positions contrary to our interests. Lately I’ve been pointing people towards the Alliance of Independent Authors. I’m not a member myself, but I have been impressed with the way they have started, the kind of people involved, and the issues they are taking on. I met several members at the London Book Fair in April, and they were all Read More…

The Alliance of Independent Authors – a Q&A with Orna Ross Publishing Resources

When I cover publishers behaving badly, self-publishing scams, or authors’ rights, I always get asked if there is an organization which advocates for self-publishers. The general feeling seems to be that we are particularly ill-served by the status quo, given that the pre-existing writers’ organizations either don’t let us in, don’t care about the issues that matter to us, or take up positions contrary to our interests. Lately I’ve been pointing people towards the Alliance of Independent Authors. I’m not a member myself, but I have been impressed with the way they have started, the kind of people involved, and the issues they are taking on. I met several members at the London Book Fair in April, and they were all Read More…

The Bookseller Hires Author Solutions Exec To Spout Propaganda Bewares

Author Solutions is like a Bizarro version of King Midas. Everything they touch turns to shit. One frustrating aspect of this is their history of co-opting supposedly independent organizations, which then silence critical voices. This week, The Bookseller went one step further, and has hired a former Author Solutions executive called Tim Davies to write for their digital offshoot FutureBook. Davies used his debut FutureBook post to vomit up some Author Solutions PR, interspersed with gushing praise for his former boss, who he breathlessly describes as “the effortlessly charming and driven Kevin Weiss.” Of course, you only find out that Tim Davies is a former Author Solutions executive in the final paragraph of that post – something which should be disclosed up top (with Read More…

Have You Read A Good Book Lately? Writing

Like many readers, I get my book recommendations from multiple sources: friends, peers, genre bestseller lists, Amazon algorithms, and deal sites. The latter two are sources new to me since I switched to a Kindle in Christmas 2011. Prior to that, two big sources of recommendations would have been the front tables in bookstores, and review pages of newspapers. Neither really fulfill that function anymore. I don’t know if it’s because of the source of the recommendations, or because of the ability to sample anything before purchasing, but I find I’m buying a lot less duds. I’m reading a lot more self-published work these days, as well as titles from small publishers. I can’t say whether the average book from Read More…

15 Ways Amazon Can Improve Kindle Direct Publishing Amazon Marketing Publishing

At the London Book Fair in April, I had the opportunity to meet representatives from Amazon and present a list of feature requests and complaints (from the comments of this post with an assist from KBoards). I spent quite a bit of time going through the list and felt that everything got a fair hearing. Amazon said that a lot of this stuff is in the pipeline in one form or another (although judgement will have to be reserved until we see how it’s implemented) and the rest of the issues and feature requests would be passed along to the relevant department. This isn’t the full list I presented, but it’s the issues I’d like to focus on today: 1. More Read More…