Indie News Beat: Amazon is Redefining Ownership

With a ubiquitous presence, sky-high brand recognition, and customer-first ethos, it’s been a while since “Amazon” only referred to a geographical feature, and the adjective “Amazonian” used to mean a certain type of woman.

If you’re an Independent Author, you’ve either got your stuff on Amazon or you’ve got it nowhere. So when Amazon changes the way it does business, we all need to sit up and take notice. After the hullabaloo with sock-puppet reviews this summer, over the last few weeks a number of authors suddenly noticed reviews going missing from their book pages on Amazon. This led to emails and calls and questions, but one of the first hard-and-fast pieces of evidence to turn up in the media was here, where Amazon sent an email to an author confirming deletion of his reviews of another author’s book because, in Amazon’s opinion, there is “competition” between the two authors, which thus breaches Amazon’s rules. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: Amazon is Redefining Ownership”

Indie News Beat: All the Fun of Frankfurt

The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the highest-profile fairs on the calendar. But now it’s been a few years since the meteorite of self-publishing hit the world of books, just how well are the mainstream dinosaurs coping with avoiding extinction?

Finally, they appear to be accepting that Indie Authors are here to stay. Writing for paidcontent, the interestingly-named Laura Hazard Owen began her report with the book-with-the-unmentionable-title, which, somewhat worryingly, is being held up as the perfect example of the self-published goldmines that potentially await the mainstreams. Of course, now that E. L. James’s trilogy is rumoured to have sold over 50 million copies, big-hitting mainstream people are lining up to point out that she couldn’t have done it without them, and that thanks to Random House, her “relatively modest success” was turned into a “maelstrom of money”. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: All the Fun of Frankfurt”

Indie News Beat with Chris James

IU Ace Reporter Chris James

The big publishing story over the last few weeks has undoubtedly been the sock-puppet scandal. First broken by the New York Times, suddenly we were drowning in stories, articles and opinions from it seemed everyone in publishing. But just as suddenly as the elephant in the room was acknowledged, so it disappeared.

The general outrage that a few bad apples in the Indie movement would actually pay for multiple, glowing reviews on Amazon, soon diffused when stories appeared reporting that some mainstream authors were also not averse to puffing their own work, while sticking the knife into their competitors. Likely the mainstream authors will suffer more in the short term, given their higher profile, but all this summer flurry really did was draw more attention to the intense competition on Amazon, and the shortfalls of its rating and review system. Continue reading “Indie News Beat with Chris James”

Indie News Beat with Chris James

NEWS FLASH: Mainstream Publisher opens its doors to Independent Authors

In what is believed to be a first, on 1 October a mainstream publisher will open its doors, for a limited period of two weeks, to unsolicited submissions of full-length manuscripts, including self-published novels.

This represents remarkable admission by a mainstream publisher that Independent Authors have something to offer. Voyager, which is the Science Fiction imprint of HaperCollins, is looking for “10 to 12 new authors”, one of which it will publish monthly over the course of next year. Continue reading “Indie News Beat with Chris James”