Indie News Beat: The times, they keep on a’ changing

Indie Publishing NewsIn a month when the top story should have been the Frankfurt Book Fair, what excited many people was the news that UK retailer W. H. Smith suddenly removed all self-published books it had only recently started carrying. It did this because a customer complained that a search for children’s books with the keyword “Daddies” returned titles of an adult, and in some cases gross, nature. From this naive filter failure, it was only a short but entirely predictable step to the retailer reassuring its UK middle-class customer base that they would not have to suffer such distress any further, and blaming the uncontrolled orgy (pun intended) of self-published books for the problem.

While many commentators pointed out the hypocrisy in this stance, there can be no surprise. Independent Authors continue to suffer the most outrageous discrimination as mainstreams use their influence to defend their shrinking market shares, in this case by having a major UK retailer pin the blame for its own simple mistake on the perceived tawdry subject matter of many self-published books. Clearly, the message is that adult material is only acceptable if it first has the mainstreams’ seal of approval. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: The times, they keep on a’ changing”

Indie News Beat: (Re)Stating the Obvious

Our first stop this edition is at Publishers Weekly, and their report on the highly-trailed “Author (R)evolution Day” earlier this month. That rather pretentious title at once makes me suspicious, and I didn’t have to read far before slamming into a trite platitude. Step forward Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre with this message for struggling, self-published authors: “Don’t wonder how you will get discovered – think about what you are going to do to deserve being discovered.” Yeah, thanks. And the conclusion? That we have to adapt to changing social media, and of course we shouldn’t forget the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations. Really, Holmes, you astound me. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: (Re)Stating the Obvious”