Tag Archives: independent

Giving A Voice To Indies

A new organization is being formed which is aiming to give a voice to indies – the Indie Author Support Network. The idea was proposed by indie author Marie Force, and it’s still at the very earliest stages, but what I’ve heard so far is very promising indeed – particularly that it will be exclusively focused on high-level advocacy and interfacing with retailers on issues which concern indies.

I’m not a member of any writer organization. I joined one here in Ireland when I first returned home, but didn’t renew after they wouldn’t even take the most basic stand against a local publisher who wasn’t paying his authors.

I know people join organizations for lots of different reasons, whether that’s continuing education or competitions or even just the social/networking aspects at conferences, which are desperately needed in such a solitary profession, and I think those needs are pretty well met with the various genre-focused organizations out there, and NINC too. However, advocacy has always been of most importance to me and I think there is a critical need right now for a very focused group which specifically speaks to the rather curious set of issues that indies are dealing with in 2018.

And most of these issues stem from, or are exacerbated by, a lack of representation. We are a huge chunk of the market now, but we don’t have a seat at the table or a voice in the room.

While I’m a huge respecter of the work Victoria Strauss and the rest of the Writer Beware team have done on behalf of all writers (and the SFWA in setting that up and its partner orgs in helping with logistical support), as well as the work that the Alliance of Independent Authors has done in building an all-encompassing indie writers’ organization, I think there is a very specific gap right now for a group exclusively focused on high-level advocacy for indies, one where institutional energy is all directed towards that one task.

Over the last couple of days, Marie Force has been gathering expressions of interest to form just such a group, one that would interface directly with retailers. She has already spoken with KDP about dealing directly with the group on issues of common concern, and they seemed very positive about the idea.

Despite some rumors flying around, there is no specific agenda in place yet – the organization is still being formed and that conversation is yet to be had. That said, there are a whole bunch of issues right now that such a group could conceivably tackle.

(These are my own personal opinions/priorities/preferences, of course.)

A lot of the issues today stem from Kindle Unlimited. I’m not pro- or anti- KU personally. My books are wide, but I manage marketing for someone else who is all-in with KU (and does very well out of it too). But there’s no doubt that KU has had a dramatic impact on the market and raised issues which need to be addressed.

There is a chronic lack of transparency in the program – leading to issues like authors getting page reads retroactively reduced, with Amazon refusing to furnish any kind of reasonable explanation for same.

The compensation system at the center of KU is a relatively new model in publishing, and it has had many unpleasant side effects such as making the Kindle Store a giant target for various scammers, and Amazon’s response seems to vary between doing nothing and allowing things to spiral out of control, to nuking from space and hitting a lot of innocents.

Amazon’s TOS also needs to be a whole lot clearer on a range of things, so authors have absolute clarity about what is permitted and what isn’t. And there needs to be some kind of proportionality in any sanctions handed out – right now we have the crazy situation where an author who openly admitted to clickfarming his way to #1 gets the same sanction as an author who did nothing wrong but was targeted by a third-party.

The one-size-fits-all punishment of rank-stripping seems too onerous for the latter and too light for the former (IMO, YMMV).

On a personal level, I feel like many of these issues were flagged by the author community when KU first launched, and if we had a voice in the room back then, perhaps many of them could have been avoided too.

There are a lot of organizations out there already doing great work in various fields, but this feels like the right idea at the right time, something that isn’t necessarily in competition with the likes of NINC or RWA or anyone else, but a really focused group exclusively dealing with indie author advocacy.

And if you are interested too you can join Marie Force’s Facebook Group – the Author Support Network – or express your interest at IndieAuthorSupportNetwork.com. Marie Force is looking to gather expressions of interest from 1,000 indie authors before April 30 to see if this idea has legs (and she was halfway there after just 12 hours).

I’m excited to see where this goes.

Source: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/giving-a-voice-to-indies/

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KOBO AND INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES JOIN FORCES #FED_ebooks #indieauthor #kobo #ABA

 

KOBO AND INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES JOIN FORCES TO EXPAND EREADING ACROSS THE U.S.

Kobo powers eBooks and eReaders for local bookstores

NEW YORK – August 29, 2012 – Kobo, a leader in eReading with over 10 million registered users worldwide, and the American Booksellers Association (ABA) today announced a new partnership to bring Kobo’s world-class eReading platform to independent bookstores across the United States. By partnering with the nearly 2,000 ABA-member stores, Kobo continues its successful strategy of working with booksellers around the world, and America’s indie booksellers grow their ability to discover and deliver great reads, in any format, to their customers.

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market In partnership with the ABA, Kobo has developed a unique program designed for independent booksellers and their customers. Booksellers will be able to offer a total experience for their customers including a full line of eReaders, eReading accessories, and ebooks from Kobo’s catalog of nearly 3 million titles. ABA members will share in the revenue on every sale. The program includes valuable training, in-store merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistics solutions to help independents be successful. ABA members will also be able to offer ebooks directly to their customers online. Kobo expects to launch with the first 400 bookstores this fall.

“We are very excited to work with the ABA and independent bookstores across America to bring an Indie alternative to the eReading market,” said Mike Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “With this partnership, we are confident that independents will a world class offering for their loyal customers and a voice in the digital transformation.”

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market “We are pleased to offer our ABA members a competitive eBook retailing solution uniquely crafted to meet the needs of independent booksellers and their customers,” said Oren Teicher, CEO, American Booksellers Association. “Through this partnership with Kobo, indie bookstore customers will have access to a broad and diverse inventory of eBooks. Today’s readers want a first-class shopping experience, both in-store and online, and this new partnership allows indie booksellers to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers in a dynamic marketplace.”

KOBO – A GLOBAL STANDARD

Since its inception in 2009, Kobo has built a global base of over 10 million registered users in 190 countries, and one of the largest eBook stores in the world with 3 million books, newspapers and magazines with titles ranging from the NYT bestseller list, the hottest new releases, Indie Next List and Bestseller List titles, and over a million free books with titles in 60 languages. With one of the largest content catalogs in the world, a line of award winning eReaders available in 7 languages, free eReading Apps, and the newly launched self-publishing program, Kobo Writing Life – Kobo has a rich eReading ecosystem and a unique win-win approach to the market.

THE READ FREELY COMMITMENT

Kobo and the ABA share fundamental values that are rooted in the love of reading. The ABA and its independent bookstore members introduce newly discovered titles to readers, as well as support freedom of speech, literacy, and programs that encourage reading. Kobo’s Read Freely philosophy supports an open platform and adoption of industry standards to ensure that people own the books they buy and are never locked to one device or service. Additionally Kobo offers free eReading apps so people can read conveniently anytime, anyplace from a device they already own. With Kobo, consumers can easily browse and shop from the Kobo eBookstore and automatically sync their library across most popular devices including iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, and smartphones, as well as all Kobo eReaders.

THE BOOKSELLERS’ CHOICE

In less than three years since the company was founded, Kobo has developed a successful turnkey solution that enables a wide variety of retailers – both large and small – to capitalize on the eReading growth occurring around the world. First-class brick-and-mortar booksellers like Indigo, Fnac, WHSmith, Mondadori, Collins, Future Shop/Best Buy, Target and others have taken advantage of what has become known as Kobo’s “Playbook” to quickly introduce eReading to their customers and ultimately creating new streams of revenue by making eBooks more accessible around the world. Through the partnership with ABA, Kobo adds to this network nearly 2,000 independent bookstores that will be able to take advantage of Kobo’s unique services, including one of the largest content catalogs available today and line-up of accessible eReading devices and free eReading applications.

“This partnership signifies a tipping point for independent booksellers around the world and Kobo is leading the way,” said Serbinis. “We expect to quickly bring our unique offering to independents globally.”

 
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Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) book distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts and formats manuscripts for every type of platform (e-reader). They submit Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and over 100,000 additional on-line locations including retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company’s POD division creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. First Edition Design Publishing is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with Apple and Microsoft.

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

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