Can we float more indie boats?

Image - iStockphoto: namenoname
Image – iStockphoto: namenoname

With news of The Bookseller’s Independent Author Previews — an arrangement with the Barnes & Noble self-publishing platform Nook Press — self-publishing authors gain a store window on a long, virtual high street that’s swarming with competition.

For those books and authors chosen to be featured, Independent Author Previews has the potential to be a game-changer. The new programme will see an average of 10 Nook Press titles selected monthly for the Previews section, in a partnership timed to run through next April.

Those titles chosen for the Indie Author Previews section might also be featured in The Bookseller’s We Love This Book magazine, a consumer-facing books publication, and that could entail online placements and customer emails.

Philip Jones
Philip Jones

What’s more, the deal should see Nook Press promote titles from Indie Author Previews in its promotional Nook First and Nook presents promos, along with customer emails and social-media work.

As our colleague Philip Jones at The Bookseller notes in his announcement today:

Our goal here is to discover the best new books published independently and made available to customers in the UK and we’re thrilled to have partnered with Nook Press. This is a new spin on what we have been doing for more than a 100 years, and recognises that some of the best new writing now comes through non-traditional channels. The Bookseller’s job remains the same, however, to shout about these books and bring them to the attention of our audience.

The key phrasing for many independent authors in that comment is: “some of the best new writing now comes through non-traditional channels.”

This is the point of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ (ALLi) “Open Up to Indies” campaign, launched during London Book Fair in April.

Orna Ross
Orna Ross

ALLi’s founding director Orna Ross wrote prior to that launch:

The books infrastructure lags behind the reality that is this vibrant sector of the literary community. Self-publishers regularly find their books excluded from all sorts of opportunities, often on dubious grounds.

“Open Up to Indies” includes a petition at, signers of which are calling for “literary organisations, events managers, book stores, libraries and review outlets [to] now find ways to include [independently published books] based on the quality of their work. ”

And ALLi has produced  a guidebook written by Debbie Young and Dan Holloway, Opening Up To Indie Authors: A Guide for Bookstores, Libraries, Reviewers, Literary Event Organisers … and Self-Publishing Writers, to elaborate on the issues and suggest approaches to the kind of recognition reflected in The Bookseller’s move.

Colin Eustace
Colin Eustace

Needless to say, an arrangement of this kind is good for Nook Press, giving it a key incentive with which to attract independent authors. Barnes & Noble’s Colin Eustace speaks for the Nook Press side of the programme:

We are constantly looking at new ways to help Nook Press authors get the exposure they deserve, which is why we’re thrilled about this new partnership with The Bookseller. It will give our self-published authors a new outlet to showcase their work, while giving Nook customers another resource to discover their next great read.

Indeed, Eustace is wasting no time getting out the “call to action,” as marketers like to say:

We also encourage self-published authors who are not yet on our platform to sign up today to be considered for this great opportunity and discover all of the great promotions available to Nook Press authors.

Still, one of the main questions for independent authors is how they can increase their chances of being found in the mountain of content now being unloaded onto the market each month. Is signing on to a platform like Nook Press — and hoping to catch the attention of such folks as The Bookseller’s Caroline Sanderson and her cohorts overseeing the Indie Book Preview — simply too passive an approach in such a scenario?

At least one blogger this week thinks so.

Read the Full Story at The FutureBook

Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat session with The Bookseller’s FutureBook community. We’ll be live on Twitter, at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. 

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: #FutureChat Friday: Can we float more indie boats?

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