Independent Author Previews and a 'tide turning'

Image - iStockphoto: Neyya
Image – iStockphoto: Neyya

The Bookseller’s announcement that it will begin next month previewing self-published work from the Nook Press platform prompted our #FutureChat focus on efforts to “open up to indies,” as the Alliance of Independent Authors’ campaign (ALLi) has it.

While most of the reception of the news has seemed positive, the new programme’s outlines are still coming into focus for many. Perhaps the most important part of this particular #FutureChat was a chance for The community to ask some questions.

Mick Rooney of the Independent Publishing Magazine already had raised a key clarification in the fact that The Bookseller is an industry-facing publication:

I should point out that this is primarily an opportunity for indie-authors to gain exposure in the UK to potential retail channels and general publishing trade folk. Remember, The Bookseller is a well-respected UK trade magazine—its target audience is the publishing industry, not necessarily book readers, though I know avid book readers and authors who do subscribe to it.

Rooney is correct about that, and of course many self-publishing authors might be pleased to gain some visibility among industry figures this way. In addition, it’s expected that there will be promotional potential through The Bookseller’s consumer-facing magazine, We Love This Book, which would mean reader exposure, of course.

Rooney also had foreseen one line of questioning we would hear during #FutureChat and that has to do with the Nook Press-only element of the programme. The Bookseller editor Philip Jones offered Rooney this comment, concurring that the eventual goal is to see wide access to coverage for independent authors, as well as publishers. Jones wrote:

We already preview titles from independent publishers, of course, and we wanted to extend that to indie authors. This is the start of that, and after six months we’ll look to extend to other vendors [beyond Nook Press], or figure out a way of allow authors to send to us direct. It’s a discoverability process, and hopefully a positive one for all sides.

In short, the advent of The Bookseller’s Independent Author Preview is a work in progress, one expected to move beyond its initial parameters and constraints with, as Jones has said, the goal being, as we’d covered in our walkup, “to discover the best new books published independently and made available to customers in the UK.

And there’s more news today on the independent front: Lisa Campbell, my colleague at The Bookseller, in Self-published authors in favour with indies, writes:

“The tide is turning” on bookshops’ attitudes towards stocking self-published titles, new developments suggest. The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) founder Orna Ross agreed there had been “movement” as a result of ALLi’s #OpenUpToIndies campaign earlier in the year. The initiative called on bookshops, libraries, literary event organisers and reviewers to “open up” to self-published authors.

And since Jones was able to join us for #FutureChat on Friday, the most coherent use of the recap here might be to start with some of the practical questions folks had for him, and his answers.

I opened the session asking what our chatters thought of the new programme.

“Good?’ I asked. Or “bad?”

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: Independent Author Previews and a “tide turning”: #FutureChat recap

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