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Group members who write/publish > Indie Author Day

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message 1: by Werner (last edited Jul 12, 2016 09:54AM) (new)

Werner | 1552 comments The current issue of Library Journal has a notice about an event called Indie Author Day, to be observed on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, and apparently sponsored by Library Journal and its SELF-e affiliate. As explained there, this is aimed at raising librarians' awareness of self-published e-books, which reportedly "now account for 80% of Amazon's bestseller lists" (not surprisingly, since Amazon pushes e-books to save shipping costs), but are only carried by 20% of the libraries that responded to a recent survey. The day will feature local author events at "hundreds of libraries all over North America," as well as a mid-day digital discussion by a panel of "industry leaders." More information is supposedly available at www.indieauthorday.com , but in fact that link does not work, at least just now when I tried it.

Personally, I'd like to see the event include authors of print books as well as e-books, and for it to be inclusive of small-press authors as well as those who self-publish; but I'm sure the sponsors have their own particular agenda. But in any case, I think it's valuable for librarians to be made aware of this vital and growing branch of the book trade, and to begin to consider making their collections more inclusive of these books! E-book independent authors in this group might be interested in touching base with their local libraries about this.


message 2: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 67 comments I got an email from them a couple weeks back, probably because my books are in SELF-e.

Anything that can make it easier for indie authors to get into libraries is okay by me. Anything that can break B&T's stranglehold on the library market is way overdue. I'm not convinced SELF-e is the solution, but at least it has Library Journal's blessing and so might make an impression on librarians.

The problem I have with SELF-e so far is its opacity. They won't publish a list of library systems that subscribe to the service -- not even to the authors whose books are in their inventory. How do we promote our books to the SELF-e customers if we don't know who they are? They want indie authors to promote the service to other library systems, but besides not telling us who already has it, they don't provide any sales information or even comparisons with other library-centric e-book services. There's also a shortage of information about what kind of promotion SELF-e is doing, or how to get reviews in LJ if you're not in a legacy publisher's stable.

My home system (Anaheim) is supposed to be participating in Indie Author Day, but so far they have no events scheduled. I wonder if they know they're supposed to.


message 3: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1552 comments Actually, Lance, Baker and Taylor doesn't have as much of a stranglehold on the library market today as they did 30 years ago. They're still a large wholesaler of books, but not the only major player. For instance, the library where I work orders its new books from another big wholesaler, Ingram, or sometimes from Amazon. (We also order from Labyrinth Books, which is a big remainder house, and directly from Dover, which does inexpensive reprints of older books; but neither of those carry much contemporary fiction.)

The problem isn't the policies of one single, dominant wholesaler; it's a matter of industry-wide policies that affect ALL of the big book wholesalers and bookstore chains. Their standard contracts with Big Publishing give them return clauses that remove any element of risk from their purchases of books --in effect, all purchases are conditional and they get their money back if the books don't sell to libraries or individual readers. No independent author or small press can possibly give such a guarantee, so these wholesalers and retailers simply aren't interested in doing business with them (or do relatively little of it)..


message 4: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1552 comments This link is actually functional: http://indieauthorday.com/ .


message 5: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 67 comments Werner wrote: "Baker and Taylor doesn't have as much of a stranglehold on the library market today as they did 30 years ago. They're still a large wholesaler of books, but not the only major player..."

I'm glad to hear that there's more competition in the distributor end of the library market. B&T's usually the one librarians mention when they tell me why they won't stock an indie title; maybe that's a regional thing.

Werner wrote: "Their standard contracts with Big Publishing give them return clauses that remove any element of risk from their purchases of books --in effect, all purchases are conditional and they get their money back if the books don't sell to libraries or individual readers..."

I recently ran afoul of this. An independent bookstore that stocked my books returned several to Ingram. The charge will wipe out my revenues for the past six months. I'd asked them to let me buy the books for their cost (at least then I'd have the books to sell elsewhere), but I guess that didn't take.


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