Category Archives: publicity

Self-Publishing Shropshire

library talk

Bob Fowke talked on the history of publishing and of self-publishing ‘from the Ten Commandments to Kindle E-Books’ in Shrewsbury Library on Wednesday 9 July. He covered many centuries and several countries and ranged through subjects as diverse as the invention of printers’ ink and the dismemberment of John Milton’s body, all to a  rapt audience.

E-books and Kindle Select

For some time we’ve been advising writers to publish their e-books via Amazon Kindle Select. Our argument has been that Kindle dominate the e-book market both in the UK and the USA, possibly accounting for up to 80% of it. By signing on to Kindle Select, writers give exclusive e-book distribution rights to Kindle for periods of ninety days, renewable. In return writers receive a royalty of 70% of the retail price of their e-books provided the price is set to a minimum of $2.99 or equivalent. This compares very favourably with a more standard level of royalty of 30%.

There are serious dangers in the semi-monopolistic position that Amazon has acquired and we recognise this, but writers, especially self-published writers, have to look after themselves and we feel that is our duty to point out the advantages of a 70% royalty and the advantage of receiving one sales report – which much easier to manage than collating sales reports from multiple e-book platforms. The Independent Author blog has a good balanced piece about the does and don’ts of Kindle Select.

Mussolini and the Pope

David Kertzer’s subtle book on the relationship between Catholicism and Fascism is well reviewed in this article in the Guardian by Lucy Hughes-Hallett. David Kertzer describes how two authoritarian systems were obliged to accomodate each other – and how the Pope’s anti-semitism was arrived at independently. The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe provides us with a close, if uncomfortable, look at an odd period of Italian history.

Booker Prize

Interesting article in Guardian books mapping the locations of Man-Booker-prize novels, written by Nick Sidwell, digital publishing manager at Guardian Books. Given that all entrants for the prize must come from Commonwealth countries there’s a curiously nostalgic character to the map.