And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!
This week, as Ellen Duffer of Forbes notes, times they are a-changing when it comes to partnerships between e-commerce platforms like Dangdang and entrepreneurs and self-publishers. Dandang, a Chinese giant who counts Amazon as one of its biggest rivals, has partnered this week with the self-publishing platform PublishDrive, a company which is little known in America at present but likely a rising star. This means that, for the first time ever, authors in the West (including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom) will have the opportunity to make their self-published e-books available through the Dangdang & PublishDrive websites, opening up entirely new markets in China and beyond. Given the size of that market, this is good news for self-publishing authors–and as Duffer notes, this may be good news for readers in China as well. Says Duffer, “Beyond the fact that this partnership is important because of the fact that many books in China are the product of state-sponsored publishers, the Chinese e-book market is expected to grow around 30% annually for the next three years. That means a lot of potential eyeballs for writers in the West.” Read the full article at the link!
Did you know that Amazon recently banned a book from publication? This should have made very big waves on the Internet indeed, but many remain unaware of this act of censorship. Stephen Gutowski of the National Review is calling for greater awareness of the event, and of the company’s power to influence what gets sold and what doesn’t. As Gutowski points out, the book may or may not have included a downloadable file allowing 3D printer users to print guns on their machines … but we don’t actually know this, given that the book has been completely banned by Amazon, and Amazon has failed to give a reasoning for that ban. The hard copy, writes Gutowski, “consists of raw computer code for Cody Wilson’s single-shot, mostly-3D-printed firearm, a two-page assembly guide, and a one-page editor’s note.” The book’s publication has ignited controversy over the role of for-profit companies in censoring media. We’d love for you to weigh in!
On the positive side, Google’s done a good thing this week, according to Inc42. As the article explains, the tech giant has launched a new initiative called Navlekha specifically geared toward helping the many distinct linguistic and ethnic groups in India to “publish their content in regional languages.” They go on to explain: “Under this, a user is provider with a tool that uses AI to render any PDF containing Indian language content into editable text, which helps the publishers create mobile-friendly content.” (Emphasis theirs.) This is cool for a variety of reasons, not least the possible boost to preserving many languages on the brink of erasure, and to archival projects seeking to save and understand texts which have never been published in English. India, despite its long history with the English language and its robust English-speaking and English-publishing population, contains many cultures and people groups who deserve to see themselves on the page. For more on Google’s project, follow the link, above!
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.