Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

The Bookseller and Nook Press

Very cool announcement from Nook Press this week about a partnership with The Bookseller in the UK to highlight 10 new self-published titles a month. The titles will be featured in The Booksellers We Love This Book magazine, and one would assume online at the Nook store as well. Kinda like the editors’ picks you see at other outlets, but only for indies. Targeted emails will be sent out as well, which many authors have found to be the most effective marketing tool.

I can’t imagine anyone scoffing at this, though some will probably look for ways to be cynical. Not me. This is a major development for readers and writers alike. Stigmas are falling; self-publishing is now seen not only as viable but in many ways superior to any other path to publication, especially for authors just getting their start. If your goal is to publish with a major house one day, self-publishing is a great way to find your voice and your audience, to hone your craft, and to prove your mettle. It is no longer a death knell for aspiring writers. That’s a major change in this industry, and it happened fast.

Discoverability, of course, is still the greatest struggle any new writer faces, and this is true of all authors, however they publish. I’ve watched brilliant debut works languish as a bookseller and more recently as a reader and industry observer. But Nook Press and The Bookseller are showing a commitment to coming up with more ways to hook up great books with great readers, to get authors discovered, and to give more writers a chance of breaking out. Which is more of what this industry needs.

Read FutureBook’s take on it here.

And I’ve added it to my The Tankers are Turning post about all the positive developments being made by traditional publishers and outlets.

14 replies to “The Bookseller and Nook Press”

I hope they really focus on UK authors for this and I would love to see something similar in the US as well. Is there a high profile review organization that you think might take up the torch for this sort of thing here?

IndieReader.com highlights great books. What we need is for more retailers to take up the banner. And why wouldn’t they? There are readers out there LOOKING for indie books. I have a lot of FB friends who prefer indie titles.

So it’s basically an indie bestseller list? Sounds good. Can you imagine anything that would open a reader up to indie books better than a list of books just as good as tradpub books, except half the price?

Artificial barriers like tradpub/indie serve no reader well. This could go a long way toward erasing the distinction.

Very exciting indeed!
I published my debut on August 11th – digitally through KDP Select and print through IngramSpark. IngramSpark is taking leaps and bounds to better their services for folks like me. This time last year they had no email/phone tech support and only had options to discount 55% to retailers. Since July, I’ve contacted IngramSpark several times, through email and phone, each time receiving earnest help. And my discount’s set at 40%.
KDP Select seemed like a good starting point, largely because I didn’t have time to learn how to create all the other file formats. But here’s good motivation to diversify once my 90 day ebook contract is up!
(And may I just say that compared to lifetime + decades, 90 days is like a fresh breeze??)
David

It’s fantastic news, really. Just very curious about how the curation will go, if it will only be about top sellers, or if they will actually read them, or a mix of both.

But in any case, it makes sense in the whole “opening up to indie authors” initiative launched by Orna Ross and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

We’re actually discussing it right now on Twitter with the #futurechat hashtag, feel free to join us :)

…if it will only be about top sellers, or if they will actually read them, or a mix of both.

That’s what I’m wondering. When I initially read the announcement, I assumed curation that included finding, reading, and showcasing hidden gems. That would be fantastic! Then realism/cynicism tempered my enthusiasm. “Ah, they’ll just pluck their ‘hidden gems’ from the big sellers.” Of course, I don’t really know. I suppose we’ll find out.

Regarding good books languishing, I would really like to say you have the power to change this, Hugh. We need a system for curation of indie books, where it is really easy to be undiscoverable. You are probably well enough read and respected to nudge the course in a better direction for books you deem outstanding.

The problem is that anyone that does reviews opens themselves to a fire hose blast of begging, desperate writers who can’t keep their emotions in control and are otherwise inconsiderate. Many review bloggers won’t even look at an indie book because of hard sell tactics. I tried to quickly search your history on the subject, and didn’t find anything. My presumption is that you don’t want into that pig-pen, and I don’t blame you if that is the case.

The entire situation sucks, because a powerful “word of mouth” avenue is being stifled, particularly for indie authors. We need more casual reviews from people who don’t want to be a target for the hungry mob of aggressive marketers.

The downside of the digital publishing revolution is that there is now a lot more competition for reader’s eyeballs. Whereas it used to be that the traditional publishers served as screening system to weed out the crap, nowadays anyone can publish anything.

And Amazon’s algorithms, although decent, are not anywhere close to being truly up to the task.

It’s nice to be validated but do readers read Bookseller? Probably not. Will it move the needle much in terms of sales? Probably not. I’d be more excited if a national magazine or newspaper like Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, US Weekly, USA Today, LA Times or New York Times did so but rather than separating it from the “real books” if they included it because our books, our indie books, are real books. It’s like when people say Denzel Washington is a great black actor. Um … he’s a great actor period. Our books shouldn’t not be separated as if they are an anomaly.

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