Hugh Howey on Self-Publishing, Amazon, Indie Authors and Big Five Publishers

Hugh Howey on Self-Publishing, Amazon, Indie Authors and Big Five PublishersHugh Howey is a New York Times best-selling science fiction author and one of the most vocal proponents of self-publishing. His biggest hit, Wool, was published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program and ballooned into a best-selling series that went on to win Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012 Award. Wool has also been optioned by director Ridley Scott and appeared in print under Random House UK.

Howey, along with Data Guy, is also part of the team behind the Author Earnings reports, which present data on self-published titles through Amazon’s KDP program and inform the industry on how big of a role self-publishing plays in today’s book publishing landscape.

I spoke with Howey about a number of issues, including the role of traditional publishers today, what self-publishing can do better, and what he wants the industry to look like 10 years down the line.

Much more.

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What’s the Missing Ingredient for Unlimited Reading Services? (Joe Wikert)
I’ve been a fan of unlimited e-reading services for at least a couple years now. When Oyster Books went under I shifted to Kindle Unlimited. For short-form magazine content I use Texture, the offering formerly known as Next Issue.

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The Case for Very Short Novels (PW)
I’ve never met a reader who doesn’t like short novels. Most people don’t buy books by weight. If you do, you’re reading the wrong article. For me, the opportunity to sit somewhere for two hours and read a book from start to finish–to submerge myself in it–is a thrilling experience. A short novel makes a straightforward demand: give me this time. There’s no room for phone calls, feeding the cat, helping kids with homework. You, the reader, are expected to do some work.
Related: How Are Books Changing?

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Startup Snapshot: Write Track (BookMachine)
Write Track is a creative activity tracker for anyone who aspires to write. People have said we’re a little like ‘Fitbit for writers’ because we take the same kind of goal-setting and tracking tech found in fitness trackers – and apply them to creative practice. Our ambition is to help anyone who wants to write improve their creative output and achieve their writing dreams.

How to Plan a Book Series for Indie Authors (BookWorks)
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Carlsen and Tolino Team Up to Scout for New Writers (Pub Perspectives)
Spanning the traditional vs. self-publishing divide, German publisher Carlsen and self-publishing platform Tolino Media will jointly host a writing content to recognize emerging talent.

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The Hachette Book Group has reached an agreement to buy the Perseus Books Group’s publishing business, 18 months after its previous attempt to acquire the company fell through. The new agreement, which was announced on Tuesday, comes six months after Perseus, a large independent publisher, began looking for a buyer again after the first deal with Hachette collapsed. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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A potential 90-percent literacy rate meets 22 languages — 1,600 dialects and regional languages — in India. Where is its book market’s tipping point?


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