start here

Weekly Write-Up: 13th February 2019

by Tom Ashford

Welcome to the SPF Weekly Write-Up, where each Wednesday we collect together the self-publishing news of the week so you don’t have to.

This week: the shortlist for the Selfies Awards is in, Spotify invests in podcasting, and Humble the Poet goes from self to traditionally published.

The Selfies Awards Shortlist is in…

…and no, I’m not talking about your latest attempt to entice followers on Instagram. Produced by BookBrunch in partnership with the London Book Fair, Bookollective and IngramSpark, the Selfies Awards celebrates the work of UK-based indie authors. The books aren’t only judged on their literary merit, however, but also on “the cover design, blurb and sales and marketing campaigns too”. The criteria include:

• A well produced ebook or print book
• An enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience
• An effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy
• Great sales potential

And yes, the shortlist is in… and it’s an all-female lineup, some of whom are even part of the SPF Facebook Community! Congratulations to all of you. Those in the running are:

• Anita Belli, Once Upon a Blue Moon
• Jane Davis, Smash All the Windows
• Caroline Goldsworthy, Tangent
• Mel Gough, He Is Mine
• Susan Grossey, Faith, Hope, and Trickery
• Kathleen Jowitt, A Spoke in the Wheel
• Heleen Kist, In Servitude
• Jane Steen, Lady Helena Investigates

The winner gets £1,500, a special self-publishing package from IngramSpark and a custom book cover and publicity campaign from Bookollective. Not bad, eh! You can read more about the award here.

Self-Publishing Podcasts

Here’s a quick one that may or may not be newsworthy, but I’ll report it all the same: Spotify has acquired self-publishing podcast firm Anchor and is expected to spend around half a billion dollars on further podcast acquisitions. The Guardian says that “the deal might just be regarded as the moment podcasting truly evolved from a cottage industry to a global money-maker.”

Something to keep an eye on if you’re thinking of ways to expand your audience in the future…

(Social Media Star to) Indie Author to Traditionally Published

Last (and in regard to newsworthiness, probably least): Humble the Poet, a Canadian rapper, social media influencer and, well, poet, became a bestseller when he self-published his book Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life. Well, he’s now landed a six-figure, two-book deal with HarperOne – the first book being Things No One Else Can Teach Us. Look what an enormous online following can do for you!

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford is a professional copywriter, author of numerous dark fantasy and sci-fi novels, and the Head of Content at the Self Publishing Formula Blog. His books include the Blackwater trilogy and the Checking Out series.

He lives in London with his wife, in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Find out more about Tom here.