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Weekly Write-Up: 17th July 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: Amazon turns 25, a father writes 365 stories in as many days for his daughter, and beach-reads are making way for literary fiction.

Amazon Turns Twenty-Five

Twenty-five years. Somehow twenty-five years seems much too young for such an enormous, unavoidable Goliath of a company, and yet too old for any company which I can quite clearly remember not existing at all. Yet it’s now one of the most valuable companies in the world (and Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man as a result).

They started by selling books online (physical ones, back then); this year, Amazon was valued at over a trillion dollars (though has since dipped a little below that titanic benchmark since). It’s a crazy achievement, and a big congratulations to everyone who managed to make Amazon a reality (particularly for helping shepherd in a new era of publishing – we indie authors can’t thank them enough!).

You can read more about Amazon’s journey from garage company to global empire here.

Father Writes His Daughter 365 Stories in 365 Days

Not books, as the linked article states, but stories… which is no small accomplishment in itself. Matt Zurbo works all day at an oyster farm and is a doting father in the evenings, yet still manages to squeeze in some time to write a short story for his daughter (for when she can read, at least – Cielo is only twenty months old).

Maybe he should put them all together into a book once he’s finished. You can read more about Matt’s inspiring story here.

Your Summer Reading Guide

Don’t worry – I wouldn’t dare suggest books for anyone to read during their well-earned summer vacations. But the publishing industry has traditionally pushed ‘easy’ novels on readers during the warmer months, ones which are easy to work through whilst also soaking up the sun’s rays. Think simple thrillers and “chick lit”.

Well, it seems as if things are changing. People aren’t just interested in reading romance novels on the beach anymore, but are apparently just as interested in picking up some literary works as well (or as the Guardian describes them, those “driven by art as well as plot”.) You can read the article here.

Of course, some of these books’ sales numbers are a little paltry compared to indie bestsellers, so perhaps everyone should continue doing what they do best: writing exciting stories.

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.