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Weekly Write-Up: 24th April 2019

Short Story Vending Machines on London Underground

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: short story vending machines pop up in London tube stations, Instagram Poetry ruffles some feathers, and how self-publishing helps keep non-fiction books fresh.

Short Story Vending Machines on London Underground

The UK’s first short story vending machines are now installed in London’s Canary Wharf underground station. And what’s better – the stories are entirely free!

Commuters can claim a one, three or five-minute short story simply by pressing a button on the machines, which already feature in locations across France, Hong Kong and the US. At the moment most of the stories are from classic literary giants such as Dickens, Woolf and Lewis Carroll, but Anthony Horowitz has also penned a special one-minute story for commuters to read.

It’s a new way to avoid making eye contact with one another, at any rate. You can read the full, original article here.

Instagram Poetry

The age-old claim that people’s attention spans are growing shorter seems to be proven time and time again. Instagram Poetry has become a popular phenomenon – short, sometimes illustrated poems of only a few lines, which can be easily read whilst scrolling through Instagram on one’s phone. There’s now a publishing house dedicated to releasing this new “medium” through ebook and print channels: Andrews MacMeel Publishing.

There’s a good article all about the new trend, plus the way it potentially devalues poetry, here.

It’s an interesting read, both praising the format for bringing poetry to a younger audience and giving a voice to those who are historically heard less often in publishing circles, and also criticising it for, well… not always being very good.

Self Publishing Keeps Non-Fiction Books Fresh

Here’s another cool article to leave you with: an interview with Verne Harnish, the founder of Entrepreneurs Organization and author of Scaling Up. There’s some interesting stuff about the benefits of self-publishing and building a brand, particular in regard to non-fiction books.

Check it out here.

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.