Weekly Write-Up: 3rd April 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 are banning alleged book-stuffers, POD makes yearbooks cheaper, and China has a crazy bookstore.
Yes, Amazon are Banning Alleged Book-Stuffers
Though the practice of book-stuffing to rinse the collective Kindle Unlimited payout pot through page reads has a few indie authors worried (in the big picture, probably unnecessarily), rest assured that Amazon aren’t taking those trying to trick the system lightly.
In a recent Guardian article, it was noted that multiple book-stuffers, such as Chance Carter and Victoria Belle, have already been banned from Amazon. The problem is that, as with scammers in any industry, it’s a bit like whack-a-mole – knock them down and they just pop up someplace else.
Let’s hope that a longer-term solution presents itself. In the meantime try not to worry – Amazon doesn’t benefit from people rigging the system any more than we do.
POD is Bringing Down the Cost of Yearbooks
Apparently the average end-of-school yearbook costs between $65 and $100, which seems quite a bit for what is essentially a series of photos of people you’d mostly like to forget. And school-leavers (and their wallet-owning parents) seem to agree: sales of yearbooks have never been lower. After all, why pay so much for pictures of people you’re already following on Facebook?
But is self-publishing changing that?
According to Forbes, self-publishing Print-on-Demand can create the same yearbook for a third of the price, cutting out some of the “secret costs” that are passed onto consumers. And that’s using a “costlier” service such as Lulu, too. I wonder how many other businesses are being either revitalised or dismantled by the rise of self-publishing?
The Most Wonderful Bookstore Yet?
A book shop in China is surely in the running for the title of Most Interesting Bookstore. Guiyang Zhongshuge spans 3,400 square metres and consists of a series of ‘endless’ mirrored tunnels, which all create the effect of a trippy optical illusion. There are also boutique reading areas and a children’s library.
The pictures are fantastic. Check them out here.
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