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Weekly Write-Up: 5th December 2018

by Tom Ashford
Welcome to the SPF Weekly Write-Up, where each Wednesday we’ll be collecting together the self-publishing news of the week so you don’t have to.

This week: Mailchimp’s service suffers a slip-up, stories might one day be tailored according to your phone data, and the Pen to Publish contest is back.

Read on to find out more!

Mailchimp’s Service Slip-Ups

Mailchimp, one of the most popular email marketing platforms, has confirmed that it’s suffering widespread service outages and connection issues.

The worst-affected areas appear to be in various cities across the United States (New York, Houston, San Francisco…), but it’s also reported that European cities, including London and Berlin, are having trouble too.

Mailchimp’s engineering team is investigating; hopefully the issue is resolved before too many people’s campaigns are affected (hopefully before this Weekly Write-Up even goes live, with any luck).

FutureBook Live 2018

There’s an interesting article over at The Book Seller about tech discussions at the recent FutureBook Live conference. In particular, how new technology (or newly popular existing technologies) will affect the reading and writing experience.

One project being worked on, as you can read in the original article, involves delivering a ghost story straight to your smartphone. But this is no ordinary serial novel. No, the story will be personalised for you according to the data on your phone – your location, the time of day, what the weather is like, etc.

Talk about Black Mirror.

Pen to Publish 2018

The Amazon KDP “Pen to Publish” contest is back for its second year!

It’s a contest that seems to be targeting Indian writers, though I couldn’t see anything in the terms of conditions that states that writers from other countries can’t participate (barring a few specific nationalities). To enter, one’s submission must be an original and previously unpublished novel, short story or poem (or collection) in English, Hindi or Tamil, and be published on KDP between 10th November 2018 and 9th Feb 2019. Oh, and you need to enroll in KDP Select and add pentopublish2018 to your metadata keywords, too.

There are a lot of different cash prizes, plus up to thirty finalists will win Kindle E-readers. If you’re a writer based in India, perhaps it’s worth checking out?

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.