A Week is a Long Time in Publishing

The joys of a full week in publishing remind us all of the ups and downs, swings and roundabouts in this crazy world we call book publishing.
Last Thursday we reported on the positive move by The Bookseller UK to launch an author preview program highlighting the best of self-published titles from the Nook Press platform. Indeed, the news also brought about a lively FutureBook Twitter chat hosted by the always industrious and energetic Porter Anderson. I reckon Porter should go back to CNN and see if they would be interested in allowing him host a late night chat show on all things publishing!

Today, The Bookseller announced another new initiative placing a deserved spotlight on Young Adult books in the UK and Ireland, and the lack of literary prizes in this genre. Bravo.
Any YA title written by an author living in the UK or Ireland, published between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014, is eligible for the prize. It will be judged by a group of teenage readers alongside leading industry experts such as World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, Waterstones children’s books buyer Melissa Cox, and Rosianna Halse Rojas. vlogger and assistant to YA author John Green.~ The YA Book Prize | The Bookseller
While I’m not a writer of YA books, I suspect many authors hightailed it to the online page The Bookseller have set up for the prize to find the application form and submission process. Some of those good folk who participated in last Friday’s Twitter chat were members of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), currently running this campaign; Open Up To Indie Authors. I guess many will be somewhat disappointed with the terms and conditions of this latest prize. It pretty much follows a familiar pattern of literary prizes blocking the submission of quality self-published books.
I got a bit of a giggle out of the fourth T&C: “All books entered must have a registered ISBN number or equivalent.” Eh, hello, is there any traditional publisher worth their salt not aware they might need an ISBN for a book offered for sale to the book trade? I guess it still jars with me and reminds me of those signs on the windows of businesses during 1950s and 1960s Britain.
If a submission to a literary prize is not good enough regardless of how it was published, then I’m fine with that. But I’ve little time for those wielding the giant tar brush, happy to taint all self-published books.
Like politics, I guess a week is a long time in the publishing world.

Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant

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