Australian Self-Publisher
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1 March 2019

ASA advises authors to send takedown notices to Internet Archive

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has condemned the activities of the Internet Archive’s Open Library in its unlicensed lending of scanned copies of physical books and is advising authors to contact the Internet Archive and request the removal of their titles from the Library.

The ASA’s advice follows a response from the Internet Archive to the ASA’s open letter on the Archive’s activities, written in conjunction with the Society of Authors in the UK and the Authors Guild in the US. In response to the letter, the Internet Archive told the ASA that it would prefer to work directly with individual authors, and invites authors to contact it with any complaints.

The ASA encourages authors to search the Open Library for their titles, send an email to requesting their removal, and inform their publisher.

This news story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 14 February 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.

New Macquarie Uni research to examine Aus rights sales

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the Australia Council for the Arts will contribute $30,000 each to a new Macquarie University study examining the international rights sales and export of Australian books over the past 10 years.

In conjunction with book industry representatives, Macquarie University academics David Throsby, Paul Crosby and Jan Zwar will conduct research into the extent and nature of demand for contemporary Australian books, the changing nature of deals, and factors contributing to success in global markets.

By surveying publishers and agents, and conducting a series of case studies of author, agency and publisher experiences with the sale of international rights, the study aims to inform strategies for sustaining international interest, and increasing opportunities for Australian publishers and writers in the future.

Throsby said: ‘Many opportunities exist for increasing the publication of Australian books in overseas markets. However, there is a lack of basic data on the export sector of the book industry that could assist publishers, agents and authors in planning international rights sales, leading to a stronger presence of Australian titles in the international marketplace. This research is aimed at helping to fill that gap.’ The results of the study will be released in late 2019.

This news story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 8 February 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.

Self-published Aussie novel longlisted for Republic of Consciousness Prize

Brisbane author Nicholas John Turner’s debut self-published novel Hang Him When He Is Not There has been longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize.

Turner’s novel, which was sold into the UK and Ireland to Birmingham-based small press Splice in May last year, was praised by judges as ‘the novel as hall of mirrors, and it rewards you for following it to the end’.

The annual Republic of Consciousness Prize, which recognises ‘brave, bold and brilliant’ literature from small presses, is open to publishers with fewer than five full-time employees. The shortlist will be announced on 2 March, with the winner announced on 28 March.

This news story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 16 January 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.
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All-women shortlist announced for inaugural Selfies Awards

In the UK, BookBrunch has announced the shortlist for the inaugural Selfies Awards for a self-published novel. The new prize was unveiled in December 2018, and aims to ‘discover new talent and recognise the best self-published titles each year’. In the inaugural year, the award is for adult fiction only, but will expand to include other categories in the future. Entry is restricted to UK-based authors.

The shortlisted titles for the inaugural prize are all by women writers. They are:

  • Once Upon a Blue Moon (Anita Belli)
  • Smash all the Windows (Jane Davis)
  • Tangent (Caroline Goldsworthy)
  • He is Mine (Mel Gough)
  • Faith, Hope and Trickery (Susan Grossey)
  • A Spoke in the Wheel (Kathleen Jowitt)
  • In Servitude (Heleen Kist)
  • Lady Helena Investigates (Jane Steen).

The winner of the prize receives £1500 (A$2685), a ‘bespoke book cover design’ by designer Aimee Coveney and a book publicity campaign worth £1000 (A$1790). The winner will be announced at the 2019 London Book Fair in March. For more information about the awards, visit the Selfies website.

This news story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 6 February 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.

More than 1000 authors earned over US$100K in 2018 says Amazon

Amazon has reported that authors earned more than US$260 million (A$359m) from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund in 2018, totalling more than US$840m (A$1.16bn) since the launch of Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon said, ‘hundreds of thousands of authors have self-published millions of books through KDP since launching the service in 2007’. It added that ‘thousands’ of authors earned more than US$50,000 (A$69,000) from KDP royalties in 2018, and more than 1000 authors earned over US$100,000 (A$138,000).

The company shared the data when releasing its full-year financial results, which showed a net sales increase of 31% in 2018.

The retailer earned net sales of US$232.9 billion (A$321.3bn) this year, compared with US$177.9bn (A$245.4) in 2017. Operating income increased to US$12.4bn (A$17.1bn), up from US$4.1bn ($A5.6bn) in 2017. Net income increased to US$10.1bn (A$13.9bn), up from US$3bn (A$4.1bn) in 2017.

A version of this story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 4 February 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.

EU agrees on copyright directive

The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission have made an agreement on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which modernises copyright law for the first time in 18 years.

The parliament had adopted the directive in September 2018, which makes online platforms and aggregators liable for copyright infringements where only a small part of a news publisher’s text is displayed, and liable parties must pay individuals rights holders, not just publishers. Simply sharing hyperlinks to articles, along with a description, will be free of copyright constraints. The directive also strengthens the negotiating rights of authors, allowing them to revoke or terminate the exclusivity of a licence for their work.

European Commission vice-president for the digital single market Andrus Ansip said: ‘To finally have modern copyright rules for the whole of EU is a major achievement that was long overdue. The negotiations were difficult, but what counts in the end is that we have a fair and balanced result that is fit for a digital Europe: the freedoms and rights enjoyed by internet users today will be enhanced, our creators will be better remunerated for their work, and the internet economy will have clearer rules for operating and thriving.’

The agreed text for the copyright directive must now be formally confirmed by the parliament and the council. Once confirmed, member states have 24 months to adopt the rules into their national legislation.

This news story first appeared in Books+Publishing on 15 February 2019. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.
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Survey: self-published author incomes are on the rise

Earlier this month, The Authors Guild shared the results from its 2018 Authors’ Income Survey, leading to much discussion of dwindling author salaries. IngramSpark’s Regan Kannamer explores the results and finds self-published author incomes are on the rise.

With over 5000 writers participating in the Authors Guild survey, including some IngramSpark authors, we saw the largest US survey of published authors to date, and the findings have created conversation amongst the book publishing industry. The good news? Self-published author incomes are on the rise! Here are some of our key takeaways from the survey, as well as some tips to help you maximise your self-publishing author salary today.

More people are trying self-publishing

First, let’s look at the demographics of the survey. Of the respondents, 46% were traditionally published, 27% were self-published, and 26% participated in both. Looking more closely, you’ll see that 53% of the respondents have participated in some form of self-publishing—that’s more than half! With innovations in print-on-demand technology and increasing professionalism within self-publishing, we’ve seen the self-publishing bias decrease in countries around the world. It’s clear that traditional publishing no longer reigns as the only legitimate form of book publishing, and we expect the number of self-published authors in future reports to continue to rise.

Read the full article here.


Seven tips for self-publishing a high-quality book from Michael Hanrahan

Have you written a book and you’re not sure what to do next? Do you think self-publishing is too hard? Don’t know where to start? Not moody enough to call yourself a writer? Don’t worry, none of these things will stop you.

These days you don’t have to wait for a publisher to accept your book to get it out into the world. Now you can self-publish a book to the same standards as a major publisher. Self-publishing also usually takes about a quarter of the time compared to traditional publishing. And you have full control over the process. There’s a lot to like.

So, here are my top seven tips to help you self-publish a high-quality book.

1. Do your homework

There are all sorts of services out there to help you self-publish a book. Some of them are really good and will help you produce a great book. Some of them are a bit suspect and will charge you a lot of money to produce an average book. So, do your homework. There’s stacks of info online, so learn about how much you should expect to pay and what you should get for your money. And before you sign up with a particular person or company, do your research to see if this person or business has a good reputation. It’s usually not too difficult to find out which companies to avoid.

2. Have your book professionally produced by people with book experience

Your friend who is good in Word might be able to make great Christmas cards, but that doesn’t mean they can typeset a book. And your web person might design an awesome home page, but that doesn’t mean they can format a book well. I’ve seen skilled, experienced designers get into all sorts of trouble when they try to do their first book. There are design issues that are unique to books that will catch out unwary designers. So, the first question to ask any service provider is, ‘Tell me about the books you’ve worked on?’

3. Don’t print more than you expect to sell

It can be tempting to print more copies because the more you print, the cheaper it is per copy. But if you don’t sell them, this turns out to be the more expensive option. You can always print more if your book takes off. So, make a reasonable estimate of how many copies you think you need to start with and print that many. Keep in mind you can usually reprint very quickly.

4. Don’t give away lots of free copies to family and friends

They should be happy to support your publishing venture by purchasing copies.

5. Use a specialist book printer

Your local print shop might offer book printing, but they won’t do as good a job as a specialist book printer. Poor printing will ruin your book, no matter how well you’ve done everything else. Before you work with any printer, ask them to send you a copy of a book they have printed recently, and make sure it’s an acceptable standard.

6. Prepare a publicity plan for your book

Send review copies to blogs, TV and radio programs and journalists who you think might be interested. Also send a copy to your local paper, focusing on the fact that you live in the area. Start preparing for this a few months before your book comes out, so that you are ready to go when your books arrive from the printer.

7. Be prepared for the effort required

If you self-publish, you are taking on text and cover design, editing and proofreading, printing, marketing, distribution and more. This takes time and money, but it’s worth it—if you do it well.

Michael Hanrahan has held the positions of editor, editor and production coordinator, and managing editor for Wrightbooks (Australia’s leading publisher of business and finance titles) and John Wiley & Sons Australia. He has worked with many bestselling authors, and has experience in publishing, writing, editing and design for a wide range of clients, including Oxford University Press, Overland, RMIT Publishing, and Random House.


Advice from the ISBN team

When registering at you can choose a pen-name or pseudonym to include as the publisher name. When assigning title detail, the author’s name can also be a pen-name, however, it is mandatory to supply your proper name as the contact person during registration. This needs to be added as an internal contact. This name wouldn’t be seen publicly on, however your email needs to be public as a contact for obtaining publication. If you are concerned about privacy, perhaps consider creating a separate email to list publicly.

An editorial address is also mandatory. If you wish this to be private, please consider changing this to a PO Box address. You can request however, to print suppress a street address.

For more information, contact the Australian ISBN agency on (03) 8517-8349 during business hours or email

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Rhea Dempsey on ‘Birth with Confidence’

Rhea Dempsey is a counsellor, independent childbirth educator, trainer and author who works with women and families before, during and after birth. This month, she spoke with Australian Self-Publisher about self-publishing her first book Birth with Confidence with the help of her editor daughter.

Describe your book in under 50 words

Birth with Confidence is for women yearning for ‘normal physiological birth’ without unnecessary medical interventions. Necessary interventions are wonderful but Australia’s statistics show most aren’t, and women don’t know that. I explain why this is so and what choices women can make for their best chance of avoiding them.

Why self-publish?

I had been working on this book for many years while also running childbirth workshops, ante-natal classes and my own counselling practice. As luck would have it, over the many years it took me to write the book my daughter Matthia became an editor in the publishing industry so I was lucky to have both her editing expertise and her knowledge of the publishing process to get the book out there. I honestly don’t think I would have attempted to self-publish without her knowledge, but luckily for my author’s ‘royalties’ I did!

What year did you start and where are you based?

We published the book in 2013 and I am just about to print my fourth (substantial) print run. I’m based in Melbourne.

How many people did you contract on your book and what did you do yourself?

Other than my daughter Matthia as editor, I drew on the favours of several editor friends and also young women with editing and birthing experience. I paid a typesetter, Megan Ellis, and Sandra Nobes designed the cover. The book was first printed right after Matthia had her eldest child and although she raised concerns about the quality of the stock I was too keen (and she was too busy with the baby) to look for another printer. The second and third print runs were with McPherson’s and the quality is so much better—it actually looks ‘like a real book’!

What makes your book unique?

There are plenty of childbirth preparation books out there but mine is—I believe—unique in two ways. Firstly, I explain how the hospital system and birth culture affects women in labour. Many women are just like I was when I had my first baby: naive and (understandably) very trusting of the hospital system. But a closer look at the statistics shows that how your labour unfolds and how your baby is born has a lot more to do with who is with you when you birth, which hospital you are birthing in and what their routine timing and other protocols are—all this predicts interventions rather than what is medically necessary. This is vital knowledge for anyone wanting their best shot at normal physiological childbirth. Secondly, I am honest about pain. Normal physiological childbirth is intense and involves functional pain. But again, most women don’t know how much they can raise their pain threshold through preparation, support and a ‘reframing’ of the pain. No one says ‘Oh you poor thing, you can’t do it’ to a fit athlete breaking pain barriers—birthing women can be supported to do amazing things.

What has been your biggest success?

I think getting to my fourth print run without a publicity department behind me is a pretty big success!

What has been your biggest challenge?

Self-promotion, social media and my website. I’m still working, counselling and educating and so that side of things comes second. I know I could be doing more and doing it better but where to find the time?

What would be your top tip for those starting out in self-publishing?

Know your strengths and pay professionals for anything you (or your daughter!) can’t do yourself. Educate yourself about distribution. We made the decision not to seek a distributor and I sell the books myself online and at my events. I’ve had a few bookshops and antenatal practitioners approach me who keep the book in stock but I certainly don’t walk into a bookshop and expect to find it—and no self-publisher should, unless they’ve managed to line up a distributor.

What will you publish next?

I’m almost finished my second book, also about birth. While the first book was about the birth system and the external choices (of birth place and caregivers) a woman can make to boost her chances of normal physiological birth, this new book is about the internal psychological preparation that will help her. This idea of holistic psychological preparation for birth is very traditional midwifery knowledge but it is largely ignored today—at great cost to those who want to have a normal physiological birth.


Upcoming events

Adelaide Writers’ Week (2–7 March), Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, Adelaide
Leading Edge Books conference (17–19 March), Hilton, Adelaide
International Military Writers’ Festival (5–7 April)
Sydney Writers’ Festival (29 April–5 May), Carriageworks, Eveleigh, NSW
Clunes Booktown Festival (4–5 May), Clunes, Vic
Scribblers Festival (8–10 May), The Goods Shed, Claremont, WA
Institute of Professional Editors conference (8–10 May), Pullman Melbourne on the Park, Melbourne




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