Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: Big Companies Push to Compete with Amazon’s Publishing Market

by Maureen Crisp •  February 8, 2018  •   Follow

Published in News  •  No comments


Amazon has continued to grow in the publishing market, and now other big companies are jumping into the fight.

Apple is revamping for another fight into the fray of publishing and Walmart is joining up with Kobo to compete. As competitors finally begin to push against Amazon’s large ownership of the market, authors and publishing professionals wonder who will join the fight next.


Taking Turns

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Elliott Brown – Merry Go Round at London Zoo


It’s February already??? Where did the time go? The kids went back to school this week. I tried to find all my writing projects. They are scattered around the house in folders of scribbled notes… because the kids kept taking my computer.
This week there was a semi quiet announcement, which was pounced on by industry commentators. Walmart announced a deal with Rakuten Kobo. Walmart is a very big chain of stores selling all kinds of products including grocery. Kobo started as a Canadian eBook distributor with its own hardware reader. They operate ebook stores all over the world but not in the US. This is going to make 2018 very interesting with increased competition for Amazon.


While Kobo have been making moves so has Apple. They have rebranded their ebook store. The Digital Reader has some ideas on what Apple can do next to really ramp up the competition in the ebook market place.


Next it was Google Play’s turn. They started to sell audiobooks this week. If you have been looking at the audio format and wondering whether to do a deal with Audible with a 7 year contract lock in…. Maybe it’s time to take a look at all the other players who have audio book storefronts.


Here in NZ we are lucky to get free ISBN’s for our work. It would be nice if we got free I.S.N.I. -International Standard Name Identifier. This means that the code attached to your name identifies you as the owner of a public work. If there are 500 Jane Smiths all saying they wrote a book… which one are you? YouTube has just become a registration agency for ISNI. What does it mean for creators? Publishing Perspectives takes a look


Kris Rusch has an interesting blog post on things that can be learned about the Indie Publishing business from the publishing train wrecks of 2017. A little bit of distance to think calmly is always a good thing.
Karen Meyers has an interesting opinion piece on the ALLi blog. Why do you need to learn to market? Her answer; Do you want to be in business? It all comes back to what you want from your writing career. A very interesting and thoughtful post.


Ann Kroeker has a solution to the ‘where to start’ problem of writing. Reverse engineer your editorial calendar. Start right from the end… publishing it. This post turns writing on its head… but it just might work.
Janet Reid answered a readers question about how hard it was to restart a writing career from an Agents perspective. It is not impossible but…

Jane Friedman has a guest post from Jennifer Probst on creating amazing secondary characters. I have been guilty of letting a secondary character have too much limelight. How can you manage these characters properly?

In The Craft Section,

How to use dictation for healthier writing– Passive Guy- Read the comments for great advice.
Script analysis – Coco  Scene break down- Go Into The Story- Bookmark
5 types of surprises– SeptemberFawkes- Bookmark
9 secrets to supercharge your fiction- Anne R Allen – Bookmark
Characterisation- Fear – Ruthanne Reid

In The Marketing Section,

What to put in your Author Newsletter– Glen Miller- Bookmark
Have you got a catalogue page– Darcy Pattison- Bookmark

To Finish,

It’s time for a bit of inspiration… Jerry Jenkins asked 41 Authors what they wished they knew when they were starting out…


For me… it’s amazing how much you can get done in sprint writing. AND get a computer the kids can’t borrow…




About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.