Category: News

Kingston University Publishing MA


We have recently become involved in the Kingston University Publishing MA course, run by the leading voice of academic research into self-publishing, Alison Baverstock. Alison has over 25 years publishing experience, but her particular area of expertise is self-publishing. She recently produced a study into the motivation and satisfaction levels within self-publishing and commented that it was her most enjoyable project because all the authors that she spoke to seemed genuinely happy about the process and pleased with the result.

Alison’s ground-breaking research showed that the stereotypical view of a self-published author was pretty far from the truth. “Of those interviewed for my study, 65% of self-publishers were women. Nearly two-thirds were aged 41 to 60, with a further 27% aged over 61. Half were in full-time employment, 32% had a degree and 44% a higher degree. According to my research, self-publishers tend predominantly to be educated and busy, and not self-publishing in retirement, bitter from a lifetime’s disappointment from the traditional industry.” A Guardian article on this report can be read here.

This is not entirely surprising , but studies such as this do get the rest of the industry (prizes, retailers etc.) to rethink attitudes on self-publishing, which have already come an awfully long way.

Kingston University Needs You

Currently, we are supervising a Kingston University Publishing MA student who is using her dissertation to continue Alison’s fantastic self-publishing research. She has put together a quick questionnaire and we would love you to click below and answer her questions. The more data we can gather about what self-publishing authors are thinking/doing now, the better more accurate and useful the compiled data will be. So please give us a few minutes of your time to help Kingston University get some up-to-the-minute data on self-publishing.

Start the survey here.




Ebook piracy in the UK has finally been policed properly. The UK High Court has demanded that UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as BT, Virgin Media, Sky, EE, and TalkTalk block sites where people can download illegally pirated eBooks. The action comes after a thorough campaign from the Publishers’ Association, who have long been concerned that their earnings are being threatened by the black market.

Which eBook piracy websites are involved?

The biggest sites listed were: AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwap, and LibGen. Between them, they offer over 10 million free eBooks, around 80% of which are copyright infringements.  The Publishing Association made a good case for the fact that an Internet Service Provider would be able to tell whether one of their customers had downloaded a copyrighted work and had a duty to protect that copyright.

How does eBook piracy make money?

Today, eBook sales form an ever-larger part of an author’s revenue, and their rights and earnings need to be protected. Although the downloads on the pirate sites themselves are free, the sites make money from charging advertisers for space on the webpages. In other words, not only is the author losing out on the sale, the pirate sites actually make money from them via advertising. Obviously, this is grossly unfair and it also represents a lost VAT payment, as all eBooks are VAT-able in the UK. Finally, something has been done to wipe out eBook piracy in the UK.

What does this mean for authors?

This is a real break-through for all authors. Previously, authors and publishers had to issue individual take-down requests to websites when they saw an eBook pirated. These notices were often ignored or acted upon but then somehow, the title would mysteriously go live on their site again. Now the pirates are being cut off at source, giving all authors in the UK the confidence to publish in eBook form.

Find out more about publishing in eBook format here.

Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year

sunday times young writer of the year

The Sunday Times has re-launched The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in partnership with literary agency, PFD. For the first time ever, the prize is open to self-published authors. Andrew Holgate, who is literary editor at The Times said: “It is about adjusting the prize to the realities of the modern world; there is no reason why we should have a bias against self-published works.” This shows that there has been a huge shift in attitudes towards self-publishing. Now even the old literary establishment is opening up to self-published authors. No doubt, because they value good writing above everything else.

The prize has previously by won by literary heavy-weights such as Adam Foulds, Zadie Smith, William Dalrymple, Simon Armitage, Helen Simpson, Sarah Waters and William Fiennes. Could you be the next winner? Aside from the prestige, the main prize is £5,000 and 3 runners-up will also receive £500. Entrants must be under 35 and British/Irish. Categories are: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. It would be fantastic if a self-published author won this year, so please encourage all the great self-published authors you know to enter.

Full details can be found on the Society of Authors website.

Good luck!

Prizes are a great way to raise your profile as an author.  For more information on which prizes are open to self-published authors, see this great blog post over at the Alliance of Independent Authors.