Self-publishing News: Publishers Criticise EU’s Watered Down Attack on Piracy — Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

In this week’s self-publishing special news, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at what mitigating the change in consumer behavior toward the pandemic means for India.

Dan Holloway is ALLi’s News Editor

I really look forward to seeing many of you at the #indieauthorchat tonight at 3pm ET, 8pm UK time when Alice’s Debbie Young joins Tim to debunk the myths. And on Friday, a new self-publishing news podcast will be released, in which Howard and I have discussed several Amazon-related stories in the past month.

Copyright and piracy laws change (or don’t change) in the UK and EU

Publishers are calling on the European Union to sharpen the clutches of the upcoming digital services law. The law aims to define acceptable and unacceptable practices online. The basic principle is that if something is illegal offline, it should be illegal online.

The law seeks to address online harm in general, but European publishers have criticized dealing with piracy in particular. The law allows removal of pirated material in the places where it is displayed, and allows action against repeat offenders. But it does not amount to “stop” measures that would ensure that pirated material does not reappear once it has been removed. It does not allow the suspension of platforms that frequently host pirated material, nor the imposition of severe penalties on external links that lead to such material.

For those of us concerned about an increase in piracy in our work, this may seem like a partial win at best. But the flip side is that those who host other people’s material (those who have a blog or podcast from us, for example) can breathe a little easier about the consequences if one of our guests turns out to be outrageous.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the government has suspended plans to change copyright law. The proposed reforms would have facilitated the import into the United Kingdom of foreign versions of the author’s work. The Save Our Books campaign, organized by the Publishers Association, warned that this could affect authors’ ability to make a living off their intellectual property.

PaperBlanks: Remember Laptops Are Books!

This came across my desk too late to include in an already stuffed column last week. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Of course I have, because I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about laptops in general. It’s part of being a writer.

Last week, publishing giant Hachette Paperblanks was bought. PaperBanks makes some of the most beautiful notebooks you could hope to find. And unlike many beautifully covered magazines, it’s actually (most) lying around. Which means it’s usable as well as great. I’ve always thought of PaperBlancs as a niche product. They appear to be the second largest in this field, after only Moleskine.

It seemed like a strange partnership at first. Of course, that’s not really the case, because writers and notebooks are eternal companions. But also because magazines are books. Books that someone publishes. I think many of us forget that, and the opportunities it can present to us. Especially those of us who write non-fiction. Of course, getting a print-on-demand magazine to lie flat and be really easy to use is another issue entirely! But perhaps there is a demand for a service to provide this that is just waiting to be exploited.

Are epidemic-driven consumer trends slowing?

How does our behavior change?

In March 2020, people’s behavior suddenly changed for quite understandable reasons. One of the most important changes was the relocation of people’s leisure activities from the outside world to their homes. Some brands have made huge successes from this where others have struggled.

And one of the questions that no one has really been able to answer is how many of these changes will last. There was a lot of statements about “things will never be the same again”. But the cinema’s strong box office screenings and people’s return to office buildings suggest that at least some people would like to go back to some of the old ways of doing things.

Are Live Streaming and Leisure at Home Slowing Down?

This week, we’ve seen a remarkable set of stories suggesting that the behavioral changes wracked by Covid may not be as sticky as initially thought. This will have implications for how we plan our business in the coming months.

Two companies that exemplified this new way of pursuing leisure time faced public struggles this week. Netflix, which has become an icon of consumers’ transition to streaming content, has posted its slowest growth since 2015. Peloton, synonymous with moving into home entertainment, has halted new production of its bikes and treadmills because things have slowed too much.

And when it comes to seeing how this might affect the way people read, we can also turn to a third giant, Spotify, that has been in the news. Of course, Spotify has positioned itself as the receiver of all sounds. But this week, it turned out that Spotify was losing market share. What does all this mean? I don’t think that means that subscription will end up being the dominant way people want to pay for their reading. But it looks like the scene in which this happens may not be as consistent as we thought.

Printing costs increased by 40%

You’ve covered higher printing costs before. This week, a story in The Bookseller carries the alarming figure that printing costs have gone up 40% in just 3 months. The article focuses on the impact on smaller publishers in the UK, but it can’t be long before it filters out for print on demand costs. And combined with bookseller discounts, that can (even more) push us out of some markets.

Anti-piracy legislation and other #selfpub news stories by #indieauthors eased, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Hollowayagnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click to tweet

Upcoming conferences and events

Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months. I highly recommend this great list of online book conferences from Nate Hoffelder, some of which are comprehensive as independent.

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) – Zoom meets on the second Saturday of every month

I’m done with you

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