The UK’s Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has announced the start of a campaign called #PublishingOpenUp, “a petition, lobbying of the industry and guidebook,” which “urges but also aids the book and literary industries to incorporate more self-publishers into their programmes.” The petition, up on Change.org, is here, and begins: “Many independent self-publishing authors are producing work of proven value to readers. Literary organisations, events managers, book stores, libraries and reviewers must now find ways to include them.”
ALLi director Orna Ross, in her post on the topic entitled “Why Self-publishing Is So Good For Literary Culture,” points out that: “Half or more of the books on Amazon’s daily bestseller lists are now self-published … There’s no denying that self-publishing times have changed — and also no denying that it’s time these changes were more widely reflected throughout the literary and book worlds.”
Ross does touch on “the mountains of crap problem,” but also asserts, with reason, that: “Corporate publishing works from a scarcity model, grounded in commercial principles. It selects a very few books to be published, assigns them a value dictated by publishing overheads and supply chain, and protects their value with copyright. Self-publishing works from an abundance model, grounded in creative principles. All books can be published and it is writers and readers who decide on value, based on a wide variety of considerations … This apparent cri de coeur about literary values is actually fear of change, often from those who are invested in the old order. And fear of the creative. Creativity is never orderly and neat; it’s colourful and chaotic and kaleidoscopic and we need a publishing scene that acknowledges, and is prepared to be more reflective of, that truth.”
As of the time of writing, the ALLi petition has scored. So far the Change.org petition has scored 766 supporters out of the 9,235 needed. It’s to be hoped that they hit their target.