There are a lot of writers on here and all of you please keep writing. We all need more leftist books whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, philosophy or poetry!


Also free idea for the tech people on here: band camp but for books

I’ve literally been desperate for this for years. We hate amazon. Please someone do this

Another thing: I’m not here trying to romanticize the “Ive been rejected 69,420 times but now I’m published” thing. If you can get published traditionally great! But those are sexist and racist capitalist institutions and there is no shame in self publishing. Nietzsche self published and Whitman wrote reviews of his own book. Do what you need to do

Did not expect this to blow up: what I’m getting at is there is no agreed upon noncorporate place for people to go to publish, discover, and buy ebooks. Amazon is still the widely used service on the left. I see a lot of leftist writers publish on amazon despite their criticisms... we need to build an that alternate ebook community and economy on a platform that doesnt suck. That platform might exist, like, but such a space does not exist right now.

Another reason to do this is I think amazon self-published authors are writing to increasingly problematic audiences... like one podcast I listened to suggested that ‘writing politically incorrect stories is a business opportunity bc the big four won’t risk their brand on it’ meaning there’s an unmet market. There’s going to be increasingly bad (yes I know it’s already bad) stuff on amazon and there will probably be a big opportunity for rivals when people realize that

@goodleftyfundies i think could work as a place for books as well, i mean it has all the needed infrastructure. but yeah the culture isn't there yet, it's mostly games and small zines still

@em I didn’t think to look into that as an option but now I will. I’m just very frustrated with publishing

@goodleftyfundies there is even a separate category called books, i'm not sure that it's used very much though

@em do you think people find your IF and games thru

@goodleftyfundies @em I thought I was the last IF writer left, and I haven't written anything in an eon but uhhhh wow I'd love to work on an project with someone because my planning skills are subpar

@secondary_world @goodleftyfundies i've only finished one longer IF thing yet (in twine) but it was really fun and i'm definitely going to make more

@em @goodleftyfundies I used to make stuff in Inform

My favorite IF is still Galatea, by Emily Short, who now works for Failbetter

@secondary_world @goodleftyfundies oh yeah, Inform is for parser-based games right? i haven't tried that but it seems really fun too

@em @goodleftyfundies Yeah, they're like the old Zork games but there are some people who have done INCREDIBLE things with it

@secondary_world @goodleftyfundies thanks, i'll check these out! i think parser games are cool because they feel more free than link-based IF like twine. like even if you can't really do everything, the parser kinda creates that illusion

@em @goodleftyfundies They can be very nonlinear and present a wide range of options, too

Galatea, which looks very simple, is actually very complicated, and you can have several different conversations with her that close off paths

Anchorhead, the biggest parser-IF I know of, is like a book-length Lovecraft story where you can explore an entire New England town over the course of several days

I'd love to write something complex and cool like that, but my programming skills are small

@secondary_world @goodleftyfundies yeah same, i've been sticking to smaller games for now... they're slowly getting more complex though so maybe one day i'll make a Big Thing, who knows?

@em @goodleftyfundies Well, if you ever want to divide up a big project and write it with someone, I have a passing understanding of Inform and the Choice of Games system

@secondary_world @em I have no technical ability but if you need help writing I have plenty of bad ideas

@secondary_world @em @goodleftyfundies My very favourite IF of all time has to be the gloriously bizarre works of rybread celsius. Just found a very nice overview of his work here

@em @secondary_world think IF is having a bit of a revival lately... I’ve considered switching to IF more than once

@goodleftyfundies @em I ALMOST wrote something for Choice of Games but they paid out my contract and told me to fuck off because I was making it too complicated

@goodleftyfundies i definitely get some people that way! i think sharing the links on twitter and submitting stuff to game jams has done most of the work though

@goodleftyfundies I think the thing to do is use Amazon as a publishing platform/landing page & attract your customers from elsewhere?
Like, to send people over from Mastodon, even?

@goodleftyfundies Actify is attempting to do that. The plan was to pull away from Amazon when they can do it as a standalone. I hope it gets there soon.

@goodleftyfundies I may be misunderstanding how Bandcamp works, but isn't that smashwords?

@eldiste @goodleftyfundies i don't think smashwords has pay-what-you-want as an option

@eldiste @mabelharper Smashwords is also more of a partner with the big ebook distributors now than a rival

@goodleftyfundies Merde, y'a 3 ans j'y ai pensé et me suis dit : j'y arriverais pas. J'voulais que ce soit aussi un site ou tu puisses faire éditer...
Bref, j'avais pas la force. Désolée

@goodleftyfundies I've seen folks use for ebook distribution

@goodleftyfundies lets you do books and also lets you do pay-what-you-want, and they seem to be good peoples.

@starbreaker they’re more of a portal to publish on kobo, Barnes and noble, amazon, and iTunes now

@goodleftyfundies You sure? I'm looking at their site now and they still have an option to buy directly from them. They even have dropbox and delivery-by-email options.

@starbreaker yes you can still do that but they are in the business now of letting authors easily publish on all the main corporate sites simultaneously

@goodleftyfundies I suppose I can use them for now and migrate to bandcamp-for-books if it ever materializes and isn't utter shit.

@starbreaker my point is that there isn’t like a non-evil corporation run ebook community on the internet and that is something we should change. I have my ebook on kobo but I can’t say kobo is good. They’re just not amazon. Smashwords too would just be not amazon for me

@hirojin @goodleftyfundies gumroad came to mind to me as well.

I guess its not entirely clear what features you are looking for here?

Pay what you want model that ebooks can be delivered is clear and gumroad handles that. Are you looking for something that is book specific for any particular reason?

I guess can you elaborate on what the ask here is?

@imani @hirojin I think you have to pay monthly for gumroad. I’m talking about like creating an alternate ebook community where people come to buy sell and find ebooks... like authors use amazon bc that’s where the readers are

Features similar to kobo would be nice plus a pay what you want option

@goodleftyfundies @hirojin hmm if you have to pay to use gumroad thats news to me. You didn't have to when I put stuff up there previously. although it's been a few years since I actually checked on my account.

@imani @hirojin I could be confusing it with another site... it’s been a while since I’ve looked into gumroad

@goodleftyfundies @hirojin looking at ti again now it looks like you can have an upgraded account which costs per month or a free account? I wonder if the free option is only for folks who had an account before the monthly option was a thing.

@imani @hirojin not sure... I’ve always liked the look of their site. Also not sure if people use it to find books tho and i dont think people can leave reviews... idk it just seems like a site where you have to an existing audience to be able to sell anything

@goodleftyfundies I would be interested in trying something like that, but I do not have the resources for that at all.

Let alone the legal stuff that would have to go with that.

@gudenau honestly the biggest hurdle in all this is probably legal and not technical good point

@goodleftyfundies Yeah, doing anything like this you need to make sure all of your Ts are crossed and your Is dotted.

People will try scams, and since you would be the one facilitating it you would be hit in the cross fire.

@gudenau yeah that’s one of amazons biggest problems... that’s also why I think having user reviews on the site is an important part

@goodleftyfundies I think Leanpub fits this?

e.g., here's's Queer Privacy:

It has a minimum, but it also encourages you to slider up and give more, etc.

@gaditb I’m not familiar with them... I’ll have to check it out thank you


As always, the key element lies in the customer base. Whether or not an indie author wants to make the BIG $$$, they still want to be read. Publishing to a dead or tiny platform, even one with its heart in the right place, does no one any good.


I wonder...

If a Masto-like service dedicated to promoting indie writers and their books were put together with top-shelf search and browsing tools, could it be linked up to a FOSS shopping cart system?

People could then join up as easily as they would with any other instance. They could search for and buy books, chat with favorite authors, and become part of a literary ecosystem as more than just customers.

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