In an earlier blog post I championed a site called iAuthor, a UK indie book promotion site I thought could rival Goodreads. I wrote:
A few months ago, I stumbled upon iAuthor, which operates something similar to the Goodreads Listopia, known as Themes. The title of the site suggests it’s geared towards the author. Authors are invited to create a theme and other authors add their titles to that theme, the idea being, I think, for other indies to take a look at your book and think, ‘Yeah. I’ll read that one. If I’m feeling generous I might even review it.’ I’ve created a few themes myself, like this one. Guess which theme appears to be one of the most popular of them all, though? Tells you a hell of a lot, really, doesn’t it! It also tells you that there are plenty of indie authors out there bouncing about like molecules in the air vying for space to get noticed, me included.
That was back in 2015 and I wanted to add a couple of books I’d read to some themes recently. Unfortunately, when I clicked on the iAuthor link a few weeks ago, I saw this:
Dear iAuthor Community,
From our beta launch in December 2012, through 5 iterations, to the interactive platform you see today, we’ve never wavered in our mission: to give the publishing world a hub for serendipitous discovery.
Your daily engagement has made this possible, for what would iAuthor be without our loyal users? You have been the platform’s lifeblood, at the heart of everything we do. You’ve been catalysts for innovation, and your well-considered feedback has been key in ensuring an industry-leading user-experience across all devices.
Regrettably, the Covid-19 pandemic means that we’re unable to maintain iAuthor in its current form. Nothing but the best will do; and against this singularly challenging backdrop, we feel that “the best” is no longer achievable.
iAuthor is therefore shutting its operations on Thursday 27th August. In accordance with GDPR law, your data and all associated content will be permanently deleted on that date. Unavoidably, this includes your book profiles, themes and samples. You needn’t do a thing, but might consider taking a commemorative screenshot of your iAuthor profile for reference purposes. All existing adverts will be wound down on Wednesday 26th August. Any adverts created after 12th August will be reimbursed in full.
It’s been a uniquely enriching 8-year journey. We’re privileged to have shared it with you.
With warmest wishes,
The iAuthor Team
That’s so annoying, particularly because free UK book marketing internet sites are few and far between. Covid has messed things up so much in 2020. While you’d think that people haven’t had much else to do during lockdown other than to do DIY or read, they have of course had other priorities, and so it’s natural that websites such as these, which champion the indie author, would go to the wall; and so it has.
Another promotional site that’s bitten the dust recently and that displayed my books is Manic Readers. It was mainly for romance authors, but was happy to accept all genres. It still has a Twitter and Facebook presence, but the last time they tweeted was in 2019 and they posted on Facebook back in 2018. Click on the link to manicreaders.com and nothing happens. There had been a closed announcement earlier in the year.
It’s such a shame and I can see others following suit. Indie authors rely on these sites so much for promotion and there are too many paid sites trying to cash in on desperate writers trying to get their name out there.
Well, maybe it’s time I set up a free UK promo site of my own! I’ve been thinking about doing it, so maybe now is the time!