blogxmasWith the end of the year fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to take a quick look back on some of the events of 2016 across the industry. In January we start with our Author guest blogger so don’t forget if you are interested in blogging please contact us at  social­_uk@lulu.com as we would love to hear from you.

Library Funding

In a year that saw a lot of high profile author protests and disruption for our UK libraries, in the face of austerity funding cuts by Government and closures by local authorities, it’s good to end 2016 with some positive news for authors, libraries and readers. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a five-year strategy for libraries, which it said would help them improve and thrive in the 21st century. This national strategy includes a £4m innovation fund to help libraries provide more of a public services role to the community. But is that really good news? Initial feedback is that this doesn’t go far enough in saving libraries. So as a New Year’s resolution visit your local library as no footfall = no library.

 Ebook VAT

If you have been following us on Twitter you will know the hot news to end 2016 is the EU ruling that ebooks can be sold with reduced VAT which means ebook sales are forecasted to rise next year. This was part of the commissions pledge to address the discrepancies in VAT between ebooks and print books.  It will be interesting to see the impact of Brexit on this announcement in the forthcoming months so the ebook VAT story is far from over.

I leave you with a puzzle reader – you are on a train crossing from one country to another and you start to download your ebook in one country but it doesn’t complete the download until it crosses the border into the second country. What rate of VAT do you pay on the ebook purchase? Any staff of HMRC are excluded from answering this puzzle!

 The Rise of Digital Book clubs

Over 2016 online book clubs experienced a real boost. A digital book club allows you to discuss your current book when you want from the comfort of your own home – no more trying to organise your diary with like-minded friends. Celebrities are even getting in on the act with Harry Potter star Emma Watson starting her own feminist book club. So if you haven’t joined an online book club yet make it your New Year resolution! Should we form a Lulu author book club in 2017? Let me know your views.

I close this blog wishing all our Lulu authors a very happy festive season. If you are still working on your book make it a New Year resolution to complete it and share your story with the world.

Seasons Best Wishes

The LULU UK Team