Friday, February 10, 2012

Publishing News

Barnes & Nobles has decided not to stock books published by Amazon in their physical stores. They will still sell them online.

NPR posts an article on how publishers and booksellers are afraid Amazon is going "devour their industry." The article points out Amazon's predatory tactics, such as the monopoly-like structure, predatory pricing, and its price-check app.

The UK paper The Guardian publishes an article comparing the current self-epublishing eBook bonanza to an economic bubble. In essence, thousands of amateur writers are rushing in, paying high costs for editing and covers and such, and finding that they make little to no money from what they expected to be easy money. The disillusionment turns them away from writing and from reading, and reduces the market. Worse, in order to stay competitive, they've marked down their prices to almost nothing (and in many cases, absolutely nothing), hoping to acquire paying readers through word of mouth for later works. Only all they've done is trained readers to expect free eBooks, which means nobody makes money in the future. The expected outcome, according to the Guardian, is a market crash.

For Romance writers, there's a new eBook-only imprint line with Grand Central Publishing.

An author is suing McGraw-Hill on claims that they have been cheating him on his royalties. The claim rides around third-party royalties for sales outside the US being misreported. The plaintiff is seeking class-certification for a class-action suit.

Do you write paranormal, futuristic, or fantasy romance? Want to go to the FF&P conference in New Orleans from March 2-4, but can't afford it? They're offering scholarships to authors with an economic need! And no, you don't have to be a member of the RWA's FF&P to attend. This conference is open to the general public, now has 25+ sessions, and offers pitch sessions with acquiring editors and agents... and since it's in its first year, that means you'll face much less competition than you would at any other professional conference. Keynote speaker Maggie Shayne, in case you're wondering.

Agent Kristen announces that her agency, Nelson Literary Agency, has developed a system to allow authors to self-publish reverted-rights works in a two-part post. Since AAR doesn't allow agents to be publishers, this means they've had to draw a fine line: none of the authors are required to join; authors may join without the agent doing any of their work; and authors may hire their agent to provide certain services to them at the standard agent cut. The authors maintain full ownership of their rights.

And why is it that only about 60% of agented manuscripts sell (compared to about 1% of unagent manuscripts)? Agent Kristen offers editor feedback from a manuscript she was really, really excited about - but almost couldn't sell. What were the editors thinking? Take a look.

Rachelle Gardner explains why agents don't always go for the largest advance possible. If a writer is looking for a long-term career, there are other aspects worth looking at, such as royalty rates and likelihood the book will buy out the advance. Editors will be more likely to continue publishing an author who makes them a profit (i.e., buys out their advance) than one who does not. Sometimes, this means taking a smaller advance. She also asks her readers about their expectations for book signings in the future, and if they will continue to purchase books to be signed, or if they'll use apps that allow virtual signature collection. And she adds the importance of giving your character real flaws, not just superficial ones. Is she too hard on herself? Then she's probably too hard on others, too. And that makes the character enduringly memorable.

Jessica Faust answers the question, "If I've revised my story, and forgot to change the character's name in the query when I changed it in the story, should I send an e-mail to the agent explaining this?" Her answer: Chances are, the agent won't even notice. She also talks about why agents edit. It's so that publishers will be more likely to buy the book, because the more editing the book needs, the less likely it is to sell. It costs publishers to edit, and the more editing, the higher the cost.

Thinking about being a co-author? Ellery Adams explains what it takes. And most of is honest, blunt communication. Can  your relationship stand bluntness? If so, you may be able to successfully coauthor.

Rebecca York reminds writers to draw their readers in right away, and avoid slow beginnings.

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 2/3 and 2/10.

And Nathan Bransford is back with his This Week! In Books! for a few more links. Yes, several of them are on publishing houses trembling in their boots over Amazon, and one is asking why publishing houses are necessary. There's also a link covering the response (things the houses do provide). He includes a link to the topic on e-book bundling, too, and a few topics in his forums.

Edit: Added Friday afternoon: Novelists, Inc., has created a free downloadable guide to The New World of Publishing. Includes a glossary of terms, a how-to on ebooks, advice from experts, and direct links to helpful resources.


  1. Nice aggregation of info! I really like these news posts. :)

  2. Thanks! :) Glad you find them helpful. Figured if I was going to look up all the news myself anyway, I might as well make it easier for everyone else to find it!

  3. A big bowl of info I need. Thanks!
    Nancy Lee Badger