Friday, June 29, 2012

Publishing Industry News

What's been going on in the past couple of weeks in the publishing industry?

Industry News

Amazon pushes its ad-supported Kindle to consumers. This lowers the price of most Kindle products, with only the Kindle Fire lacking advertising sponsors. Experts also estimate that Amazon eats a $10 loss on each Fire sold. Consumers can also purchase 'ad-free' Kindles, but these are no longer considered the standard model and are more expensive.

The Google Nexus 7 Tablet will advertise its e-reading compatibility, and recommend ebooks.

New Leaf Literary & Media spins off parent company Nancy Coffey Literary Agency. The two literary agencies will continue to work together, with New Leaf handling sub-rights for Nancy Coffey Literary.

NewsCorp, which owns amongst many other companies HarperCollins and TV network Fox, will be splitting its publishing and media businesses.

California libraries will be lending 10,000 self-published books from Smashwords, and will allow library patrons to upload books to Smashwords for self-publication.

The Authors Guild, nine indie publishers, and Readerlink (a wholesaler) all submit protests to the DOJ against the settlements with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, based on the idea that the settlements will encourage predatory pricing by Amazon and will eliminate competition.

Odyl is launching the Facebook app Riffle, which it hopes will become the Pintrest of books.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 6/22.

What's the purpose of a query letter? It's not to tell the agent what happens in your book; it's to sell the manuscript to the agent. QueryTracker helps us write our "novel summary" paragraph by reminding us what it's all about.

QueryTracker also defines when and how to use dialogue tags and punctuation. Use dialogue tags when you're not sure who's speaking. Don't have long conversations without tags. If you put in body language or physical action, you can probably skip the tag altogether, but make sure you end your sentence with a period if the sentence is really over.

Ash Krafton on QT tells us where writing contests come in: the feedback helps us polish even if we don't win, and it looks good if we do. It's a good way to test the waters and discover if you're ready to submit to agents.

Everyone knows to start a story with active writing. But does this mean action? Not always; active writing is hook-you, grab-you-by-the-brainstem-and-rope-you-in, can't put it down writing. That doesn't necessarily mean a car chase or a death-defying stunt. Agent Kristen reminds us of the difference between the two. Sometimes this even breaks the show-don't-tell rule. If the author pulls it off, then the rule should be broken -  only if the author pulls it off! A reminder that rules aren't laws.

She also offers fantasy writers a blast of hope: apparently agents have been looking for epic fantasy lately. But if you're an urban fantasy writer, it's a tough market.

Rachelle Gardner discusses how agents choose a publisher when there's more than one offer on the table. Is the whole team enthusiastic? Is the editor a good match for the author? What are the contract terms, and what history does the publisher have with this genre? What's the author's opinion? And what's the money?

Heather Kopp guest blogs for Rachelle Gardner with a discussion on why you should go ahead and start blogging, even if you're unpublished. On the other hand, Gardner reminds us that unpublished novelists' first duty is to write, not build a platform, so don't freak out if you're not yet ready to begin the social media crawl.

Nathan Bransford asks a question that's got my curiosity going: Are interactive books like color TV? In twenty years, will non-interactive books be like black and white television?

Buddy Media puts out a cheat sheet for good tweeting, as in when and how your tweets will get the most engagement. Link to the GalleyCat summary since the Buddy Media link requires downloading to see the cheat sheet.

What major industry news have you encountered in the past couple of weeks?


  1. Fantastic collection of links and articles, thanks! Passing on to writer friends.