Friday, November 16, 2012

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and helpful industry blogs for 11/3-11/16.

(You know, every week I think to myself, "I haven't heard much on the blogs about major events, just a thing or two in passing. Must have been a quiet couple of weeks." Then I start researching and usually say, "Okay, wrong again.")

Industry News

National Book Award winners are announced.

How are e-book sales doing? Well, for Hachette Book Group, they're 20% of all sales.

Speaking of publishers, after the Penguin Random House deal, the Authors Guild is asking that the merge takes place under "close scrutiny" from antitrust officials in the Justice Department.

The Authors Guild is appealing the loss in the Hathitrust book scanning case.

Bertelsmann, the German owner of Random House, purchases full ownership of Barcelona's Random House Mandadori (formerly it was owned 50-50 by Random House and an Italian partner).

Avon is looking for those NaNoWriMo manuscripts for their Avon Impulse line ("digital-first line," meaning e-book with an option of print if it sells enough), so if your November project is a romance, here's where to submit (also has a FAQ so you can get more information).

RR Donnelly will now be warehousing all HarperCollins books in the US, doing the packing, shipping, holding, etc.

The most recent development on the Harlequin class action lawsuit is an updated complaint.

Book Expo of America has long been an industry-driven event, aimed at booksellers, libraries, and other "in-crowd" members of the publishing industry... but now it includes readers too, the most important members of the industry.

Both Simon & Schuster and Scholastic pitch in to help schools and libraries restore after Hurricane Sandy by donating books to affected institutions. S&S also offers a few free books to booksellers trying to get back on their feet.

Planning on giving an e-book during the winter holidays, but wish you give something unwrappable? A new company, Livrada, may be able to help, provided you're giving one of the twenty or so titles currently available. The gift allows the recipient to choose which device they'll be reading on, so if you don't know if your friend has a Nook, Kobo, or Kindle, they'll still be able to read the e-book.

On November 8, there was a brief disappearance of "buy" buttons from Amazon to books from several major publishers. As Amazon purposely disabled purchase buttons in the past to influence publishers on deals, there were numerous theories that this might have happened on purpose. However, the buttons were quickly fixed, and Amazon released a statement that it was only a glitch, which has now been addressed.

Amazon has been deleting author reviews of other authors' works. This may reflect a change in policy, or a reinterpretation of an old policy, or just a change of enforcement, or something else entirely. The LA Times writer Carolyn Kellogg speculates, based on e-mails from Amazon customer service to one such author whose positive review was deleted, that Amazon is now interpreting all authors to be "direct competitors" of one another.

An interesting concept: an e-book designed to be read in any order, paired with music.

Close to home to me, as a NC author, the well-known Quail Ridge Books & Music is up for sale. This is where I attended a book-signing event by Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game is a long-time favorite for me, one of the earliest "hard" science fictions I fell in love with). According to an interview I heard on the radio Wednesday night (station WRAL 101.5), the current owner is looking to retire, focusing on traveling and family, but she's not planning on abandoning the store entirely: she'll still buy there, and possibly help out on occasion.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker for 11/9 and 11/16.

At Dystel, an agent talks about the inequity between authors and agents, and how e-publishing is balancing things out, and how people are going up in arms over this balancing act.

We're authors. We spend most of our time pitching ourselves in one form or another, either to agents, editors, or hopefully-soon-to-be readers. Sarah Pinneo tells us we need to learn to love the pitch--because if you're going to do something for the rest of your life, you might as well learn to like it.

Janet Reid gives us a list of things to double-check for in every contract we sign. And is your work copyrighted automatically? Yes, in America law, when you write it, it is protected by copyright law. (This has been discussed previously in more detail. Self-publishers will may want to register the copyright; those going the traditional route may want to wait until discussing things with their prospective publisher. However, I am not a lawyer, so I suggest you take a look at it yourself.)

Rachelle Gardner helps us write a one-sentence summary of our manuscripts, and tells us what not to blog about. Don't talk about things such as advance amount, number of author copies, or where your manuscript is being shopped.

On The Editors Blog, we're reminded that we'll get nasty critics, and are offered some suggestions for dealing with them: namely, don't take it personally. It's part of the business, and even the best get awful reviews by people who never read them. You'll also get great reviews, too. (The Oatmeal has a comic similar to this, saying the same thing from a web cartoonist point of view. Creativity + internet = fans + trolls. NSFW.)

Nathan Bransford discusses the having a public Facebook profile vs having an author page. Which is right for you?

GalleyCat jumps to help writers with their NaNoWriMo projects. How writers can use Google Docs, use Kickstarter to fund their books, and much more in a large list of NaNoWriMo tips. (Also: Rachelle Gardner's blog offers advice on using crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter.)

What industry news have you encountered in the past couple of weeks? Have you had a personal encounter with any of these events?


  1. My only encounter with the publishing news is the Amazon book reviews. One of my novels lost two reviews. Not many given I've heard of other losing 20 or more. Still it's odd, one of the reviews I lost was by an Amazon reviewer. Oh, well, I'm very thankful I can sell my books through Amazon.

    1. Yeouch! Even two reviews seems like a lot to me. I can't imagine losing 20. 0.o But I guess it's just something we'll all get used to. Be glad for the things we have, right?