Friday, November 30, 2012

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and industry-related blogs for 11/16-11/30/12.

Industry News

Simon & Schuster opens Archway Solutions, a "self-publishing" division outsourced to Author Solutions Inc. Be warned: Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware! indicates that Archway is still the vanity publisher that Author Solutions was. Don't be fooled. Books will not carry the Simon & Schuster logo or credits. And it's not the same as "being published by Penguin" (who bought Author Solutions earlier this year) when you're paying the company thousands of dollars to publish you. We're talking $1,999-$14,999 for fiction. That's pretty much the definition of vanity publishing, especially when you consider that you can self-publish for free. Editing, by the way, is not included in the 2-15K package (but a "sample edit" and an "editorial assessment" is, so that you'll know what you can plan to drop into the supplementary editorial services). The internet is aflame with warnings.

The Big Six to the Big Five to the Big Four? HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster also contemplate a merge, following in the footsteps of Penguin and Random House. Here's a graphic on the sales of each projected company, based on 2011 sales (Amazon not pictured).

Did you know that if your credit card expires, you might not be able to read your paid-for ebooks? Barnes & Nobles, with the aid of DRM, blocks access to books if the credit card associated with the account has expired until a non-expired one is added.

Amazon Publishing steps up production in Europe. For their self-publishers, authors on KDP Select who participate in month drawings can look forward to extra money in the pot for December.

The rights on some books published after 1978 will soon begin reverting back to authors if the books have been published for more than 35 years.

POD publisher E-reads cuts the costs of print books, hoping to lure readers by narrowing the price gap between the less expensive e-books and the pricier print books.

Want to talk to your readers? Authors Guild teams up with indie bookstores to form Booktalk Nation, where readers can call in to speak with authors.

And HarperCollins launches a digital-first teen imprint called Impulse.

Find out how to submit your manuscript to Random House's new digital lines here.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 11/30.

At Friday Night at the Question Emporium, a writer asks if agents are interested in seeing that a manuscript began as a NaNoWriMo project. Janet Reid's answer? Don't include in your query that it's a NaNoWriMo project. And for heaven's sake, don't query this year's NaNoWriMo yet. There hasn't been time to edit or revise at all. Also asked, if a request for a full didn't originally send, would a follow-up call for the resend be okay to make sure it go through? Answer: No. Send an e-mail if you want to check up on it. Don't call. Also, if you're planning on getting an agent, do not submit to editors. It limits the number of places the agent can market your manuscript if you get rejected, and since your agent is paid to sell your manuscript to editors, they probably know what the editors want to see more than you do and will be therefore more likely of getting a sale.

Nathan Bransford explains the terms Separate vs Joint Accounting as it applies to the publishing world: separate means each book's advance is earned out individually and joint means a single advance for a couple of books must be earned back before money will be seen. It may be the same amount of money overall, but he suggests that separate is best for most authors.

These are the five most common mistakes of beginning writers, according to the Editor's Blog, including not enough dialogue and lacking a plot.

It's easy to feel discouraged when you start writing, and the project isn't turning out like you'd hoped it would. But don't. Sarah Pinneo at QueryTracker explains in Knitting a Book is Like Writing a Sweater (I just love that blog title) that it's part of the process, and it's not going to look like you expected before you started. Rough first drafts are normal.

Jane Lebak at QueryTracker explains why we should never write a first-person query letter, even for a first-person book. It makes the writer sound a little psychotic. And Danyelle Leafty talks about the types of critics, from professionals to not-your-audience to yes-your-audience, and making use of the reviews. Christina Lee gives four pointers for building tension, such as making sure the stakes are high and deleting scenes that slow things down.

Looking for a book on writing? Author Alden has 5 recommendations for you of books on writing that are worth the read.


  1. Wow! Lots of great links. I've been reading about the S&S venture with self-publishing. It makes me sad that a lot of writers who aren't aware are going to get sucked into a big financial burden. Thanks for letting people know.

    1. I know, I hate hearing the horror stories... The worst part is, the people who will read this aren't the ones who most likely need it! Please spread word to anyone you hear mumbling, "I always did want to write a book." They're the ones most likely to get trapped, since they haven't had a chance to learn about the industry yet.

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