Friday, December 28, 2012

Publishing Industry News

Publishing Industry news for 12/14-12/28/12. My searching was slightly less thorough than usual, what with the holidays and house guests and buying a 'new' car and chasing a post-surgery kitty around with antibiotics and pain meds, so if you've come across anything major from the past two weeks that I've missed, please add it to the comments!

Industry News

Penguin settles with the DOJ in terms nearly identical to those in the deals of Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins. The terms apply to Penguin Random House as well, should the merger be approved. This includes giving the DOJ advance notice of all joint e-book projects with other publishers for a period of two years, and regularly reporting all communication with other publishers to the DOJ. They  must sever their relationship with Apple, and may not form another most-favored-nation clause for five years, and may not for 2 years create any agreements that curtail retailers' abilities to implement price-cutting. However, Random House, which was not involved in the DOJ lawsuit, may continue to use the agency model for as long as they are a separate company. Should the merger go through, only Macmillan and Apple will go to court this July to fight the DOJ's charges. Macmillan reaffirms its decision to take a stand against the DOJ's lawsuit.

According to Digital Book World, looks like Simon & Schuster already have a new deal with Amazon. No longer is the "publisher set the price" disclaimer listed on Amazon, and the prices have notably dropped.

The DOJ settlement doesn't exactly prohibit the 'agency' model, but it does change it. Affected publishers are beginning to switch to what's becoming known as the "Agency 2" model. The new agreement allows retailers to offer approximately 30% discount. The concept is that the retailers must not sell books below cost as a whole, but may decide not to make any profit.
(Let's say a retailer contracts to buy 10,000 books at a cost of $7000 from a publisher, with a total retail value of $10,000. The retailer may then sell the books for no less than $7000, [sounds like $7 a book, right?] but may choose to offer Title XYZ, valued at $10, for $5.00, as long as they sell equal numbers Title ABC with a discounted price of $9. They may also choose to earn a small profit by selling every book for $8, or they may choose to earn the entire $10K.) 
Macmillan allows some limited online discounting on certain titles. More specifically, titles $13.99 and above may be discounted up to 10%.

HarperCollins Worldwide takes over HaperCollins India, a move expected to make U.S. titles more easily available in India, and vice versa.

Baen e-books should now be available through Amazon, but promise to continue to remain DRM-free. The sci-fi/fantasy publisher has had to remove many titles from their free online library to establish this deal, but promise that they will continue to add more.

Digital publishing community Wattpad surpasses 10 million uploads, and aims for 129 million in the next three years: that's the "number of unique books that have been published worldwide since the advent of printing."

Macmillan, meanwhile, is leaping onto the crowd-sourcing bandwagon with a new romance imprint for ages 14+. Any subgenre, any type of romance, but make sure it's a romance (and, erm, I'm guessing age-appropriate, since this is the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group that's running the project.) The readers will read and vote, and the highest-rated manuscripts will go out in both print and e-book format.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 12/21.

Have you considered Kickstarter to help you self-publish? That initial investment in editing and high-quality cover design can be hard for many of us to manage, but before you get started, take a look at CNN's discovery of why 84% of Kickstarter's top projects deliver late. And try to avoid making the same mistakes!

Who's reading your e-reader reading habits? Electronic Frontier Foundation breaks it down with an article and a handy chart.

By now we all know that GoodReads members hate self-promo. So where can you go to promote your self-published books? GalleyCat offers a list of places where you can promote your book online for free--and not get chased out the door!

If your agent is submitting manuscripts to publishers and then pulling them just because the publisher is taking more than a couple of months to answer, Janet Reid says it's time to find a new agent.

QueryTracker suggests ways to promote yourself, such as getting on GoodReads, offering swag, and and doing book tours.

Rachelle Gardner answers questions asked by authors, such as when to bring in an editor and how to know if an agent accepts simultaneous submissions. Also, she talks about when it's appropriate, and how, to re-query an agency.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker predicts more money will be made from authors than from readers in the publishing industry in the future, thanks to the rise of self-publishing. Yikes! He offers advice on how not to get swindled out of your money. Hint: you shouldn't pay more than you can make. (Note: He also has, and links to, a book called Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. I wonder if that has anything to do with this prediction?) He also predicts that e-books will rise to up to 45% of the American market, and Amazon's share of the e-book market will decline, and more (21 total predictions, in fact).

What other major industry news and helpful publishing blogs have you encountered in the past two weeks?

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