Friday, February 8, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and relevant industry blogs for 1/26-2/8. Kind of quiet this time around.

Publishing News

Apple's iBookstore releases a new category: Breakout Books. Self-published, best-selling, and chart-topping-debut authors, you have a chance to be showcased.

The GSU e-reserves case has been closed, but now it's time for the appeals to roll in. U.S. attorneys have asked for an extension on the deadline while they consult with some agencies before possibly submitting an opinion. (What the GSU E-Reserves case was about.)

Amazon is getting ready to sell used e-books.

Tor UK, a science-fiction/fantasy publisher, now accepts direct submissions from authors.

If you roleplay on GoodReads forums, you should know that Goodreads has new rules: no explicit sex. Romance roleplaying okay, just keep it clean.

Hachette, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster finally launch Bookish, a site that recommends books and lets readers shop for books.

Reddit opens a book exchange.

Genre writers post about their income. Find out the financial realities of being a genre writer.

Barnes and Nobles plans to close a third of its stores over the next decade.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker for 2/1.

Nathan Bransford's These Past Few Weeks in books.

Twitter Vine is a new feature that lets you take 6-second videos and share them over Twitter. GalleyCat offers ideas for writers and readers for how best to use this.

It's been asked if small publishers are the "future" of publishing. This article looks into the financials behind it.

What do writers need to know? Kristine Rusch on the Business Rusch gives a breakdown of the minimum a writer needs to know, and suggestions for learning all of it without getting overwhelmed. Mostly, don't try to learn everything at once. And yes, even--especially--if you have agent, you still need to know all this.

Do you write sci-fi? Are you a member of the SFWA? Elections are coming up. Jim Hines posts his findings on one of the candidates, and while I'm not usually into promoting politics, a candidate who runs for hoots-and-giggles and writes articles such as "Women Ruin Everything" is something that concerns me. Sure, that's the guy I want representing an organization I might one day join. Really...

Heads' up: If you've heard of Jerry Jenkins' "innovative approach" to writing, you should also hear that he's charging close to $10,000 for the same services you can get by combining a $1600 publishing package through Lulu with $1200 worth of lessons through the Lone Ridge Writers' Group (LRWG has more variety in courses and more certified instructors, at that). More at Writer Beware.

Victoria Strauss also catches up on the matter of orphan works, including giving a summary of the Science Fiction Writers of America's statement on the issue (pdf). If you're confused about what orphan works are, or about any of the lawsuits around them (such as HathiTrust or the Google bookscanning project), she's got links to all the relevant information, and provides short, helpful summaries on what you need to know.

And can someone sue you if you use a vanity publisher and say things about them that aren't true? Well, yes. But they cannot sue the vanity publisher, as it is a media entity, which is a reverse of a previous hearing. Victoria Strauss details more on the suit vs. an author and ASI.

Angela Quarles blogs about using and how it helps her track certain links. If you have a link you want to track how (and how many) people are accessing it, she suggests using this service.

On the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal blog, author Terrel Hoffman talks about character's emotional wounds. Many character flaws initiate from a wound, and addressing that wound--making it a block that prevents the character from obtaining her goal--forces the character to evolve, creating a dynamic character.

And also on the FF&P blog, do your characters all sound the same when they're speaking? If your dialogue just doesn't seem to resonate with readers, check to see if your characters all talk as if they're different people. Do they have the same verbal quirks, such as swearing at the same things and the same rates? Do they all use the same types of words? Try differentiating their speaking habits to truly make them stand out.

On QueryTracker, Becca Puglisi offers a great resource for showing without telling: an emotion thesaurus, which explains the signs of different emotions. Even without purchasing the thesaurus, you can still use her advice: not all responses to an emotion are physical, and some are more subtle. A character might throw his hands in the air, or he might briefly close his eyes, or he might talk himself down if he's frustrated. So if you're tired of a character always doing the same thing to reveal a certain emotion, you can try telegraphing that emotion in a different way. And try to avoid naming the emotion right out, because that's telling, not showing.

Last month, my local RWA chapter, the HCRW, did a talk about taxes. As a writer, you could list yourself as "writer" as a profession on your taxes, and treat it like a business--but only if you're treating it like a business. Ash Krafton on QueryTracker offers tips on how, and how to know if you're treating it like a hobby or a business.

What are agents doing these days, anyway? Agent Rachelle Gardner assures us they're not just sitting around twiddling thumbs: in fact, many agents are diversifying, helping authors find new opportunities, protecting authors rights in contracts, and more.

And Janet Reid answers questions at the Friday Night Emporium. If your name is close to another author's, should you use a pen name? Perhaps. If the author is well-known in your own genre, that's when, or if your name is too close to a really, really famous author's, then yes. If it's a not-very-well-known author in a different genre, you're probably fine.

Writers Write has 40 hashtags for writers. How many of these do you use?

Learn how to self-publish your audiobook on

Kristen Lamb has a 3-part series on how not to feel overwhelmed by social media, and dealing with the stress that we all face when trying to keep up with all the latest "musts" of social media. Part one, Part two, Part three.

What publishing news have you encountered in the past two weeks?


  1. Wow, I hadn't heard that Amazon was going to sell used e-books. I'll be reading that one. Thanks!

    1. Talk about opening up a whole new can of worms, right? It'll be interesting to see how the dust settles over this!

  2. Wow...the misogyny of that candidate is so over the top that I can't figure out if he's serious or a dedicated long-term troll.

    1. I'm hoping a long-term troll. But I still don't support voting trolls into office. They should stay under the bridges that birthed them.