Friday, April 19, 2013

Publishing Industry News

My heart is with the families of those lost in the tragic events, and the heroes who worked to hold us all together.

Have to admit I had a hard time getting myself to put this news post together. Not doing so seemed worse. I'll dedicated this one to the people of Boston who have the heart to open shop in defiance of cowards determined to spread fear. The point of acts of terror is to stop life from going on as normal. The best way to defeat it, is to continue living.

For the people of West, Texas, I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

This week's publishing news and relevant industry blogs cover 4/5-4/19.

Publishing News

Night Shade, in order to prevent itself from going into a bankruptcy that would stick most of its clients in legal limbo, decided to sell its contracts to SkyHorse Publishing and Start Publishing. At first the deals weren't great, but SkyHorse, after listening to the authors involved, changed the terms to be more favorable.

Indie booksellers ask the courts not to dismiss their lawsuit against Amazon and the Big Five publishers over DRM, which the indie booksellers say has locked them out of their ability to compete by locking e-books into the Kindle format instead of making e-books available on any e-reader. A couple of weeks ago, Amazon and the Big Five had asked that the suit be dismissed.

Barnes & Noble's PubIt! has a name change to Nook Express. It adds features to make self-publishing even easier than before, hoping to draw in authors with ease of use, with a product that it claims is very friendly even to the techno-unsavvy. Royalties are still the same as before.

The class action lawsuit against Harlequin was dismissed. The lawsuit was based on complaints that Harlequin had not adequately compensated authors for e-sales, but the dismissal came "on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim."

Simon & Schuster are giving the e-lending program a one-year trial, available in New York libraries.

The European Union has now approved the Penguin-Random House merger.

PubMatch and Copyright Clearance Center work together to create an online rights service, which seems to facilitate the sale of foreign rights for e-books between countries, if I've read the article correctly. (This isn't my specialty yet, so you might want to get someone with more foreign rights experiences to explain what exactly it means for you.)

Kobo releases a fancier e-ink e-reader for $170. It refers to the device as the "Porsche of e-readers."

Amazon's Jeff Bezos talks to authors about publishing royalties, explaining why they're now paying authors monthly instead of twice a year.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 4/12 and 4/19.

Nathan Bransford's Last Few Weeks in Books.

Are agents still necessary? Rachelle Gardner explains why even self-published authors might want an agentWhen should an indie author consider partnering with an agent? After they've sold a ton of books and are now looking for new and further ways to be exposed to a wider audience, says Kristen Nelson. And at the London Book Fair, the role of the agent was much discussed.

Have you been planning on getting an agent to help you self-publish? Don't do it for a book that's already been published, says Suzie Townsend: Bring a new book to the table if your book hasn't already sold tens of thousands. Agents aren't interested in self-published books with poor sales, because they in turn can't sell the books to publishers. Remember, if you've self-published a book, your book is already published. Show the agent an unpublished manuscript instead.

Should you do a book trailer? Keith Cronin offers his insight on what his book trailer has done for him.

Taxes are over--for Americans who haven't filed extensions, at least--but Rachelle Gardner's general tax advice applies year-round: take the taxes out of your royalty checks when you get them, file quarterly, and save. She also busts some myths about publishing, such as, you don't actually have to be published to get published.

Writers Write offers advice on how to write a one-page synopsis.

So you may have read that bit of silliness opinion article by Scott Turow that sent every major writer, publisher, and industry-related professional into either fits or fits of giggles. The "slow death of the American author" indeed. Rebuttals have been sprouting up all over.

The FF&P blog interviews agent Beth Campbell, with BookEnds LLC, who is looking for great fiction, particularly "a great urban fantasy, YA, sci-fi, or women’s fiction author."

The Editor's Blog talks about writing the passage of time in a story.

GalleyCat launches an experimental program to help writers find writers' groups across the world. It also puts together a list of video tutorials to help self-publishers use the major self-publishing platforms.

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


  1. Thanks so much for these amazing links, Rebekkah. The industry blogs are an especially great resource, because I still think of myself as someone coming from the reader/recreational side of publishing, so being able to follow news from within the business is quite enlightening.

    1. Thank you, Samantha! Readers are the most important members of the business. ;) It's an amazing time to be publishing, with all that's going on in the industry, and the story of those changes is as fascinating a story as any on the shelves right now!

  2. Great post, as always, Rebekkah. Thanks!