Friday, May 17, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and industry blogs for 5/4-5/16 (I'm in no-Internet zone on the 17th, sorry! Today will be covered in the next edition).

Publishing News

Taxes may soon be applied to online sales in America, following the Senate's passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act on May 6. The House still has yet to vote, but the president has announced he'll sign it into law if it does.

How about giving your rights away to a French publisher, for free? Who'll then sell it to publishers, and maybe give you royalties? Well that could be happening, right now, without you knowing it: Do a quick check on ReLIRE and make sure your book hasn't ended up on the "orphan works" page. If it stays there fore 6 months or more, ReLIRE gets rights to sell it to publishers without your permission, or your input.

June 3 is looking like the trial date in the DOJ vs Big Five & Apple. Of course, by now the trial itself will consist of only Apple and possibly Penguin (<- link to summary of filings). Penguin wants a separate trial than Apple, but Judge Cote denied it; Penguin may still choose to settle to avoid trial. However, Penguin's filing of "recycled" documents points to them aiming at a possible Supreme Court appeal, should they actually sit at trial.

And the Google vs. the Authors Guild on the Google bookscanning case goes back to trial after an 8 month delay.

Borders is well and gone, these days, but the bankruptcy proceedings aren't over yet. Publishers are waiting to receive at least partial reimbursement on the debts (Penguin Putnam, the holder of the biggest debt, is owed some $41.1 million USD*), and the paperwork is, well, the standard never-ending bankruptcy paperwork.
For my international readers, that's about 26.9 million GBP, 31.7 million Euro, 41.7 CAD, 150 million ILS, 253 million CNY, 1.29 billion RUB, or 2.25 billion INR, just to give you an idea of scale. Yeeouch. I think even Penguin notices that kind of loss.
Is Microsoft planning to buy Nook? No. It was just a rumor. There was reportedly a bid on the table, and rumors about this have floating since Microsoft first invested in the Nook. However, neither Microsoft nor Barnes and Noble confirmed the rumor (and cannot actively deny it for "legal reasons" that seem to include a lot of "we won't say no only because we don't want to get sued.")

A competitor to GoodReads has recently launched, Riffle, which aims to provide ratings, reviews, and booklists unaffiliated with Amazon or other major retailers. At first the site planned to skip the ratings and reviews, but after Amazon's purchase chose to add them, which delayed its original public launch date.

Kindle gives customers free Amazon coins, worth about $5, with which to buy apps or stuff.

Nook has added Google Play to all HD and HD+ Nook devices.

Industry Blogs

Carolyn Kaufman talks about when you do, or do not, need an agent. Self-publishing? Probably not. Going with a small house? Maybe. Hitting up the Big Five? Yes, because at the very least because they'll stop you from being taken advantage of, and get your foot in the door. But remember that not all agents are equal, and it's okay to say no.

Stina Ledblatt on QueryTracker talks about how to survive having something you say taken out of context--as often happens on social media. Mostly, keep calm and call the Doctor keep writing. And don't mess with your own timestream run around trying to put out fires.

Meanwhile, agent Rachelle Gardner might add experienced a publicity problem when a blog post was misunderstood... she offered an apology, clarified what she meant, and then moved on. And she talks about how to go about it, if you want to write a memoir.

Kerry Schafer talks about the importance of keeping a running list of all the important details in your series... you know, just in case that 2-book duology turns into a running, fan-loved series, and you want to avoid inconsistencies between books.

Kristine Rusch adds a response to James Patterson's ads: the indie bookselling business is expanding. In her words, this past year was "the year of the bookstore." More physical books are being sold than ever before. But she also talks about why she thinks Patterson sees the industry in danger: because, from his standpoint, it really does look like it's contracting. His sales, and those of many professional, best-selling authors around him, people whose sales were traditionally considered bellwethers of the market as a whole, are decreasing. She also talks about how rapid a change can happen in today's industry--a business planned and that should have succeeded in November 2012 was outdated by April 2013. It was a good sign for indie publishers, though.

And Janet Reid suggests not adding agents you've queried to your e-mail list... it might end up closing a door for you.

Publishers Weekly posts the biggest publishers in the world, according to 2012 sales data. Who printed and sold the most books? Pearson led the pack in revenue.

Author and tech consultant Scott Steinburg gives a podcast on pitching your book to the online world.

Just how important are covers? One case of a cover that greatly changed sales.

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

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