Friday, June 14, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and industry blogs for 6/1-6/14. This week, it seems like the moral of the story is to quite simply don't be a jerk. Good advice no matter what you're doing.

Publishing News

The SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) has been on the social media airways for all the wrong reasons: after their bulletin came out with a cover a woman in a chainmail bikini and an article written by a couple of members referencing women as "lady writers" and "lady editors" instead of "writers" and "editors," members and many, many others began speaking out about the inappropriateness of allowing such to be printed on a bulletin meant to represent a professional organization. The president of the SFWA, John Scalzi, took responsibility for the issue and apologized for allowing these to appear, agreed they were inappropriate, and appointed an organization to investigate sexism in the organization, and the editor of said bulletin resigned. Author Jim Hines has a nice collection of links about the outcry here. (Edit: added late) Nor was that all... one of the members who had run for president (and thankfully lost by a landslide) took to the group's Twitter account to run off on a racist spiel. His posting privileges were subsequently revoked and the tweets deleted, but the account is open to all members (who don't abuse it). Hines offers a run-down on that event here, with his personal opinion on the issue (disappointment, disgust, and dislike). (I'm sure there will be an official news article written about it soon, although I haven't seen one quite yet--but I haven't looked too hard yet, either, so there may already be one out there.)

Skyhorse & Start Publishing acquires Night Shade Books.

The Apple vs. the DOJ e-book price-fixing lawsuit, which claims that Apple and 5 major publishers conspired to fix e-book prices in a method detrimental to competition, began on June 3. Brought to the stand as witnesses are Macmillan's CEO and an Apple executive, the HarperCollins CEO, the Simon & Schuster CEO, and the Penguin CEO . The Random House COO was not called to the stand, which upset Apple's lawyer. Three Amazon executives also testify, as does the Google Director of Content Partnerships, the Apple senior vice president, and (the very first witness called to the stand) Apple's associate general consul. (Each link goes to a summary of the witness's interview, summarized by Publishers Weekly.) Meanwhile, the government calls on Steve Jobs' paper trail as a "witness."

In an eight-year-old antitrust lawsuit versus Mastercard and Visa, whom are being sued on grounds of price-fixing and fees, booksellers are opting out of a settlement that would grant $7.25 billion (USD) but that booksellers feel does not actually address the issue, and that would deny those accepting the settlement the right to future litigation.

The Penguin-Random House merger is now okay'd by China.

Now that NewsCorp has split into two distinct entities (or will be split, as of June 28), HarperCollins CEO testifies to investors the continued value and profitability of publishing.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 6/7 and 6/14.

Writer Angela Quarles offers the inside scoop on how to get into independent book stores, based on her experience working in one. Hint: Don't be a jerk.

Rachelle Gardner talks about how to create a style sheet for your manuscript. Style sheets are basically instructions on the details, used to create consistency--does one character always speak a certain way? How? What color is that's character's eyes? How does x work? (As a copyeditor, I use these all the time to keep formatting consistent on each project. They are invaluable.)

Crista McHugh drops by the FF&P blog to talk about love triangles, and how to deal with them. Remember: having an obvious good-choice, bad-choice destroys the tension.

Does it seem like nobody likes working with your agent? That could be a bad sign, Kristine Kathryn Rusch says: if your agent is a jerk, it could very well work against you. And you might not even know you have bad "help" that's actually hurting you until it's too late--ask questions and do your research. She also notices a pattern that's going on worldwide, as the publishing world transitions to being indie-publishing friendly and writers switch to being indie-writers.

On QueryTracker, Rosie Genova talks about whether or not to use real-life tragedies in books. She eventually decided not to, but mentioned the tragedy and why she left it out in an afterward.

Former editor and current chair member of the Association of Authors Representatives Brian DeFiore shares how much authors make from sales compared to how much net profit publishers make from sales, and says authors should make more, especially in e-book royalties.

Free e-book formatting and marketing guides gathered at GalleyCat.

SocialTimes editor Devon Glenn gets interviewed by GalleyCat about Pinterest, and offers some interesting factoids about pins, such as that 70% of clicks happen within the first 2 days of a pin.

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


  1. RE: SFWA--the bad hits just keep coming--don't forget this week's racist screed by someone who ran for sfwa president and used sfwa's twitter feed to broadcast it

  2. Oh, just got further into your post! Thanks for the mention!!

    1. You're welcome--thanks for the useful information! :D

  3. Wow! I missed a lot of stuff this week. Thanks for keeping me up-to-date.