Friday, August 9, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Today's post only goes through Wednesday (7/27-8/7), due to a blue box appearing in my apartment on Thursday morning. Next post should cover the missing days, assuming there's nothing wrong with the calibrator.

(Don't worry, the house is well occupied, with two dogs and a roommate. Benefits of sharing rent? Being able to announce vacations!)

Publishing News

A price war between Overstock and Amazon? Overstock promises to beat Amazon prices by 10%. Amazon cuts prices but refuses to acknowledge the "price war," which Overstock then extended until August 7 (yeah, I missed it too).

The CEO of Amazon has bought himself a newspaper: The Washington Post, to be exact. GalleyCat gathers some reactions. Note that this is not Amazon buying the Post, but Jeff Bezos personally buying the newspaper, with his own money.

The DOJ is seeking rather comprehensive punishments for Apple in the DOJ vs Apple price-fixing case. Apple likes this about as well as you'd expect--that is, not at all--and has called the proposed terms "draconian." Some of these include the immediate loss of all its digital deals with publishers, meaning every business deal would have to be rewritten with government oversight for the next ten years. Apple argues vehemently against the injunction, saying that the terms are written in language broad enough that they could possibly apply to more than just the digital works, or even preclude writing new deals, and interfere with Apple's ability to sell e-books period (plus more strongly-worded objections to the proposed sentence). The DOJ claims the terms are necessary to prevent more price-fixing, given Apple's history. Of course, Apple is planning to appeal the verdict, and has requested a stay in the ruling until after the appeal.

Smashwords offers a new preorder feature.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 8/2.

Nathan Bransford posts This Week in Books for 8/2.

Author Marie Force publishes a reader survey. It's got some very interesting information. Note that it was published online and is a volunteer sample, mostly through the web domains of romance authors, so the respondents were tech-savvy enough to want to use an online survey, wanted to respond, and found the survey through romance author-linked sources. Even despite the tech slant, half of the nearly 3000 respondants still purchased print-and-ink books (in addition to e-books), 80% bought from Amazon, the price point most of them expected to pay was $4.99, most preferred to buy authors they'd heard of before especially in self-published authors, and 64% said it didn't matter who published the book as long as it was good. Tons more great data here--44 questions worth.

Another interesting survey is all about showrooming: when customers compare prices of something on the shelf to online prices using a smartphone. It also has suggestions for stores to combat showrooming: offer price-match guarantees to provide discounts to match the online retailers' prices.

Rachelle Gardner explains how a publishing auction works: when two or more publishers are interested in manuscript and want to 'bid' on it, with the agent and author going with the house that offers the best deal. It's not always all about the advance, but going to auction does usually mean the author gets a better deal than normal, since publishing houses know others are already interested in it (which bodes well for sales).

Register your domain name early, prepare well in advance of contract expiration if you plan on switch servers, and diversify over more than one source of social media, author Stina Lindenblatt advises, after having lost a domain name and having had to restart from scratch.

Nathan Bransford explains how he customized Feedly and in doing so, made it his favorite RSS reader.

Agent Janet Reid implores writers to remember to post contact information that includes places others can't see what messages are sent (i.e., an e-mail address, not just your Facebook Wall).

Author Terry Spear explains reasons you might blog, and why blogs herself. (Me? I blog 'cause I enjoy it.)

Forbes reveals the 15 richest fictional characters (in case you missed my post earlier this week!)

On the Editor's Blog, a post about how to incorporate technology into your story. Try not to draw attention to things the characters use day-to-day if you're writing from their POVs.

DearAuthor uncovers someone soliciting ghost writers and repackaging their works as from one of several different pen names. There's also quite a bit of sock-puppet reviewing going on.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about how crushing it is to see authors get hooked into bad contracts because the lawyers they hired did what they were hired to do--negotiate bad contracts to make them better. Note: Even an improved bad contract can still end up as a bad contract, so make sure to ask the lawyer that all-important question: should I sign this? Also, she talks about seeing her childhood dream of being a New York Times Bestseller never be realized as she wanted.

On QueryTracker, Carolyn Kaufman talks about how to find a reputable agent or publisher.

Confused on what New Adult fiction is? GalleyCat offers an explanation, plus some book examples.

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