Friday, October 4, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and industry blogs for 9/19-10/4.

Publishing News

Author Solutions Incorporated received a lawsuit against it and parent company Penguin Group. Now they're trying to get the suit dismissed, or at least all but two suits of breach of contract.

GoodReads changed their comment and shelving policies.

The Google Books case is close to a ruling.

A new global e-book study is free for the month of October, for a look at how e-books are doing worldwide.

Penguin e-books are back in libraries through both Overdrive and Baker & Taylor.

Judge Judy Cote sets limits on the penalties states can apply to Apple over the price-fixing case.

Hey, guess what's federal? The Library of Congress! Nope, sorry, can't get in until the government starts up again.

What do you think about crowdsourcing to figure out which writer will get a publishing contract? That's the idea behind Macmillan's SwoonReads. The entire manuscripts are posted online, and then members of the community vote on their favorites (note: only members can read the manuscripts).

An author copying Twilight fan fiction? Yep, it's happened. And no, I'm not talking about 50 Shades of Grey. In this case, the published e-book is suspected of being a case of plagiarism against the fan fiction.

But hey, at least that's a better deal than the guy publishing a review of a book and having the review mistaken as the book itself.

Meanwhile, Scribd launches a book subscription service, all the books you can read for $8.99 a month. They're teaming up with HarperCollins (and courting other publishers) for this move. You won't be able to get new releases or best sellers through the subscription, but those will still be available for individual purchase.

*Edit: added later Friday: If you've seen something about a new study on self-publishing with numbers in the $52 billion range, see if you can also find the sources and methodology behind the study. Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware can't (doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong, just that you can't prove or disprove it--a big no-no in the science and survey communities).

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker for 9/20, 9/27, and 10/4.

QueryTracker explains the new GoodReads policies.Comments and shelves must be about books and not the authors or the authors' actions. Also, no harassing other users allowed. And authors shouldn't respond to reviews. On Gigaom, a look at users' reactions, reflections, and speculations about the future.

Guess what's not stopped during the federal shut down? The Affordable Care Act is still going strong, so all self-employed writers looking for insurance, you now have a hope of finding affordable insurance. GalleyCat gives you a guide of what writers need know about the ACA.

The Man Booker Prize may now be awarded to anyone of any country, instead of just England, so long as the story is written in English.

Agent Nephele Tempest explains why she rejects manuscripts.

Already published? Agent or publisher offered you an addendum to your contract... or showed you an addendum and implied you had to sign it? You don't. And if the terms aren't in your favor, then don't. Kristin Kathryn Rusch explains. She also reminds us that the mindset for indie publishing is very different than in traditional publishing--needing a long-term view instead of a short-term view of sales, for one. And she talks about who does and who does not need pen names.

Ever have something just not work out? Rachelle Gardner tells us not to let the non-successes get us down. Learn from it and keep going, and don't call a non-success a failure. And no, there is no formula for instant success; you don't have to check off everything on a list to get published. But do your best to minimize obstacles that stand between you and publishing, such as keeping in the genre-standard word count.

Got backstory? Shelley Martin on the FF&P blog talks about ways to work it in.

Agent Janet Reid hits the Question Emporium again. If a book has two protagonists, should both be in the query? If you get an offer from a small publishing house but still have a query out with an agent, how should you address the issue? What sells? (There is no One True Answer to that one, btw). If you write more than one genre, should you even consider agents who don't rep all of them? Is it even kosher to submit to agents in different genres at once? (Reid asks why you're writing more than one genre when you're just getting started.)

Print books and e-books coexist. The traditional publishers are coming to embrace this reality.

Need an editor? Getting into the editing business? GalleyCat is putting together a dictionary of editors.

Want to see if your story idea has merit? Run it by the StoryArena, where you can find out if people would be interested in it.

Free writing software will help you pace yourself. And not just in NaNoWriMo, either.

Depressed at your latest rejection letter? Well hey, it probably wasn't as harsh as this letter for (classical best-selling fantasy author) Ursula K Le Guin's first novel.

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

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