Saturday, November 2, 2013

Publishing Industry News

This week's Publishing News post covers from 10/19-11/1.

Publishing News

Kobo might have removed all the self-pubbed books from its UK site in an effort to remove content that doesn't follow their guidelines (i.e., including illegal or exploitative content), but they e-mailed LBGT publishers to reassure them that publisher-verified work will not be removed, and that Kobo has no policies unfavorable to LBGT publishers. Kobo also promises that all self-published content not violating the guidelines will be returned to the site and that they will be updating their guidelines, following a petition by indie authors.

Attorneys for the states and consumer class-action suit against Apple and the 5 major publishers (not the DOJ suit but a similar case put forth by the individual states) estimate the damages Apple was responsible for about $307 million of overcharging. This calculation, by the way, is based off a $1.54 billion baseline revenue for e-books. Apple also disputes the $307 million damage sum presented in court.

And that's only about 30% of books sold... as e-books become a standard form of reading, the sales are now appearing to plateau. That is to say, they're still selling nearly 30% of the market, neither taking over nor withdrawing from the book sales market, as compared to 2012.

Simon & Schuster will finally have a dedicated sci-fi and fantasy imprint.

Amazon's stepping into short fiction and poetry with its new Day One weekly literary journal. And Amazon is also releasing an early access program for Kindle books, where some big names will be released a month early to Kindle readers. And MatchBook is now live, allowing you to buy an e-book at a reduced price or even for free after buying the paper book (although not all books are currently enrolled).

Baker & Taylor are coming up with programs geared towards indie bookstores.

Gale offers a new e-book purchasing option for libraries that's based off usage, and will allow them unlimited lending of their most popular books for a flat fee, while charging them use-based fees for less popular books.

Iran will be reviewing their censoring policies on books and consider allowing some previously censored books.

Do you read manga? Viz Manga is now at the iBookstore, and you can now also find Kodansha Manga through Crunchyroll (okay, not really book news as much as random news, but I think it's interesting.)

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 10/25 and 11/1.

Nathan Bransford's The Last Few Weeks in Publishing.

Bransford gives advice on getting started writing to kick of NaNoWriMo: find your plot and your voice, and go. He also advises against querying short story collections as your debut book (I suggest going for the magazines instead of trying to get a book of them published).

Agent Rachelle Gardner explains why she doesn't consider herself--or any agents--"gatekeepers." And she posts a nifty infographic about motivated writers in NaNoWriMo.

Agent Janet Reid says yes, synopses are still important, and you still need to know how to write them. QueryTracker's Ash Krafton, meanwhile, talks about when to write the synopsis.

When Reid is asked about good craft-books for writers, she says she's an agent and not a writer, and instead does a little "ask the audience." Stroll through the comments for some good recommendations. And should you mention a big news event in your query to set up the mood of story? Not unless the book is actually about that event. As far "will an agent take a book with promise but that still needs help?" No. How much danger are you in if you base a character off a real person? Don't be obvious about it; yes, you can be sued, especially if it might damage their reputation in some way. Should you mention what genre your book used to be? No. And her opinion on re-querying.

Can you include song lyrics in your book? Well, if you're willing to pay the fee: GalleyCat explains. Plus more copyright basics, by Natalie Lakosil at the Bradford Literary Agency.

And GalleyCat offers a new directory of new books, where authors can add their upcoming releases for free.They also put together a freelance editing pricing guide. And offer advice on how to approach another writer for a book blurb.  And what writers should know about the Affordable Care Act.

The hyphen in e-book remains, according to the New York Times styleguide, although email is now one unhyphenated word, as is website.

Agents talk about the trends they're seeing in YA.

On QueryTracker, an interview with a reviewer, on how an author can get a book reviewed. And while reality can be whatever it wants, fiction has to be believable.

Speculation at Publishers Weekly that e-first may be becoming standard at traditional houses... even e-only.

Scribd, the e-book subscription service, reveals some data from their first two weeks of service.

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