Friday, January 10, 2014

Publishing Industry news

Welcome to the first publishing news and industry blogs post of 2014! This post covers the New Year: 12/29/13-1/10/14.

Publishing News

 The DoJ and the States, from the parallel DoJ vs Apple and States vs Apple price-fixing lawsuits, urge Judge Cote to deny Apple's bid for a stay of some of the terms of the injunction. Apple asks the court to fire its external monitor, citing bias, after the monitor files a defense brief in response to their initial claims against him.

The Authors Guild files an appeal on the dismissal of the Authors Guild vs the Google library scanning project, asking for the lawsuit to be reinstated.

Is Sherlock Holmes public domain? At first it looked like he was, but then things became a bit cloudy. The estate owning the Sherlock Holmes copyright argues the characters weren't "complete" until the final Sherlock book was published; the copyright on the first 50 books have since expired, but the "full" character of Sherlock (and company) aren't public domain.What that means is still unclear.

The holidays weren't kind to the Nook.

Bookish, a book-related social network, after struggling for a couple of years just to get launched, has been purchased by Zola, a start-up online retailer.

The world loses an invaluable trove of books after a library full of historic books burns down in Lebanon. Over 2/3 of the 80,000 books were lost.

J.K. Rowling's lawyer who leaked that she was Robert Galbraith is fined.

GoodReads is up to 25 million users.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 1/3.

Writer Beware publishes their top posts from 2013. Want to make sure you didn't miss any warnings or advice? Also, Strauss discusses the ethical issues of Scribd's subscription service, which has in recent years paired up with traditional publishers and offers legal access to many books for an $8.99 a month fee... but also continues to offer access to illegally uploaded copies of copyrighted books. It's also an example of publishers taking liberty with authors' rights... but it could be a major future source of author revenue.

On QueryTracker, "Miss Rosie" advises herself with resolutions for the new year--good advice for any writer (that none of us will probably follow to the letter). Ash Krafton lists 5 mistakes that make your query letter look amateur. And Stina Lindenblatt offers 11 tips for making a book trailer.

Several agents vent their query letter pet peeves. Querying? Don't peeve them off!

Kristine Kathryn Rusch posts part 5 (putting in the long-term effort) and part 6 (branding) of her "discoverability" series.

Agent Janet Reid answers more questions: "In my query letter, am I required to tell agents about any editors I've queried?" (No. In fact, please don't.) "If I publish a book and the publisher ends the contract, do they own the rights the world? Can they stop me from self-publishing more books in the series/world after the end of the contract?" (Only in a really, really bad contract would they still have rights after the contract has ended. Don't sign a contract like that.) "If I review books, and I post a bad review on a book you represent, will it hurt my chances when I query you?" (Yes. But if you've already done it, don't stop doing book reviews now--just make sure they're honest, fair, and the critique is on real issues in the book itself.)

And some more: Does being older have a negative impact on my query letter? (Unfortunately, yes. Don't mention your age in your query.) Should I include publishing credits from a traditional publisher from an unrelated genre? Even if it's gay erotic romance? (Yes. It proves you write well enough to be published. You might have to describe the publishing company, though, if the agent won't be familiar with it.) Can I use a gimmick in my query, since non-formulaic queries do well? (No. There's a difference between gimmick and non-formulaic.) My manuscript isn't finished, but the agent seemed interested during the conference. Should I query? (No, but maybe drop a short e-mail their way.) My protagonist is a kid; does that make it automatically YA? (No, it doesn't.) Someone you know that you think should be a writer? (She recommends sending them to

She also gives some advice: How to answer when someone asks you how your book is selling.

Agent Suzie Townsend recaps a panel and her answers to several questions. She's looking for more magical realism, by the way.

And author Jim Hines once again posts his publishing income, in hopes of giving aspiring authors a realistic expectation of what they may earn through writing.

George R.R. Martin offers 10 tips on writing.

Science says reading is good for your brain. And doctors prescribe books to treat depression.


  1. Kind of a late comment here -- a federal judge has declared that Sherlock Holmes is copyright free, along with any other story elements by Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923.