Saturday, January 25, 2014

Publishing Industry News

This post covers from 1/10-1/25. Just a heads' up, but next news post will be a week late and will cover 3 weeks!

Publishing News

Do you write off your home office? There's new tax laws on it this year. Could be a benefit to you. Rachel Kent on Fine Print Literary explains.

Simon & Schuster launch a new imprint called Simon451 for science fiction. They also commit their entire e-book catalogue to the e-lending library Overdrive.

Overdrive also plans to start distributing DRM-free audiobooks.

Amazon Publishing is launching a new imprint for Christian books (fiction and nonfiction). Also, they're considering shipping packages before the items are bought, and trying to patent the process (because mind-reading is cool? No, we're looking at items that are ordered regularly and they anticipate your reorder, shipping items likely to be needed regionally to warehouses in the general area, that sort of thing. For the most part, anyway. Maybe there will be a few accidental well-we've-already-shipped-it-so-happy-birthday shipments. The Wall Street Journal has more, although check out the patent for actual details, which may not be as impressive as alluded to.)

Barnes and Noble gets hit with a class action lawsuit that claims they misled consumers by majorly downplaying their losses.

Good Books' parent company, Good Enterprises, has filed for bankruptcy. Good Enterprises' print stock is with Simon & Schuster, their distributor, after liquidation; Simon & Schuster now have official permission to continue selling them and advertising them, so long as they follow "standard terms." (Honestly I have no idea what the standard terms are, though.)

The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act has passed, meaning that all taxpayer-funded research must be made available to the public within 1 year of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Apple requested a stay against the court-appointed monitor; Judge Cote denied it. She then told them to cooperate with the monitor. The DoJ claims Apple's waging a "character assassination" against the monitor. Apple makes an appeal, and the stay is granted after all by the appeals court.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 1/17 and 1/24.

There's a really interesting self-publishing income survey out, comparing self-publishing income across genres, to how much the authors earned through traditional and self-publishing, pricing, and more. In contrast, Digital Book Week puts out a survey saying most authors, traditional or self-publishing, earn less than $1000 a year.

And BookBub talks about blurbs, and how they affected sales, and what works.

Interested in selling to foreign markets? Shareem Akbani Gangat explains the current foreign markets and what's selling, what challenges you'll face, and what you need to keep in mind.

There's a new app that Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware posted about, which (if developed) will allow readers to make and share edits to published work (but only with other purchasers of the book). Of particular interest is the controversy about whether or not it violates copyright infringement--there is much discussion and a few edits by Strauss discussing alternate viewpoints on the issue.

Also on Writer Beware, Agent Artery might sound like something writers might want if they're looking for an agent--but the company spams agents, and like most spam the agents delete it without thought.

And you may remember Writer Beware's post about Scribd, based on Scribd's early days with high amounts of pirated content. Scribd responds, pointing out their aggressive policy on pirating and how much they've been doing to remove illegal content.

Literary agent Janet Reid answers more questions: If a middle grade book starts feeling too mature, can you sell it as YA? (It's very tough. The target audience tends to prefer reading about kids their age or older, not younger kids.) Would most writers be able to score a print-only deal if they're not sure they can handle the selling solo? (No.) You sold your first book and your publisher has right of first refusal. Should you look for an agent for the second book? (No; agents won't be interested and it'll annoy your publisher.) Also, use your subject line when sending e-mails.

Are you worried about pirates? Rachelle Gardner explains why you shouldn't get your blood pressure up over the issue. And she reminds you that no matter how compelling social networking/building a platform/etc, your main focus should be on writing a great book.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives her opinion on pricing in a 2 part series: Part A and Part B.

Agent Nephele Tempest gives 3 short pieces of advice on writing queries.

Pew Research is the latest to agree that while eReading is Rising, it's not replacing traditional books.

Don't sign up for a copyright registration service. If you want to register your copyright, do so yourself at the US Copyright Office. It's easy, it's $35, it takes 10 minutes. If you pay $125 for "7 years," you've been ripped off.

Some editors talk about what they're looking for in 2014.

Indie bookstore Eagle Harbor Books creates an interesting customer-interaction feature that, much like Amazon's recommendation engines, recommends books for readers based on the readers' preferences--but this one is in a store, not online. (Cool. I'd like to see one of those in my local indie bookstore.)

A cool infographic by HipType on "The DNA of a successful book."

What do you think of an algorithm that will tell you which books will be successful and which weren't? They've come up with one. (Interestingly, reading the methodology, neither fantasy nor romance were included, although science fiction was and a category called "love stories" was--how that relates to romance I have no idea. I would be highly curious to see if romance followed the same algorithm.)

And here's 5 apps for copy editing.

In sci-fi news (not really book-related but interesting), a fan convention cancels with its hotel based off alleged disrespect from the hotel. But the details aren't clear and whether or not the supposed comments actually occurred is disputed. Jim Hines offers his perspective.

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