Friday, March 21, 2014

Publishing Industry News

This week's publishing news and industry blogs covers 3/7-3/21.

Publishing News

Amazon Prime raises the price to $99 for yearly membership. Also, Amazon begins publishing books written in German with a new office opening in Munich.

Meanwhile, Barnes and Noble's Nook Press opens in UK and other European countries.

The U.S. House committee on "Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax" begins meeting. One of the initial speaking groups, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, calls for implementing the tax to help level the playing field between local and online retailers.

HarperCollins imprint It Books renames itself to Dey Street.

In a test of the Safe Harbor provision, Viacom sued Google for content users uploaded, implying that Google should proactively screen data. Google offered evidence that the DMCA take-down notices worked, but Viacom offered that Google knew specific examples of violating material that it did nothing about until forms were sent. The companies have now reached a settlement.

In an interesting copyright case, HarperCollins sued OpenRoad for publishing the Julie of the Wolves e-book, claiming that digital rights (despite e-books not having been invented at publication of the original contract) were covered in the contract. The judge rules in HarperCollins' favor, differentiating that the peculiar language in this particular contract made it distinct from the Rosetta Case, where language about electronic storage had not been included.

In a further continuation of the Apple vs the state and consumers trial drama, the plaintiffs say Apple shouldn't get a separate damages trial, since Judge Cote should already have enough information from the original trial to rule on damages, and since Apple consented either explicitly or by its behavior to have Judge Cote make such a ruling. Apple declares it never consented so. In either case, the damages trial is likely to be delayed.

A platform may open up later this year, called Laugh Riot Press, for indie authors of humor books.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 3/7 and 3/14 and 3/21.

Nathan Bransford's The Past Few Weeks in Books.

Also on QueryTracker, Sarah Pinneo talks about including all your buy-links for books. Stina Lindenblatt talks about 5 ways to land an agent.

What do readers want from an author website? On author Darcy Pattison's blog, she shares the results of a survey on what readers want.

Agent Janet Reid answers questions and offers advice. Some agents require potential clients have a web presence during the query stage; is this common? (Not universal; it has nothing to do with quality of writing, and she for one laughs at agents who do.) If a book is set for 2016, is it okay to wait until 2015 to query it, to get the editing done? (No. Agents are looking for 2016 books right now.) Should you reveal the entire plot of your story in the query? (No. That's not what queries are for.) Should you use block formatting/what kind of formatting should you use for e-mails or queries? (Spaces between paragraphs.)

Plus, Reid talks about how she feels about queriers sending in revisions--okay until she's read them, and usually even revise and resend stories only get one second chance. Also, if you have a request from a small publisher, how do you survive if you can't get an agent? (Hire literary attorneys, research them, etc.) If it's been a large span of time between a request from an agent and when you are ready to submit to the agent, is it okay to submit? (Might as well try.) If an agent asks for a business plan, what to do? (The term business plan doesn't really apply to authors; sounds like someone either is trying to intimidate you with jargon or doesn't know they should be saying marketing plan.) And if you've had a couple of agents in the past, should you mention that at the query point? (No; that would be a turn-off to agents. Also, a month without hearing from your agent isn't nearly enough time to start panicking.)

You've probably already heard that Amtrak is offering writers free residencies, right? Many writers are concerned about the terms of applications, which grant the publishers full rights to publish all applications in full. Victoria Strauss pulls out the contentious phrasing and dissects why it may be problematic for some writers.

Are you an indie author looking to get into bookstores? Author Dean Wesley Smith explains how you can make it happen.

Write for, or want to write for, a magazine? The Renegade Writer talks about how to build and maintain a good relationship with your editor to help you net further assignments.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues her Discoverability series with Part 12 (Samples) and Part 13 (Why you might start your own publishing company and how to do so).

Agent Nephele Tempest offers some tax advice as we warm up for tax season.

On the FF&P blog, author Karina Fabian discusses 5 essentials for book trailers. Also, Lynn Cahoon explains what a story bible is, and what should go into it--it's a great way to keep track of your own series to prevent inconsistency between books.

Editor Beth Hill offers advice on keeping the plot moving and making readers unable to put a book down.

If you write fiction, you know you need to finish the whole book before querying. Rachelle Gardner suggests you do the same if you're writing nonfiction.

Publishers Weekly looks at the book printing supply chain and how it's affected by recent technology.

Americans still use libraries. Pew Research Center releases their research.

Have you ever thought it would be nice to have an assistant? Some authors are hiring part-time assistants. It might be right for you.

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