Friday, July 4, 2014

Publishing Industry News

Today's Publishing news and industry blogs post covers 6/14-7/4.

Publishing News

Apple has come to the decision that battling the DOJ in the price-fixing lawsuit is a lost cause, and instead of appealing again, agrees to settle instead of undergoing a damages trial, pending an actual loss of the appeal, of course. (Publisher Weekly's article) Meanwhile, publishers contend that Judge Cote's final injunctions on Apple hobble the return to the agency model they'd rather use, when the settlements they'd taken had been with the understanding that they would be allowed to return to agency models (negotiated separately) once their own settlements took their course.

Angry Robots Books closes its YA and Mystery book imprints.

Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House affiliate) begins offering ARCs directly to bloggers.

In (slightly related to publishing news) the court case in which a company asks for the right to knowingly tell lies as part of political campaigns, the Supreme Court rules that the company may challenge the constitutionality of the law prohibiting campaign lying without being prosecuted. Note: The Supreme Court has not ruled that lying in campaigns is okay. This ruling is a statement that the threat of enforcement of a law counts as a limitation of speech; thus, if an unjust law is passed, challenging it should not bring punishment or threat of punishment before the challenge was resolved (the law upheld or repealed). So threatening to sue in order to stop someone from doing something is a form of restricting them.

The Appeals court confirms that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain.

In the Open Road vs HarperCollins battle of the digital rights to Julie of the Wolves, HarperCollins sets a proposal to sue for $1.1 million, which Open Road blasts as excessive.

The US publishing industry earned $27.01 billion last year, as determined by the American Association of Publishers. (The numbers do not seem to include self-publishing.)

And Amazon has launched a smartphone.

Hachette Australia mourns the loss of its CEO.

Industry Blogs

Querytracker's Publishing Pulse for 6/20.

Also on Querytracker, Jane Lebak talks about giving your characters potatoes. Metaphorically, that is--as seeding things into them and letting those things grow and surprise the reader. And Stina Lindenblatt shares 9 things not to do as a writer, unprofessional behaviors to avoid.

Writer Beware looks at the acquisition of Whiskey Creek Press by Start Media. The authors are being asked to sign new contracts; there are sticking points in both the original WCP contracts (for which authors can choose to continue using) and the new Start Media contracts that cause Strauss to take a less-than-excited view of the contract language, although Start Media drops a couple of former WCP red flags. However, the raised-eyebrow points are more "regard with caution" or "I've seen better" than "run away"--could be worse for authors. Read both links for Start Media's statement and answers to the questions Strauss asked in the first link.

Also on Writer Beware, a definite "run away"--from American Writers Association, a company that offers to be an agent to help you find an agent, for the low-low price of $700. Don't pay a company to query an agent for you. Agents hate it.

Agent Janet Reid answers questions and gives advice. If you do a derp and accidentally send to two "exclusive only" agents at the same time, do you fess up or hope one rejects you? (Fess up immediately. And be more careful.) Is a bad title an instant death for a query? (Don't worry about the title overly much. The agent will tell you to change it if needed--it's the book that counts.) Who is it okay to brag to about how well the query process is going? (Almost no one. Close-mouthed family, crit group... that's about it. A request isn't anywhere near an offer or a sale.) If you've previously had an agent but parted ways, do you address it--and how--in the query? (Yes, but it's not a big deal. Reid explains how.) What are standard commission rates on domestic and foreign sales for US agents? (15% domestic; 20% foreign). What is, and isn't, word of mouth marketing?

Agent Kristen Nelson takes a firm stance in the Amazon vs Hachette spat--that she doesn't know the full story, and shouldn't make a firm judgement without all the facts. Authors, meanwhile, write a letter asking Amazon to resolve the dispute in a way that doesn't hurt authors' sales. Meanwhile, other authors sign a document showing support for Amazon.

On the Editor's Blog, using physical motion for characters. Variety is good; don't overdo the same ones; chase off talking heads, and more (and better explained) tips.

Author Shannon Donnelly drops by the FF&P blog to explain how to create characters that don't fall out of character midway through the book.

9 Literary magazines for unpublished authors are listed on Aerogramme's Writer's Studio.

GalleyCat links to an infographic on Who's Stealing eBooks--a look at the actual numbers in e-book piracy.

Retale offers a site on real-time sales: how much US consumers are spending on books every second the page is open.

What other publishing news have you encountered in the past three weeks?

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