Friday, October 3, 2014

Publishing Industry News

This week's publishing news and industry blogs post covers 9/19-10/2.

Publishing News

Authors United plans its next move, reaching out to the Department of Justice to look at the option of an antitrust inquiry aimed at Amazon's business tactics in the book industry. News of the move leaked before they had planned it to; it appears this project is still in the planning phases.

A different organization, the Authors Guild, also looks to bring scrutiny on Amazon's business practices, meeting with the DOJ on August 1, and the AG has confirmed submitting a white paper to the DOJ.

Ellora's Cave, erotic romance publisher, files a lawsuit against Jennifer Litte and her Dear Author blog claiming libel and defamation, seeking damages of at least $25,000, following Litte's post "The Curious Case of Ellora's Cave."

HarperCollins offers its authors a 10% higher royalty rate on books sold directly through the publisher, instead of through middlemen. Books sold through other retailers earn the standard commission.

Amazon, meanwhile, releases information about its planned crowdsourced publishing platform. Authors who choose to join, if they are chosen to participate after entering, are offered a $1500 advance with a 50% royalty rate on a 5-year contract.

Universal Pictures signs a deal with Penguin Random House, allowing Universal to examine PRH's titles for ideas for movie projects for the next two years.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker Publishing Pulse for 9/26.

Nathan Bransford posts "The Last Few Weeks in Publishing" for 9/19.

Agent Nephele Tempest posts more Friday "Interesting Links" for 9/19 and 9/26. I'd particularly suggest checking out the Opportunities for Writers for October and November.
Victoria Strauss suggests writers to avoid companies offering to promote your author Kickstarter for you (yes, there are now companies offering to let you pay money to recruit people to crowdsource you enough money to become a writer). While she hasn't seen reports of dishonesty from any in particular, she suggests they might not be the best investment you could make. She also suggests writers looking for paid beta readers are better off buying critiques.

Strauss also explains how to request a rights reversion from your publisher.

Agent Janet Reid gives advice and answers questions. Is it worth it to spend $10K on a publicist if the publisher recommends it? (Not likely. Ask a lot of questions [Reid suggests a few, such as how they'd be working and what the print run of the book is], but most likely you're better off looking for marketing advice.) If you had interest from multiple agents and signed with one, but didn't stay with them, and are looking for an agent for book #2, is it okay to query the almost-signed agents you didn't go with originally? (Yes, certainly.)

Reid continues. If women are your audience, should you query only female agents? (No. Query agents who look for what you write. Gender's pretty far down the line of things to look at when picking agents, actually.) If the first chapter of a book gets published as a standalone, is it a bad thing to mention in a query? (No; it's called a publishing credit, and is shiny.) If you get a revise and resubmit from one agent and agree with the advice, and then hear a request from another agent you want to submit to while you're revising, should you submit the original work now or wait until the revision is done? (Send a nice e-mail saying when it should be done and wait.)

In the Los Angeles Review of Books, staff member and entertainment attorney Mark Robertson discusses the Google Book Scanning case with professors of law, looking at its implications (specifically for the "fair use" clause) and some of the opinions about it.

On the Editor's Blog, dangling modifiers explained, and how to fix them. Plus another word, "somehow," whose removal will usually improve your writing, and suggestions on how to replace it in ways that will improve your story, plus the purpose it does serve well in writing and therefore when to keep it.

On the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal blog, author Shannon Donnelly gives suggestions for avoiding writing bad dialogue through common dialogue mistakes. And author Angela Quarles talks about the various ways when writing time travel that a character's actions might affect the timeline, and the nine types of timelines (/time travel theories) that stories use.

Are the Audiobook Wars about to begin, with Amazon's domination of the e-book market? Cory Doctorow, on BoingBoing, surveys the audiobook ecosystem and seems to think yes, legal trouble is sure to sprout up soon.

Malcolm Gladwell casts his vote in the Amazon vs Hachette dispute, not so much stating an opinion as stating he dislikes Amazon's practices of making the books unavailable for preorder and delaying shipping.

Ingrid Sundberg posts a color thesaurus on her blog, pictures of different shades of colors with a variety of names, for writers looking to include color imagery in their books.

Also, if you're in NC, the local romance chapter is hosting best-selling author Maya Rodale in an all-day workshop focused on jumpstarting your writing career, building a loyal readership, and writing good stories, fast. (Disclaimer: Yes, this is a shameless plug; I'm a member of hosting chapter. It's good for traditional, self, and hybrid published authors all.)

What publishing news have you encountered in the past two weeks?

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