Friday, November 14, 2014

Publishing Industry News

This week's publishing news and industry blogs post covers 11/4-11/14.

Publishing News

Hachette and Amazon have finally come to an agreement. Hachette retains control of setting its own prices, and seems to have a deal similar to Simon & Schuster's. Reactions are varied but generally positive, especially that authors are no longer seeing their sales impacted.

Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and indie publishers unite to encourage the passage of e-tax fairness legislation.

Amazon has won the auction for the .Book domain name.

Despite having technically won the case, the publishers in the Georgia State University copyright case filed an appeal over the case in which they were sued for providing unlicensed digital copies of texts to students for coursework. This case is a defining case for the definition of "fair use" as it applies to education, and the final outcome may impact fair use rulings in the future. The judges' opinion on the recent ruling may have been in the publishers' favor, but the reasoning for 2 of the 3 did not accept the publishers' basic arguments of the case; thus, the appeal, in hopes that the next court will accept the arguments as the reason for the publishers' win.

In the case of Open Road vs HarperCollins, in which Open Road published e-copies of Julie of the Wolves while HarperCollins claimed to have controlling interest on the digital rights of the book despite those rights not being explicitly stated in the contract (the contract was written before e-books were a thing; HarperCollins was eventually awarded full digital rights based on the wording of the contract), HarperCollins attempted to sue Open Road for reimbursement of lawyers' fees. HarperCollins was denied.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 11/7.

Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware posts an alert about the Cookbook Marketing Agency and an alert about LitFire Publishing. (EDIT: added late: Also, an identity theft scam warning for freelancers.)

Author and retired accountant J.A. Kenney publishes a post about tax law as applicable to the business of writing. When can you deduct your expenses? What taxes do you pay on your royalties? Which tax forms should you fill out? And more.

Author Jane Lebak on QueryTracker talks about her experiences with making an audiobook through ACX. Author Stina Lindenblatt offers advice on writing through the holidays and on how to write a synopsis.

Agent Jessica Faust, when asked how long authors should wait to hear back after sending a query, says don't "wait"--keep writing, keep querying. Also, if an agent refers you to another agent at the agency, don't expect the first agent to do the work of querying the second agent for you. And, uh, it's usually good practice to make sure your query makes sense. Also, if you have a book that's good, and has gotten lots of "It's good and well-written, but not my thing," from agents, would it hurt your other manuscripts' chances of traditional publishing if you self-published that one? (Today, not really. Go ahead and self-pub that one and keep submitting your others.)

Agent Janet Reid gives advice and answers questions. When promoting appearances, etc, remember to be detailed and precise, or your audience might not be able to find you. Most people are too busy to look things up if they're die-hard fans, so if you want to grow your audience, make it easy. If you get an offer from an agent you're not truly sure about, should you take it? (No. The wrong agent is worse than no agent.) If your first agent shopped a version of your manuscript, but you've parted ways and are now searching for representation on a vastly edited version of the manuscript, do you need to disclose in the query that it's already been shopped? (Yes. That's not always a deal-breaker, but not telling usually is.)

More from Reid: If an agent requests a full but doesn't get back to you, do you assume it's a no? (Yes, move one, and also yes, that's pretty rude of the agent.) Is it okay to include dialogue from the novel in the query? (It's not taboo. It's just not usually effective.)

On the Wyrding Ways Press blog, what to put in your front and back matter (the pages before and after you story begins and ends, such as title page and about the author info) if you format your book yourself.

Author Angela Quarles explains why you should usually avoid using the words before and until when writing in deep POV.

Doing NaNoWriMo? GalleyCat offers NaNoWriMo tips throughout the month.