Saturday, March 14, 2015

Publishing Industry News

This week's publishing news and industry blogs post covers 2/28-3/14/15.

Publishing News

In the Publishers vs Georgia State University case, wherein GSU stored e-reserves of work under the claim of fair use and publishers claimed that constituted copyright infringement, the publishers bring up new evidence in hopes of starting a new trial--specifically, their point hinges on the fact that in 2009, technology and practices have advanced, so titles that now have e-rights should be considered infringement cases. (The publishers technically won the case the first time around, but were unsatisfied with the result, and so have been pushing for a new trial.)

Amazon opens Write On by Kindle to the general public. The site is a community where readers can give feedback to writers who share their works in progress as they write them.

Industry Blogs

On Writer Beware, Victoria Strauss notes that some of Author Solutions' imprints are doing poorly. This may or may not something to do with the lawsuit leveled against them for deceptive practices, in which authors are currently seeking class certification (to cover about 170,000 authors or so). She also says that pitch websites (in which authors post pitches for agents to read) aren't that great, in no small part because few great agents want to use them ("just more queries," "added work," and "the people that come to me know who I am" [sending personalized queries instead of general pitches] are the common themes of the responses she got from agents).

On QueryTracker, breaking down the query process to explain what you'll need to do. And sometimes it's not the query that's ridiculous, but the rejection... though sometimes you can still get good info from those rejections.

Agent Janet Reid gives advice and answers questions. If you've previously had an agent, and are shopping a new book, when do you need to talk about your previous agent? (Depends on if you've been published or not; publishing credit area of query if so.) She explains payment structure: how and when you get the money from an advance. Also, she explains what a comp title should be.

She gives more advice and answers. You completely rewrote a rejected manuscript; can you resubmit as a new work to the same agents? (No. Send it to someone with fresh eyes or admit its a revision taking their feedback into account.) Your characters are people of color but you're not; when do you fear crossing the line into appropriation of culture? (It's a complicated question, but you can start by writing your characters as people, not as their culture.)

Agent Jessica Faust drops in with what's selling hot in romance right now.

Agent Kristin Nelson talks about what makes agents effective, including how well they command authority. She also gives tips: short query letters get better requests, agents don't always read the full query letter, pointing out your novel's market place is good, good titles make a difference.

On the Editor's Blog, why you shouldn't explain the motivations of actions of characters (and what this means, because readers do have to have enough to understand what's going on)., the science fiction website by the associated publishing house, has a great piece by Kate Elliot on writing women characters. Also, advice on how to use character names in fiction for realism and effective writing.

If you're one of those people who hate swearing and wish you (or your kids) didn't have to read it, a new app blocks swear words from your e-books for you. Beats getting a library book with all the curse words marked out... And if you're taking advantage of Penguin Random House's new website that's supposed to help you raise a reader, you might just want to get it for your little bookworm.

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

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