Friday, January 29, 2016

Publishing Industry News

This week's publishing news and industry blogs post covers 1/15/16-1/29/16.

Publishing News

Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, AuthorsUnited founded Doug Preston, and others throw down the glove at Amazon at an event sponsored by Authors Guild, American Booksellers Association, Authors United, and the Association of Authors' Representatives, the event aiming to address Amazon's business practices and the company's effects on the industry (hint: the event was not pro-Amazon, if you didn't guess by the sponsors, all of whom are on record protesting Amazon's business practices and extreme market dominance).

 Three former retailers sued Apple and the Big Five following the DoJ's price-fixing suit on the grounds that Apple and the Big Five's actions forced them out of business; the lawsuit has now been officially tossed.

Apple responds to the DoJ's request that the Supreme Court deny Apple's bid to have the DoJ vs Apple price-fixing case reviewed, reiterating that Apple's motives were pro-competition.

Harvard Law's digitizing its entire collection of US Case Law and making the files available to the public.

Industry Blogs

Agent Janet Reid offers advice and answers questions. Avoid and other query services, especially if they work by asking agents to pay to get queries that they would get for free anyway. Also, she suggests strongly that being a literary agent and an author at the same time is not good for either career, and a path she does not recommend. And be sure to check your website and make sure it's looking presentable--don't make a bad first impression. What if your agent leaves you after submitting to 10 editors--what next? (Write a new book and find a new agent who doesn't do this.)

Agent Jessica Faust reminds authors that if they have an agent, make sure to include time for talking about how to grow their careers with their agent. She also reminds us that there are indeed times to break the rules of grammar--but know why, and how, and do it for a purpose. And if "When did you quit reading?" seems like a reasonable question to ask an agent to learn about a manuscript's weak points, remember, it's not usually a single thing the author did, but an accumulation of things.

Agent Nephele Tempest has writing-related links for 1/15 and 1/28. She also writes a post about social media for writers.

On QueryTracker, thoughts about and links for editing. Needing edits doesn't make it bad; but it might be the difference between really good and great.

Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch posts warning to authors to read their contracts--YES, even a contract from a small or indie publisher, even if it's owned by a friend, even if the person is 100% well-intentioned: because sometimes the person who owns the company now won't still be the owner in a few years, and a bad contract is a bad contract. And many of those contracts these days have some awful clauses in them that weren't put in maliciously, but that in the wrong hands could be used very maliciously.

It's no secret that diversity in the publishing business isn't where it should be. A study for 2015 looks at the current state of diversity in employment at the major publishing houses, with an infographic as well as text analysis to analyze the findings.

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