Friday, June 3, 2016

Publishing industry news

This week's publishing news and industry blogs post covers 5/16-6/2/16. Also, yes, fair warning: I'll probably continue to be this sporadic with these posts through the beginning of August, though I'll try to get at least one a month in.

Publishing News

Amazon confirms the plan to open more brick and mortar bookstores.

An author targets Simon & Schuster over e-book royalties with a class action suit, with the possible consequence of answering the question of whether or not digital sales should be counted as "license income" or "sales." (In many modern contracts the income is sufficiently spelled out that 
this is not an issue.)

In a notice sent out to its members, the Romance Writers of America has announced that due to being in arrears as to paying its authors their royalties, the publisher Ellora's Cave "must refrain from contacting members regarding new submissions" or participating in RWA events until it has resolved the issue.

Publisher Macmillan buys a self-publishing platform called Pronoun. (Note that authors who publish this service are considered to be self-published, not published by Macmillan.)

Industry Blogs

On the Editor's Blog, a reminder that it really is better to point out when a writer's work needs improvement before publishing--be tactful, but your writing group partners will be far worse off if you don't. Also, good information on formatting your books for print.

Agent Janet Reid offers advice and answer questions. So your first two books didn't sell well; should you use a pen name for your next query? (No; but you do need to write something really amazing, because it will hurt your hopes for getting a new agent) Would a traditional publisher considering taking book 2 first? (No.) How do you ask if an agent is getting ready to retire? (Carefully.) If you have some cool extra like maps or even historical photos, should you include them with your manuscript? (No.) If you're nervous about your small publisher, can you get out of the contract because you've lost confidence in them? (No, that's not a valid excuse. Better to avoid winding up with a publisher who'll go out of business in the first place by looking for certain red flags.)

Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch posts contract dealbreakers to look out for, what they look like, and what the consequences are if you wind up with them: some sneaky types of money grabs (and why BookTrope's demise is a blessing in disguise for many authors), the problem with non-compete clauses (plus some sneaky new ones that don't look like they have in the past), when to be careful of option clauses, and what lines to draw over copyrights and grants of rights.

Agent Nephele Tempest posts her Friday links for 5/20 and 5/27.

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

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