Feb 062010

The fight between Amazon and Macmillan has been big news this week, with Amazon removing the Buy links for Macmillan books in a dispute over pricing. I read last night on Twitter that the “Buy” links were up, so all is well now. But a lot of people were angry at Amazon, and many others say that publishers need to lower prices to stay in the game. I won’t put up all the links I gathered through the week, but here’s one of the earliest from The New York Times, which also mentions Apple’s decision to give publishers leeway in price setting.

Reuters thinks that the Amazon loss on e-book pricing could fuel a trend. They reported that Amazon stocks went down this week and Apple went up.

A thoughtful article from The Authors Guild says:

Yet if Macmillan prevails, the eventual payoff for its authors (and all authors, if a successful result ripples through the industry) is likely to be significant and lasting.

My favorite on this subject is John Scalzi’s brilliant and funny “amazon.fail” blog, in which he said:

“oh, sweet Jesus, did Amazon ever hump the bunk.”

For more articles in this vein, I’m referring you to Dear Author’s Friday Midday Links post, which includes 9 links on e-books and the pricing debate.

Dorchester Publishing announced a Publisher’s Pledge Program, promising to fulfill reader expectation and guaranteeing satisfaction.

From the last RWR, Avon is currently seeking submissions. and editor Lyssa Keusch is looking for high-concept romantic suspense and mainstream woman’s fiction.

At Bantam Dell, Jessica Sebor has been promoted from an Editorial Assistant to Assistant Editor. In a November interview with Winnie Griggs, she said she’s looking for single title and women’s fiction books — and she’s actively seeking out new authors.

At Ed Gorman’s blog, St. Martin’s Toni Plummer, an Associate Editor at Thomas Dunne Books, says she’s excited about building her own list of authors.

“I’m looking for mysteries, from light, funny ones to really gritty, thrilling ones. I respond to humor, well-drawn characters, and stories with a strong sense of place. I’m also looking for women’s fiction, literary and commercial. Multicultural, historical. I like some romance in my novels, but if it dominates the plot, it can become too much for me.”

On to agent news. Guide to Literary Agents was busy this week. First up is How to Trim Your Query to 250 Words (or Fewer): Advice from Agent Janet Reid.

Next, in a Guide to Literary Agents interview, Agent Laney Katz Becker of Markson Thoma Literary Agency says she is looking for “‘book club fiction,’ (i.e. novels with substance that you’re eager to talk about); character-driven stories; and smart, psychological thrillers.”

In another interview, agent BJ Robbins of the Los Angeles-based BJ Robbins Literary Agency is seeking “quality fiction—both literary and commercial.”

Guide to Literary Agents also interviewed agent Irene Goodman of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. “Her fiction list includes historical fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers, literary fiction, and mysteries.” The interview ended with advice to writers:

“Be bold. Be yourself. Write the book that only you could write. Technology changes, but the fundamentals don’t. Human beings have had a driving need to tell stories since they lived in caves. The earliest storytellers enthralled listeners around campfires. Chaucer entertained the court by telling them the Canterbury Tales. In the 19th century, people lined up for blocks to get the next installment of the new Dickens story. Today, teenagers in Tokyo are downloading the latest vampire saga onto their phones. So no matter what format becomes the norm, a great story is still what it’s all about. Hone your craft, learn the techniques of telling a great story, and the rest will come.”

In an interview with Anne Riley, agent Paige Wheeler, a founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, says she’s looking for:

“All commercial fiction and Upscale (think book club) fiction, as well as women’s fiction, romance (all types), mystery, thrillers, and psychological suspense. I enjoy both historical fiction as well as contemporary fiction, so do keep that in mind.”

In an interview on Mother. Write. (Repeat.), agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation says for adult lit she’s looking for:

“women’s fic, urban fantasy, historical romance, speculative fiction, horror, magical realism, romantic suspense, mainstream commercial fiction, thrillers, etc.”

Registration is open for the 7th International Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, Sept. 23-26. There’s an early registration fee until June 30, and it looks as if RWA members will get a deal too.

There’s a new link on Twitter for Women’s Fiction. http://twitter.com/itsabookthing It appears to be mostly readers from the UK, but might be interesting to check out.

  3 Responses to “Industry News: 2/10/2010”

  1. Even more amazing than usual. Thanks, Edie!

  2. Thanks so much for this update, Edie! Incredibly helpful, as always. :)

  3. I so enjoyed your posting, Edie! I really would love to go to that international WF gathering.

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