Happy New Year!
I’ve organized this longer-than-usual post to optimize its usefulness. One section is dubbed “Last Year in Publishing,” another is “The Year Ahead,” and a third, in a shameless rip-off of Oprah, is “Your Best Writing Self.” You’ll find information about traditional and indie publishing, links to insiders and to those proud to call themselves outsiders, marketing tips, and new-agent news. In other words, there’s something for everyone.
Last Year in Publishing
At paidContent, Laura Hazard Owens summarizes 2011 with numbers. Did you know twenty percent of book sales at Random House and Hachette were digital?
Here’s another number to crunch: Amazon announced it sold roughly one million Kindle devices per week in December.
Booksellers had a merrier-than-expected holiday season, reports Publishers Weekly. Anecdotal evidence suggests Borders’ closing and the “buy local” trend buoyed sales at brick-and-mortar stores.
This story sheds light on the preceding item. In Michigan, booksellers react to the end of Borders with tactics aimed to lure and hold customers.
Writers Digest links to its eighteen most popular writing articles of 2011.
The Year Ahead
At The Shatzkin Files, digital-book expert Mike Shatzkin focuses on the important questions the publishing industry faces in 2012 and beyond.
Author Bob Mayer, whose perspective is that of a writer traditionally published for twenty years and indie published for two, offers ten predictions for 2012.
Joe Konrath tacks his 2012 writing/publishing resolutions to the bottom of resolution lists dating back to 2006. Scroll through the years to see the evolution in his thinking about traditional- versus self- publishing and other writing matters.
We associate “friction” with politics and with rubbing two sticks together to make fire, but one publisher uses the word to explain why it won’t make its ebooks available to libraries for lending. “Selling one copy that could be lent out an infinite number of times with no friction is not a sustainable business model for us,” Maja Thomas, a senior vice president of the Hachettte Book Group, told Randall Stross of the New York Times.
Your Best Writer Self
Chuck Sambuchino alerts readers to two new literary agents, both of whom represent women’s fiction. Hannah Bowman joined Liza Dawson Associates and is looking for commercial fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, romance and young adult. Rachael Dugas signed with Talcott Notch Literary and seeks cookbooks and young adult, middle grade, and adult fiction in the contemporary, paranormal, women’s, and romance genres.
If writer Raymond Carver were alive today, would he tweet, blog, and post on Goodreads? Author Christopher Meeks asks the question and decides Carver would do what writers must do today: promote their books.
Writers Digest offers platform-building tips Raymond Carver would follow. Will you?
Some of us have sworn off New Year’s resolutions but acknowledge we have plenty of room for improvement. Author Chuck Wendig reminds us to help other writers.
Here’s another room-for-improvement link: make the most of your Facebook page.
Media professor Jane Friedman links to the 2011 articles she believes offer the best advice for writers.
Thinking about indie publishing in 2012? Joanna Weiss, author of Milkshake, outlines her stage-by-stage journey.
Critic and journalist-turned-consultant Porter Anderson, he of the distinctive voice and excellent connections, covers the publishing industry weekly via “Writing on the Ether.” (Uh oh, I may have linked myself out of a job.)
May 2012 bring you success in writing and life. Big thanks to this chapter’s founders and the outgoing board. Welcome to the new board.
Special thanks to the RWA-WF eleves who’ve been working behind the scenes on the chapter’s WordPress site. I’m grateful for easy-to-embed hyperlinks.