Feb 052012

There’s no escaping conflict in politics—or in publishing. The new normal in publishing means someone’s mad at Amazon, someone favors print over e-books or vice versa, and book sales are slowing or growing.

 Before we get to the new normal, let’s look at what’s going on with literary agents and agenting

In a blog post last week, Agent Kristin Nelson announced her agency’s launch of a venture to assist clients e-pub their backlists. Read the comments that post elicited, including a link to a post by Courtney Milan, a Nelson Literary client who supports, with caveats, her agency’s new initiative.

Writer’s Digest‘s Chuck Sambuchino issues a new agent alert for Carlie Webber of Jane Rotosen Agency. As Sambuchino reports, Webber is looking for “young adult (any and all genres), horror, mystery, thriller, suspense, contemporary romance, humor, literary fiction, women’s fiction.”

Agent Jill Corcoran discusses what makes books sell. Although Corcoran reps children’s books, her opinions translate to women’s fiction.  

Know whether you’re submitting literary or commercial fiction , says agent Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown Ltd. The lines blur, but La Polla offers definitions for both forms.

The Knight Agency’s Lucienne Diver explains why submissions from potential clients must take a backseat to clients’ work.

 At The Green Water Blog, self-published writer Mike Wells engages agent Jenny Bent in a discussion sparked by that old chestnut from rejection letters: “I just didn’t love the story.”  Bent explains reading is subjective.  

 Who’s Mad at ________ (Insert Your Choice) This Week?

The Authors Guild is mad at Amazon. Be sure to read the comments.

Barnes & Noble is mad at Amazon and is depicted as David fighting Goliath in a New York Times article. Notice this paragraph: “Inside the great publishing houses — grand names like Macmillan, Penguin and Random House — there is a sense of unease about the long-term fate of Barnes & Noble, the last major bookstore chain standing. First, the megastores squeezed out the small players. (Think of Tom Hanks’s Fox & Sons Books to Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner in the 1998 comedy, “You’ve Got Mail”.) Then the chains themselves were gobbled up or driven under, as consumers turned to the Web. B. Dalton Bookseller and Crown Books are long gone. Borders collapsed last year.” 

Umm, doesn’t Barnes & Noble belong in the “megastore” category? Shelf Awareness, an e-newsletter about and for indie bookstores, says it does and reminds that B&N bought and shut down B. Dalton. (Scroll down to the third item in the issue.) 

Barnes and Noble is mad at Amazon and won’t stock Amazon’s print books.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire proves popular. You know somebody’s mad about that.

Adult hardcover sales dipped almost 21 percent in November, 2011, according to figures released by the Association of American Publishers. GalleyCat compared AAP’s January through November, 2011 figures with the same from 2010 and put them in chart form, making it easy to see the corresponding 126 percent hike in e-book sales.

Random House will continue to sell its e-books to libraries for lending–but at higher prices.

In an interview with Mediabistro, Jamie Raab, publisher at Grand Central Publishing and senior vice president of Hachette Book Group, discusses the value traditional publishers offer.

Joe Konrath, who has published with Grand Central and is now self-published, questions whether the value publishers add is worth the percentage they take

Jonathan Segura calls for an end to e-book versus print book arguments.

How many times have we heard that writing’s a marathon, not a sprint?  Social-media expert Kristen Lamb says the career writer has to prepare for a decathlon rather than a marathon.

If politics and publishing don’t provide enough conflict, there’s always the Superbowl.

May your favorite team win.

  One Response to “Industry News-February 5”

  1. Fabulous column, Pat, actually more like a blog. As always, I love your sense of humor. Great work!

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