Author/publisher Bob Mayer of Who Dares Wins Publishing recently pronounced traditional publishing dead. Of some comfort is the fact he expects a phoenix-like rebirth. “When I say die, I mean the ‘traditional’ part of traditional publishing. It will evolve into something new.”
The self-publishing boom means more new books are competing for readers’ attention. Literary agent Jim McCarthy of DGLM sees new authors struggling to stand out in the crowd and wonders whether publisher branding will play a bigger role in readers’ decision making.
Otis Chandler, founder and CEO of Goodreads.com, knows authors are working overtime to make their books discoverable. He says buzz sells books, and the best kind doesn’t come from Twitter or Facebook but from a friend’s recommendation of a title. Read more here.
Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency says the roles of agents, publishers, and readers have morphed. In the first part of a three-part series entitled “The Brave New Publishing World,” Grant details agents’ new or increased tasks. In the series’ second part, she describes how an unidentified publisher has changed its culture to be more responsive to readers’ wants. The third installment of the series looks at how readers have changed and includes a must-see slideshow survey of book-buying behavior that was originally presented at January’s Digital Book World conference by Verso Digital. (Click on the slides to move forward.)
Rachelle Gardner, another Books & Such agent, offers a basic overview of the author/agent agreement.
Ron Hogan, founder of Beatrice, talks with Jane Friedman, assistant professor of e-media at the universityof Cincinnati, about what he’s learned from interviews with authors over the years.
The recent SXSW Conference in Austin offered a panel about three new publishing models, including Penguin’s Book Country.
In a week of opinions, facts, and figures, there was something reassuring about an item in Shelf Awareness wondering whether about tablet sales are eating into sales of e-readers. It turns out nobody knows for sure. (Fourth item from the top.)
Jane Friedman defines “author platform” and tells writers to prepare for a career-spanning effort . “Use your imagination, and take meaningful steps. It’ll be a long journey.”
At Writer Beware, Victoria Strauss warns of a “dodgy publisher” she doesn’t identify by name. Said dodger typically offers writers fifty percent royalties, but those royalties are paid after printing costs have been deducted from actual sales prices.
Chuck Wendig lists twenty-five things writers should know about creativity.
Social-media expert Kristen Lamb credits Amazon with supporting art by giving more writers a shot at finding their readerships. “By opening the doors and not using any outside market standard of ‘acceptable publishable material’ Amazon has liberated the artist to put his art on display. If the world throws digital tomatoes at it, c’est la vie.”
Authors Guild president Scott Turow takes his beef with Amazon on the road. In an interview with Salon.com, he reiterates his fear that Amazon’s growth will hurt authors, readers, and indie bookstores.
Once again, trad-turned-indie-pubbed-Kindle bestseller Joe Konrath and trad-turned Amazon-pubbed Barry Eisler respond to Turow’s arguments almost point by point. Konrath begins the post and Eisler weighs in toward the end.
Nathan Bransford, a former literary agent who now writes middle-grade novels, reminds us why the Department of Justice’s threatened lawsuit over agency pricing could prove a game changer. He also sifts through arguments from Turow, Eisler, and Mike Shatzkin. Bransford’s conclusion? If agency pricing goes away, readers will come out ahead.
I hope you and your writing come out ahead this week. See you next Sunday.