May 272012

Today’s Industry News begins with a rumble and ends with lemonade, making it a fitting read for a holiday weekend.  Remember those who’ve died for our country, meet your page count, and click on the links that interest you.


Writer Chuck Wendig takes aim against the “moonbats” who give self-publishing a bad name.

In a related post, agent Sarah LaPolla bemoans the “us versus them” mentality of some self-published authors and emphasizes that self-publishing is neither an offshoot of nor gateway to traditional publishing but a new path. She wishes those who research and plan before they self-publish didn’t have to contend with “the impatient, the bitter, and the amateurs”  clogging the path.

Former agent-turned-childrens’-book-author Nathan Bransford fixes his attention on those self-pubbed authors with chips on their shoulders. Like LaPolla, he also takes aim at the “us versus them” mentality. “There is no ‘us’ vs. ‘them.’  Traditional vs. self-publishing is a false dichotomy. It’s an illusion created by people who either have let their frustrations get the best of them or are trying to sell you something. We’re all writers trying to figure out the best way to get our books to readers. We’re all on the same team.” 

Dear Author’s Jane Litte launched a Q&A about the lawsuits alleging collusion among Apple and certain of the big six publishers.

Amazon isn’t interested in selling a book at a low price, it’s interested in building a long-term relationship with a book-buyer that will spill over into other consumer goods. “They want you for life. They want to be your conduit to a whole universe of things that matter to you,” writes John Maxwell in an essay from the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing.

Author/publisher Bob Mayer thinks the Association of Authors Representatives put its efforts in the wrong place with its letter to the DoJ supporting the agency model.  

E-book expert Mike Shatzkin wrote to the DoJ, too.  He’d like to see uniform retail pricing, thus ending competition on the basis of price.

Writer Seth Godin warned that low prices aren’t always a bargain. “Everyone needs to sell at a fair price. But unless you’ve found a commodity that must remain a commodity, a fair price is not always the lowest price. Not when you understand that price is just one of the many tools available.” 


S. Jae-Jones, an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press, shows (not tells) the steps involved in a manuscript’s acquisition.

Once a manuscript is acquired, editing begins (or continues). Agent Rachelle Gardner explains the process.

Debut authors need more than an online presence, says agent Joanna Volpe. “They need to be ready to create extra content.  To keep up with others online. To correspond with their readers.”

The Internet has a long memory, so make sure all that extra content, keeping up and correspondence is professional, suggests agent Deidre Knight. “Your interactions, blogs, tweets, Facebook updates and so forth all leave an indelible footprint on the Net.  ‘No problem,’ you say, ‘I’m not searching for a job or a boyfriend.’ Really?  You’re not looking to engage a readership, now or in the future? Or if you’re reading this blog, you’re not in the market for an agent?”

Editor Alan Rinzler says details help a reader connect with a story.

Protect your writing time and respect your natural rhythms, urges RWA-WF’s own Barbara O’Neal.

When grief upends one’s writing time and rhythms, it may not be possible to pull one’s self up by the bootstraps. Writer Jennifer Spiller copes.

I promised lemonade, and here’s a version that’s tangy but not bitter: agent Sarah Davies riffs on the agent/client relationship.

 May you be safe from moonbats this week.  Happy writing!

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