Thursday, April 12, 2012

Publishers and Authors News and Info

A Hodge-Podge of Publishing Industry News
& Author How-To's
Visit other Thursday Thirteen Participants HERE

1- Amazon, eBay Add Pinterest Buttons
Retail is inherently visual, so it come as no surprise that two of the biggest online sellers - Amazon and eBay - have added Pinterest buttons to  product pages.
Read FULL article HERE
I guess we should have seen it coming. My biggest concern is Pinterest will become over commercialized Will Amazon and eBay zap all the fun out of photo sharing?

2- The Power of Young Adult Fiction
The remarkable box office success of The Hunger Games, based on the first of a trilogy of books that have sold 23 million copies, demonstrates the power of young adult fiction and its passionate fans. The number of young adult titles published last year was up nearly a third since 2008, to almost 10,000, according to Bowker Books in Print. The genre's appeal has spread beyond teenage readers. Why has young adult fiction become such a phenomenon -- even with older adults?
Authors Taking Risks Isn't Kid Stuff
Social Media Has Fed the Fever
Nothing's Wrong with Strong Plot and Characters
Seeing Themselves in Books
I'm sure there are hundreds of opinions as to why young adult fiction has become such a phenomenon. I know when I want to read something engaging, I go to my 18yr old daughters' book shelf. Why? Perhaps I find these books have a quality of honesty I find appealing. There are no pretenses or facades, just like out kids of today... 'It is what it is. Like it or Leave it'.

3- Everything you need to know about the e-book lawsuit in one post...
After weeks of buildup, the Department of Justice sued Apple and five book publishers today and accused them of conspiring to set e-book prices. This is a big story and publishers, consumers and retailers may see the ramifications of today's lawsuit for months or even years to come. Here's what you need to know...
Read FULL article HERE
Sadly I think this is only the tip of the iceberg in regard to conflicts between publishers. As readers we might as well enjoy the discounted prices from Amazon and other publishers who have already settled. Who knows how long it will last, so 'get it while the gettin's good',

4- Amazon Now Lets You Trade In Your Old CDs in Exchange for Gift Cards.
Online retailer Amazon is extending its Trade-In Program today to also cover CDs -- you know, those round, shiny things collecting dust in the back of your closet? Starting now, customers can send in their old CDs to Amazon in exchange for Amazon Gift  Cards, which can then be used to purchase anything on Amazon,com, including, of course, any of Amazon's MP3's.
Read FULL article HERE
This looks like a great opportunity and I'm pretty confident it's only a matter of time other big online retailers follow suit. (If they haven't already).

5-Never, ever "Out of Print"
How POD and ebooks make traditional contract models irrelevant.
Read FILL article HERE
This is an inevitable change. Of course our contracts will change to reflect ebook growth in sales and popularity. I found the video very interesting.

6- 'Riveting!' : The Quandary of the Book Blurb
When to Blurb, and When Not To  (Steven King)
The Blurb that Changed My Life
Why I'll Never Blurb Again
We Hate Them. We Need Them
You can hear me groan when it comes to writing a blurb for my books, which is why this discussion caught my interest.

7- Has Young Adult fiction become too dark?
Darkness Too Visible
-Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?
Read FULL article HERE
I have two teen daughters who are avid readers, as are their friends. Some worry the 'content' of todays' Young Adult fiction is having an adverse effect on our children. I say, give our teen readers a little credit; they are a whole lot smarted than you think. Trust me, if they feel something is 'too much', they will say so... loudly!

8- Can authors make a living just by writing?
Writing for a living has always been a touch gig, with aspiring authors dedicating countless hours to perfecting their words while trying to get published. And now it's getting even harder to make a full-time career out of being a wordsmith. In this digital age of web media, tablets, e-books and rampant self-publishing, there's simply too much competition for eyeballs out there.
Read FULL article HERE
Can authors make a living? That's the million dollar question of the day. Sure, we hear about all the success stories and become hopeful it is out time to shine. Some of us will even try to follow the same paths these authors took to get to where they are today.
Why didn't it work for us? I don't think there's an easy answer, just as I don't think there's an easy path, or 'quick fix' to make you a best seller overnight. For this author, I'll keep doing what I love, and that is spinning a tale. Of course. I'll keep my fingers crossed I am one of the lucky few whose work is read by the 'right person' to launch my career to the next level.
So, can an author make a living? I don't know. It's possible, but these success stories seem to be few and far between. The reality being, writing the books is the easy part, now the work begins! 

9- Some big-six publishers refuse to sign new contracts with Amazon
At least two of the big-six publishers are refusing to sign new annual contracts with Amazon. Thought that could end with their 'buy' buttons being turned off, it is more likely for now, the feud will result in less promotion of their titles on Amazon's website.
Read FULL article HERE
I'm sure it's a hard pill to swallow for the big-six, but it's the reality of today. Amazon is the 'top dog' in the industry. Until another retailer knocks them out of 1st place, I'm not sure if refusing to sign with them is a wise decision financially. Remember, this is only my opinion.

10- Google: No more e-books for indie booksellers.
Google is ending the program that allows independent booksellers to sell Google e-books through their websites. It is a big blow for the small bookstores seeking to compete against Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Read FULL article HERE
Every time we turn around the big guys are giving the small bookstores another punch in the gut. This would make them 'bullies', would it not?

11- H.L. Mencken & Jack London: How to Pitch Editors Agents and Book Publishers.
Aspiring writers have been struggling to pitch editors and publishers for centuries now. Like starlets hoping to make it in the movies, they face endless competition, busy and jaded executives and of course, their own increasing desperation. But the upside is the fabled book deal or cover story and the riches that come along with them.
Read FULL article HERE
I just wanted to share this article because I think it hits the nail on the head as far as 'pitching' goes.

12- Publish an Ebook, Step by Step
With the e-book industry on a tear, now is the time to shine by publishing your own. Here's how to make it happen.....
Read FULL article HERE
Self-publishing isn't going anywhere so why not be as informed as possible. This article breaks down the steps individually for Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

13- I hope you found this collection of links useful, or at least interesting. I find there is so much going on, so many changes being made with the industry, it can become overwhelming,. I chose writing as my career, and if I want to be successful I need to stay on the same page when it comes to the business in general.
What are my personal feelings about these changes?
I've always believed change is necessary in order to grow as a person. The same rings true for the publishing industry. Am I happy about these changes? For the most part...yes. The problem lies in that I don't feel it's necessary to 'take down' all of the smaller bookstores and online venues. I mean really, are they that much of a threat to these multi-million dollar corporations? 
Parting thoughts...
It is sad to think being tucked into bed with a bedtime story will not be something children of the next generation experience. I have a hard time believing they will share the same memories being read a story from an e-reader. Perhaps this makes me old-fashioned, but  I can promise you one thing. My grandchildren 'will' experience the comfort of laying in bed while grandma flips through the pages of their favorite bedtime story, and I can only hope they watch with the same wide-eyed wonder I did as a child. 


Heather said...

I haven't read much YA fiction, but I love the Hunger Games trilogy, and hope to get to the movie while it is still in theaters. My blog

CountryDew said...

This is a great list. It is hard to stay on top of the changes in the industry, as things are moving very fast. However, as you seem to, I feel something is being lost in these quick transitions. Change for change's sake is not always the best way to go. Just because something *can* be done doesn't necessarily mean it should.