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Publishing

The Lovecraft eZine hits the print big time
October 7, 2014 | 10:37 am

The Lovecraft eZine is one of the best-known and most esteemed destinations on the internet for all things H.P. Lovecraft, with a reputation, under the guiding hand of Mike Davis, as a venue for seriously strong Lovecraftian and dark/weird fiction. Each issue is available as a Kindle/Nook and a print edition, an audio version, and as a free-to-read online copy. And now it's branching out into actual book production. "I’m now publishing Lovecraftian and Weird Fiction books, in addition to the magazine," Mike Davis explains. "If you’re a Weird Fiction, Lovecraftian, and/or cosmic horror writer, and you’re working on a novel, novella,...

What is Faber’s new division supposed to do? And is digital the savior of high culture?
October 6, 2014 | 10:29 am

According to a report in The Bookseller, Henry Volans, head of Faber Digital, has been tasked to form a new division of Faber and Faber, Faber Press, with the goal of creating a new kind of business for the venerable UK literary publisher. The exact purpose of this new structure is not yet clear, except that, according to several reports, it unites Volans's current purview at Faber Digital with Faber Finds and Faber Fine Press, as well as embracing Faber's poetry, drama, film, and classical music lists. Faber Press apparently does not bring any change in editorial policy, with commissioning still...

New York Times public editor finds bias in its Amazon/Hachette coverage
October 5, 2014 | 10:45 am

Wow, this is pretty big. For quite some time, indie publishing bloggers such as Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, and David Gaughran have been complaining about the slanted nature of the New York Times’s coverage of the Amazon/Hachette squabble. Now New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has taken a look at the Times’s coverage and admitted that it could, indeed, be more even-handed. In her editorial, Sullivan links, recaps, and discusses prominent objections to the Times’s coverage, asks the Times reporters involved for their responses, and concludes: MY take: It’s important to remember that this...

Why people still prefer print – in pictures
September 28, 2014 | 3:29 pm

books_infographic-674x1030Here's an interesting infographic from UK new-era second-hand book trading platform FatBrain on why people still prefer print books to ebooks - all down in pretty pictures for those who reading onscreen has left comprehensionally challenged. And of course, FatBrain, whose business depends on people emailing barcodes or ISBNs from print books, has a strong vested interest in people opting for print. But take a look at the pretty pictures that are almost as easy to follow as ink ant trails pressed into woodpulp, and enjoy.  ...

Ellora’s Cave sues Dear Author over ‘defamatory’ blog post
September 26, 2014 | 9:59 pm

Ellora's Cave Well, that was unexpected. The saga of Ellora’s Cave has been chronicled over the last few months, and especially over the last few weeks, on various e-book blogs I read. For example, from The Passive Voice: Ellora’s Cave The mysterious case of the missing royalty checks from Ellora’s Cave More Ellora’s Cave troubles… Cat Grant Gives Away Her Unreverted Ellora’s Cave Titles And those are just from the last week or so. Authors...

David Gaughran catches the stench wafting from the publishing industry
September 23, 2014 | 6:00 pm

David GaughranNo one could accuse David Gaughran of being afraid to take a stand, or of supine impartiality in his readiness to listen to every side. And the author of Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible doesn't leave much room for ambiguity in his latest title: "Publishing Is Rotten To The Core." Admittedly, this is a post as much about media bias as about the publishing industry itself - or rather, the partiality of mainstream media to anti-Amazon, pro-trad publishing stories - as it is about conditions where print meets paper. But there's plenty to go around nonetheless. Gaughran doesn't mince words...

Think book prices are out of whack? Try charging $7380
September 4, 2014 | 6:20 pm

Considering how active, and acrimonious, the debate on scholarly publishing and scholarly open access has become, it's valuable to get some data points into the mix. Like one, courtesy of Doug's Archaeology, about the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology from Springer, which costs €5.617,50 ($7380) in its print-plus-ereference edition. Doug's Archaeology comes from Doug Rocks Macqueen, a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, and focuses "mainly on the Profession of Archaeology e.g. pay, working conditions, career prospect, etc. Though I do on occasion through in some other topics and some bits on Open Access." And in his spare...

Publishing venture capital style – or, how most publishers throw money at the wall to see what sticks
September 4, 2014 | 4:27 pm

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="461"] Thanks to "The Wolf of Wall Street" for this inside shot from a typical Manhattan publisher's commissioning meeting ...[/caption] This post comes courtesy of some comments by publisher Hugh Andrew, Managing Director of Birlinn Limited, in the course of the debate on the future for writers after the Scottish independence referendum at the Edinburgh International Book Festival - as well as from my former life in Hong Kong as Managing Editor of the Asian Venture Capital Journal. Hugh Andrew pointed out how most publishing is a matter of paying off a plethora of loss-making works with a few...

HarperCollins UK goes direct-to-consumer: Is Amazon worried yet?
September 1, 2014 | 2:25 pm

News that might just have Jeff Bezos quaking in his boots - though don't bank on it - is that HarperCollins in the UK has introduced across-the-board direct sales for its books, including hard copy as well as ebooks. The ebooks have to be downloaded and read on HarperCollins's dedicated HC Reader app (also available for Kindle Fire, cheekily enough), in conjunction with a HarperCollins account. The ecommerce and payment platform for HarperCollins is provided by Digital River, which was behind the recent dedicated websites for its C.S. Lewis and Narnia properties. (Oops, wasn't C.S. Lewis once an author rather than...

No fault in Penguin Random House stars as Bertelsmann books a big win
September 1, 2014 | 12:25 pm

BertelsmannPenguin Random House demonstrated once again what a cozy, fusty, highbrow, unworldly world modern publishing is by bringing home the fat juicy bacon for parent Bertelsmann. And it was all in our stars. As The Hollywood Reporter ... um ... reported, "John Green’s unstoppable young adult melodrama The Fault in Our Stars lifted the fortunes of German media giant Bertelsmann, which controls the book’s publisher Penguin Random House. Sales of the The Fault in Our Stars novel spiked ahead of the release of Josh Boone’s feature film adaptation ... The book sold more than four million copies in print and...

The Gothic blue book: Time for a revival?
August 31, 2014 | 12:04 pm

An enterprising independent publisher, Burial Day Books, recently launched a submissions drive for the fourth in an anthology series that draws on the tradition of the Gothic blue book, a form of short-to-medium Gothic and horror story imprint that flourished briefly at the end of the 18th century and into the 19th. According to Burial Day, Gothic blue books were: ... abridgements of full-length Gothic novels. The subjects of these books fell into one of two categories; the first being set in a monastery or convent and the second being set in a castle. In terms of the physicality of the...

In dismissing Amazon’s Orwell quotation, Laura Miller misinterprets Orwell herself
August 26, 2014 | 9:15 pm

There she goes again. Salon’s Laura Miller has penned the latest in a series of tirades against Amazon, this one summing up the squabble thus far and taking issue with Amazon’s quotation of Orwell’s discussion of paperbacks in its “Readers United” letter explaining that lower prices were good for everyone. We’ve already discussed Miller’s biases in some of the links above, but the most interesting thing has to do with her understanding (or lack thereof) of the Orwell quotation. Miller writes: To top it all off this month, the retailer posted an open...