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Posts tagged publishers

The midlist ghetto: Where no writer need go again?
April 9, 2014 | 5:11 pm

in-open-spacesThe Rumpus, a.k.a. "The online urban hipster coffee shop" (what? you mean you've never heard of "the online urban hipster coffee shop"? Where have you been wasting your time, loser? Starbucks?), just ran a piece by midlist author Russell Rowland on being a midlist author, entitled "Solidly Mid-List." It's that simple. And it's also a very good guide to, and track record for, the career of a midlist author, and where you go to get onto the midlist - if you choose to go that way instead of landing up there thanks to some awful mistake. "What happened? How did I...

What can traditional publishers offer authors to keep them around?
January 24, 2014 | 6:23 pm

That is the unstated theme of a research report just released under the auspices of Digital Book World, "What Advantages do Traditional Publishers Offer Authors: A Comparison of Traditional and Indie Publishing from the Authors' Perspective," authored by Dana Beth Weinberg and Jeremy Greenfield. This is the same Dana Beth Weinberg, Harvard University alumnus and Professor of Sociology at Queens College at CUNY, who produced the very interesting research excerpts already covered in TeleRead, offering some very interesting insights into author attitudes and expectations. Now some of her broader conclusions are presented in full. "With the stigma diminishing," the DBW intro...

Might an algorithm for predicting success of novels offer hope for the slushpile?
January 10, 2014 | 9:17 am

Scientists have analyzed what goes into a best-selling or poorly-performing novel, and come up with an algorithm that predicts a book’s commercial success with an 84% success rate. Oddly enough, the criteria for commercial success seem to be the same sorts of advice you get from writing coaches and workshops: They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words...

Morning Roundup: Tablets in Schools, Customers Warned Against Showrooming and more
January 6, 2014 | 9:00 am

tablets in schoolsTablets in Schools: What's Ahead in 2014 (The Digital Shift) This year, success stories will emerge. Districts that took the time to properly implement tablet rollouts will see results. If you’re in such a district, please write and share! *** On Software Quality and Building a Better Evernote (Evernote) I could quibble with the specifics, but reading Jason’s article was a painful and frustrating experience because, in the big picture, he’s right. We’re going to fix this. *** Consumers Warned Against Showrooming (GoodeReader) A name has been given to an evil that plagues independent bookstores, a practice that was blamed largely for the demise of the Borders...

Daniel Menaker reports from publishing purgatory
November 20, 2013 | 4:59 pm

publishingAuthors, if you ever feel that publishers are your last rocks and refuges in the Amazon Apocalypse; politicians, if you ever felt moved to listen to another copyright extension or DCMA lobbyist; booksellers, if you ever felt that the big guys had your back - read on below. Because Daniel Menaker bares all, in [easyazon-link asin="0547794231" locale="us"]My Mistake: A Memoir[/easyazon-link], ­published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's not a pretty sight, I warn you. But having committed the mortal sin of working in not just one publishing company, but several, he at least has, Dante-like, come back from Hell to walk...

First Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Awards honor best of 2013
August 25, 2013 | 11:23 am

Announced close to the end of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the first ever Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Awards have recognized "the company who has the most exciting, progressive and developmental story to tell over the previous year of their activity," with an Award to Saraband, a former book packager that has transformed itself into an independent publisher, and a Commendation to Floris Books, a house with a strong focus on children's literature, and a very individual and innovative approach to commissioning and encouraging authors and illustrators. The Saltire Society exists "to improve the quality of life in...

Publisher calls on authors to lay off writing: Give us a break!
August 17, 2013 | 11:09 am

OR BooksColin Robinson, co-founder of the New York independent publisher OR Books, has published a call in The Guardian that fits right into the dog days of summer. Entitled "Writers should take a year off, and give us all a break," his plea asks for: "a writers' moratorium. What if everyone could be persuaded to stop scribbling for a period of, say, 12 months?" Now, OR Books claims to be "a new type of publishing company," which "embraces progressive change in politics, culture and the way we do business," but progressive enough to do without its product for a year? And if "our editorial...

The Battle for Bookstores: Who’s their ideal customer now?
August 16, 2013 | 10:46 am

bookstoreI'd bookmarked several articles this week waxing philosophical about the fate of the bookstore, and it seems I am not the only one who noticed this trend: Laura Hazard Owen did a nice round-up for GigaOM summarizing the contributions from some main players. Joseph Esposito, Mike Shatzkin and Seth Godin all approach the book issue from different vantage points (Esposito and Shatzkin are cunsultants, Godin is an author) but reach a few similar conclusions, about the move to e-books (inevitable, whether welcome or not) and the shift to purchasing online versus purchasing in stores. Godin seems a little more sentimental and hopes...

Morning Roundup: Opinion pieces about digital watermarks, losing bookstores, and Macbook Air batteries
August 16, 2013 | 10:34 am

Morning RoundupWhat Happens to Your Macbook Air Battery in a Year (GigaOM) When a PhD student charted his Macbook Air’s battery for its first year of life, the level of decay he saw surprised him. * * * Kobo Discounts Their Arc Tablet Line (Good e-Reader) Kobo has severely discounted the price of their 2nd generation e-Reading tablet, the Arc. The 16GB model now starts at $130, while the 32GB model is selling for $180 and the 64 GB edition for $200. * * * Losing Bookstores is a Much Bigger Deal for Publishers Than it is for Readers (The Shatzkin Files) Start with this. You’re kidding yourself...

August 27 court date set for next Apple anti-trust hearing
August 13, 2013 | 7:51 pm

Injunction junction, what’s your function? Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly that the Department of Justice and Apple will be back in Judge Cote’s courtroom on August 27 to discuss what kind of injunction the judge will issue against Apple in the penalty phase of the e-book trial. Both parties will be exchanging letters on the issue, which should be submitted by August 23rd. What kind of injunction will it be? Judge Cote has suggested that she has fairly broad discretion in how far the injunction went, but she doesn’t want to stifle innovation or regulate...

Morning Roundup: To block or not to block, that is the question
August 13, 2013 | 10:00 am

hamletDavid Baldacci Lands Deal with Scholastic (GalleyCat) Bestselling author David Baldacci  has signed a deal with Scholastic for a middle grade fantasy novel. -- British Library Network Blocks 'Hamlet' for Violent Content (Techdirt) The use of Web blocks -- usually "for the children" -- is becoming depressingly common these days. So much so, that many people have probably come to accept them as a fact of online life. -- Why Keep Books? (Book Riot) According to Plato, Socrates mocked people who kept books, because he said they used them as a crutch. By...

Judge Cote devises brave punishments for Apple in settlement hearing
August 9, 2013 | 8:25 pm

Apple and the publishers had their hearing before Judge Cote today on the penalties she’s considering imposing. There was more interesting news in the run-up to it, of course. First, GigaOm reports that the Department of Justice filed a response (available here as PDF) to the publishers’ en masse complaint about being punished twice. The response said, essentially, that they don’t want to do anything to the publishers, and all their proposals target Apple. And the DoJ even pointed out how similar the publishers’ argument was to Apple’s argument back when the publishers were settling, just as I did yesterday. And...