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Posts tagged The Passive Voice

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...

11 Publishing Shakers to follow, besides us
August 13, 2014 | 8:28 pm

shakerI’ll admit this is blowing my own horn a little, but today I was alerted to an article on The Independent Publishing Magazine listing “The 12 Publishing Shakers You Should Be Following.” After a bit of puzzlement—are the Shakers even still around, and didn’t they make furniture rather than publish?—I noticed that our very own Paul St. John Mackintosh comes in at number one on the list. (And they happen to mention a certain other TeleRead writer in the comments after that…) Another TeleRead-related writer, Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader, came in at #7. While posting about it...

Webcomic ‘Help Desk’ takes on e-book DRM
July 23, 2014 | 11:20 am

drm-rollIf you could use a good chuckle, webcomic “Help Desk” has just started a storyline focusing on e-book DRM. (The storyline then continues here.) It seems to have been inspired by the letter that Cory Doctorow received from Hachette about DRM. Since some authors publish with Tor in the USA but Hachette in the UK, and Tor went DRM-free two years ago, this means the US edition of their book would be DRM-free. Hachette didn’t like that, and wanted authors to insist that Tor put DRM on that edition to protect the sales of their UK edition. The letter was actually posted...

New York Public Library panel: ‘Amazon: threat or menace?’
July 2, 2014 | 11:33 am

Origin 712014 71734 PMWell, the New York Public Library panel discussion on Amazon was a big disappointment. I suppose I should have expected it, given how the panel was stacked with some of Amazon’s harshest critics and others from the old-guard publishing industry, but I had harbored some hope they might be willing to listen to an opposing viewpoint. Unfortunately, it was even worse than I’d feared. The 90-minute video is available at the livestream page if you want to watch the carnage. First of all, the meeting was clearly put together with an anti-Amazon agenda, as the selection of...

New York Public Library Amazon panel discussion takes place tonight
July 1, 2014 | 11:05 am

Just a friendly little reminder to block out 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern tonight to watch the panel discussion that the New York Public Library is hosting on Amazon’s business tactics, featuring James Patterson, Bob Kohn, and Passive Guy. It will be livestreamed, and promises to be rather entertaining. I’ll try to write up some thoughts about it afterward, or tomorrow....

New York Public Library to host panel discussion on Amazon with James Patterson, Bob Kohn, Passive Guy, and others
June 27, 2014 | 4:07 pm

Nate mentioned this New York Public Library panel discussion, “Amazon: Business As Usual?” a few days ago. It’s going to have a number of the loudest complainants about Amazon taking part, including James Patterson and Bob Kohn. I wondered what the point was, given that it seems the deck was largely stacked with publishing-industry types who have ample reason to dislike Amazon. That was before I learned that David Vandagriff, aka “Passive Guy” from The Passive Voice blog, will also be taking part. One of big publishing’s most outspoken critics, he is assured to have plenty to say at...

Spritz wants to help you read faster — and might even help those with reading disorders
March 12, 2014 | 5:25 pm

As you look at all those books on your to-read list, you might think to yourself that there has to be a quicker way to get through them all. Argh! If only I read faster. Spritz is hoping to help you with that. The Boston-based group is working on speed-reading technology, which I first read about on The Passive Voice. While Paul covered this story a few weeks ago, there's been lots more media coverage of it since. Seems it's quite popular on the tech blogs. Glancing through the comments on Passive Voice, however, it seems not everyone is thrilled with the new...

What is NOT in doubt about Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report
February 17, 2014 | 6:10 pm

So, self-publishing and traditional-publishing author Hugh Howey published a report on some data he pulled from Amazon and crunched (Paul covered it here), purporting to show some things about the number of self-published books compared to those from traditional publishers. This has touched off a lot of blowback in the last couple of weeks as everyone and their uncle has attacked the data set for not being comprehensive. Howey has some interesting things to say, to be sure. Across 7,000 titles, Howey noticed that those from Big Five publishers tend to have the lowest average star rating, but the highest average...

Discussions with Kensington Publishing head Steven Zacharius lay bare the wide gulf between publishing execs and writers
January 21, 2014 | 1:24 pm

Steve 3An interesting thing happened a few days ago. An author posted the details of her publishing contract, including exactly how much (or more aptly, I gather, how little) she was making from her traditionally-published book. She was forced to take it down for “contract disclosure reasons” shortly afterward, and it had already expired from Google’s cache by the time I went looking for it, so I don’t know the specifics. When Passive Guy at The Passive Voice linked said article, the discussion became the most active he’d ever seen on his blog—298 comments at this point, and probably more...

Protecting your name as a writer
August 14, 2013 | 3:00 pm

stack of newspapersYour name is everything. That’s what people say and for good reason. This topic came up again because last week writer David Farland wrote a post about protecting your name, which was blogged on The Passive Voice. It was an interesting piece, and Farland has a lot of experience in the writing field through different mediums. I spent 10 years as a reporter at a newspaper before moving on to online publishing and magazines. For the most part at the newspaper, revisions happened but usually were light because of tight deadlines. However, when feature pieces were written, and the editors had more...

Canadian Writers’ Union to Consider Self-Published Authors
May 12, 2013 | 12:01 pm

As self-publishers gain legitimacy, the Writers’ Union of Canada is considering membership for the indie authors. The story was first reported on CBC (and linked to on The Passive Voice). The union represents more than 1,900 authors in Canada. The voting will take place at the end of the month in Ottawa. “I think it's been bubbling under the surface for a few years," John Degen, TWUC's executive director, told CBC. “There are a lot of young writers who are sold on the idea of having that level of control over their careers, which has nothing to do with their success in...

Author Solutions Lawsuit Breaks Down Source of Money
May 3, 2013 | 11:00 am

Penguin Group’s self-publishing service, Author Solutions, is being sued, Courthouse News Service reported earlier this week. The complaint by three authors states that Author Solutions cheated them out of royalties and charged them for typos that were inserted by the company. There was an interesting passage in the Courthouse News Service article that gave financial and statistical information about Author Solutions. "Author Solutions' revenues are estimated at $100 million per year," the complaint states. "Of the $100 million Author Solutions earns as revenue, approximately one third of that amount, or millions annually, comes from book sales. The rest of its revenue is derived from...