This week in the publishing world
At the moment the eyes of the publishing world are fixed on the court proceedings where the U.S Department of Justice is trying to stop the sale of Simon and Schuster to Penguin Random House. The live twitter feed from observers on how the court is trying to understand the publishing industry is illuminating… So, a midlist book isn’t as important as a front list book which you paid a lot of money for. Why do you have them then?
Stephen King testified for the State over the shrinking nature of independent publishing houses. S and S are his publishers, his books are just one of the reasons why PRH would want the sale to go through.
Staying with PRH, they have just published their diversity report where they look at their business and see whether it reflects the diversity of the country. They divided the workforce into warehousing and publishing. I wonder if other publishers would put themselves under such a spotlight.
I try to keep an eye on what is happening with new digital technologies as it relates to publishing. Recently Joanna Penn had a podcast interview on the blockchain and what it means for copyright and and intellectual property. Her guest was Roanie Levy, a lawyer who specializes in copyright and IP and is working in the blockchain field. If you are unclear what blockchain is and how copyright and smart contracts are going to change in the future, check out this great interview.
While authors are coming to grips with new technologies like NFT’s (limited editions of digital products) some publishers have figured out how NFT’s can make them money. Remember back at university and the huge price of textbooks? Many students buy second-hand textbooks or thirdhand. Academic publishers have figured out they can make money with these subsequent sales if they publish their books as NFT’s. (Will the author of the textbook get a cut?)
I am reminded of the words of a retiring publisher here in NZ. The business of a publisher is to stay in business. This week Kris Rusch puts on her publishers hat and examines the ways a publisher could be making money for their business.
PEN America has issued a press release over a Utah school board banning 52 books under a new state law allowing books to be removed because of pornography issues. But what is pornography? When you look over the list you will be scratching your head like PEN.
Oh to have books to ban. Mark Williams looks at the difficulty faced by African nations just getting books. Digital books were supposed to be the answer but not if the publisher still sticks by regional rights. It is a reading desert out there with hope centered on the Middle East publishing community. Mark is hand making books for his school and they are one of the lucky ones.
Ruth Harris takes a look at decision fatigue. Just being a writer means making many decisions in your writing, let alone anything else. Ruth has some strategies for when it gets too much.
Bang 2 Write has a great article on 5 examples of story structure. There is more than one way to understand the steps of the plot.
In The Craft Section,
The intersection between Plotting and Pantsing- Litreactor- Bookmark
How to structure stories with multiple main characters- K M Weiland -Bookmark
Elements of a story- Reedsy – Comprehensive
Using backward design to plan your story- Angela Ackerman
In The Marketing Section,
Backcover copy formula- Sue Coletta- Bookmark
What to do instead of a writer blog- P S Hoffman
How to use Amazon to market for free- NY Book editors
Getting your work noticed- Liza Taylor- Bookmark
Author strategy for Bookbub ad bidding- Bookbub- Bookmark
Carmen Machado has an interesting article on taking the time to write when doing an MFA. So many writers are focused on trying to get an agent or a deal while doing their MFA that they miss the point that having time to write is the best thing you can do for your writing. One of her students forgot this and is now mired in a plagiarism scandal. Write first. Polish it until it gleams, then look for the deal.
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