Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Freelancers Suffer Unintended Consequences of Independent Contractor Law

June 30, 2010

Tags: rights, copyright, work for hire, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law was created to prevent worker exploitation, writes Andrea Shea for WBUR radio, and employers who "get busted classifying incorrectly — say, giving a worker a 1099 form at tax time rather than a W-2 — [will] face hefty fines." But writers and artists in Massachusetts are victims of (more…)

A way for authors to succeed without publishers or agents?

June 28, 2010

Tags: self-publishing, patronage

Publishers are cutting back on how much they publish, brick and mortar bookstores are declining in importance, and media companies that succeed will do so only by finding how to reach a niche audience, writes Jane Friedman in There Are No Rules:An Exciting Future for Authors (That Can Succeed Without Publishers or Agents) (more…)

Changing e-book business practices a topic at Digital Book World

June 27, 2010

Radically changing business practices were hard for publishing executives to talk about at the debut annual conference of Digital Book World, writes Mike Shatzkin in his Shatzkin Report on the conference. One topic "that is very tough to talk about is ebook royalties, (more…)

“Mothers: Don’t let your babies grow up to be freelancers"

June 26, 2010

Tags: freelance, journalism

“Mothers: Don’t let your babies grow up to be freelancers,” cracks one journalist, freelancing after leaving a staff job, as quoted by Rebecca Rosen Lum in California Progress Report story Freelance Journalists Suffering in Second Wave of News Media Collapse (more…)

Does the world want a flood of crummy self-published books?

June 24, 2010

Tags: self-publishing

How do you find something good to read in a brave new self-published world? asks Laura Miller in When anyone can be a published author (Salon, 6-22-10). Those of us who have worked in book publishing know how much really bad writing comes through slush (more…)

Shatzkin's roadmap for book publishers' future

June 14, 2010

Tags: publishing, Shatzkin

Publishers have to change the way they do business, because digital delivery increases supply even more than it increases demand, so prices have to go down, blogs Mike Shatzkin. He writes that "getting from today (selling content) to tomorrow (selling audiences) depends on using today’s asset to build tomorrow’s." Doing this will require using "content as bait," monetizing "the eyeballs you own," not "the copyrights you own." In A roadmap for the future: 6 suggestions for today’s publishers that many can’t follow he recommends that publishers (more…)

Heavy investment in digital to save The Atlantic

June 11, 2010

Tags: magazines, digital

The struggling magazine with a historic brand has structured a comeback around "creating a solid brand identity; a digital-first strategy; building a marketing services operation; expanding live events; and maintaining a relentless focus on hiring top talent," writes Bill Mickey in Behind The Atlantic's Brand Reinvention (Audience Development, June 9, 2010). Atlantic media president Justin Smith, in his keynote address at the Folio: Show, was reported as saying The Atlantic's brand had suffered from a lack of definition. It's new tagline, "Brave Thinking," defines the brand's essence. (more…)

Wiley's Deceptive Letter to Bloomberg Press Authors:

June 11, 2010

Tags: book contracts, royalties, book publishers, Wiley

""We are pleased to inform you" that we will be slicing your royalties up to 50%, is the essence of a letter from John Wiley & Sons to Bloomberg Press authors. "John Wiley & Sons acquired Bloomberg Press, the books division of Bloomberg, in March," says the June 2010 Authors Guild alert. "At the end of April, it began sending a letter to hundreds of Bloomberg Press authors purporting to inform them 'about a few differences in the accounting systems of Bloomberg and Wiley (more…)

Metadata: something else to learn about -- fast!

June 9, 2010

Tags: metadata, publishing

Metadata is the new most important thing to know about writes Mike Shatzkin, IdeaLogical, 6-8-10. A publishing professional asks: What's the best way to index an e-book? As the reader enlarges or downsizes type on the page, the paging in an e-book will change, (more…)

"How Can Creators Get a Fair Deal in the Digital World?"

June 6, 2010

Tags: rights, copyright, Google settlement, digital publishing

Edward Hasbrouck's blog The Practical Nomad provides links to a trail of fascinating discussions about the role or rights of creators, readers, and publishers in the current huge many-faceted struggle going on about rights in the new digital environment. He writes that Readers' interests lie with writers, not with publishers (more…)

'Vanity' Press Goes Digital

June 3, 2010

Tags: self-publishing, print on demand

Digital Self-Publishing Shakes up Traditional Publishing. "Much as blogs have bitten into the news business and YouTube has challenged television, digital self-publishing is creating a powerful new niche in books that's threatening the traditional industry," write Geoffrey A. Fowler and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the Wall Street Journal online. "Once derided as 'vanity' titles by the publishing establishment, self-published books suddenly are able to (more…)