Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Nonfiction--the long and the short of it

May 1, 2013

Tags: ASJA conference, narrative nonfiction, e-singles, e-books

The 2013 conference of the American Society of Journalists & Authors was discouraging in most ways, encouraging in some, and offered much to learn. Being a writer-entrepreneur is more important than ever. Some trends, in a nutshell:

• Nobody knows where things are going to shake out in book publishing, things are changing so fast and in so many ways, but self-publishing has definitely (more…)

Amazon, E-books, and the Future of Publishing (updated)

November 24, 2012

Tags: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, e-books, co-op terms, libraries

Recent reports on Amazon's apparent march toward world domination, and book publishing's efforts to survive (more recent articles first):

Amazon as a threat to steal big titles from big publishers is still a ways off (Mike Shatzkin, Shatzkin Files, 10-23-12). Do read the whole article, which is interesting, but here's a sample: "But, for now, it would seem that B&N definitely did the right thing for their own good by boycotting (more…)

Mike Shatzkin on bookselling's past, present, and future

June 7, 2011

Tags: Shatzkin, bookselling, book publishing, e-books, bookstores, libraries

Mike Shatzkin's predictions about what's going on in book publishing and bookselling, and his histories of the trade (from mass market paperbacks through eBooks), are both compelling and unnerving. Technology, curation, and why the era of big bookstores is coming to an end (Shatzkin Files, 6-7-11) (more…)

Agents as publishers--a new conflict of interest

May 17, 2011

Tags: agents, rights, POD publishing, e-books

In the UK, literary agent Ed Victor set up Bedford Square Books to publish e-book and print-on-demand versions of books that were out of print or for which rights had reverted to the author. Within days, this news (Ed Victor set up publishing imprint by Charlotte Williams, The Bookseller 5-10-11) became a trend and people in the industry began itemizing the ways in which a) it represents a major conflict of interest and b) publishing is changing radically. (more…)

With Bookish, Publishers Compete with Amazon for Direct Sales

May 10, 2011

Tags: e-books, bookish, book publishing

Three publishers (Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette), frustrated that few book buyers visit their company sites, have created Bookish.com, hoping it will become a destination for readers the way Pitchfork.com is for music lovers and IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Netflix (more…)

Librarians feel gobsmacked by HarperCollins restriction on e-book loans

March 15, 2011

Tags: libraries, e-books

HarperCollins' policy to restrict e-book use in libraries (to 26 loans per e-book) has many librarians set to boycott HarperCollins e-books, reports the NY Times As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date (Julie Bosman, 3-14-11). Some librarians welcome the (more…)

Will the e-book revolution have the same effect the paperback revolution did?

March 14, 2011

Tags: book publishing, e-books

I was fascinated by Mike Shatzkin's March 13 blog post on The Shatzkin Files, Ebooks are making me recall the history of mass-market publishing, a history of how the mass-market paperback revolution changed book publishing, comparing (more…)

Nathan Bransford explains the e-book price wars

March 11, 2011

Tags: e-books, book publishing, price wars

In his piece on Why Some E-Books Cost More Than the Hardcover, former agent Nathan Bransford provides an excellent history and explanation of the price wars publishers are fighting with the online gorilla, Amazon, to preserve the value of e-books and level the playing field, so that brick and (more…)

Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books

September 29, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

"The new economics of the e-book make the author's quandary painfully clear," writes Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the Wall Street Journal. "A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for (more…)

E-book sales taking off

August 2, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle

Volume of Kindle book sales stuns Amazon's Jeff Bezos (USA Today's tech columnist Edward C. Baig interviews Bezos). The comments are as interesting as the article. An avid book reader, for examples, says, ". I have no way (more…)

Agent Wylie's bold step enlarges authors' share of e-book rights

July 23, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle

In a stalled rights debate between authors/agents and book publishers about the author's share of income on sales of e-books for backlist titles, literary agent Andrew Wylie took a bold step that may influence negotiations over those rights, writes Julie Bosman in Literary Agent Plans E-Book Editions (more…)

BEA: Why Small Publishing Will Save the World

May 29, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

Literary agent Janet Reid reports from Book Expo about the coming artistic revolution, in BEA: Why Small Publishing Will Save the World. She doesn't know what will do the trick--maybe an enhanced e-book--but it won't come from traditional book publishing, which is not set up to invent (more…)

How to Choose an Online Bookstore Selling E-Books

May 28, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

Geoffrey A. Fowler's piece, The Chapter and Verse on E-Bookstores, in the Wall Street Journal (5-7-10), will confirm any suspicions you may have had that competitors fighting to capture the e-book (and e-book reader/gadget) market are making it tough for (more…)

Online: O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference

March 15, 2010

Tags: publishing, e-books

The O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference explores emerging trends in digital (ebook) publishing. You can watch and listen to many of the talks online. Here below are links for the TOC Conference) 2010. Also:
Round-up Day 1 (Mike Rankin) (more…)

Amazon, Macmillan and the struggle for control of e-book pricing

February 1, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle, iPad

Publishers Lunch Deluxe reported to its subscribers Friday (Jan. 29) that Amazon had removed all buy buttons from Macmillan titles, including titles on customers' personal wish lists, in a power struggle with Macmillan over who could set the prices on Macmillan e-books. This was the "first shot across the
purchasing bow in big publishers' efforts to reset ebook pricing above the loss-leader $9.99 (more…)

Amazon, Sony, and Google: Digital Revolution or E-Books War?

August 30, 2009

Tags: digital publishing, e-books

Farhad Manjoo admires the Kindle 2 but fears its implications: "Amazon's reader is a brilliant device that shanghais book buyers and the book industry into accepting a radically diminished marketplace for published works. If the Kindle succeeds on its current terms, and all signs suggest it'll be a blockbuster (thanks Oprah!), Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry — authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and, not least, readers — stands to (more…)

Will e-books make traditional publishers irrelevant?

June 22, 2009

Tags: e-books, book publishing

"The reason you make money as a publisher is that authors believe your participation adds value," writes Bryan Rosner, in a fascinating story for IBPA, the independent publishers association. "Although editing and graphic design are important, the major area in which you add value involves your knowledge of, and access to, printing and distribution resources. If you’re publishing e-books, authors may decide they don’t need you." (more…)