It was a pretty busy week for the publishing industry. I have a lot of posts down here, all of them great information on how things are beginning to change. Hugh Howey continues to be a true pioneer, I think Joe Konrath can be the official Cerberus for our community, and more and more authors are seeing the benefits of running their own business.
Hugh Howey has a guest post on his blog from Tim Grahl about why the NYT and WSJ Bestseller lists are largely defunct. I have heard a lot of this before, in fact, I remember reading that publishers are pretty good at gaming this particular system, and it’s a great look at it.
From author Toby Neal, he discusses his success with self publishing. Though I wouldn’t suggest investing $12k on producing a book, pretty much ever. By a couple multipliers.
Kristin Lamb has a breakdown on some of the reports that have peppered the self publishing world over the past few months.
TeleRead discusses Writer’s Digest role in the world of publishing, and the fact that it is a major partner of Author Solutions. I made my decision on Writer’s Digest when I bought my first index of their agents (which was two or three years old because I didn’t feel like shelling out that much). All they are is a lead generator for other organizations.
TeleRead also has a piece perfectly summing up what Hugh Howey’s earnings report means. You can all a ton of things into question there, but one thing you can’t call into question is that self publishing is viable.
Joe Konrath fisks Mike Shatzkin and Michael Cader. I hate to see Shatzkin on here because I really do value his opinion, but at the same time he is more and more joining the chorus of people reacting in fear. Part of many people’s problem with AuthorEarnings (which is admittedly limited in its data) is that it shows a minuscule snapshot of success. It’s the hook, scary enough if you know what it is, that does not reveal the true hunter above the surface but only hints.
The Watershed Chronicles has a great post about Hugh Howey’s suggestions to the author community and traditional publishing, and several people’s reaction in the industry. It focuses on Porter Anderson’s well-written analogy to the news industry but also demonstrates another case of Mike Shatzkin’s fear.
Lynda La Plante has formed her own company to consolidate all her business activities. This is a brilliant move. As Dean Wesley Smith loves to put it, a piece of work is a pie. There’s a slice for paper, a slice for digital, for audio, movie, tv, etc. With so many pieces out there, I couldn’t think of a better way to manage that property. I’ve honsestly considered doing it myself, except I’m at such a low level currently that would be nothing more but illusions of grandeur.
For a third time this week, I go to TeleRead, this time for an article questioning the use of the SFWA. This comes from the heat the organization is taking for its attitude toward women and minorities. Personally, I think that’s one of the few things the organization has going for it (in that they are changing that attitude). I’m not the biggest fan of Scalzi (which is an understatement) but his heart is in the right place in that regard. As far as author rights go, well, like his blog, whatever…
Kobo had a 44% revenue increase in their fourth quarter.
Michael Bunker brings up something to remember. The assumption that there is a choice between self and traditional publishing is an illusion. You can look at all the numbers, all the anecdotes, all the information and even if you decide Traditional Publishing is the way to go (which by the way, I have some land for sale in Florida too!) that means nothing for your getting published. You can choose them, that doesn’t meant they’ll choose you.
I would have loved to have been there for this.
Author Earnings has another report, this time ending on a point that removes the top 1,000 authors and looks at the 49,000 afterward. They’re also promising a look at Barnes and Noble’s website next. That will be interesting to say the least. TeleRead sums it up pretty well, and it wasn’t until they did that I realized how strong Indies looked in the lower ranks, those midlists the publishing industry wants to cull so badly.
This is a really, really interesting story. John D. Brown has taken his book, Servent (formermly known as Servant of a Dark God) and self published it, and is also moving forward on a sequel. I believe I own Servent (the original) and it was one of those books I didn’t finish, but I can’t remember if this is the same one or not. What shocks me so much though is that Tor is one of THE publishers of fantasy. Mr. Brown left specifically because he disagreed with their handling of his story, with the added caveats of seeing better numbers in self publishing. Interesting doesn’t begin to describe it.