Forbes has a great post about something that came to light earlier this year, namely a firm that arranges bulk buying of author’s books so as to get them onto bestseller lists, which has now downplayed its entire offering. This type of shit is what everyone needs to consider when they talk about self published authors gaming the system. We ain’t got nothing on the “reputable” industry.
Hugh Howey has an idea or two on reversion clauses, Passive Guy has some opinions as well. My understanding on reversions goes like this, books are assets. Publishers have hundreds of thousands of properties. If something blows up, they start pulling out the stops on the related properties. This gives them a statistical advantage. For example, Dan Brown exploded with the DaVinci Code. What most people don’t realize is Mr. Brown wrote four or five books before he happened on that. I’m sure they don’t sell as well but I’ll bet you it’s a lot better than they were. Same goes for when properties get movie/TV adaptions or anything else that draws them into the edge of the spotlight. They can have the properties sit and wait, just like we can, until it ripens into something they can use. Same goes for authors, but with publishers the odds give them an inevitability.
This strategy goes for non competes as well.
Suing for bad book reviews? That’s cute.
Joe Konrath discusses literary agents, how many are adapting to the changing industry, and the value he sees in them. It’s a great read, especially if you’ve been doing research into all forms of publishing. Most in the self pub world are pretty harsh on agents, and frankly it’s deserved. I would say they one of the more archaic aspects of the industry. Still, Joe makes some great points in favor of them.
I’m hearing a lot about Facebook, most of it bad. The real problem sounds like Facebook squeezing their algorithms.
Kobo laid off 63 people this week. I want Kobo to be around, even though I have yet to sell a single book there, because I recognize their role in this industry. This is not a good sign though. There’s never a good reason to lay off people.
Amazon is delivering its own packages. I posted a comment up (and you can read it there) but this isn’t a big surprise, not even to the shipping companies. In my circles, I’ve been hearing for years that Amazon is growing beyond the capacity of carriers to handle. I think this is a supplemental move, not a threat to their Suppliers.
Calling it this week, everyone have a great weekend!