I’ll start this week’s Sharing the Wealth with Hugh Howey, who was a busy boy this week. Not only did he put up the latest Author Earnings Report, he also had some great comments to add to the industry relating to the RT Booklovers Convention, where self pub authors were segregated from trad pub authors. An especially jarring situation, since he also thinks self publishing will end up saving the ever venerated genre of literary fiction. Lastly, he asks who the real Goliath is in publishing. This is an important thing to note. He’s correct, Barnes and Noble was the Amazon of its day in the literary world, responsible for destroying small, independent booksellers and bullying publishers. Now, someone is better at the game and suddenly B&N is a poor abused lamb. Context does amazing things to arguments.
The Author’s Guild has some competition, a group of academic authors who’ve formed a group called the Author’s Alliance. Their goals and aim sounds radically different than the Guild (which sounds pretty damn useless to me) but their attitude is unfortunately, very familiar.
Dean Wesley Smith explains why you don’t need an agent to sell overseas. This is an interesting one, because while this is not a point in my literery career I’ve reached or, frankly, even imagined, I have no idea how else to accomplish this task. Definitely made me think.
In keeping to the concept of context, Digital Reader posits that maybe Hachette is exactly playing fair on its side of the Amazon VS Hachette battle that’s going on. PG has some great comments as well. There are very few one sided arguments, I don’t see this as one at all. Amazon is a bully. Never forget that, there’s a reason they’re number one and you don’t get to that spot by playing nice. This applies both ways too, and in a world where publishers have collapsed and consolidated, you’d better bet Hachette knows how to play the game as well, and that can affect authors just as much.
Mike Shatzkin then weighed into the argument. As usual, he has a full analysis, but it breaks down to Amazon will continue to do this with smaller players but won’t with Penguin Random House because they’re too big. Of course, I think he’s also ignoring that book selling is just one small aspect of Amazon’s overall portfolio, and in relation to the rest of their vendors, the Random Penguin is more than likely minuscule.
One of the outocomes to the Publisher/Apple price fixing trial was that, in the end, the Publishers will more than likely get to keep the Agency model of pricing. This irked me until Passive Guy pointed out some benefits this might have to Indie Authors, specifically the price advantage it gives us.
SmashWords has signed a deal that would see their books distributed to libraries across the world through OverDrive. This isn’t something I’ve looked into too much, and kinda irks me since I find SmashWords such a pain in the ass to use (hence the reason my books are up on Apple through Draft2Digital) but might be something I have to look at in the future.
Goodreads is launching an Ask the Author function to its website. Can’t wait for this to roll out to all authors. If anyone ever wants to know anything about just about anything, please feel free to ask via email, the blogs, or anywhere else you can find me.
An article on FutureBook and brought to you by PG about author’s greater power within publishing hierarchy. The key point is the comment about a publisher referring to authors as a necessary evil.
The Book Designer has some tips and tricks (as well as some of the drawbacks) of publishing through Google Play. Seriously, Google, you’re better than this.
Alright, I have tons of writing to do. Everyone have a great weekend!