Publishers, Band and Brand!

U.S. ConstitutionA plea for the formation of a far more perfect publishing body; one that protects literature and may contribute to the bottom line, even if not signed by Benjamin Franklin.

Book Publishers, Collude!

We, the readers, in order to “discover” the most perfect books, establish the value of editorial, design and production skills, provide for the common defense of the critical mind, promote the general intellect, and secure the Blessings of  Quality Literature (known as “Content”) for ourselves and our Posterity, do suggest the establishment of an industry label for books published by the Professional Publishers of the World. [Read more…]

Authors Hard Times Ahead…and Behind

penguin all12 Random Penguin Merger Predictions

Sorry, I mean the Penguin Random merger.  I so like random penguin…

Of course the future may hold surprises regarding the Random House/Penguin Group blending…  (See:  Christie/Obama..)

But some writing is pretty visibly on the wall, saltwater wash notwithstanding.

1.)  Authors and agents will worry (justifiably) and object (fruitlessly).

As Scott Turow, president of the Author’s Guild, notes:  “Penguin Random House, our first mega-publisher, would have additional negotiating leverage with the bookselling giants, but that leverage would come at a high cost for the literary market and therefore for readers. There are already far too few publishers willing to invest in nonfiction authors, who may require years to research and write histories, biographies, and other works, and in novelists, who may need the help of a substantial publisher to effectively market their books to readers.”

2.)  Nothing visible will happen for a while.  Behind the scenes, the accountants and lawyers will get very busy. [Read more…]

Traditional Books Light the Kindle Fire

Traditional Books Light the Kindle Fire

Picture of Nook with Bestsellers

Traditionally published books sell Kindles and Nooks.

Does that seem crazy obvious to you?  Maybe–but think about what it means.  People buy e-readers  to read, at least initially, bestsellers like The Hunger Games Trilogy, Game of ThronesThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  It’s the big and the beloved books that drive e-reader sales.   Books that have been acquired, edited, designed, published and promoted by traditional houses.

Think about that the next time you see an ad for an e-reader–I do.

Much as I support self-publishing in some cases, I must ask:  how many people, do you think, [Read more…]

Bookstores vs. Amazon Blog War

Istanbul BookshopBookstores vs. Amazon Blog War

There’s a blog war going on about the future of the independent bookstore, and it touches issues very important to me, so I’ll weigh in.

In a Slate blog I felt seemed inadequately researched, Farhad Manjoo raged against the “high prices” of books in bookstores, termed the marvelous essay by Richard Russo in the New York Times “hectoring,” and called books published by major houses all “mass-manufactured.”  Mr. Manjoo displayed  [Read more…]