publishers

James Patterson paid for a full-page ad in The New York Times criticizing Amazon, Scott Turow talked about the “nightmarish” future that Amazon will bring and Stephen King signed a petition decrying the Seattle online retailer.

They do this as if they are fighting for the little guy.

They aren’t.

The ‘1 percent’ mega best-selling authors side with giant publishing corporate entities because they make a lot of money from them. The rest of us don’t.

— 

Frank Schaeffer, “The publishers, not Amazon, keep authors down

WOAH, HOLD THE PHONE. I had never even considered this before and it’s an amazing point. Amazon has been made out to be this big evil entity, but we should all remember that it’s Amazon vs. publishers, not Amazon vs. writers!

Wow, I just love reading perspectives like this that totally change my own.

It has become fashionable in some circles to deride book publishers as out-dated, out-classed dinosaurs ripe for digital disruption. They are Old Media in a world of New Media, the claims go. They are holding authors back, ripping them off for a too-large percentage of the price of each book, offering little in return. For these crimes, they deserve to be sentenced to death.
— 

What Use, Publishers? — Barry Lyga Dot Com

Do publishers matter any more?

Literary publishing’s uneasy relationship with fan fiction has been complicated by the realization that fandom is a huge potential market—one already stocked with both prolific authors and enthusiastic readers.  But how to tap that market is a dilemma that few publishers seem quite prepared to engage.

In which I look at publishing’s love-hate relationship with fan fiction, and how folks like Big Bang Press are challenging and subverting that.

I really, really want to write a crunchy breakdown of how gender relates to both the popular dismissal of fan fiction and Howey’s emergence as the poster child for legitimizing digital publishing, which strikes me as having some uncanny parallels to John Green’s oft-discussed status in YA.

I also worry that a) no one will ever want to publish as many articles as I am dying to write on intersections of fan fiction, gender theory, and new publishing economies; and b) that maybe I actually just want to write a (likewise probably unpublishable) book on this stuff; but that’s neither here nor there.

Your actions to raise the prices of our books, place banners touting books that ‘are similar but lower in price’ and saying that our books will ship in 3-5 weeks when they are in stock is not only a disgusting negotiation practice, but it has made me tell my readers to shop elsewhere — and they are and will.
— 

Nina Laden, as quoted in David Streitfield and Melissa Eddy’s NYT Piece Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

Way to be sketchy, Amazon!

NYC is dying

Yesterday I went to Posman Books in Grand Central - out of business. Today I walked past the Complete Traveler bookshop on Madison - out of business. Both doubtless to be replaced by chain stores or bank branches. It’s ironic that the city with the headquarters of most of the major and minor publishers in the country can’t support independent bookshops. Why can’t the publishing industry get it together like the music industry did and figure out how to support independent retail?

6

MAY 17 - DAISY BATES

Journalist, publisher and civil rights activist Daisy Bates was born in 1914 and raised by her foster parents Orlee and Susie Smith. At just eight years old, she learned that her biological mother was raped and murdered by three local white men after resisting their sexual advances. In “The Death of My Mother”, Bates wrote about hearing the news: 

“Dolls, games, even my once-beloved fishing, held little interest for me after that. Young as I was, strange as it may seem, my life now had a secret goal-to find the men who had done this horrible thing to my mother. So happy once, now I was like a little sapling which, after a violent storm, puts out only gnarled and twisted branches…”

Bates also learned that her biological father had left town, fearing what would happen if he attempted to prosecute the individuals responsible for his wife’s death. Understandably, she was filled with anger after hearing about the incident, and on his death bed, her adoptive father Orlee Smith encouraged her to channel her feelings in a productive manner:

“You’re filled with hatred. Hate can destroy you, Daisy. Don’t hate white people just because they’re white. If you hate, make it count for something. Hate the humiliations we are living under in the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the soul of every black man and woman. Hate the insults hurled at us by white scum-and then try to do something about it, or your hate won’t spell a thing.“

Smith’s words provided Bates with the strength to fight for change. From 1941 to 1959, she worked alongside her husband Lucious Christopher Bates to publish the Arkansas State Press, a weekly statewide newspaper dedicated to promoting civil rights and highlighting the achievement of Black Arkansans.

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All of our comics feature lesbian, gay, bi and trans characters and storylines, but there’s something in our catalog for everyone: young readers, adult readers, academics, adventure-seekers, people inside the LGBT communities and outside them. Comics should acknowledge the diversity, complexity. and beauty of the real world and make every reader feel welcome. Northwest Press is doing our part!


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We are always asked about how writers submit their work to publishers and agents. We found this great post on the Scottish Book Trust website, and they have kindly allowed us to share their advice with you. You can also explore their other writing advice, competitions and opportunities for writers.

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Five golden rules for submitting your work to agents or publishers

Have you finished writing your novel? Is it in the best shape possible? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you’re ready to submit your manuscript. Don’t waste time by sending out vague ideas or a half-finished novel. Aside from anything else publishers and agents need to know that you have the commitment to complete the book before they take it on. Check your manuscript carefully for spelling and punctuation errors.

1. Read the submission guidelines carefully

Make sure your submission meets the publisher’s requirements. Each publisher will have different preferences so don’t assume that one approach will fit all. Make them aware that you’ve paid attention to their requirements and backlist. Sending irrelevant work not only wastes your time but it may hamper your chances of success.

2. Do your research
Don’t rely on sending your manuscript out on a whim. Research prospective agents or publishers carefully and decide where your work will sit best. Research the backlist of titles or authors they’ve represented and demonstrate this in your cover letter. If you don’t know where to start, research the publication history of an author whose writing you would compare your own to. Find out who their agent is and continue your research from there.

3. Don’t turn up unannounced
Never be tempted to ‘drop in’ to see if a publisher or agent has read your manuscript yet. Not only is it invasive, but it’ll also make them far less likely to pick up your submission from the pile.

4. Don’t rely on one submission
If you pin all your hopes on a single submission, you will be disappointed. Instead, research the market carefully and submit your work to as many relevant places as possible. Keep track of your submissions to avoid confusion or repeat submissions.

5. Be patient
Publishers are very busy and receive so many manuscripts each week that it will take time to respond to your submission, if at all. Some publishers may give you an idea of how long it will take to respond, while others may specify that they only reply to the submissions they want to follow up on.

Source: Scottish Book Trust