Why The Digital Revolution Threatens Large Publishers

I think I’ve made a robust case for a digital future, but I’m less sure I’ve convincingly explained why the digital revolution threatens large publishers. In Thursday’s post, we looked at the recent BookStats survey of the American publishing industry. Some are touting its results as evidence that publishing is in rude health. I argued that the report only covers the very beginning of the e-book explosion that began late last year which has radically changed the marketplace, and which will adversely affect the fortunes of the larger publishers. That sparked a vigorous discussion in the comments, and one person (correctly) pointed out that lots of those big-selling e-books are being sold by the large publishers, that they have huge Read More…

Indie Author Scott Nicholson Signs Two-Book Deal With Amazon

Scott Nicholson has been picked up by Amazon’s increasingly busy imprint Thomas & Mercer. He signed a two-book deal which will include his self-published title, Liquid Fear, and the forthcoming sequel, Chronic Fear. Both will be released by Amazon on December 20 this year. Summer is traditionally a slow period in publishing. Not for Thomas & Mercer, who have also snapped up Michael Wallace and J Carson Black in the last ten days, adding them to their earlier batch of summer signings JA Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Blake Crouch. Along with some of the popular backlist titles of Ed McBain, Thomas & Mercer have an extremely strong line-up heading into the holiday season and beyond.

What Do You Want?

Trying to get writers to agree on something is like herding cats. We are all passionate people. We have a tendency to flare up over minor disputes (especially online). And we can usually pen a tight argument for pretty much any position. But I also think a lot of disagreements spring from the fact that we are all very different people, with different dreams, goals, and ambitions. As such, what might be good advice for one writer could be bad advice for another. Especially if you are aiming for different targets. So, what do you want? It would be nice to sell a million books. It would be flattering to have every agent and publisher in New York clamoring for your signature. Read More…

Indie Author J Carson Black Agrees Publishing Deal With Amazon

J Carson Black has agreed a three book deal with Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s new thriller and mystery imprint. The deal will include her bestselling thriller The Shop, as well as two yet-to-be-released titles. This is very interesting news. For those who don’t know J Carson Black, she is the author of seven titles, and first self-published in June 2010. She didn’t see significant sales for months, and only really took off in April this year. And take off she did. She is closing in on 250,000 e-books sold – most of those in the last few months, and many of those at $2.99 or higher. Now she has been picked up by Amazon, joining authors such as Joe Konrath, Barry Read More…

Let's Get Digital Released Today!

It is with great pleasure, and no small amount of pride, that I can tell you that Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should has been officially launched. It’s been three hard months to get to this point, but it has all been worth it. I’m very proud of this book, and I think people will get a lot out of it. As regular readers will know, I’m trying an experiment with this book. The PDF Version is free – here – for anyone to copy, download, share, print, or email. You can also purchase an e-reader compatible version for $2.99 from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, or Smashwords. If you notice a funny price on Amazon Read More…

Let’s Get Digital Released Today!

It is with great pleasure, and no small amount of pride, that I can tell you that Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should has been officially launched. It’s been three hard months to get to this point, but it has all been worth it. I’m very proud of this book, and I think people will get a lot out of it. As regular readers will know, I’m trying an experiment with this book. The PDF Version is free – here – for anyone to copy, download, share, print, or email. You can also purchase an e-reader compatible version for $2.99 from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, or Smashwords. If you notice a funny price on Amazon Read More…

Borders Inches Closer to Liquidation. What Happens Next?

The deadline to save Borders passed yesterday, meaning that they will now proceed to a bankruptcy-court auction tomorrow. It’s not quite over for America’s second-largest bookstore chain, and a bidder could still emerge in the next day-and-a-half to save the company – which employs nearly 11,000 people – from being liquidated. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported today that Books-A-Million were in talks late last night about a deal. However, it seems clear that even if this move comes off, which is doubtful, it will only rescue part of the company, and a large amount of (further) store closures and layoffs is unavoidable. It seems likely now that the bones of Borders will be picked apart, and the remaining Read More…

Promo Tip: LibraryThing Giveaways

Readers can be a skittish bunch, bolting for cover at the first distant rumble of the author promo wagon. I don’t blame them. Nothing spoils a good conversation like a salesman with a megaphone. What usually happens is this. Readers find a nice site where they can congregate and have good conversations about books. A writer discovers the site and thinks he has struck gold. Word of this rich seam of “customers” spreads like wildfire, and writers descend en masse hauling wagonloads of blurbs, excerpts, taglines, hyperlinks, ALL CAPS, and, yes, megaphones.

Two Indie Writers Somehow Escape The "Tsunami of Crap" To Sign Major Trade Deal

With the kind of timing that only athletes and comedians are blessed with, two more indie writers have managed to wriggle free from the “tsunami of crap“. Mark Edwards & Louise Voss, who I have spoken about before on this blog, have signed a six-figure, four book deal with HarperCollins UK. But it wasn’t just an eagle-eyed editor and agent that spotted their potential in the endless morass of horrid self-published work that is blotting out the sun and condemning all superior literature to wither on the vine, last month 42,000 readers (most of them British) somehow found their books too. It seems that some books are easier to find than others. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that it happens Read More…

Two Indie Writers Somehow Escape The “Tsunami of Crap” To Sign Major Trade Deal

With the kind of timing that only athletes and comedians are blessed with, two more indie writers have managed to wriggle free from the “tsunami of crap“. Mark Edwards & Louise Voss, who I have spoken about before on this blog, have signed a six-figure, four book deal with HarperCollins UK. But it wasn’t just an eagle-eyed editor and agent that spotted their potential in the endless morass of horrid self-published work that is blotting out the sun and condemning all superior literature to wither on the vine, last month 42,000 readers (most of them British) somehow found their books too. It seems that some books are easier to find than others. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that it happens Read More…

That Bear Ate My Pants: A Home Run On Day One

Today, I have a guest post from indie author Tony James Slater. I first met Tony at a writer’s conference in 2010. Neither of us remember much about the encounter, which is a testament to the hard working bar staff of York University. I was trying to snag an agent for my historical novel, and he was hitting the same brick wall with his account of his exotic adventures in Ecuador. When I heard Tony was self-publishing, I was delighted, as I knew how hard he had worked the traditional route, with no joy. I also knew that if his book was half as funny as he was, he had a hit on his hands. He posted a sample from Read More…

Batting for a Broken System

There was a ridiculous article last week in the Wall Street Journal called “Cherish The Book Publishers – You’ll Miss Them When They’re Gone.” I was going to write a take-down of this, but Kris Rusch and Joe Konrath beat me to it. You should check out both their responses. Krus Rusch goes point-by-point, and Joe Konrath, in a post titled “The Tsunami of Crap”, laughs at the ridiculousness of it all: “Some people believe the ease of self-publishing means that millions of wannabe writers will flood the market with their crummy ebooks, and the good authors will get lost in the morass, and then family values will go unprotected and the economy will collapse and the world will crash Read More…

What About The E-Reader Everyone Owns Already?

A lot of my friends don’t own e-readers and most have no intention of buying one – for now at least. Some are curious about the iPad, and a couple have one, but most don’t see the point of owning that, a laptop, and a smartphone. When I tell them that I am publishing e-books, they often ask if there will be a print version. Many don’t realise that you can read e-books on your computer. But even when I explain this, I can see the resistance. They have jobs where they stare at a screen all day, and doing the same when they get home from work is not their idea of relaxation.

Major US Agency Moves Into Publishing. Or Do They?

It seems like the big news stories are coming every day now. That’s what happens when you combine the disruptive power of the internet with a revolutionary change like digital self-publishing. In an announcement that is sure to cause some surprise, Dystel & Goderich – agents for Barack Obama, Judge Judy, John Locke, Joy Bauer, David Morell, and Richard Dreyfuss – have announced a move into publishing. Or have they? I have made my feelings about agents moving into publishing quite clear on a number of occasions, and have always attempted to highlight the egregious practices that are becoming more common. However, before we grab the pitchforks and march on 5th Avenue, I’m going to ask for a moment to Read More…

Are Big Publishers Losing The Battle For The Big Backlists?

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., the company which manages the literary estate of the deceased James Bond creator and thus controls not only all pre-existing James Bond works, but all future ones too, have been in the news this morning It has been announced that Simon Trewin from United Agents is no longer representing the company, which has been snapped up by Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown (UK). The reasons for the move are unknown, but will be speculated upon. The timeline is interesting here, and I can’t help but wonder if this is something to do with the James Bond backlist. These titles should be especially lucrative given that Bond has shifted over 100m copies in print. Some are available Read More…