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…

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…

John Locke Sells A Million Books, Then Tells The World How He Did It

John Locke made history (again) yesterday when he was announced as the first indie writer to sell 1 million Kindle Books. In case you are wondering about Amanda Hocking – who broke a million a while back – that was for e-books in all formats through all retailers. On the same day, John Locke released his how-to book, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! which broke into the Top 100 items in the Kindle Store at some point yesterday evening. It’s now at #54. Pretty impressive for a self-published non-fiction book, and pretty impressive for a self-help book, or for any book on writing/publishing/marketing.

You Never Know When Your Promo Seeds Will Blossom

I am in a wistful mood this morning. Perhaps it’s the soft summer rain. Maybe its the Joe Dassin tune on my record player. Most likely it’s last tentacles of the wine I drank last night still wrapped lovingly around my frontal lobe. Whatever the cause, I’m going to take advantage of this faux-nostalgia and peer back through the mists of time, all the way to April 2011. If you keep with me until the end, there may even be a moral to the story. At the start of April, the only people who had read my writing were a handful of friends and a group of overworked literary agents’ interns. The only person who had been subjected to my Read More…

AAP Figures Released: E-Books Keep on Truckin’ But Print Isn’t Dead Yet

The American Association of Publishers (AAP) have released their figures for March. The headline figures were that e-books grew 145.7% year-on-year from March 2010 (in revenue terms), and print bounced back after a terrible start to the year, with two categories showing gains. Adult Hardcover was up 6% year-on-year and Adult Mass Market Paperback grew 1.2%. Adult Trade Paperback fell 7.7%. Despite that drop, Adult Trade Paperback was the #1 selling format at $115.9m, followed by Adult Hardback at $96.6m, e-books at $69m, and Adult Mass Market Paperback at $55.2m.