Weekend Reading, Live Chat With J Carson Black & More

A quick round-up today, then it’s back to getting Let’s Get Digital: How To (And Why You Should) Self-Publish ready for upload. If I get it up on Sunday or Monday, it should be live on Wednesday or Thursday. As soon as it goes live on Amazon, the free PDF version will go live, right here. If you want to read a copy a few days ahead of anyone else, I have 10 0 left to give away. All I ask in return is that you read it quickly and try and post a review on Amazon on release day (or as soon as possible after). If you are interested, please leave a note in the comments (or email me at david dot Read More…

Weekend Reading, Live Chat With J Carson Black & More

A quick round-up today, then it’s back to getting Let’s Get Digital: How To (And Why You Should) Self-Publish ready for upload. If I get it up on Sunday or Monday, it should be live on Wednesday or Thursday. As soon as it goes live on Amazon, the free PDF version will go live, right here. If you want to read a copy a few days ahead of anyone else, I have 10 0 left to give away. All I ask in return is that you read it quickly and try and post a review on Amazon on release day (or as soon as possible after). If you are interested, please leave a note in the comments (or email me at david dot 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.

Kobo Targets Europe While Amazon Sleeps At The Wheel

Amazon has been putting out fires all over the US, engaging in fierce firefights to retain its market share in e-books and e-readers, as well as branching out into newer territory such as publishing. But while all this has been going on, Kobo has been stealing a march in the international arena. They already have localized stores in the Canada, UK, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as a retail presence in New Zealand. After securing a fresh round of funding in April, Kobo announced plans for a major European expansion. It has begun. Kobo has launched a local-language store in Germany. And they aren’t just matching Amazon Germany’s offering of 25,000 local language books, they are blowing it out 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…

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…

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…

JK Rowling Really Is Self-Publishing: A Closer Look

Now that the dust has settled a little, I would like to take some time today to examine aspects of JK Rowling’s move into self-publishing. As soon as the announcement was made, various people were tying themselves into knots to describe this as anything other than self-publishing. “Although some are likely to see Rowling’s decision to be her own publisher for her e-books as a significant one for the industry at large, Potter is a unique franchise.” That was from Publisher’s Weekly. Aside from the ludicrous suggestion that any writer couldn’t set up a website and sell their own work direct to the public, note they use “decision to be her own publisher” instead of the dreaded words “self-publishing”. Some Read More…

Print Continues Its Death Spiral

JK Rowling’s announcement that she is self-publishing the Harry Potter e-books pretty much drowned everything else out yesterday, but there was some other news that should be highlighted. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) released figures for April 2011. Adult Hardback was in first position again this month, with $111.4m in sales (a sharp drop of over 20% from $142.9m in April 2010). Adult trade paperback was in second position again this month with $95.9m (down from $128.2m or a drop of 25%). Ebooks held steady in third position with $72.8m (an increase of 165% on last year’s $27.4m).

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…

Why Traditional Publishers Will Go The Way Of Travel Agents

Over the last six weeks or so, we have examined the various aspects of the publishing industry, and assessed how the different parts are functioning (or in most cases, malfunctioning) in the face of the changes brought about by the internet. As any travel agent will tell you (if you can find one), the internet is an unstoppable force which revolutionizes every single business it comes into contact with. In publishing, change hasn’t seemed as quick, but the internet has been quietly eating away at all the pillars of traditional publishing.