Posts Tagged: self publishing

For Whom Amazon Tolls

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As the Amazon versus Hachette dispute drags on into its fifth month, Alex Shepard, over at Melville House, examines the conflict, and what it means for publishers and authors:

Traditional publishers can’t do what Amazon does; Amazon can’t do what traditional publishers do (and no, the fact that bookstores don’t carry books published by Amazon is not the only reason why this is true, though that’s a subject for another post).

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Straight out of Kafka

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All for a novel? Eighth grade school teacher Patrick McLaw was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education and is currently being investigated by the County’s Sheriff, James Phillips, who explained—somewhat cryptically—that McLaw is at a “location known to law enforcement .

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Great Book, Amateur Cover

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Some of the best self-published books end up with amateur covers. While professional publishers consider every detail of book’s cover, like whether a font should be sans-serif or not base on genre, independent authors lack the experience to do the same. The Airship explains the process:

All of this, every aspect, from font selection to colors to composition, is put together by a team consisting of representatives from the publisher, editors, the art department, the designer(s), sales and the authors themselves, whose contracts usually stipulate cover design consultation or approval.

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Publishers Are Rich

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Writers have been getting poorer, and it turns out publishers are partly to blame. The Guardian reports that while authors are expected to do more when it comes to marketing and promotion, and though electronic books have lowered costs for publishers, the beneficiaries of these savings tend to be the publishers rather than the authors:

Nicola Solomon, who heads the 9,000-member strong Society of Authors, said that publishers, retailers and agents are all now taking a larger slice of the profit when a book is sold, and that while “authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing”

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Little Book Amok

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As authority disseminates across webs of increasingly smaller presses and publications, it becomes harder and harder for new authors to see their books on bookstore shelves, especially those of larger stores like Barnes & Noble’s.

Unless, of course, they put the books there themselves:

They haven’t yet asked me to stop desecrating their shelves with my book, or notice, for that matter.

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In Defense of Literary Agents

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The rise of self-publishing and smaller independent presses has left many writers questioning the value of literary agents and their fifteen percent commissions. The collaborative nature of publishing depends on these middlemen though, warns Bethanne Patrick at Beyond the Margins:

…agents today do more than simply harvest a commission (if indeed they ever did only that).

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