Thursday Midday Links: Is Barnes&Noble Targeted for Takeover
A friend sent me this link to a fanfiction author who completed a 100,000 word novel. She never thought she could accomplish such a task but now that she has, she is energized and is thinking about actual publication of future work. The comment thread is what is so interesting because the participants discuss the pros and cons of different publishing methods.
Sarah Weinman writes about the increasing ownership of Barnes and Noble stock by minority shareholder, Aletheia Research & Management. Aletheia combined with another minority shareholder are closing in on the percentage owned by current Chairman Leonard Riggio:
Together, Yucaipa and Aletheia’s stake in Barnes & Noble is approximately 30%, still smaller than Riggio’s. But since the two companies appear to be forging ties on A&P initiatives, it seems like a good bet they may do the same thing for B&N — and two heads might serve better than one to find a way around the poison pill measure.
Melville House Publishing is holding a roundtable discussion (my characterization) of the future of publishing with authors because authors are the least heard voices in the future of publishing (per Melville House). I would love to hear what authors think should be done to make tomorrow’s publishing industry as vibrant as it was previously. In fact, if there are authors that read this blog that have a guest opinion that they would like to share, I would love to post it, even if I disagree with it (because that’s what the comments are for!).
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez has an interesting post about experimentation on the business end of publishing:
Much of the public debate around e-books hinges on the personal benchmarking of tech fetishists, and sniping pundits with no skin in the game. There are many fundamental business issues that need to be addressed related to e-books -‘ rights, royalties, pricing, distribution, marketing -‘ and it’s up to publishers, agents and authors to figure them out together and not be distracted by every new shiny object the technology companies come up with.
I love reading Guy’s thoughts. He’s not an ebook evangelist but I don’t hold that against him. ;) He’s a thoughtful person who has a long history in publishing.
I don’t disagree with Guy that there are a contractual issues surrounding rights that will need to be addressed in the future (not the least of which is international rights so that our international friends have the same ability to read books as we in the US do) but I do disagree that ebook debate hinges on the “personal benchmarking of tech fetishists.” I see a lot of debate surrounding windowing, enhanced ebooks, pricing, and DRM and all of those things are not the purview of just tech fetishists but those who are passionately in love with reading. I also wonder why Guy thinks that romance is the exception to the market adoption of ebooks.
Two French authors are airing their grievances about plagiarism in the literary press. Camille Laurens accused Marie Darrieussecq of plagiarizing Laurens’ memoir. The authors shared an editor and Laurens was dropped after the plagiarism accusation. Fast forward two years. Darrieussecq published a study of writers accused of plagiarism (no word on whether she interviewed Cassie Edwards or Janet Dailey but I doubt it) and Laurens is releasing a novel “a story about an author who is dropped by her editor after accusing a rival of plagiarism, and then finds it difficult to continue writing.”