Tuesday Links Roundup:
Did I blog yet about how the nook is not going to be available in store and any pre orders won’t be shipped until after the holidays? How about Oprah’s shuttering of her daily talk show beginning in 2011? Or that Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, sold 300,000 copies last week. Conservatives read (or at least buy the book). If I did, I’m sorry!
Jesse Kornbluth argues that publishers and authors should forego the web as promotional vehicle and instead focus their attentions on their first love, the brick and mortar store.
But publishers have had more than a decade to come to terms with what too many industry people still like to think of as "new media." Instead of cultivating online book sites, publishers have focused on their own Web sites, as if readers care about imprints. Even now, their advice to writers doesn’t go much beyond "You need a Web site."
Online outreach to book blogs? Web ads targeted more precisely than Predator drones? Effective social networking? In each case, those campaigns would be better undertaken by experts.
David A. Rozansky, Publisher of Flying Pen Press, posts a counterpoint at Gather.com. He argues that the attempt to stem the tide of published books is more futile than the little boy at the dam wherein one leak blocked results in hundreds of more leaks occurring. Rozansky argues that online marketing isn’t a few banner ads and a website, but elbow grease in the form of social media and networking.
But here’s the rub. Writers build their careers by building their platform. Having a slick website or buying online banner ads won’t do that, it never has. It takes a lot of social networking and publishing, blogging and reporting, expertise and entertaining. While this is a lot of work that does not involve actually pounding out a novel, it does not require any money at all. Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Amazon reviews, conferences and e-newsletters are free to use. If a writer needs $10,000, $5,000, or even $100 to promote herself, then she is doing it all wrong. It’s all free, I assure you. It takes a lot of time and social skills, but money is not really going to help one bit.
Closed platforms are dead. Even Apple opens the iPhone platform for extensibility. Amazon should have not only allowed but encouraged third-party extensions and apps for the device. What sort of new and exciting functionality would exist for the Kindle today if Amazon would have created a Kindle app store 2 years ago?
Smashwords has been closing deal after deal. Smashwords is a digital publishing platform that allows publishers and authors to keep 85% of the net. It has distribution deals with Sony, Barnes and Noble, and now, Kindle. According to this article, authors and publishers would be entitled to 42.5% of the digital list price at Amazon. Smashwords is definitely an entity to watch. For readers, you can buy direct from the Smashwords store.
Speaking of publishing services companies like Smashwords, Jane Friedman offers her thoughts on the Harlequin Horizons move.
It should be no secret to anyone that publishing today is undergoing immense transformation. But many writers don’t see or understand what that means for them or how that change will manifest itself in a way that affects them.
In my time in the industry, I’ve always seen Harlequin as a progressive and innovative company. I don’t think that has changed. But this latest move fundamentally questions what it means to be a publisher. And it’s a fascinating question.
Friedman calls the move “not shallow” and I think that resonates with many people as they stare into the uncertain future.
Nathan Bransford wrote a great post about the top ten myths of ebooks and points out that if you read hardcovers, the digital book savings will earn out the cost of a digital device in 20 books.
Remember when Victoria Laurie said she was going to write a reviewer into her book and make her “certain transvestite prostitute with a piss poor attitude and a bad case of V.D?” She might want to rethink that idea. A Georgia woman won $100,000 damages in a libel suit against author Haywood Smith whose character so closely identified this former friend of Smith’s but was characterized as a sexually promiscuous alcoholic.
“SuSu,” a character in Smith’s novel about Buckhead socialites, shared many similarities with Stewart, including where she grew up, her jobs and the circumstances of her first husband’s death.
Via Sarah Weinman
When Under the Dome was released at the high price of $35.00 and the ebook would not be released until end of December, Stephen King supported this move as being supportive of independent bookstores.
In an exclusive comment to EW, the author himself was more blunt: "It’s time to give the smaller bookstores a little breathing room (although not much chance of that, with Walmart offering Dome for nine bucks.)"
Yet, King is seen at Wal-Mart signing his books. Wal-mart is engaged in the price war and King’s book is priced at $9.oo online.