Tuesday Midday Links: eBooks nearing $1 Billion Mark
Don Weise, formerly of Alyson Books, has launched his own press to publish LGBT literature. It sounds like it is a print press and will publish 15 to 20 books per year in both fiction and non fiction. More at Publishers’ Weekly.
Lagardere, the parent corporation of Hachette (who owns Grand Central, Forever, and Orbit imprints among others), suffered another drop in sales when measured against last year’s results because the Stephenie Meyer book sales have slowed. Ebooks totalled 9% of HBG USA’s sales for the first nine months of this fiscal year. Source: PW.
According to Forrester Research, the ebook industry will near $1billion in sales and predicts that by 2015, just five years from now, the digital market will be $3 billion. The article from Forrester says that digital should be the default for publishing because it is a single revenue business.
At that size and higher, not only do publishers need to take digital seriously, they must make it the new default for publishing, preparing for a day in which physical book publishing is an adjunct activity that supports the digital publishing business. And this dramatic reversal will have happened faster in book publishing than in any other media business. Not just because publishers have had years to watch other media industries face the digital transition, but also because book publishing is a single-revenue business. Music used to generate revenue from the radio, from CD sales, and from concert tickets.
Source: Forrester Blog
Charles Stross is a hardcore Sci Fi author with a very loyal following. I don’t read Stross’ work but apparently he is notorious for claiming that cunt is not a misogynistic insult in the UK like it is in the US. His latest peeve? Whoever let the girls into the steampunk club is going to get it.
We’ve been at this point before with other sub-genres, with cyberpunk and, more recently, paranormal romance fang fuckers bodice rippers with vamp- Sparkly Vampyres in Lurve: it’s poised on the edge of over-exposure. Maybe it’s on its way to becoming a new sub-genre, or even a new shelf category in the bookstores. But in the meantime, it’s over-blown. The category is filling up with trashy, derivative junk and also with good authors who damn well ought to know better than to jump on a bandwagon.
You see, the late 19th Century was a terrible, terrible time to live and all this girlie steampunk shit is falsely romantiscizing the era because the “taproots” of the genre is people having adventures in really horrible time periods. In other words, throw a few starving adults feeding off the breastmilk of a newly minted mother ala Grapes of Wrath and maybe, just maybe, you are closing in on a realistic feel for the time period.
Cherie Priest, author of the Bestselling novel, Boneshaker, was called out specifically by Stross for her scientifically improbable gas induced zombies. Priest responds:
OMG YOU GUYS it has come to my attention that SOMEONE on the internet is saying that my fictional 19th century zombies are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND. Naturally, I am crushed. To think, IF ONLY I'd consulted with a zombologist or two before sitting down to write, I could've avoided ALL THIS EMBARRASSMENT.
Scott Westerfeld, a YA author, suggests that the great thing about YA readers is that they don’t view things with the same rigidity as adults. (I actually don’t buy this whole heartedly because otherwise you wouldn’t have the “OMG there are no books for boys” refrain)
Probably the biggest problem with Stross’ lament is, as suggested by Westerfeld, he isn’t reading the books about which he is complaining. For example, had he taken the time to read one of those awful steampunk books by girls such as the Iron Duke, he would know that even girls are writing about a time period that is fraught with political unrest, racism, and dire living conditions. Yes, there is love and sex in it, but in order for us to be here today, there would have had to be some love and sex during the Industrial Revolution, even a revisionary one.