Mar 22 2011
Yesterday was a study in opposites. Barry Eisler, a hardcover author of the John Rain series, broke the news that he had turned down a $500,000 offer for two books from St. Martin’s Press and is going to self publish his next Rain book. Eisler is good friends with Joe Konrath and has been increasingly frustrated with the efforts of his publisher on his behalf. He moved from Random House and had apparently been in negotiations with St. Martin’s Press for three months before deciding to walk away from the deal.
Amanda Hocking, self publishing star who reportedly sold nearly a half million copies of her 9 books in one month, is on the verge of closing a deal with one of the Big 6 publishers for an advance in the 7 figures.
Barry isn’t the first author I would have predicted to self publish. In fact, I thought it might be someone like Janet Evanovich who has turned her books into a mini industry. It is possible that Evanovich, like Stephen King, has a co publishing deal with SMP so that going it alone makes no sense. Self publishing is an entrepreneurial endeavor that will result in new but up and coming authors being bought up by larger corporations and existing authors breaking out and starting their own businesses. It’s a very interesting time.
More opposites exist in these two bingo cards, one produced by John Scalzi in support of traditional publishing and another produced by Shmuel510, a professional copy editor, in support of readers and digital reading. Both are fairly biased, but each has its own truths.
Author Jessica Verday was told by her publisher her contribution to a YA anthology to be published by Running Press would be changed because the story contained an m/m romance between two gay teens.
I’ve received a lot of questions and comments about why I’m no longer a part of the WICKED PRETTY THINGS anthology (US: Running Press, UK: Constable & Robinson) and I’ve debated the best way to explain why I pulled out of this anthology. The simple reason? I was told that the story I’d wrote, which features Wesley (a boy) and Cameron (a boy), who were both in love with each other, would have to be published as a male/female story because a male/male story would not be acceptable to the publishers.
I find this shocking given that Running Press had dabbled in publishing mainstream m/m romances. What would be the point of excluding an m/m romance for teens? Does the publisher believe that teens don’t know about homosexuality? or that they aren’t accepting of it?
Update: Since I wrote this up, apparently the editor of this anthology has spoken up and said to not blame the publishers. Instead, she made the decision to have the story changed/pulled because …. a story about homosexuality somehow is too something for the collection?
Oh dear. Might as well give you my two cents. Not that it really matters but… Don’t take it out on the publishers, the decision was mine totally. These teen anthologies I do are light on the sex and light on the language. I assumed they’d be light on alternative sexuality, as well. Turns out I was wrong! Just after I had the kerfuffle with jessica, I was told that the publishers would have loved the story to appear in the book! Oh dear. My rashness will be the death of me. It’s a great story. Hope jessica publishes it online. (By the way: if you want to see a you tube video of me wrestling a gay man in Glasgow, and losing, please let me know).
Amazon killed the Lendle site. Lendle was a site that allowed Kindle users to share their books through the lending features. This lending feature is not “turned on” by any of the big 6 publishers except, ironically, Macmillan. Amazon has shut Lendle down by refusing Lendle’s access to Amazon’s API which makes it impossible for Lendle to automatically populate the site based on Amazon’s product identifiers. Lendle could still continue but it would require a ton of manual input.
My guess is that Amazon is trying to convince the major publishers to participate in the lending program and this is one way Amazon can say “see we aren’t allowing these lending clubs and it will only be used within a circle of readers similar to a print book club.”
Amazon has opened its Android App store. Interestingly there is a Kobo App within the Amazon Android store. I think this means I will have to jailbreak the nook to see exactly how these apps look. Apple suing Amazon for use of the trademarked term App Store.
Other publishing lawsuits include Microsoft’s suit against Android interfaces including Barnes and Noble’s nook interface. I don’t foresee the suit against BN lasting long and suspect that BN will agree to pay licensing fees to Microsoft rather than fight it.
HarperCollins is experimenting with paid author events. Last month, there was a fairly pricey event held with Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I think the price was $75). In April, 75 readers paying $10 will get to have tea with Eloisa James and Julia Quinn at the Panama Hotel Tea House. This is a promotional event run through BookPerk, a company owned by HarperCollins.
I know that we’ve talked about how authors aren’t like musicians and can’t make money off public appearances, but will that be changing in the future?