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Tuesday News: Publishers at Comic-Con, self-publishing and agent contracts, how BookBub...

Comic-con may celebrate comics but the fans are on the lookout for books and related media of all kinds. Over the weekend, HarperCollins and its partners are set to preview an interactive, multimedia project based on writer James Frey’s Endgame trilogy, which chronicles teens hunting for ancient keys that could save the world. At its core, the project is an augmented reality game that allows players, using their smartphones, to scavenge for items around Comic-Con. Endgame is also getting the film treatment by 20th Century Fox. Frey, HarperCollins, Google’s Niantic Labs and 20th Century Fox collaborated on the project, and they’re planning panels, signings, access codes to games. –Publishers Weekly

I’ve warned in the past about interminable agency clauses in author-agent agreements (language through which an agency claims the right to remain the agent of record not just for the duration of any contracts it negotiates for your book, but for the life of the book’s copyright). One of the many concerns raised by such language is what happens if you want to self-publish backlist books that the agency originally sold for you. With an interminable agency clause, might your agency feel entitled to a share of your self-publishing income? –Writer Beware

It’s important to know before reviewing the graphic that BookBub has always limited the number of titles we feature in order to avoid overwhelming our subscribers and to ensure all our partners’ listings have an equal chance of performing well. So while every book that gets submitted to us goes through this process, only about 10%-15% of them will be chosen for a feature. We hope this graphic reveals just how tough those decisions can be for our editors! –BookBub

Of course, the reality was far different for the 99 per cent of people who did not own land, collect rents or vacation at Biarritz and Marienbad. Most Edwardians worked in dark, noisy factories, cut hay in fields, toiled down dirty and dangerous mines; had bones bent by rickets and lungs racked by tuberculosis. Life expectancy then was 49 years for a man and 53 years for a woman, compared with 79 and 82 years today. They lived in back to back tenements or jerry-built terraces, wore cloth caps or bonnets (rather than boaters, bowlers and toppers) and they had never taken a holiday – beyond a day trip to Brighton or Blackpool – in their entire lives. –The Telegraph

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

8 Comments

  1. Ani Gonzalez
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 12:53:41

    Thanks The newspaper archives are fascinating. The best books I’ve read on that period are Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower and The Guns of August. I highly recommend them.

  2. Evangeline
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 13:27:34

    The Fateful Year: England 1914 by Mark Bostridge
    Peace and War: Britain In 1914 by Nigel Jones
    The Last Summer: May-September 1914 by Kirsty Macleod

    are recent reads I’ve loved. They’re more about the social history of British society on the eve of WWI.

  3. Lynne Connolly
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 14:18:17

    I’ve just been to the First World War gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London. It’s just been reopened after a four year renovation. Highly recommended, if you find yourself in that neck of the woods.
    August 4th is the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war by Britain on Germany.

  4. Kimberley
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 16:40:28

    Thank you for posting the archive link – I really enjoyed it, and second the reco of “The Guns of August. “A classic. Has anyone read Thomas Otte’s recent “The July Crisis”? It isn’t in my library’s Overdrive collection, and I’m wondering if I should break down and buy it.

    For a fictional look at the before and during of WWI from a regular person’s POV, albeit YA, I recommend L.M. Montgomery’s “Rilla of Ingleside” – it’s been one of my favourites since I was a kid, and came to appreciate it even more as I studied WWI through high school and university.

  5. Jaime Buckley
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 17:26:55

    Robin,

    I am SO glad I caught your article! I’ve been speaking with another author friend of mine about contracts and the role agents play with those of us fortunate enough to require one.

    Your statement about, “an agency claim[ing] the right to remain the agent of record not just for the duration of any contracts it negotiates for your book, but for the life of the book’s copyright,” shocked the ink out of me. I had not thought about this…only about the duration of a contract.

    Looks like I’ll have more subject matter to consider with my author friend now. Luckily, he’s a contract lawyer by profession. =)

    Greatly appreciate the article.

  6. Wahoo Suze
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 20:23:44

    @Jaime Buckley: RE: talking to your author/contract lawyer friend. From everything I’ve learned, publishing law is an entirely different kettle of fish, and terms that even other lawyers think they understand mean something different. Upshot: before you sign a publishing contract, consult with a publishing lawyer.

  7. Greg Strandberg
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 23:16:14

    Thanks for that BookBub link. Having been rejected 16 times myself it’s interesting to see how it all works.

  8. LML
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 14:43:50

    Based on my limited BookBub experience I think your comment “A successful book is more likely to be chosen to enjoy even more success.” must be very true. One of my first purchases was by a USA Today best selling author. The book was poorly edited (trouble with homonyms). I was annoyed by the quality because I thought that the “tough decisions” made by BookBub editors would serve as a filter to careless presentation. I tried to confirm the author’s status as USA Today best selling author, and learned it is a big group — 150 books every week. Then I read several reviews and consider that a majority expressed the same idea, in slightly different words. My overall impression is of being hoodwinked. I’ll consider BookBub recommendations more carefully in the future.

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