Tag Archives: publishing

Brother, can you spare a change?

Anthony Horowitz to copy editor: “I’M NOT CHANGING THIS.”

The full article at: http://www.mhpbooks.com/anthony-horowitz-to-copyeditor-im-not-changing-this/

by Kirsten Reach

Nobody wants his conversation with a copy editor made public, but there’s a galley floating around from Harper at the moment that contains some accidental gems. Anthony Horowitz, author of a new Sherlock Holmes novel and the next James Bond novel, had a conversation in the margins of Moriarty that mistakenly made it into the advanced reader’s copies.

Sarah Lyall‘s report in The New York Times gives you a sense of her own reading experience as well as the dialogue between author and copy editor. What’s so brilliant about her telling is the way she manages to rationalize the notes at first, as some sort of meta-commentary:

“Moriarty’s” narrator, an American detective named Frederick Chase, is laying out the background to the story – how Holmes and Moriarty came to be at Reichenbach Falls and what is believed to have happened next. All of a sudden he switches to capitals. “NO NEED TO COMPLICATE THINGS HERE, I THINK,” the text announces. “WHAT I’VE WRITTEN IS BROADLY TRUE.”

Can the narrator be offering some meta-commentary on his own text? At first it seems so. But then it happens again. In a spot where Chase and a Scotland Yard inspector have found an important clue that seems to be an excerpt from a previous Holmes story written by Dr. Watson, things suddenly veer off-piste again. “IT MAKES NO SENSE FOR FREDERICK CHASE TO HAVE READ THE SIGN OF FOUR,” the text declares.

Of the six annotations, the highlight is one firm line from Horowitz: “I’M NOT CHANGING THIS.”

So what happened?

The rest of the story at: http://www.mhpbooks.com/anthony-horowitz-to-copyeditor-im-not-changing-this/

[Editor's note: Thank you Ashlie for the link to this article.]

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Writing tip Wednesday: interview with Ursula K. LeGuin


The otherworldly and utterly Portland Ursula K. Le Guin

by Sue Zalokar

“Well, imagination is based on experience. The way everything in the world is made out of the elements combined in endless ways, everything in the mind is made out of bits of experienced reality combined in endless ways. So a child’s imagination deepens with living, with wider experience of reality. And so does a writer’s.”
–Ursula K. LeGuin

Source: http://news.streetroots.org/2014/08/14/otherworldly-and-utterly-portland-ursula-k-le-guin

Ursula K. Le Guin started writing when she was five and has been publishing her work since the 1960s. Throughout her career, she has delved into some of the most insightful, political, ecological and socially important topics of our time. She has created utopian worlds and utopian societies. She boldly challenged gender barriers by simply doing what she was born to do: write.

Her first major work of science fiction, “The Left Hand of Darkness,” is considered epoch-making in the field for its radical investigation of gender roles and its moral and literary complexity. At a time when women were barely represented in the writing world, specifically in the genre of Science Fiction, Le Guin was taking top honors for her novels. Three of Le Guin’s books have been finalists for the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and among the many honors she has earned, her writing has received a National Book Award, five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards.

In Paris in 1953 she married Charles A. Le Guin, a historian, and since 1958 they have lived in Portland. They have three children and four grandchildren.

After some correspondence, Le Guin invited me to her home to talk. I arrived bearing fresh-picked berries from Sauvie Island. She took me into her study and showed me the view she had of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.

Ursula K. LeGuin

Ursula K. LeGuin

Urusula K. Le Guin: It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen and I don’t want to see anything that big again. It was just inconceivable. It was kind of overcast in the morning, after the eruption, but (before that) the clouds were burned off and there was this pillar of – it looked like smoke – but it was really mostly dirt being blown upward by the heat of the eruption. I think it was 80,000 feet. It was awful and beautiful and it went on and on. The column, it moved very slowly. You could see it sort of swirling and there was lightning in it, striking all of the time. It was something else.

Sue Zalokar: I can only imagine. I don’t know much about the history of the eruption. Did you have much warning?

U.K.L.: There was lots of warning. The mountain had been rumbling and shaking and dumping black matter on her snow all spring. It was really bad luck. They thought she’d gone into a sort of a quiet phase and so they told people they could go that weekend to their cabins, run in and get their belongings out. Well, that was the weekend she blew. So that’s why there were 60 to 70 people killed. You can’t predict a volcano.

I got really fascinated with the volcano. About a year and few months after the eruption, the whole mountain was called “The Red Zone.” You could go part way up and then above that, you had to have a permit to go in and the only people that were going in were loggers dragging dead trees out. The roads were destroyed, there were just logging roads. Me, a photographer and an artist, got a permit to go in (to the Red Zone) as a poet, a photographer and an artist.

S.Z.: Awesome.

U.K.L.: How about that? I hardly ever pull strings, but we pulled a few and we got a day pass into the Red Zone. We drove around in this awful, unspeakable landscape of ash. Nothing but ash and dead trees. And the trees, just like grey corpses, all pointing the same direction where the blast of the eruption blew them down.

Well, imagination is based on experience. The way everything in the world is made out of the elements combined in endless ways, everything in the mind is made out of bits of experienced reality combined in endless ways. So a child’s imagination deepens with living, with wider experience of reality. And so does a writer’s.Twenty-five years later, a few years ago, I went back to that same area, which they thought would take at least 100 years to come back and regrow. It’s all green. There are trees coming up and flowers blooming like mad, birds, deer, elk. That mountain, she makes herself over and over. It’s quite a story.

S.Z.: Was there a specific piece of writing that came out of that experience in the Red Zone?

U.K.L.: Yes. I wrote poems called “In the Red Zone” and I wrote a piece with the same title.

S.Z.: What distinguishes experience from imagination in writing and is one more essential to the process of writing than the other?

The rest of the interview at: http://news.streetroots.org/2014/08/14/otherworldly-and-utterly-portland-ursula-k-le-guin

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SJ ROZAN: Russo’s Open Letter

SJ ROZAN.

2014-07-13 11:48 AM
Open letter from Richard Russo on Amazon vs. Hachette

Richard Russo is President of the Author’s Guild. This is long but, if you’re wondering what’s going on, worth reading. I’d like to say he took the words right out of my mouth, but he uses better words.

“The primary mission of the Authors Guild has always been the defense of the writing life. While it may be true that there are new opportunities and platforms for writers in the digital age, only the willfully blind refuse to acknowledge that authorship is imperiled on many fronts. True, not all writers are equally impacted. Some authors still make fortunes through traditional publishing, and genre writers (both traditionally published and independently published) appear to be doing better than writers of nonfiction and “literary” mid-list fiction. (The Guild has members in all of these categories.) But there’s evidence, both statistical and anecdotal, that as a species we are significantly endangered. In the UK, for instance, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society reports that authors’ incomes have fallen 29 percent since 2005, a decline they deem “shocking.” If a similar study were done in the U.S., the results would be, we believe, all too similar.

“On Tuesday, Amazon made an offer to Hachette Book Group that would “take authors out of the middle” of their ongoing dispute by offering Hachette authors windfall royalties on e-books until the dispute between the companies is resolved. While Amazon claims to be concerned about the fate of mid-list and debut authors, we believe their offer – the majority of which Hachette would essentially fund – is highly disingenuous. For one thing, it’s impossible to remove authors from the middle of the dispute. We write the books they’re fighting over. And because it is the writing life itself we seek to defend, we’re not interested in a short-term windfall to some of the writers we represent. What we care about is a healthy ecosystem where all writers, both traditionally and independently published, can thrive. We believe that ecosystem should be as diverse as possible, containing traditional big publishers, smaller publishers, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores, as well as both e-books and print books. We believe that such an ecosystem cannot exist while entities within it are committed to the eradication of other entities.

To read the rest, go to: http://journalscape.com/sjrozan/2014-07-13-11:48/

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Publishing Vs. Amazon: A Play in Five Acts – Insatiable Booksluts

Another view of the Amazon vs. Publishers battle

Publishing Vs. Amazon: A Play in Five Acts – Insatiable Booksluts.

Act I:

Amazon: Hey Publishing, we just invented a new thing that we think you’ll like. You know how after you make a book you have to pay a buttload of money to get it all printed and shipped and stuff? We figured out a way that you could not have to pay all that money and still sell lots of books.

Publishing: OMG NO WHAT IS THIS WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY PUBLISHING

Customers: Hey! These ebooks are pretty cool! I can carry a bunch with me all the time and it sucks less when I have to move!

Publishing: NO THEY ARE NOT COOL, PAPER BOOKS FOREVER, WE KNOW YOU JUST WANT TO STEAL OUR CONTENT OFF OF THE INTERNETS. CAN WE TRIPLE THE DRMs PLEASE

Customers: ……

Act II:

Amazon: Hey Publishing, we want to buy a buttload of books from you and we aren’t even going to return a bunch of unsold books like other bookstores do, and in return do you think you could give us a good deal since you’re going to make a lot of money? And also because like, every other industry that we work with works with us at a wholesale discount since we spend so much money with them and all.

Publishing: OMG NO WE DO NOT WANT TO SELL YOU A BUTTLOAD OF BOOKS WE HATE YOU. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY PUBLISHING

Amazon: Hey just FYI we are also going to publish some books by people because we think it looks like a neat business to get into. Competition is awesome right? I mean, it’s mostly celebrities and authors that are doing all the work themselves anyway.

Publishing: YOU ARE MURDERING US TO DEATH STAHP. NOBODY SHOULD BUY BOOKS PUBLISHED BY AMAZON BECAUSE ONLY WE ARE ALLOWED TO PUBLISH.

Bookstores: We hate Amazon too because nobody else should be allowed to sell books, especially if customers like going to them better. We will not sell Amazon’s books even if customers want to read them.

Publishing: YEAH WE HATE YOU AMAZON

Bookstores: Do you still love us, Publishing? We promise that we will only sell paper books and not any from Amazon.

Publishing: YEAH YOU ARE MY BOO.

Act III:

Amazon: Hey Publishing, since it only costs you like a fraction of a percent actually to

For the rest of the play go to: http://insatiablebooksluts.com/2014/06/27/publishing-vs-amazon-play/

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Stephen Colbert Gives Jeff Bezos the Finger — Twice

Stephen Colbert Gives Jeff Bezos the Finger — Twice.

Amazon is messing with the wrong guy.

A few days after best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell came out against the online retailer for raising prices and delaying shipments of his books because of a dispute with publisher Hachette, Colbert has done the same. Colbert’s plaint, however, is funnier.

During a segment on Wednesday night’s Colbert Report, Colbert announced he was “mad prime” at Amazon for its latest actions. In particular, Colbert mocked Amazon’s suggestion that consumers in the market for his books should buy a used copy.

[Editor's note: I think writer Sherman Alexie is correct. This is a battle between two big companies and the person(s) to support are the authors, who are getting smashed by both sides in this battle.]

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/06/05/stephen-colbert-amazon/#:eyJzIjoiZiIsImkiOiJfbDN3ZHQ3eDIza3NsOXdmZCJ9

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A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Fisking Lilith Saintcrow and the Hachette/Amazon Situation

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Fisking Lilith Saintcrow and the Hachette/Amazon Situation.

Sample of blog entry:
Fisking Lilith Saintcrow and the Hachette/Amazon Situation

People often disagree with my posts, and some do it in the comments section.

This promotes healthy debate and discourse. As long as people stay civil with each other, they can post whatever they like, including insulting me. I’ve only had to kick a few people out over the years, after giving them multiple chances to cool off.

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is the ability for people to engage with different viewpoints and test each others’ arguments.

I don’t know Lilith Saintcrow. She’s a writer with Hachette, and has just blogged about this situation. She’s wrong, which is fine. Normally that wouldn’t irk me. But in her comments section, she’s disemvoweling people who disagree with her (it’s a cute form of censuring where all the vowels are removed from the comment).

So now I’m going to bring the debate here, to A Newbie’s Guide, by explaining in detail how wrong Lili Saintcrow is. Normally I don’t take my peers to task like this, but I really dislike the way Lili is handling dissenters on her blog. She’s deliberately obstructing what could have been a healthy debate.

No offense intended, Lili. I’m sure you’re a wonderful person and a wonderful writer. And I do understand how you are frustrated at this situation. Your sales are suffering, and it is beyond your control, so naturally you want to place blame and voice your discontent.

But I believe you aren’t looking at the big picture, and cutting off comments on your blog isn’t how you, or anyone following you, can use this situation as a learning experience.

Blog post in its completeness: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/05/fisking-lilith-saintcrow-and.html

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Writing tip Wednesday: “To Indie or not to Indie publish”

Most Amazon bestselling authors aren’t making minimum wage

By Charlie Jane Anders

Yesterday we posted a chart from Hugh Howey’s new report on author earnings, showing indie and self-published authors pulling ahead of people published by the “big five” in terms of total unit sales. Now here’s another chart from an e-book publishing expert who’s calling some of Howey’s conclusions into question.

Chart:

E-book sales. Source: Hugh Howey

E-book sales. Source: Hugh Howey

Writing in Digital Book World, Dana Beth Weinberg points out that there are a number of questions about Howey’s data, even beyond the potential flaws that you’d already noticed. For one thing, Howey isn’t representing all self-published and indie authors — just the top 1.5 percent, or the cream of the crop. There are also some questionable assumptions in Howey’s methodology, writes Weinberg, and some statistical problems.

But leaving that stuff aside, even if you accept Howey’s data and his conclusions, it’s not clear that most of his indie/self-published authors are doing better than people published by the big mainstream publishers, argues Weinberg. What is clear, though, is that the people who are doing best, on Amazon e-book sales, are those published by Amazon’s own publishing imprints.

The really depressing thing? Weinberg estimates that most of the authors in the survey, whether self-published or published by a New York publishing house, are not making minimum wage:

Sales figures:

A different look at e-book sales.

A different look at e-book sales.

Full article at: http://io9.com/most-amazon-bestselling-authors-arent-making-minimum-w-1522482723

Source material at:
The Report, by Hugh Howey, Feb. 12, 2014
Full article at: http://authorearnings.com/the-report/

The Principal of Digital Abundance — thoughts on author earnings, by Damien G. Walter, Feb. 12, 2014
Full article at: http://damiengwalter.com/2014/02/12/the-principle-of-digital-abundance-thoughts-on-author-earnings/

Note: This post suggested by Research Assistant Ashlie

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