Monthly Archives: October 2013

Authors are Publishers’ New Powerhouses

Long ago in a dreamy land far, far away, publishing was a “gentleman’s business.” Publishers, agents and authors respected each other because they were working together to reach readers.

Then publishers started to become corporatized, focused on the bottom line. Over the decades, authors ended up at the bottom of the barrel. The only advocates, it seemed, were their agents.

Nowadays, things are changing rapidly. Self-publishing and the advent of new digital platforms are shifting the way publishers do business. One of the things that suddenly has become more important is…you guessed it…authors.

Authors are the brand around which readers revolve. A host of recent conferences and book trade shows have hosted multiple sessions that focus on the writer.

It’s a great time to be an author!

Just for Fun

Writer’s Digest has a list of the odd jobs taken by some of the best writers of all times.

My own strangest jobs included working on a production line at an egg factory and, later that same year, processing raw deer hides, heads and tails that arrived at a junkyard before being sent on to a leather processing facility.

What’s the strangest job you’ve ever held to support your writing career?

Stats on the Publishing Industry

Quite a bit of chatter is going around these days about how self-publishing is shaking up traditional publishers. In some ways it is a war between sides that are battling for attention from the same pool of readers. WIthout going into all the other elements, let’s remember one key fact:

Self-published titles represent 10% of the current market.

This means that a number of places where books traditionally are distributed–brick-and-mortar bookstores, big-box retailers, shopping clubs and the like–aren’t paying very much attention at all to self-published titles.

When considering your career, take all the details into account to find the best path for you and your work.

Literary Fiction Makes Readers Better People

A study published in Science found that “literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make references about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity. They theorize that reading literary fiction helps improve real-life skills like empathy and understanding the beliefs and intentions of others.”

It’s nice to know that even in today’s busy, disconnected world, literature is still having a substantial impact on society.

Just for Fun: Punctuation

Here’s a link to a blog post about punctuation marks that are no longer used. Do you miss any of these? Which ones?

I might miss the virgule the most. Not because of how it was used but because the Latin root of the word could mean “rod,” “staff,” or…ahem…a certain portion of the male anatomy.

Who said proofreading can’t be fun?

New Book Publisher Seeking Submissions

Chronos Books is seeking historical nonfiction and historical biography. They are looking for real history for real people; imaginative, easy-to-digest and accessible text. Topics cover ancient times to the Second World War, and should add to a reader’s understanding of people and events rather than reading like a textbook.

Self-publishing Success is Fueling Traditional Publishing

With a growth rate over 400% in the past 5 years, self-publishing is actually turning out to be a benefit for traditional publishers.

More publishers than ever before are signing authors who self-published their books. Indie authors have finally found their ways onto some of the top bestseller lists, which is eye-opening considering that many lists are compiled by newspapers that still refuse to review indie authors.

Nowadays, I tell clients that they can self-publish at the same time they are querying agents and publishers. If the self-published route doesn’t work out, no harm done. If they hit it big, though, they have even more appeal for traditional publishers to take a close look.