Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, November 9, 2007

This Week in Publishing 11/9/07

This week in the publishing!

Over at MJ Rose's blog Buzz, Balls & Hype, guest blogger and international bestelling author Barry Eisler, who knows himself some things about the publishing industry, has a series of posts about the future of said industry and especially book distribution of tomorrow. Definitely worth checking out.

The writers are a-striking! I thought about shutting down the blog in solidarity, but then I remembered that I don't actually make money from this blog anyway. Ha! But if you want to keep up to date on how the strike is affecting the publishing industry, keep checking Jonathan Lyons' blog, which is your own one stop shop for all things strike related.

My awesome client Jennifer Hubbard provides some of the absolute best writing advice I've ever seen on the Internet, and she's giving it away for free! Definitely check out her recent post on good and evil in books, and peruse her other posts. It's seriously good advice. Seriously.

What if you had a class action lawsuit and nobody came??? Only 1,729 people signed up for a refund in the class action suit stemming from James Frey's book A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, but Random House will still end up incurring over a million little dollars in costs. Here's a handy breakdown:

Refunds for 1,729 people: $27,348
Legal fees: $783,000
Cost of publicizing suit and settlement: $432,000
Donations to Red Cross, Hazelden and First Book: $180,000

I'll keep my mouth shut for fear of incurring a class action suit of my own.

And finally, just in case you're wondering...

Step 1: Spam every agent in town with your query.
Step 2: End up being mocked on Gawker.

It's really very simple, people.

Have a great weekend!


Dave F. said...

Reputation by Gawker - something to be avoiced at all costs.

2) news you might have missed - from the NY Times:
Five authors have sued the parent company of Regnery Publishing ... charging that the company deprives its writers of royalties by selling their books at a steep discount to book clubs and other organizations owned by the same parent company.
... snip ...
the authors Jerome R. Corsi, Bill Gertz, Lt. Col. Robert (Buzz) Patterson, Joel Mowbray and Richard Miniter state that Eagle Publishing, which owns Regnery, “orchestrates and participates in a fraudulent, deceptively concealed and self-dealing scheme to divert book sales away from retail outlets and to wholly owned subsidiary organizations within the Eagle conglomerate.”

One might ask, where were their eyes when they signed contracts.

In Regnery’s case, according to the lawsuit, the publisher sells books to sister companies, including the Conservative Book Club, which then sells the books to members at discounted prices, “at, below or only marginally above its own cost of publication.” In the lawsuit the authors say they receive “little or no royalty” on these sales because their contracts specify that the publisher pays only 10 percent of the amount received by the publisher, minus costs — as opposed to 15 percent of the cover price — for the book.

The math - 10 to 25 cents versus $3.00 or more per book.

Nathan Bransford said...

dave f.-

Yeah, saw that. Didn't want to touch in on the blog, (but thanks for tackling it for me!).

Dave F. said...

To my mind it's not a political fight. It doesn't matter if you agree with the author's politics or not. Forget politics and look to the merits of the case. We all want to be published authors.

The contract they signed has clauses about these matters and either they should have known what they were signing or, they should have been informed better. Regnery and Eagle could be at fault. That's what they are asking the court to decide.
I hope people don't just assume this is political. It's not. Any publisher may or may not have the same rights to sell a book to a book club they own. Aside from being "Selection of the Month," this means $$$ to the author.
Regardless of the politics, win or lose this court case is going to mean something for authors, publishers and agents.

Fairchild said...

Wow, the mass-emailed query was rather shocking. I feel sorry for the gal who didn't know better. rule: romantic heroes, especially misunderstood law-enforcement male characters, can no longer be named Jack.

Christine said...

Potter Mania (found on Publisher's Lunch)

Thought you'd find it amusing, even if you didn't get through the first book. =)

urbansherpa said...

FYI --

If you're interested in some insider info on the WGA strike, check out

The blog is run by strike captains. Good stuff here

The solidarity is appreciated.

Jessica Burkhart said...

urbansherpa, thanks for sharing that link!

Church Lady said...

That was interesting, Dave. Thank you.

And the James Frey debaucle still boils my blood.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks for the links. All very interesting.

V L Smith said...

The post on Gawker is amazing. Please tell me that it's a joke! My background is in human resources and I'm still new to the world of publishing. However, I would think that aspiring authors would do their research and would want to follow the industry's accepted standards for querying protocol much like most job seekers adhere to the application process. Although, we have the oddballs, too. My level of interest in a candidate hits zero when I see that I am one of thirty that have just received his emailed resume. Sure makes me feel special!

Melanie Avila said...

Wow. Just wow. (the Gawker bit)

Do you think the writer will finally get the hint? Or is she so clueless she won't even realize her query's been made public.


liquidambar said...

Thanks for the mention, Nathan. People are certainly welcome to hop over to my blog for discussions about writing. (However, I suppose I should warn any Hills addicts that I never mention the show.)

Jenn Hubbard

John C. said...

You requested the full for that query, right, Nathan? I'm dying to know Jack's decision!


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