Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, October 9, 2009

This Week in Publishing 10/9/09

The publishing this week.

More big news from Amazon this week as the Kindle is going global. Except, sadly, to Canada. The Kindle's lack of presence in Canada presents me with a severe challenge, as I don't know whether to make a joke about "aboat," hockey, Quebecois separatists, eh?, or Celine Dion. Oh Canada, must you have so many objects of hilarity?

In his ongoing effort to give you all of the information you need to know about everything that is important, Eric at Pimp My Novel has a great post on all you need to know about comp titles. Also co-op.

The FTC made headlines for the first time in.... basically ever, as they announced a crackdown on the great scourge sweeping the nation: blogs blogging about stuff they got for free. This has opened up a can of worms so big it could swallow Idaho, and Ron Hogan in particular has written a great series of posts about what it means and what the ruling leaves unanswered. Since this doesn't affect journalists and talking heads on TV, who will still be free to say whatever they want no matter who is giving them free stuff, one has to wonder why the FTC decided to single out bloggers.

Also, in the wake of the ruling, Mark Cuban wants to know if he can still blog about omelets.

@PublishersLunch passed along news that Egmont UK will soon be publishing e-books for the Nintendo DS. Very very cool!

The blockbuster that is the Google Book Deal has announced a new target date of November 9th.

Meanwhile, this week's End of Publishing As We Know It article is brought to you by the New York Times, which reports that very-good-but-not-extraordinary sales of some recent big books have the industry wringing hands. Agent Miriam Goderich is not impressed.

Meanwhile, The Rejectionist has a guest blogger with some words on the industry that have most definitely not been minced. Said poster worries about what e-books will do to the business, does not care too much for a certain fake memoirist, and perhaps most importantly, wonders why the industry is busy overpaying a handful of authors instead of building a sustainable business.

And finally, in important agent advice news, Kristin Nelson reminds us that even when they end up looking really smart, agents are not seers.

Have a great weekend!






88 comments:

Mireyah Wolfe said...

Geez, we're mean to Canada. *sad face*

Nathan Bransford said...

mireyah-

I kid because I love.

MeganRebekah said...

Yet another reason I can share with my brother-in-law as to why the US is more awesome than Canada.
They might have Tim Horton's but we have the Kindle

Jean Oram said...

Hey, we want the Kindle up here! It's a good thing. Think of how many more readers can get their hands on the electronic versions of your client's work if we get Kindles. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you other Canadians!

Jean

P.S. I've got a funny post for you (When agent rejections feel like break ups): http://jeanoram.com/blog/2009/10/08/when-break-ups-are-like-literary-agent-rejections/

T. Anne said...

The FTC needed to shake things up somewhere I suppose, however this blogger who reviews books is not rattled. I don't mine putting a disclaimer on the bottom of the post (in barely there font) that the book was given to me for my assessment. Fair enough?

The Anonymous Internet Coward said...

America = Canada's Beard

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh, up here we just keep coming up with more funny. We can't help it. We're all aboot funny.

But seriously.

I was in a Chapters store two days ago, a Wednesday afternoon, and although it wasn't full - I wouldn't expect it to be - it looked at least healthy. People were buying books.

(Didn't see any kindles though...)

I can't help but read articles about Big Publishing Woes and not feel too bad. The numbers look good to me. I mean, I'd be happy with that. Haven't sales numbers in most industries gone down? I'm just happy there are new books coming out, and by new authors.

But hey, it's Thanksgiving this weekend so I'm in a gratitude kind of mood today.

Nathan Bransford said...

t. anne-

I think the idea is fine in principle, I just don't understand why they wouldn't also apply it to journalists.

The Anonymous Internet Coward said...

Argh. Accidentally published early while trying to log in...

I'm not surprised we were left out. Amazon's
Whispernet relies on a telcom relationship to make it work, and Canada has to be a forerunner for having the worst telcom market control in the world.

"The average Canadian cellphone user is paying among the highest bills in the developed world, according to a new international study."
Src: CBC

Scott said...

The Rejectionist article was funny, as were the comments:

Also, dear publishing industry, why must you live in the most expensive city in North America? Is Random House still on Park Ave with all those lovely investment banks? Could some money not be saved on rent if you all agreed to resituate operations on the mainland -- or even takeover a small midwestern town and there make your glorious paradise?

Heh, not a bad question, really.

marilynpeake said...

Thanks for the links. Have a great weekend!

Patrice said...

Hey Nathan,

I read your interview over at GLA (posted yesterday) and I must thank you for your gift of "productive procrastination." Now that I have a happy term for it, it doesn't sound so much like I'm just avoiding the submission process.

Tchann said...

Regarding the 'talking heads' on television and radio, there is a law already on the books (and has been since 1934) requiring stations to inform viewers/listeners that what they're listening to is paid for.

When I worked in radio a few years back, I was required to sign a contract indicating I understood the law and would abide by it, as well.

The following link has a good explanation of the law and how it's applied: http://www.enewsbuilder.net/texasbroadcasters/e_article000702850.cfm?x=b11,0,w

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks, Tchann. I think it's a rule that is very selectively enforced, however, if ever.

Ink said...

Hey, that's why all the funniest American comedians are Canadian.

Even Malcolm Gladwell said so. I heard him. So it must be true.

And we may not have the Kindle but we have these other really cool things. They're called books. Made of paper, believe it or not. I have a whole bunch of them and they smell nice. Well, except for that one old box of erotica that someone dropped off at the store.

The Anonymous Internet Coward said...

Yeah, but some of those books are really heavy and difficult to carry around.

Ink said...

Exercise is healthy!

JEM said...

Hi Ink:

We have these things called trees. They're big and tall and help up breathe and cry when books get pulped.

Ink said...

Hee hee... and all those millions of acres of tree farms will be flattened to make parking lots once paper books go the way of the dodo...

Ah! I love the smell of asphalt in the morning!

(Okay, I sort of cribbed that from Apocalypse Now)

Mira said...

Oh great. Eric linked last week's Friday thread. I didn't know that.

Sheesh. Don't people understand that the things I post here are private? I really would appreciate it people would stop reading my posts.

Thanks in advance.

Well, that aside, I did post an apology for getting so personal at the tag end of last week's thread, and I'm still sorry, not for the principle of what I was saying, but for how I handled it. So, there it is.

And it's a new week, with lots of new white space for me to type things in that I will undoubtedly need to apologize for next week. I can hardly wait.

On to the topic, these are very cool links, Nathan. I'm looking forward to reading them. Thanks for all the fun weekend reading.

The Anonymous Internet Coward said...

eWaste has some fairly severe ecological repercussions.

Karla said...

Seriously, eh, we do not say "aboat".

Keith Schroeder said...

If the naysayers are right about Kindle and book sales, Canada is the only place on the planet real paper novels will be sold.

Ink said...

I personally say "ow" every time I say "about". Despite the lies promulgated in Canadian Bacon! That was the worst documentary ever.

On a serious note, plastic production and disposal is a serious ecological problem too. (Though, for what it's worth, I think it's quite possible that Kindles are ecologically superior in the end tally. But the whole damned if you do and damned if you don't is sort of sad)

Patrice said...

Nathan,

Could you check your link for all you need to know about comp titles? It's taking me to the Kindle is going global.

Thanks.

Patrice said...

Nevermind. I opened a new window and I linked fine. Have a great weekend!

JEM said...

eWaste is why I still have my original Game Boy. Although if the world went crazy Day After Tomorrow style, I guess I couldn't burn my ebook reader to keep warm. So mass market paperbacks, here I come!

Karla said...

Kindle, schmindle. I love my Sony.
Ink, I just asked the three other Canadians present to say about. Definitely boat free. ;)

JEM said...

Karla -

I'm looking at ereaders for Christmas, would you recommend the Sony?

Ink said...

I'm boat free and boot free... it's all about the ow.

Actually, as it happens, whenever I've travelled out of the country people have always, and invariably, mistaken my Southern Ontario accent for Californian. Though whether my accent was a Sacramento Kings fan I don't know.

Enid Wilson said...

I wonder if your government can policy the regulation though, how can they verify bloggers who get stuff for free?

Bargain with the Devil

Jan Markley said...

Stick to making fun of what's really Canadian eh, maple syrup and the Sasquatch! I nominated the Sasquatch as the superhero for writers.

Check out my funny blog post at:
http://janmarkley.blogspot.com/2009/10/sasquatch-superhero-for-writers_08.html

Cheers, Jan

Marilyn Peake said...

Mira,

I’d say you have a distinctive voice. I keep meaning to mention this – Did you know that Rachelle Gardner wrote an entire blog about a statement you had made on Nathan’s blog? Check out her blog for September 29, 2009>. You’ll love it!

T. Anne said...

Nathan, I understood it to mean journalist were already being paid by the newspaper and hence the reader would understand they were receiving some compensation for their musings. That, and it might have been pick on bloggers week.

Marilyn Peake said...

Mira,

Oooops, let me try that again. It wasn’t for September 29. It was Rachelle Gardner’s blog for September 28, 2009. Enjoy!

Karla said...

JEM -

I've had my Sony 505 for about four months. Yes, I do love it, and I would recommend it. All of the features are good except for the price (eek!) and the odd pdf file that comes up kind of screwy, but I still give it two thumbs up.
And, I have bought WAY more books since going digital. I love being able to buy a new book at 2 a.m.

Phyllis said...

A can of worms that can swallow Idaho?

Is it Canadian?

Terry said...

You can't forget Poutine, Jan. Do you know it's made it's way down to New England? Great stuff.

The Dystel post was good and the idea of Hollywood thinking.

I don't understand why journalists were left out of the FTC ruling either. Weird.

annerallen said...

Great recap of the week's publishing news as usual, Nathan. Over at my blog, http://annerallen.blogspot.com,
the I Heart Nathan Bransford Club is trying to decide what to call blog followers. Jan Markley also mentioned in her funny blogpost that "followers" sounds way to Evita-ish. What about calling your blog peeps "Bleeps"?

Raethe said...

So, I'm Canadian, and I'm confused. What's the "aboat" thing? Is this another version of the "aboot" myth?

Tish Cohen said...

I'm Canadian and am *about* to blow this about thing WIDE open. My father tells me we can attribute the tightness of the way we say house, about, and out on the French. Which makes us sophisticated rather than backwoods, no? (It's what I tell myself.)

As for Celine Dion, again, we're sorry.

D. G. Hudson said...

Nathan, it's not nice to diss your neighbors across the border.

There are some very nice benefits to being north of the 49th parallel, but that's our secret.

Next time, think about Neil Young, Wayne Gretzsky, Diana Krall, & Dr. David Suzuki. Quite a different set if you pick the best, not the most humourous.

I mean - c'mon.

Other Lisa said...

Hey, Canada, you may not have the Kindle, but you have universal healthcare...

Ink said...

Other Lisa,

And boy do I like it... I get to keep my house! Super duper.

Ink said...

Tish,

The Dion apology cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Hills recap and how the evil Kristin has glommed onto Justin Bobby?

Smooth talker Spencer rented a house without his wife's knowledge and kicked a 4 yr. old neighbor cutie out on his keds and basically said "see you never!"

You've got to love that show because you just can't make this stuff up.

Or can you ...

Holly Bodger said...

We can't afford the Kindle up here in Canada. We're spending all our money buying up US real estate...

And we gave Celine to you years ago, so there! :-)

GhostFolk.com said...

Anonymous Internet Coward said... America = Canada's Beard.

Hey, you're the home of the beaver.
One of the reasons, btw, I love Canada.

GhostFolk.com said...

annerallen said...

I Heart Nathan Bransford Club is trying to decide what to call blog followers.

How abowt: Brans Flakes ?

Nathan Yells ?

Mira said...

Marilyn, that was really cool of you to link that. Thanks. But then, you're very cool in general. :)

I did see that post - I felt flattered (and relieved) that Rachelle thought it was funny. But then, Rachelle is also a very cool person. I admired what she said in that post alot. :)

I'm not giving up my advocate's voice. Not at all. I just want to advocate in a way that isn't hurtful and targeting. I feel very sorry about that part of it.

Dominique said...

Knock Canada all you want, it is still really big, and that's what counts. Also, they make good candy.
Though I can't see why there wouldn't be Kindle in Canada.

Anne-Marie said...

So Nathan,
in order to make up for the huge disappointment of not being Kindled up here in the Great White North, you should declare this Canada month and only accept queries from the Kindle-free folks and offer them all deals so we can publish books for our countrymen. How's that for a captive market?

Marilyn Peake said...

Mira,

I think most people remember you by your humor. Your humor is hilarious. You really gotta write that book. Maybe take individual topics like comedians do, make them chapters, and - voila! - humor book that everyone can enjoy. :)

Mira said...

Marilyn, thank you.

Your encouragement means alot. Really, truly. Thanks. :)

I have the concept for the book, and some of the characters. I write it in my head sometimes. Maybe during winter break, I'll knuckle down. :)

I'm happy to hear that your work is almost ready to go! You work hso hard. I admire that. And I appreciate your comments here alot. :)

Oh. Since we're in chat mode, I do want to say something very important to say to Nathan. Nathan, you mentioned in your Twitter that you like In N Out Burger. Guess what I learned at Grad school today? Did you know that In N Out has a special, secret menu? Here's a link to SOME of them: http://www.in-n-out.com/secretmenu.asp. But not all! There's also a neopolitan shake (all the flavors combined), chili fries. Cheese fries. And the all important chili/cheese fries. Very exciting.

I highly recommend grad school. You learn alot.

thanks, Marilyn. :)

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Mira,

Glad to hear you have your book concept and some of the characters planned. Awesome!

Amber W. said...

Hey Nathan,

I'm a long time reader first type poster kind of deal, I love your weekly updates. Through following links from places you linked I found out about this iStorybook application for the iphone about picture books for kids.

I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on the possibilities of Kindle or other publishing houses getting the idea of making e-readers for kids in the near future? I've got a lot of nieces and nephews who would probably love something like that. (I'm not sure if you do Q and A here but I didn't think it was important enough of a question to e-mail.)

Anyway keep up the great blog!

Ryan Potter said...

The Kindle is skipping Canada because the beer is so horrible there.

Ink said...

You wound me, Ryan, you wound me.

Canadian beer is obviously superior. Unless of course you like beer flavoured water...

:)

Steph Damore said...

e-books for the DS? Awesome. Now there's a chance that my nephews will read a book for (gasp!) fun!!!

Julie said...

"Aboat?" Maybe in Newfoundland. Although we Canadians get the shaft more often than not, eventually the Kindle will come. Good things to those who wait and all that. Come to Canada and see eh?

Anonymous said...

I may have the wrong information, but I heard that the whole blogging rules thing came up/ went down after the Pittsburgh protesters were being shepherded away by bloggers/social networkers/twitterers from the police and other blockades recently.
Thus- the applause for all things facebook in helping protesters in Iran became a nono in Pittsburgh and the gov was going to tie new rules and regulations onto the Internet fastened onto an "advertising concern." Police those bloggers and social net-workers.

("Oh dear," she said, running away with her constitution twittering between her fingers.)

Anybody have more accurate or other info than this?

(word verification: undideb as in undi-deb or undi de bed)

Anonymous said...

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/
20091007/2149146455.shtml#comments

interesting article and comments on FTC freedom of speech

elancross said...

Seems you have a lot of Brans Flakes (great name GhostFolk.com) from Canada.
Canada month! I love it, Anne-Marie!

Anonymous said...

Love the links!

Other Lisa said...

Ink, "beer-flavored water"? Your information on American beer is happily out of date - submitted for your approval - a few top beers.

Especially here on the West Coast - American beers are amazing!

Ink said...

Other Lisa,

If you send me a free case of each for sampling I may concede your point...

Anonymous said...

There is beer in my novel.

Real beer.

I haven't gotten a free sample (yet).

Should I be watching for the FTC?

Other Lisa said...

Ink, while that would be out of my budget, I will happily take you on a pub crawl, should you make it down south to California...

word verification: butsorri (!)

Anonymous said...

The anonymous guest writer at The Rejectionist has a fantastic sense of humor. Here’s an equally humorous and worrisome article on Forbes, How Billionaires Control Our Lives. And here’s the recent Forbes List of the 400 Richest Americans. It includes quite a few people running the publishing industry. Many of them individually own quite a few media corporations. Some have lost a couple million dollars, but are still worth billions of dollars. I don’t think any of them are interns or publishing assistants. I also don’t think that so many publishing jobs needed to be cut to preserve the large numbers of billions of dollars at the top. Just sayin’.

Ink said...

Other Lisa,

I shall start hitchhiking now...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Miriam, not Jane, that posted over at JDLM?

Nathan Bransford said...

Whoops, yes, sorry for the error.

dylan said...

Dear Mr. Bransford,

All this publishing stuff is fine and dandy, but what about the rice harvest update?

No Photo?

dylan

Nathan Bransford said...

dylan-

All finished!

Ink said...

Nathan,

This feels a little like Fate kicking a team when it's down.

Nathan Bransford said...

bryan-

It's worse. He injured himself when an exercise ball popped. AN EXERCISE BALL.

Ink said...

What are the odds in Vegas on that one?

Wonder what's next... wet towel injury? Jacuzzi malfunction?

Other Lisa said...

Best sports injury ever...David Wells tripped over a bar stool and cut himself. The flip-flops he was wearing were a contributing factor...

Nathan Bransford said...

This isn't the first time a Kings player has had a bizarre injury. One of their players had to miss time in 1991 because of tendinitis due to playing Nintendo too much.

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mira said...
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Carol said...

The Mark Cuban article too funny.

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie Ledbetter said...

Saw your tweet for contest ideas. I had one recently that drew almost 100 entries. Contestants had to leave in comments book title suggestions (with genre) to go with photographs posted. Great fun!

Chuck H. said...

I came, I read, I wandered off shaking my head.

Word Ver: pester - Ain't gonna touch that with someone else's ten foot pole.

Ulysses said...

It's pronounced "aboot" in some parts of the country. In my day job as a tech trainer, I've had to face many an American audience. They have no problem with my "about," but find my "route" ("root") hilarious. I don't find Quebecois separatists normally funny, but Celine Dion is a punch line all by herself. Hockey is religion, so be careful what you say. As for objects of hilarity, we've also given the world Howie Mandell, so that pretty much balances things.

annerallen said...

Ghostfolk--I love "Brans Flakes."

Kristan said...

Um, totally not related to weekly roundup, but I saw this in the New Yorker today and thought of you:

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/10/19/091019sh_shouts_weiner

:)

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