Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, November 6, 2009

This Week in Publishing 11/6/09

What a week! It's not often you visit New York and arrive on Halloween, see marathoners running by on Sunday, have the Yankees win the World Series in the Bronx on Wednesday and eat way, way more pizza than should be humanly possible (oh wait, that's every time I come back to New York). I'll probably be posting a bit about my NYC publishing impressions next week, but in the meantime, there was a week in publishing and I tried to keep up:

As of this writing you still have a few hours to enter the Rejectionist's most amazing/hilarious form letter contest. The entries so far are incredible.

More on the WalAmaTargEars discounting battle, this time from one of my new favorite stops in the Interetosphere, Mobylives, the blog of indie publisher Melville House. In a recent post, Dennis Johnson notes that the drastic price slashing that the major corporations are currently engaging in wouldn't happen in, say, Germany, where certain laws (egalitarian/socialst/un-American/sane/anti-corporate depending on your political leaning) prevent discounting on books for 18 months, thus allowing independent booksellers and publishers to compete on even footing with the larger corporations.

Meanwhile, according to the Telegraph UK, book apps have overtaken game apps on the iPhone. The kids are alright! Now please keep it up.

In further electronic news, Simon & Schuster has unveiled an e-galley program, which will be compatible with some e-readers and will save on printing.

And the Millions noted an article in the Bookseller about how the environmental benefits of e-readers might not be quite as clear cut as they're made out to be.

So remember a little over a year ago how I mentioned I was suddenly getting lots of women's fiction queries featuring overweight protagonists who are perfectly happy with their bodies? A year later, guess what's the new trend in chick lit.

The Wall Street Journal featured an interesting article this week on how different authors write. Some notables: Junot Diaz writes in the bathroom, Richard Powers speaks his into a microphone while in bed, and Nicholson Baker wakes up at 4 am, writes for a while, goes back to sleep, and then wakes up again to edit.

In agent advice news, Holly Root has a great reminder that agent advice is meant to help aspiring authors, not to terrify them. She writes, "I have heard from so many writers who are terrified of “offending” agents or breaking some rule. Nothing about this process should be anywhere near that scary, and shame on those of us professionals who have made it so. It’s publishing—not nuclear disarmament. I am an agent, not Emperor Palpatine." I knew there was a reason I can't shooting lightning from my fingers. Yet.

And in social media news, HarperStudio VP and marketing maven Debbie Stier, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person yesterday, has a great post in HuffPo about whether Twittering and social networking can sell books. As their big success CRUSH IT! goes to show: yes, it does help.

In case you haven't heard it's pretty tough out there for debut authors, and two very established authors feel your pain. In a recent interview, John Irving was extremely sympathetic about the challenges facing aspiring authors, noting, "If I were 27 and trying to publish my first novel today I might be tempted to shoot myself." But even though he doesn't really think his first novel would be published today he doesn't believe the book is in danger.

And though he doesn't personally suffer from the WalAmaTarGears heavy discounting, John Grisham has spoken out forcefully against the practice. He notes, "If half of us are going to be doing it, then you’re going to wipe out tons of bookstores and publishers and we’re going to buy it all online. I’m probably going to be all right — but the aspiring writers are going to have a very hard time getting published."

Very kind of the big guys to stand up for the little guys.

And with that, I shall bid New York adieu and see you back in California.

Have a good weekend!






70 comments:

Ink said...

Nathan,

All is well - except with the Kings. Nocioni arrested, Kevin Martin with a fractured wrist...

Should we chalk it up the Curse of the Exploding Exercise Ball?

Nathan Bransford said...

bryan-

I don't know what Sacramento ever did to deserve it. After Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, haven't Kings fans suffered enough????

L... said...

I'm not twenty-seven, but I am still hoping to be a debut author one day. I don't think I feel like shooting myself. Not yet. I still have hope. A little. Maybe.


Thanks for taking the time to post a "This Week" from New York. Safe travels.

Ink said...

They did sign Ron Artest... that might do it.

Scott said...

The rejection letters are worth every penny I paid for my laptop.

I'll go back and read some more when I need my doomed new-author mood propped up for nourishment.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, I think you are very good about not scaring writers--especially with your "when in doubt, query me" vibe, but honestly, and I love Janet Reid's blog, but how often does she say something like: you did x? form rejection, where x is something about the rules?

So it's not an unfounded fear.

Anonymous said...

And just to be all cosmically aligned and all, see her post today.

Rissa Watkins said...

Wait, before you leave NY you must find Janet Reid and force her to watch Star Wars. She had to look up Emperor Palpatine.

Oh the horror!

Portuguese cunt said...

Hey... be nice. The Kings are a touchy subject. They never recovered from the referee disaster of 2002, the Lakers-Kings fiasco.

Rissa Watkins said...

response to Anon-

Are you kidding me? Janet's blog is about some idiot spamming her. Not making a typo on a query.

Anonymous said...

I have a full out with Holly Root right now -- and the provided link to her just makes me hurt, I SO want a common sense agent like that.

I hope she likes my book, but its been forever since she requested the full... where's a post on "if I take more than X weeks, I probably don't want your ms?"

L. T. Host said...

Nathan-- someday I'd love to see the trends in your queries as a blog post, esp. since you're apparently psychic, or just in the right place at the right time.

So tell us... what is the new vampire? :)

jjdebenedictis said...

I knew there was a reason I can't shooting lightning from my fingers. Yet.

It's not as great as you think. Wait until you accidentally wipe a hard drive.

Re: Janet Reid
I heard her speak at a conference, and she said, "I'll spot you a few typos. It's not a big deal."

What did bug her was things like using a subtly incorrect word. To her, a writer needs a finely tuned ear for language and nuance of meaning, and if you haven't got that, you're not ready for representation yet.

Gemma said...

Hope you grabbed a massive slice of cheesecake while in New York. That's my favorite memory from up there. haha

Erastes said...

Re the "fully rounded females"

They are probably only a size 12 (which, for UK women is 36-24-38)

and I've seen MANY covers which say BBW (big beautiful women - which incidentally has been a genre for many years) but actually have skinny cows on the covers.

Anonymous said...

Wow @ "skinny cow."

What if you replaced skinny with fat?

Thermocline said...

The part about Nicholson Baker in the WSJ article fascinated me. He grew a beard out and started wearing floppy hats? It sounds like steps an actor would take to prepare for a role.

lora96 said...

First off, v. cool of Mr. Grisham to speak up for us!

Secondly, I queried Ms. Reed and when she responded in the negative she informed me briefly that my word count was much too high for consideration. I APPRECIATED that info. As in: you need to cut and revise, not as in: i reject you for mysterious reasons/you suck.

:)

Marilyn Peake said...

I love it when the big guys speak the truth and help the little guys. Thank you, John Irving and John Grisham! And thank you to Holly Root for speaking out about the tendency for certain agents to constantly use the Internet for blowing off steam about writers, causing so many writers – the group that’s supposed to be mirroring truth in their work – to become timid and obsequious, chatting online but saying nothing of substance. I recently came to the realization that I need to turn off the constant flow of Internet "noise" in order to write anything meaningful and stopped following angry tirades. There are many agents and writers on the Internet who don’t create "noise", who keep on posting meaningful discussions about literature, and those are the folks I find it helpful to follow. Yaaaay, all those literary types who continue to hold literature and honest debate to a high standard even in today’s market. I love Holly Root’s statement, "It’s publishing—not nuclear disarmament. I am an agent, not Emperor Palpatine." ROFLOL. That’s excellent. :)

Becca said...

I loved the John Irving interview and am so glad to see that he has sympathy for people trying to break into literary writing.

Terry said...

I second Marilyn Peake.

And nice to know John Irving also needs a lot of time alone. Makes me feel less weird.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

This just isn't the space for criticizing other agents.

Anonymous said...

Let me first say, I love indy bookstore, but I have a problem with the statement that the German law against discounting "allow[s]independent booksellers and publishers to compete on even footing with the larger corporations." Let's not romanticize things. It's just protectionism making the end consumer pay higher prices, which does NOT save jobs overall. If my interest group LOVES drive in movie theaters, is it fair that I impose a law hurting successful theaters so end-consumers will be forced to pay the higher prices to keep my inefficient business running? It's romantic but such mehtods will drag us all down the tubes. Eventually we run out of other peoples' money on our pet projects, and no one will be left to hire any of us. Remember the small business you support could one day succeed and become a multinational corporation--will you later hate them and punish them for their success?

DG said...

Nathan,

Really enjoyed the article on how different authors write.

The idea of a writer riding a train for six hours or having a writing shack 1,000 yards away from one's home... What if I'm not weird enough?

Thanks for the link.

Etiquette Bitch said...

Okay, John Grisham, I adore you. Let's hope more people shop at their local booksellers.

pippa said...

I think the example of Crush It as a "success of marketing via social networking" is sketchy, at best. Gary Vaynerchuk already had a HUGE social networking profile prior to writing the book, and had already appeared on several national talk shows. If anything, the book was a result of his existing social networking presence, as he already had 10s of thousands of followers. Most new authors aren't going to see that kind of success just by signing up for Twitter and Facebook.

Sissy said...

Wow, to be in NYC after the Yankees win would be a totally fun experience!

Also, my husband, who doesn't read books unless we are sitting on a beach, recently downloaded a book to his iPod touch. And is actually reading it. I think you are right about that app trend.

Oh, and I think you said it yourself...fat and happy is the new vampire!

Emily White said...

You can't shoot lightning out of your fingers? Why, I learned that ages ago!

I mean, uh... look at the pretty flower! Who said anything about being a sith lord? *looks away*

Anonymous said...

In the midst of all the doom and gloom we're hearing in old publishing, I heard from six friends of mine this week and they all received great quarterly roylaty checks for their e-books. And each quarter, the checks get better. Four of these friends have agents, two don't. And they are all new writers with new books and growing fan bases.

And last night while watching TV I saw one of the best commercials I've ever seen. And it wasn't until the end that I realized it was for Amazon Kindle. I live in Manhattan and everywhere I go someone is talking about the new book they are reading on their phone.

I have a feeling that all the doom we're hearing is mainly coming from people who are not embracing the changes in publishing. And why should they? An established writer like Irving is now up against some very aggressive new writers that know how to navigate and promote in ways he never dreamed. He's been on the circuit all week, even doing lower rated syndicate shows like Bonnie Hunt. And he wouldn't have had to do that ten years ago.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Regarding overweight-but-happy female protags: I'm thrilled to see that the "plus-sized, but happy" trend is catching on.

My series (The Fat City Mysteries) has a plus-sized heroine who is a man magnet, and I've been amazed by the reactions she gets. Some readers are outraged and darn-right scornful of the notion that an overweight woman can attract men. Others find her character encouraging. Here's the thing--America's average weight for women is now tipping the scales at 140 pounds, and women who are size 12 - 18 can actually be attractive. They're just never portrayed that way in the media.

Yes, my character is always worried about her weight. And yes, she always has a guy in pursuit. Go figure!

Jacqui said...

Nathan Bransford--I love your blog because it is funny, open, uplifting and helpful. I don't feel like a total idiot newbie writer (who doesn't have a bleeding chance) every time I visit. I enjoy more cut-throat blogs because they are direct and specific, but I admit they set my heart a-quiver (I still read them!).

Obviously neither writing nor publishing is easy, but I appreciate the positive karma flowing from this blog. It calms me down and gives me a laugh. Thank you for that. (And I'm not trying to kiss your tushy. I mean it.)

Jacqui Scott

Gordon Jerome said...

In the midst of all the doom and gloom we're hearing in old publishing, I heard from six friends of mine this week and they all received great quarterly roylaty checks for their e-books. And each quarter, the checks get better. Four of these friends have agents, two don't. And they are all new writers with new books and growing fan bases.

e-books, for the next few years will level the playing field. It won't always be that way. Agents and big publishers will find a way to get the only bookstores that matter (Amazon and B&N)to stop allowing self-publishing. I'm glad to hear about your friends doing well in e-books. My own book will be coming out after the first of the year, Most likely in the first quarter, and that will also be the launch of a new indi publisher, XYSTUM Publishing. So, I'm looking forward to that.

And last night while watching TV I saw one of the best commercials I've ever seen. And it wasn't until the end that I realized it was for Amazon Kindle.

Yeah, I saw that, too, and I was like, "Hey, wait a minute..." I got one of those. My wife and I were talking about it and wondering what it will be like to be the owner of a first generation Kindle in twenty years. I was on a waiting list for I think about six weeks to get mine, and that was right after they became available in November 2007.

I live in Manhattan and everywhere I go someone is talking about the new book they are reading on their phone.

I have a feeling that all the doom we're hearing is mainly coming from people who are not embracing the changes in publishing. And why should they? An established writer like Irving is now up against some very aggressive new writers that know how to navigate and promote in ways he never dreamed.


Very good point! For me, this whole thing is like 2010 A Space Odessy when ghosts/aliens keep saying "Something is going to happen--something wonderful." How ironic that 2010 will be the year of my debut.

So, Anon, are you a writer? If you e-mail me, I assure you I will never reveal your identity. It's up to you.

He's been on the circuit all week, even doing lower rated syndicate shows like Bonnie Hunt. And he wouldn't have had to do that ten years ago.

I think the marketing of books will be different, too, because I think the way readers will buy books in the near future will be different.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to the John Irving interview.

angeliqueP said...

At some point in my childhood ( early 70's)I heard about an experiment where someone sent the first 3 chapters of War and Peace to all the major publishing houses without an agent to back it. No one picked it up or recognized it. Which is worse...not getting read without representation or that no one recognized it?

CKHB said...

Thank you SO MUCH for the John Irving link!

doctorquery said...

I think you have to take Janet Reid with a grain of salt. She's trying to make a point (various points re various queries) and she's doing a public service. It's a lot for her to take on in addition to all the work she does for her agency.

But as usual, the agents writing the blogs are preaching to the choir -- diligent writers who educate themselves, and who will read and learn and progress. And those who don't educate themselves will keep doing the same thing without success.

Thanks for your Friday list, Nathan. Always enlightening.

Anonymous said...

What if Walmart discounted the books as part of a pricing study? What if they just wanted to see how price impacted demand for hardcovers during this economic down turn? How many more books did they sell at this new discounted rate?

If you draw a line from the number of books sold at cover price to the number sold at this new, extreme discount rate, then perhaps Walmart can find a good middle point between the two. Who else has carefully studied book buying behavior at this level of discounting with potential bestsellers?

I suspect the loses incurred from this experiment were planned for ahead of time.

Just a thought. Maybe I should go back to watching the Twilight Zone.

Mira said...
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Mira said...

Nathan, these links are great, and I can't believe you posted today. I have this image of you typing in an airport. You have such a work ethic. My hats off to you, and my happiness at a Nathan post!

Marilyn, standing ovation. Timid and obsequieus, absolutely.

I have more to say about that, but I'm so tired, I think I'll say it later. Also, the other links as well - later this weekend.

But bravo, Marilyn!

Nathan, it's good to have you back in California. I hope your trip was productive, but I also hope you get to rest and relax for the weekend.

Chris Eldin said...

I may be the only person around these blogs who doesn't see the price slashing as a completely bad thing... it depends on how far it goes. As a consumer, if I go to Walmart and see a bunch of books on sale, I'm going over to take a look. And since I'll be back several more times before Christmas, I'll keep going over there. And since I'm a creature of habit like most people, I'll be going over to the book area long after the sales are over.

I know I'm going to get flack for that, but I see anything that brings consumers over to buying books instead of candles as presents, etc is a good thing in the long run. Maybe this means fewer hard covers and more paperbacks? Something else I've been in favor of for a long time (as a book buying consumer). I waited months for "Chasing Fire" to come out and bought one copy for myself. I wish I could've bought three more copies for my friends, I loved it so much. And I would have if it had come out in paperback as well.

Long comment today, sorry...

Ink said...

Chris Eldin,

The problem is they're selling the books at a loss... because they can make it up in other sales, and they can look to increase their bookshare for far down the road. But in the meantime they kill off bookstores, who obviously can't sell books at a loss. Thus bookstores close and far less books are sold. You kill off book only stores and variety dies. You're left with boxstores who sell books as a small part of all they sell, and they only stock a few titles. This sort of reductionism is very bad. Bad for publishers, bad for writers, and bad for readers. It's only good for boxstores who can use such sales (selling at a loss) as a customer hook.

I'm very interested to see where all that is going to go.

Ink said...

Not that I necessarily think all that will happen.

I'm guessing it was intended as a temporary marketing device to draw people to their online capabilities... and became a bit of a mexican standoff when a few competitors jumped into the game. For it to truly damage other booksellers they'd have to sell huge amounts of books through the deal... and the more they sell, the greater the losses. I'm not sure how sustainable that would be in the long run.

But I think it's only natural for bookstores to be a little worried by this devaluing of their product by the big boxstores. Particularly as it creates unrealistic cost expectations in consumers.

I'll shut up now.

mlsfleming said...

Tried that 4am thing once. Usually too sleepy. But if the Inner Merciless Critic is still asleep . . .m

Gina said...

Ink -

you´re right to be worried. The same thing happened here in the UK more than ten years ago when the Net Book Agreement, which settled book prices between publishers and booksellers, was ruled to be illegal.

Cue supermarket chains decimating the book business over here. Heavy discounting. Tiny selection of best-selling titles.

´As of 2009, 500 independent bookshops had closed since the demise of the agreement´ - Wikipedia.

We´ve had this situation for a decade now, and I can count the indie bookshops in a thirty mile radius of where I live on one hand (and that includes a city of over one million inhabitants).

Every sure thing, such as Harry Potter or Dan Brown, is a loss leader in the big supermarkets, who buy such vast quantities of these kinds of titles that they have by now acquired an equally vast influence on pricing in publishing.

Check out this article http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article2087268.ece, in which an indie bookseller is rejoicing in the end of the Harry Potter series, as nobody on the distribution end made any money from it.
Many lost money on this the biggest recent - and homegrown - hit in publishing.

Ink said...

Gina,

I think we're already getting to that point here... but I think people are worried that this new tactic, if taken to the extreme, would pretty much finish the job and lead to a drastic narrowing of book possibilities. Ick.

jjdebenedictis said...

AngeliqueP wrote:

I heard about an experiment where someone sent the first 3 chapters of War and Peace to all the major publishing houses without an agent to back it. No one picked it up or recognized it.

First, how did they know nobody recognized it?

If you send a busy publishing professional something obviously plagiarized, you're going to get a form rejection letter. They're not going to waste their time explaining why you're a jerk.

Second, people do experiments like this regularly, and I don't think it proves anything useful.

1) How do you know they queried appropriately? If they're just doing an experiment, they may not have researched how to present the work professionally or get the manuscript into the right hands.

2) War and Peace wouldn't have read as fresh and engaging writing during the seventies. It is a great book, but it wouldn't have strong enough appeal to modern readers for a publisher to want to acquire it. It's not saleable enough anymore.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Ink, Yes I agree, which is why I qualified what I said with 'depending on how far it goes.'

Still, I think it's a good opportunity for Barnes and Noble et al to consider how they do business. For example, I'll toss out three ideas (I'm not a business person, just trying to think outside the box):

1) When I go to B & N, I consider it an indulgence. Get a nice latte and browse books. Pick up a book or two. It's strictly for me. (or for my kids, but I don't bring them with me because there's nothing for them to do). When I go to Target, it's business. I'm in and out with my bath mat and laundry detergent. What if B & N plays into this "indulgence" shopping and adds a section for perfumes/lotions/candles? I know it sounds bizarre, but while in the frame of mind...

2) Or B & N could add a section for entertainment. Sell DVDs, Wii games, etc. Would love to send my kids over to one area to browse while I browse the books...

3) Or B & N could have (cough, cough) a super duper POD machine where writers could bring in their memory sticks and print out a handful of handy dandy books. Ahem.

I don't know... just some thoughts. I hope the "little" guys don't get swallowed up. I hope they are proactive.

Who knows...

Laurie said...

Jennifer Weiner has been writing best sellers about larger women for years, beginning with "Good In Bed." Interesting that others are jumping aboard.

Hope you had a great time in New York!

Paul Neuhardt said...

I added one of those rejection letters, and I'm expecting to get any number of them flung back at me when my novel is actually ready to start sending queries on.

Including from Nathan. You, sir, are my first query. Fair warning, Dude.

Donna Hole said...

Chris Elden:

LOL on the POD with the memory stick! I like that idea. I too go to B & N to browse. One of my friends from work said she never goes to a book store, she orders everything on-line. I like sifting through a book on the shelf to see if I'll like, say page 250 as much as I do page 1-5.

Ink: I really hope big chain stores don't push out small book owners entirely, but I have a feeling they are on their way out. My husband and I owned a TV store and it closed for the same reason here: we couldn't compete with the chain store prices

The other problem is variety. Many small book stores only stock a few titles and authors, and buy a limited supply of the newest books. So finding book published a few years back can be difficult for a reader to find.

I enjoy shopping at local bookstores - that loyalty in me from when I was a business owner - but as much as I hate to admit it, I usually have to support the big chain pockets. Very uncool to me.

As Roland Deschain would admit: The world has moved on.

Nathan, great post. I hope NYC hasn't secretly wooed you away from us.

And for the record: I love Janet Reid's posts. I find her voice and humor are refreshing.

.......dhole

Gordon Jerome said...

2) Or B & N could add a section for entertainment. Sell DVDs, Wii games, etc. Would love to send my kids over to one area to browse while I browse the books...

And so was the last thing said by those who ever remembered what civilization was.

Mira said...

I want to second that the entries in the Rejectionist contest are amazing and hilarious.

So, congrats on predicting the trends, Nathan. :) I wonder if you see any current trends in queries that will be coming to fruition next year.

The overweight women in chick lit trend doesn't surprise me. Chick lit does tend to be on the progressive end. Also the fantasy of: I'm not perfect, but an absolutely perfect man (and in chick lit, it's frequently TWO absolutely perfect men) loves me for who I am anyway - that's a pretty appealing fantasy.

But I also think the culture is grappling with the issue of women and standards of beauty. I've seen overweight heroines in several mystery series, too.

Yea for the Grisham and Irving! Love that the 'big guys' are standing up. Thank you, and right on!

In terms of Holly's article, I think I'm only going to say thank you to Holly, and thank you to Nathan for linking it, and thanks to Marilyn for speaking up. It's so nice to hear people speaking to this concern.

Terra said...

I'm glad I found your blog; I've already found a wealth of information here for writers.

wendy said...

Looking forward to reading your New York impressions - literary or otherwise. Never been to New York and never likely to as I'm living on the Other Side. Would photos be out of the question?

L said...
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L said...

Nathan,

I LOVED the link about how authors write!

I have to admit, reading all of the "different" (*sneezeCRAZY!end sneeze*)methods of writing made me just a wee bit dizzy, and it felt sort of like I was becoming OCD by osmosis or something... but was like a train wreck. Could. not. look. away.

Very interesting.
Thanks for linking it.

Lia Mack said...

nice comments from the big guys...still doesn't give me hope, but what more can we little guys do?

keep writing...

Jamie said...

Just popping over from Karen's blog - love your blog - I'll be back!!!

Terri said...

Okay - I have to step in and comment . . .

I do not have an indie bookstore in my area, it is at least a three hour drive to find one. My very small town supports a used bookstore and a gift/book shop that features local authors and books of local historical interest, mostly from micropresses or self-pubbed.

My local Wal-Mart has a teeny little book section with one section of best-sellers, one section of vampires, one section of Amish/Christian romance and one section of westerns. My supermarket has an 8-foot long book section that is actually pretty eclectic for a supermarket, but not a whole lot of selection.

So, that leaves me at the mercy of the dark overlords at Amazon. I was spending an early Christmas gift certificate when I discovered the new Stephen King novel for pre-order for $9.00 instead of $35.00. Yes, I ordered it! (it drops tomorrow)

Since I didn't have to spend my entire gift booty on the King novel (which I would have purchased at full price), I was able to get three more books, all three from writers I haven't read before, but have come to know through blogs, social networking, and recommendations. So, in my case, the dark one's use of a loss leader kept me shopping and buying - four books for the price of one. An prohibition on the practice of loss leaders would just mean that I would buy fewer books.

If I had access to an indie, I would be there, but I don't. One of my goals for 2010 is to use my limited book buying funds for new(er) authors and leave the crowd-pleaser-blockbusters for checking out of the library. Grisham, Patterson, etc. can live without my purchase, but my support may help a newbie.

Just my two cents from the midwest.

Terri

Ink said...

Terri,

I agree with that in the short term. A temporary sale to increase traffic and awareness won't be too harmful, particularly if people spend the savings on other books (as you did). The problem is that if they continued and extended such a practice (which is the fear) then those three other books you bought likely wouldn't be published at all. There'd be a great abyss stretching out where the debut and midlist authors used to stand.

Just the thoughts of one humble bookseller.

My best,
Bryan

Mira said...

Ink,

I think you may be right about mid-list, but not debut. Publishers are always looking for the next big thing.

It might be alittle harder for debut, but not impossible.

But honestly, this would all just make the transition to e-books faster. Traditional publishing is not the only way to publish, and if they tightened up, authors would start looking more seriously at other venues.

That's not to say there isn't a human cost here. And I suspect the government would step in when it started affecting the big book chains, but isn't this the way things are heading anyway?

Really?

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

P-P-P-Peggy!

From Mad Men. Great scenes.

Also, hope they e-x-p-a-n-d Carla's role beyond Draper household (what's left of it).

Loved the "strike out on our own" theme of final episode. Resonates for some reason, I wonder why that is?

C'mon Carla, strike out on your own. Seems like great narrative possibilities there. Mad Men writers, I hope you too follow NB's blog, so you can follow my advice.

Marilyn Peake said...

Thought this was really interesting: France Rates Top Indie Bookshops Like Wine.

redhighheels said...

The bit about book apps on the iPhone is particularly encouraging!

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
I submitted a query via e-mail and received what appeared to be an auto-reply rejection in less than four minutes.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Please read this post.

Anonymous said...

OK,
I get it. Quick replies are efficient. After years of querying did not expect one.

terri said...

Ink -

I do not disagree with you one bit. I doubt the 'price wars' will continue indefinitely, hopefully it is a holiday gimmick to get folks in the shopping mood and to make a grab at the Christmas online shopping dollars early.

I'm sure a non-trivial portion of online holiday buyers wouldn't shop in an indie. They are more along the lines of:

"Okay, Aunt Martha is next on the list. She likes lawyer shows. Okay, get her the Grisham. ::Click:: Next . . . "

If they do continue the deep discounting though, it would be nice to see it spread around a bit, such as deep discounting a promising newbie.

Terri

word verify: 'troutes' the paths fish take to get from one side of the lake to the other

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