The big news this week in publishing has, as usual, to do with Amazon and Apple and that whole iPad thing. Scrambling before the April 3rd release of the iCan'tWaitToGetOnePad, the so-called Agency Four major publishers (so-called because they've agreed to "agency model" deals with Apple) are hoping to adjust their deal with Amazon, who, according to reports, is making noise about removing buy buttons for both digital and print if the Agency don't cave to a three year term and favored nation status. Let's all just hope the Agency Four end up in better shape than the Oceanic Six.
In other big news, HarperStudio publisher Bob Miller will be leaving Harper to become the group publisher at Workman. Amid questions about the future of the experimental imprint, web marketing maven and HarperStudo Associate Publisher Debbie Stier showed they aren't done experimenting yet, as she was extremely transparent about the future of the imprint via questions on Formspring.
The Rejectionist had a truly fantastic contest last week: query rejections in the form of re-written heavy metal songs. The grand prize winner, as announced by Wayne and Garth, was Pitch in an Elevator (sample: Pitch in an elevator/"It's like Moby Dick meets My Two Dads"/Pitch in an elevator/"Like Sixth Sense crossed with the Iliad") and the runners up were actual real live performances by Rick Daley and Tom, which are well worth a listen. Le R, all I have to say is: We're not worthy!! We're not worthy!!!
Mary Ulrich passed along a post by Seth Godin about a possible bookstore of the future: experience-driven over selection-driven.
Lapham's Quarterly has a truly awesome chart: the day jobs of famous writers. The next time you lament not being a full-time writer it's worth remembering that Charlotte Bronte made $1,838 a year as a governess..... and that's in today's dollars. (via JacketCopy)
In agent advice news, Jenny Bent, who is celebrating the first birthday of the Bent Agency, has a very helpful post on some very common rookie mistakes when querying. Well worth a look.
This week in the Forums, ljkuhnley started a great post on the difference between books with strong voices and invisible voices, bohemienne discusses the pros and cons of chasing the market, and Neil Vogler noticed an interesting article in the Guardian about an author being sued by a Parisian fabric store for the way the store is portrayed in a mystery novel, including being the site for the murder.
It's been wayyyy too long since we started a new blog feature, and this one is long overdue. Comment of the week!!! This week's comment of the week (on Tuesday's post) goes to Ulysses:
"Angelina learns that her cats aren't ordinary cats: they are actually hyper-intelligent feline assassins who can kill their enemies with a flick of a paw."
... Um... but that IS an ordinary cat.
And I'll take Ninja Cats by 5 points. Their point guard is a rebound genius, and I heard that the starting center for the Space Monkeys is out for five days with Hairballs-by-proxy (consequence of an all-feline diet).
And finally, reader Susan Quinn pointed me to a really cool video by DK about the future of publishing, which riffs off that one video by that student that my mom sent me that one time.
Have a great weekend!