Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, April 23, 2010

This Week in Publishing 4/23/10

Pub! Lishing! Publishing This Week!

Your friendly neighborhood Amazon had a banner quarter in the first three months of 2010, as their revenue rose a rather significant 46%, to $7.13 billion, and net income rose 68% to $299 million. The Kindle continues to be their largest-selling item.

Meanwhile, in some non-iPad Apple news that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere around the Internet, I received an interesting e-mail the other day that seems to indicate that Apple is getting into the self-publishing (or at least book printing) game. In the latest version of iPhoto they are making it pretty easy to design and print a book using your photos. Prices range from $9.99 for a medium sized wire-bound book to $49.99 for an extra large hardcover. UPDATE: Apparently this has been possible for a long time! Who knew! Um. I guess everyone but me.

The science fiction blog io9 spotted an awesome blog dedicated to the worst Science Fiction and Fantasy book covers in history, and the great Charlie Jane Anders has an awesome list of four danger signs to look for before you send it out to agents.

Author and former editor Jason Pinter challenges the notion that men don't read, and argues that some structural and marketing issues in publishing are preventing the industry from adequately reaching male readers.

Further to my post on the Science of Buzz, Ben Casnocha had a recent post on some research into what makes things interesting. Essentially it's novelty in an easily comprehensible fashion, and interest can be heightened with increasing familiarity and knowledge. Which, uh, I find interesting. (via Andrew Sullivan)

Writing for the Atlantic, David Corn has a post on the overwhelming information we are assaulted with in the era of the Internet, and how hard it is to actually find time to enjoy media for frivolity's sake. Spontaneous Public Service Announcement: Please remember to have fun with your Interwebz!!!

And speaking of frivolity, Tahereh has a pretty spectacular mockup of the cover of the first issue of Querypolitan Magazine, including 50 query tips and "Signs the Rejectionist is into you and/or your novel." Genius!!

Over at Rachelle Gardner's awesome blog, she asks her readers why they want to be published, and as always the responses are very interesting.

This week in the Forums, some awesome new videos of the sun, whether to craft symbolism or not, when you should call yourself a writer, and while we still aren't sure what's happening on Lost, on his blog reader Steve Fuller has a hilarious ode to Lost in the form of rewritten lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Comment(s)! Of! The week! go to Carol Newman Cronin and Susan Fletcher, two of the many lives touched by Emmy Jacobson:

Carol Newman Cronin:
I never met "EJ," but we exchanged some correspondence (real letters on paper) that were very special to me. She was my grandmother's agent in the 1970-80's and when I decided to pursue a fiction career, I sent her my novel-that-should-have-stayed-in-the-drawer. She was very generous with her time and tactful with her advice. I'm so glad I sent her a copy of my first published fiction, "Oliver's Surprise," last fall as a thank you, and I hope she enjoyed it. RIP, EJ. Curtis Brown and the fiction world will continue, but an era has ended.

Susan Fletcher:
Thanks for this, Nathan. Emmy was my agent. She kept me grounded. She had no time for the latest new trend, maybe because she'd seen so many of them come and go. "Write the book you want to write," she said. "Can't wait to read it." Thank you, Emmy.

Almost finally, Michelle Kerns tallied 50 of the greatest literary insults of all time. There are some really amazing quotes in there, including Lord Byron calling John Keats' poetry "trash," but wow, never realized how much Faulkner disliked Mark Twain: "A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy." (via the DGLM blog)

And finally finally, please stay tuned next week for Be An Agent for a Day II: A Sort-of-Scientific experiment!

Have a great weekend!






31 comments:

Tahereh said...

OMG YOU LINKED TO MY BLOG??

i think i can die happy now.

Tim Archer said...

I'll mention that Apple has been publishing via iPhoto for a long time. I did a calendar that way in 2008, but books were available then.

Nathan Bransford said...

Tim-

Ha - that may be why it's not news. I guess it was just news to me.

WriterGirl said...

yay i missed the last "be an agent for a day" so i'm very excited for this one!

Anonymous said...

Apple's photo books go back to (or close to) the dawn of iPhoto.

In computer years, that's a long time.

Kelly said...

Great article from Jason Pinter! Thanks for linking.

Book Discovery said...

Amazon currently publishes through its subsidiary CreateSpace.com. Probably has other publishing options as well.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Men Don't Read." I had an agent use this argument for rejecting my novel. He said that 80% of fiction readers are women and that he didn't see his mom's book club being interested in my novel. This attitude is self-fullfilling so long as agents/publishers don't fight it.

Doug Pardee said...

My wife did a book through iPhoto for a college class about a year ago, and it came out looking pretty darned good.

One thing that iPhoto did that most POD publishers don't: the book had both an image-wrap cover and a dust jacket. Usually you get one or the other. The cover and dust jacket matched each other very nicely, too.

Livia said...

Nathan -- have you read Made to Stick? It's about what makes ideas/stories catch on and has a chapter on making things interesting/inspiring curiousity. I found it fascinating, and it's a quick read. I'm probably going to blog about it at some point...

Nathan Bransford said...

livia-

I haven't! Thanks for the recommendation.

Sheri Larsenッ said...

Tahereh, I'm linked to you. Does that mean I can die too?? LOL

Thanks for the posts, Nathan. As always, awesome!!

Kristin Laughtin said...

The covers! The covers! I am in love, and I think I may have actually seen CAMELOT IN ORBIT in my library once! It's pretty hard to forget a knight on a...that thing it's on.

Research on interest is interesting. I actually love reading scientific reports on things that seem silly or obvious.

Querypolitan looks FABULOUS. Props to the creator.

Ink said...

Tahereh even has cool shoes. What more can you ask?

And the Jason Pinter article was very interesting. Even though I keep wanting to call him Harold.

Marilyn Peake said...

These links are fantastic! Thank you. Lots of great information to enjoy over the weekend. On the news earlier today, an announcement kept scrolling along the bottom of the TV screen about Amazon's 46% "better than expected" rise in profits for the last quarter. Looking forward to reading the article by David Corn. I always enjoy when he's interviewed on the news programs I watch - he's incredibly smart and insightful. Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Loved the "4 danger sings to search for, before sending your novel." I also love technology. How can I live without the computer searching for things my naked-eye cannot see. Thank you, Thank you Nathan for the great link.

Cheers
Karie Thornock

Adam Heine said...

Yay! I was wondering if you were going to do another Agent for a Day Contest. I learned so much last time.

ryan field said...

Great links this week.

MFAguy said...

One day, I fear, Amazon will be the major publisher and distributor of books, and will probably eliminate the physical edition for the e-version.

Kate Evangelista said...

Apple + Publishing = Taking over the world.

Dara said...

You probably read this somewhere, but I saw that select Target stores are going to be selling the Kindle. I don't know if it's gonna be in any stores close to me but it would be nice...


That's one step closer for me jumping aboard the eBook train--I like being able to compare things in person so if I can compare that to the Nook, maybe I can finally decide and convince the husband to jump aboard too :)

D. G. Hudson said...

Interesting links this Friday, Nathan. Thanks for gathering them together for your readers.

Tahereh's faux mag cover was something else. Liked the headlines, too.

Regarding the bad science fiction covers, I've been told that they had sleazy covers to appeal to a certain segment of the population. Those readers seemed to like the 'Mickey Spillane' style of cover art. (women, guns, booze and crime) What's not to like? That's probably what encouraged all those female science fiction writers to give the genre a little class.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Need to get me arse to clicking on these links! I've missed quite a few "This Week in Publishing" . . . !

Thanks for the linkages as usual!

howdidyougetthere said...

Don't feel bad, Nathan - I'm willing to admit that I've had my 1st Mac since Jan., have figured out the i-movie and i-photo and STILL didn't know I could publish a photo book - so a very big thanks for posting that tip.

Mother's Day is sorted now.

Vero Awesome said...

I just spent an hour perusing gloriously bad SciFi paperback covers in lieu of working on my manuscript.

WORTH IT.

J. T. Shea said...

Querypolitan Magazine looks like a bargain at $995, if only to find out 'What Nathan Bransford is dying to read in your query letter.'

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Thanks again for some great links. I'm interested in how to win the comment of the week! I never worked at a fast food outlet to become employee of the week/month, but this comment gig. I'm keen! I've googled, but I can't find 'how to write the perfect comment', and Janet Reid and Jeff Herman won't take my calls. I might self publish an ecomment, and buy a kindle. Cheers, Simon.

Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks for all the great links (Tahereh is a comic genius.)

I was fascinated by the Jason Pinter HuffPo piece on "Men Don't Read." I started to leave a comment here, but decided it needed its own post. So--for anybody who's interested in more on who does and doesn't read--it's over at my blog at annerallen.blogspot.com

Jil said...

Darn it, Nathan, now you've got me signed up to two more blogs! Thanks for the info. but where's the gift of time?

Scott said...

I like jason Pinter's attitude, but even he uses a non-fiction sample when discussing men and fiction. The industry appears to be responding to a cultural demo, not the other way around.

Hey, nobody wants to hear good news about men and fiction more than I do, but what publisher wants to try and break the paradigm in such economically trying times?

Jason, I see your point about bringing the male audience to the fore, but as a fiction writer, I hope my knack of writing female characters and exploring internal conflicts gets me further in this industry for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Even Faulkner's insults are too long-winded and full of themselves. The overwriting king strikes again.

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