I have some friends coming to town so This Week in Books is getting an early jump on the weekend. You and I may have to work on Friday and all but we can PRETEND it's the weekend, right? No? Not really?
First up, the book that seemingly everyone is talking about... isn't even out yet. Yes, the adult picture book GO THE F**K TO SLEEP is already #1 on Amazon and it still doesn't come out for another month. Dang it, I KNEW I should have titled my book JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE @%^@$ SPACE KAPOW.
More e-reader news as Barnes & Noble looks set to release a new version of the Nook next week. This would be an update to the e-ink version rather than a new version of the Nook Color. According to my CNET colleague David Carnoy, rumor has it an e-ink touchscreen may be involved, a la the Sony Reader.
Socialfish had an interesting infographic on the death of print, which had me completely shocked. Only 31% of Americans subscribed to a newspaper in 1940?? Really?? For all the talk of plummeting newspaper print sales, I didn't realize they were starting from such a low ledge.
There were some great agent posts this week. Jenn Laughran tackled perhaps the #1 question asked question: What are the average word counts of X children's book age group? From now on I'm sending everyone to Jenn's post. As she says, remember those word counts are guidelines, not laws.
Agent Jenny Bent is starting a new series on how her clients found their agents and/or their book deal. Always great to hear the success stories.
And my former colleague Sarah LaPolla has a really awesome post that looks back on the history of YA as a genre.
Meanwhile, over at Writer Beware, Victoria Strauss takes a look at the new trend of agent-as-publisher.
And congrats to Philip Roth for winning the biennial Man Booker International Prize, which actually had one judge resigning in protest, saying, "I don't rate him as a writer at all." (via The Millions)
This week in the Forums, what we were doing while Blogger was down, writing sex scenes, what do you do with your drafts, and a hilarious Tumblr that pairs book quotes with TV shows: Slaughterhouse 90210.
Comment! of! the! Week! goes to Richard Gibson regarding traditional publishing, self-publishing and control. He has a different take on why he enjoys the self-publishing process:
For me there were many reasons to go with print-on-demand beyond control. I liked being able to design my own cover, page layout, everything, but I certainly didn't have to. And was happy to make many revisions based on comments from reviewers.
The niche market (as pointed out by the agents who liked it but worried about sales) was probably the main factor, together with speed to press (one month vs 2+ years) and confidence in enough sales to recoup the small investment (vs a likely small advance, if I got to that point) were more driving factors.
Once I had a POD publisher I trusted everything chugged along incredibly smoothly. Since I'm also comfortable with marketing (and expected I'd have to do pretty much the same if it had been traditionally published), I'm right where I want to be.
I'd say "control" was more a matter of my enjoying the aspects that a traditional publisher might control, rather than being unwilling to give them up, and it was low on the list of reasons for going with POD.
And finally, this is basically the most mesmerizing thing ever:
Have a great weekend!