Whew! Lots and lots of links for you. First off, you still have a chance to win a copy of Jacob Wonderbar over at From the Mixed Up Files, where there is also an interview with me where I talk about favorite books and character name inspirations.
Also, this is reason #278,621,098 I love the Internet (from the Jacob Wonderbar Amazon page):
Oh, Gaga. Why must you steal 3% of my readers.
Meanwhile, BEA was this past week, and it sure seems like the biggest news is that Amazon is looking more and more like a traditional publisher. After previously announcing the formation of a romance and mysteries imprint, Amazon has hired former Warner Books CEO Larry Kirshbaum to start a general interest imprint (Warner Books is now Hachette). Mike Shatzkin summed up what that means for publishers. While this isn't completely unprecedented as Barnes & Noble had previously entered the publishing fray, it's yet another challenge to publishers, especially given Amazon's ability to maximize online sales.
And remember how Barry Eisler announced he was self-publishing? Well, turns out he came away from BEA with a book deal from Amazon. With an advance. Posting in the Kindle message boards, Barry explains what led him to accept the deal with Amazon and what could lure him back to traditional publishers. Namely:
And what could lure me back is precisely what I've never been able to get from any legacy publisher -- not the two who have published me; none that I've negotiated with, either. Specifically:Is this the future of publishing deals?
1) A *much* more equitable digital royalty split.
2) Full creative control (packaging, pricing, timing).
3) Immediate digital release, followed by paper release when the paper is ready (no more slaving the digital release to the paper release).
In e-reader news, Barnes & Noble introduced a new touch screen Nook and claimed its batteries last two months. Then Amazon claimed the Kindle also lasts two months if you use B&N's metrics, but then B&N said no way, the Nook still lasts twice as long. So there you have it. (Also: links are to CNET, I work at CNET).
There has been a lot of talk in the comments section about what real self-publishing sales look like (as opposed to Hocking-esque success stories), and Megg Jansen pointed to a post that offers one of the more comprehensive views I've seen. It shows a couple dozen self-published books and charts their month-by-month sale over time. Pretty interesting.
In agent/publishing advice news, there's a relatively new agent blog on the scene, Courtney Miller-Callihan from Sanford J. Greenburger, Jessica Faust at BookEnds talks about what happens when an agent or publisher has an idea for a book and passes it on to an author, and Bloomsbury publisher Peter Ginna compares publishers to venture capitalists and considers the similar reasons they find themselves saying "no."
One Story listed their top ten favorite short stories of all time. What do you think of the list? I was a little scandalized Hemingway didn't even make the long list. (via Bookslut)
The Millions rounded up the best books about the Great Recession, and Amazon rounded up the Top 20 most well-read cities in America.
My former client K. Marie Criddle, whose blog you should be following for her incredible visual posts/art about the writing life, has an awesome guest drawing from her husband about how to offer support during revisions.
In social media news, TheNextWeb wonders if social media makes us nicer people, and Dave Pell has an awesome and hilarious post about how there's a lot more to life than your follow counts and social scores.
And it's Memorial Day weekend, which means many publishing employees across the land had their first summer Friday yesterday. GalleyCat lists the Top 6 reasons why the publishing industry needs this tradition.
This week in the Forums, Borders' losses are increasing, ten things you shouldn't say to an agent, can you have a viewpoint character die, current event fiction, and how do you find the time to do everything you do?
Comment! of! the! Week! goes to Alison Pensy who commented on Tracy Marchini's guest post on self-publishing. Alison shares her experience experimenting with free e-books:
This is a great post. I am still in the midst of a crazy 2 weeks, thanks to Amazon. I self-pubbed my YA urban fantasy in Fall 2009, after numerous rejections from agents. It did next to nothing until I released the 2nd book at the end of April this year, despite my best marketing efforts (which aren't great, I admit).And finally, you probably know Tahereh Mafi from her awesome blog, and her debut novel, SHATTER ME, coming in November from HarperTeen, was one of the hot titles at BEA. Check out her new, very cool teaser book trailer:
I decided to put the 1st one as a free promo 2 weeks ago and I was dumbstruck when overnight it went from around #80,000 to #22 on Kindle (free) Bestseller list. The next day it hit #1 on the Children's (free) bestseller list where it stayed for 3 days. It stayed in the Top 10 children's (free)bestseller list until yesterday both here and in the UK. So far in 2 weeks over 26,000 people have downloaded it.
Because of this, a week after the free promo, my 2nd book debuted at #25 on the Children's hot new releases list and has been in the top 100 children's bestseller list since. I am totally blown away at the power of Amazon.
In just over a week, the 2nd book has sold over 600 copies. That's more than the 1st book did in nearly 2 years. But I had to be willing to put the 1st for free and I'm so glad I did.
Have a great weekend!