|Photo by me. Instagram!|
Lots of links!
But first, in case you missed it last week the Louisville Cardinals won the National Championship, which means Susanne7799 was the winner of the 5th Annual Blog Bracket Challenge! By a wide margin, actually. It also means Ted Cross finished in second place for the third consecutive year. Amazing! Ted is officially the Buffalo Bills of the tournament challenge. Susanne, please contact me for your prize, and Ted, contact me as well I’m sure we can think of something to celebrate three years winning silver.
There were two fabulous and thought-provoking articles recently about feminism and young adult fiction that I highly recommend checking out. The first was by Rachel Lieberman, in which she discusses how to develop a good feminist narrative without making it preachy or propaganda. And my good friend Sarah McCarry, aka The Rejectionist, had a tour de force essay in The Rumpus about the implications of reader reactions to Lorraine Scheidt’s Uses for Boys.
Authors’ Guild president and bestselling author Scott Turow took to the New York Times to blame cheap foreign editions, copyright law, low e-book royalties, search engines, e-book piracy, professors, libraries, the potential of used e-book sales, Amazon, and devaluation of copyright for “the slow death of the American author.” I kind of died a slow death while reading that Op-Ed, and plan to devote a full post to it tomorrow.
So, we all know that Fifty Shades of Grey made massive amounts of money. But just how much? Enough to prop up the entire multinational company above Random House.
Why exactly did Amazon acquire Goodreads? I say to eliminate a potential competitor. Jordan Weissman says because Goodreads has remarkable insight into hardcore book buyers. Ezra Klein wonders if it’s to hasten social reading.
Agent Rachelle Gardner spotted a great quote about what happens when sales guys run companies instead of product people, and extrapolates to a publishing industry that too often is driven by what sales people think will sell instead of editorial teams.
Reddit’s co-founder took to Reddit to ask about which book promotion activities worked. GalleyCat rounded up some of the best suggestions.
Night Shade Books has been on the rocks lately, and is trying to sell to two companies, in a deal many agents and authors have criticized. Agent Andrew Zack sharply criticized the initial deal, which was later improved, Zack and others were more satisfied with that one. If you can trace through all the back and forth it’s actually a very good primer on publishing terms and contracts.
In other publishing news, Penguin will sell e-books to libraries again, the Guardian has a solid post on 10 ways self-publishing has changed the books world, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reminds shareholders: authors are our customers too.
And Richard Nash has written an article about the business of literature that several people have sent me that is apparently very good but I haven’t had a chance to read yet. I will soon! Busy week!
Comment! of! the! past! few! weeks! goes to Michael Offutt, who has an interesting response to the post about whether we’ll all be publishers in the future:
Maybe what’s needed is a revamp of the traditional publishing model with regard to bookstores. Allow me to explain:
Best Buy just partnered with Samsung following Apple’s model of featuring tech giants having their own stores within a retail space and then having those specialists who work for the parent corporation on site to assist in picking out products.
Why couldn’t Barnes and Noble or another kind of brick and mortar store do the same thing?
Why couldn’t you have retail space divided up among traditional publishers like Random House and Knopf with specialty spaces and employees that work those spaces there to talk about their books?
And finally, if we needed any further proof that success and popularity in the future will be increasingly (if not infinitely) democratized, the NY Times has a really interesting profile of YouTube star Jenna Marbles, who has now racked a billion (yes a billion) views.
Have a great week!