Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Last Few in Books 6/28/13

Soho at sunset. Photo by me. I'm on Instagram here!
Whew! Lots of things have happened in the past few weeks. Let's get to it.

Holy wow, Tim Burton is going to direct Ransom Rigg's Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. Congrats, Ransom!!

Very sad news as bestselling author Vince Flynn passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 47, and one of the most successful authors who started out as a self-publisher.

Um, so Ernest Hemingway. Failed KGB spy? (via Ben Dreyfuss)

Do self-published authors need ISBNs, those random string of numbers that identify books? You might want to check with Bowker, who is the agency that assigns them. (via GalleyCat)

Ever wonder what the first outlines of great works of literature look like? Me too. Thank you, Flavorwire. (via Crystal)

Congrats to Rysa Walker, who won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award!

Do authors deserve higher e-book royalty rates? Agent Brian DiFiore argues a very passionate yes, based on numbers from publishers. I would tend to agree.

The BBC posted a fascinating article about an analysis of a short story competition for children that generated 90,000 entries, looking at which words the children used most and what it reveals. The results are a must-read for children's book authors especially. (via Egya)

The LA Times profiled a new book-oriented social network that hopes to compete with Goodreads called Booklikes.

Publisher Melville House argues that there are zero defensible reasons for authors to link to Amazon. Welp. Here's one: Some people like to read books they bought at Amazon? Who are authors to dictate how people should buy their books?

Lots of people were shocked by the "Red Wedding" episode of Game of Thrones.  Including, The Onion would have it, George R.R. Martin: "Oh s*** I totally forgot that happens!"

On a more serious note, io9 looked at 10 sources George R.R. Martin drew upon for GOT.

And finally, you may have seen astronaut Chris Hadfield's totally incredible cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," which Hadfield shot in space. Which raises the question: Um, how does copyright work in space, anyway? The answer is surprisingly interesting. And here's the video, in case you missed it:

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

"Do self-published authors need ISBNs, those random string of numbers that identify books? You might want to check with Bowker, who is the agency that assigns them. (via GalleyCat)"

This can get complicated. If you only sell on Amazon, you only need ASIN numbers, not ISBNs. And, you only need ISBN to sell through another retail outlet. In other words, as you stated in a previous post if the author sells his/her own e-books/books from his/her web site, you don't need one.

However, the big issue here is that indie authors should beware they don't pay a huge price for ISBNs. There are a few more than ridiculous places selling them in package deals. Smashwords is actually very helpful and reasonable in this respect.

As a side note, I don't think you have to pay for ASIN numbers on Amazon.

Shawn said...

That was some dynomite linkage. Thanks you!

Now get a haircut.

Nathan Bransford said...


I got one!

Kristi Lea said...

Apparently Mr Kurtz has never heard of the Amazon Associates program, whereby it directly financially benefits the author to link to amazon in the form of referral fees paid when a reader clicks and buys something. (An extra few % of the purchase price of EVERYTHING in the cart, on top of whatever royalty I'd earn on my own book...)

He also has this little bit of misguided logic:

"first, if you are an author self-publishing your own work exclusively on Amazon, none of the below applies to you. Thank you, goodnight." Then he goes on to caveat UK authors.

If (self pub)
else if (UK)
--never link to Amazon.
end if

Great. So if I'm digitally published (but not self published), then I still shouldn't be sending potential readers to places that sell my books? Or just not to Amazon? Even though my publisher is doing a limited time promo where my book is in the KDP program so it's not available anywhere else?

I guess his advice makes it easy to figure out how to promote my book...

Matthew MacNish said...

Thankfully I finally figured out that I can open your links, and just come back to them next week. These posts always used to overwhelm me.

Anonymous said...

I've learned through experience it's important to get an e-book out to as many places as possible, including Amazon, and it's not as hard to do as most people might think it is. And this distribution part is also not as expensive as some e-publishing services would lead authors to believe.

wendy said...

Wonderful photo, Nathan - atmospheric to the max. I'd not heard of Miss Peregrines Home... It sounds like a must read for me. And, yes, wow for having Tim Burton to direct the film version.

Hair cut, Nathan? *quivering lip*

Anonymous said...

I'm in the group that really, seriously thinks that Amazon does the world more harm than good. There are times when I feel like I have to give them my business, but they are the last option. And I would prefer that people not buy my books from Amazon. I know that plenty of people will go to Amazon automatically, but I do steer them to preferred outlets and I do not provide links to Amazon.

Livia Blackburne said...

I also came here to mention Amazon Associates. Looks like Kristi beat me to it. It's a non-trivial income source.

Sarah Hipple said...

I LOVED the BBC article . . . even if it did make us adults look bad.

Also, adults need to start using more words like "time machine" and "dragon." We should make a pact.

Mira said...

I love your picture, Nathan! You are so talented.

First, I think it's important to weigh in on the haircut issue. Not having seen the evidence, either before or after, it's difficult to take a firm stance on this. However, I will tentatively come out and say that I am usually pro-haircut. And in times when I am proven wrong, I have noticed that no haircut lasts forever. (Which, for me personally, has been something of a relief).

So, onto the links! I've never seen that video, that is awesome! And the kid one is very cute.

Yes, I agree, Nathan, absolutely e-book royalties should be raised! I've seen articles about that from everyone, including agents and even Shatzkin, since DiFore 'outed' Publishers. I'm sure Publishers know it's coming. It will be interesting to see when and how it will happen, and whether the pressure will increase.

In terms of the Melville article, I think the bottom line is that it's unfair to ask authors to sacrifice potential sales in order to support other businesses. Melville doesn't make that same sacrifice - it sells its books on Amazon, rather than just in independent stores. Authors deserve to make money from their books; they are not just vehicles for other people to make money.

Again, thanks for the cool links, Nathan!

Lesley said...

Lost my last post...
Sorry if in the world of IT miracles it appears again!

I was just saying, what gifts you bring Nathan!

LOL moments, tears and IQ enhancing info.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

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