Lots and lots of links!
First off, if you live in the Bay Area or plan to pass through our fair part of the country I will be hosting a workshop at your friendly neighborhood Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco on September 13th. The workshop is called Secrets of a Literary Agent, it will be about finding an agent and the secrets therein, and believe it or not, after I reveal this top secret classified agenting information I will not then have to kill you. You’ll just have to take a memory erasing drug.
Amid all this talk of Amazon’s world domination comes more persistent rumors about Apple developing a (potentially Kindle-killing) tablet sized device. T-minus six months until Apple is the new company the Internet thinks is going to bring about the apocalyptic end of books as we know it.
And speaking of the Kindle, remember way back a week ago when everyone was worried about Kindle pricing? Former HarperBusiness publisher Marion Maneker has a terrific article in Slate’s The Big Money this week summarizing the issues surrounding the price point battle and why publishers are reluctant to embrace $9.99. Essentially, even though publishers are generally receiving near hardcover-level revenue from the Kindle as Amazon takes a loss, publishers are anxious about Amazon using their books as loss leaders and also about the extent to which readers are fleeing paper books in the direction of plastic whenever a big title comes out.
The article is also noteworthy as Maneker is the first individual to ever utter the following words in a journalistic sphere: “Publishers aren’t stupid.” HISTORY IN THE MAKING, PEOPLE. Also there is no word on Maneker’s whereabouts. Journalists don’t take kindly to such loose talk.
For more discussion on the future of e-books: B&N recently announced the creation of a massive e-book store, PBS recently featured a segment on e-books (thanks to reader Heidi Willis for the link), there’s an article on demand pricing for e-books by Evan Schnittman, and a 100% must read by Mike Shatzkin evaluating the future of e-books. Shatzkin envisions a near future where there’s an explosion of devices and purchase points, an environment in which Amazon and B&N in particular may not have an edge (via Pub Lunch)
Meanwhile, in news that is completely and totally unrelated to this week’s Orwell/Amazon Internet freakout, Shelf Awareness linked to an article in Retail Week about how customer service expectations have soared in the recession. Hmm..
In Jessica Faust news, I thought three of her recent posts were especially terrific. First is a list of reasons she would stop reading a query and the second is a fairly comprehensive post on novel word count. The last one is advice for all: “Good enough” isn’t good enough.
Also in agent advice, Jane Dystel has a great post on etiquette when submitting to an agent. Some goes just for Dystel & Goderich and some is universal, but definitely check it out.
Still with me? MORE LINKS TO GO.
And in more writing advice news, my amazing client Jennifer Hubbard wrote about the importance of patience (no, really, you’re going to need it), and she also linked to a very interesting discussion by Janni Lee Simner about the distinctions between “girl” and “boy” books and voices.
Many people passed along Editorial Anonymous’ recent Publishometer, a point system by which you can see whether you pass the bar for publication.
Almost finally, as many of you know ANGELA’S ASHES author Frank McCourt passed away this week and there have been many remembrances in the media and online. I was particularly struck by the LA Times book blog Jacket Copy’s article that remembers McCourt as one of the great late blooming authors, having published ANGELA’S ASHES, his first book, when he was 67 and retired.
And finally finally, I was immediately drawn to this video of the world’s fastest everything. I only wish they had included footage of the world’s fastest novel (via Andrew Sullivan).
Have a great weekend!