Would you believe that there wasn’t any earth-shattering publishing news this week in publishing? WalMart didn’t slash the price of hardcovers to 99 cents, a new e-reader didn’t debut, and we’re all still here. Thank goodness there are still links:
In e-book news, Amazon announced that they created a PC Kindle app (link via Greg Peisert), so you can now read your Kindle books on Kindles, iPhones, and your computer. I’m told you can also still read books on paper, but I haven’t been able to confirm that rumor.
Editorial Anonymous has a great response to a reader who wonders if editors (and presumably agents) know they are dream crushers. EA makes a crucial distinction: we hold your work in our hands, not your dreams. No one should be able to crush your dreams with a rejection. She writes, “dreams are achieved through your hard work, and not through the miraculous intervention of others.” Word.
A former vice-presidential candidate has a new book out, and the Associated Press got their hands on an early leaked copy (Palin reportedly is none too happy about the leak and the review). Sarah Weinman, writing for Daily Finance, took a look at the economics of the book advance and calculates that Harper would have to sell around 400,000 copies in hardcover to break even. Is that a safe bet? The Millions’ guess (and mine as well): you betcha.
In The Rejectionist news, Le R. announced the winners of her form rejection contest, which had such hysterical entries I don’t know how she even picked winners. She also took note of this week’s query trend: angels. Particularly angels tempting girls with their “smoking hot bods and snowy snowy wings.” Wow. Heaven help us all. (get it??? get it???)
@lilliamr noted a PW article about a new query service making the rounds that would pre-screen queries for agents to make sure that they conform to their guidelines and genres of interest before the agent sees them. Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware sums up the mixed history of these types of ventures. I won’t be signing up, but all you have to do is take a look at Jessica Faust’s rapturous post about her query holiday to get a sense of how much of a strain it is these days to keep up with the query pile. Yes, aspiring authors are busy too and all that, but the time it takes to read them all (let alone respond) may be approaching a point of unsustainability.
Twitter lists are fast becoming the hot new thing in the Twittersphere, and thanks very much to GalleyCat for including me in their Best Agent Twitter feeds list. I’ve created some nascent lists of my own that will continue to grow, including my clients, editors, writers, publishers, agents, and other non-editor publishing types.
In self-publishing news, Andrew Sullivan announced that he is working with Blurb.com to create a self-published coffee table book version of his View From Your Window posts, and is crowd-sourcing an estimate of what the initial print run should be. An interesting experiment indeed.
HTMLGIANT notes a Cormac McCarthy interview wherein he suggests that the days of the 700 page MOBY DICK-style literary doorstopper are completely over: “Nobody will read it. I don’t care how good it is, or how smart the readers are. Their intentions, their brains are different.”
And finally, can I get a NaNoWriMo status update? How are all the Word Marathoners doing out there?
Have a great weekend!