Um. Hi there! Is it really after 8:00 in the evening and I haven’t gotten This Week in Publishing up? Why, yes. Yes, it is.
The day. It was busy.
First up: the guest blog contest! I have selected the winners and they have been e-mailed the news. However, I shant be revealing them publicly so as not to spoil the surprise. Since all the entries were posted publicly it wouldn’t be very sporting to just reveal who the winners are so that everyone can go read them before I post them on the blog. All will be revealed next week! Monday and Tuesday are pre-reserved slots, contest winners will be posted Wednesday through Friday.
Now then! There was a week in publishing.
Michael Cader has been a one man Woodward and Bernstein over at Publishers Lunch this week, collecting all the important information about the situation at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s parent company, which has… well, let’s just quote Cader: “Two debt restructurings last year still left Houghton Mifflin Harcourt parent company Education and Media Publishing Group (EMPG) straining to sustain their debt obligations and covenants, and reports from Ireland indicate yet another restructuring is in the works that would wipe out equity-holders entirely and turn the company over to its secured lenders.” The good news is that the debt restructuring is anticipated to leave HMH on solid footing.
Some very sad news this week as Laura Hruska, a beloved publishing veteran and co-founder of Soho Press, passed away this week. Sarah Weinman, Stuart Neville and my client Lisa Brackmann were among those penning tributes. She’ll be missed.
The Tenners, a group of plucky authors who have debuts publishing in ’10 (including THE SECRET YEAR author Jennifer Hubbard) conducted a seriously fascinating Tenner poll. Among the interesting poll nuggets: Only 18% of the Tenners were published without an agent and only 6% still don’t have one, and 82% have an unpublished novel in the drawer. Lots more interesting tidbits here.
Rachelle Gardner has a terrific post on why agents are still needed: among other reasons, agents are the ones holding the line on e-book terms and even unagented authors benefit from the pressure agents exert on publishers when establishing industry standard terms.
Your publicist asks that you please not contact journalists directly and let your publicist do that.
In e-book news, there was an interesting study recently by a company called Attributor, which suggests that as much as $3 billion in revenue could have been lost to e-book piracy, and estimated that 9 million copies of books were illegally downloaded. Bob Miller at Harper Studio wonders: is this really such a bad thing?
And speaking of piracy, Daniel Alarcón, author of the fantastic novel LOST CITY RADIO has an upcoming piece in Granta about the Peruvian publishing scene, which has a shadow pirate publishing industry that is just as big as the legit publishing industry. He talks about it in an interview here.
And finally, The Rejectionist has also noticed quite a query deluge in this early 2010, proving that it’s not just agents-blogging-under-their-own-names who are experiencing an uptick. Le R has, per usual, an extremely hilarious explanation for the increase in queries.
Have a great weekend!