This Week in Publishing 10/29/10

by | Oct 29, 2010 | Uncategorized | 45 comments

This week in the Giants I mean publishing

Holy cow is it an exciting time to live in San Francisco, and most especially to live two blocks away from AT&T Park during the World Series. I’ve almost gotten used to helicopters buzzing overhead, having to reassure my dog that the world is not about to come to an end when military jets do flybys, and my wife and I have gotten quite adept at high fiving deliriously happy/drunk Giants fans in the neighborhood.

Only I’m going to be in New York next week, so I hope the neighborhood is still standing when I get back. Go Giants!!

Oh, and last thing about the Giants, but I find it so funny that the national news about the series usually takes the tack of, “Wow, those liberal San Francisco hippies sure do like their oddball baseball team!” I’m not sure whether to be offended or proud.

Meanwhile, first actual publishing update is that I’m still way behind on queries and manuscripts. No need to follow up.

And it’s Friday, so that means it’s time for Page Critique Friday. The page up for critique is posted in the Forums. UPDATE: my critique, and more on avoiding choppiness and semicolons, here.

News in publishing!

The big news this week is that B&N unveiled a color Nook that looks pretty darn impressive, if you ask me. Retailing for $249, the Nook Color runs on the operating system Android and has a “Stunning 7 inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen shows more than 16 million colors on the best-in-class IPS** display. Incredibly clear, sharp text and images from an unsurpassed high resolution display at 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch (PPI). Reduced glare and optimum brightness for reading indoors or outside. Backlit for eady reading day or night.” The Nook also is going to have a feature where you can access entire e-books while in a bricks and mortar B&N store. CNET came away impressed.

Meanwhile, one of the popular features on the Nook was the lending feature that allows you to lend some books to friends, during which time it is unavailable on your own Nook. Amazon will now offer the same feature on the Kindle. Mike Shatzkin has some analysis about how Amazon had ridiculed the lending feature when B&N unveiled it.

And speaking of Amazon, indie publisher Dennis Johnson of Melville House made waves this week when they pulled out of the Best Translated Book Prize that was partially sponsored by Amazon, citing what Melville House sees as Amazon’s “predatory and thuggish practices” and that “Amazon’s interests, and those of a healthy book culture, whether electronic or not, are antithetical.” In a blog post, the organizer of the award says that Melville House’s books will still be considered, and that he’s “sorry that Dennis has chosen to try and undermine the awards in an attempt to make a political point.” Writing at Publishers Lunch (subscription required), Michael Cader notes that Melville House books are still sold on Amazon, and when he asked Johnson about whether they plan to discontinue sales via Amazon, Johnson said, “we don’t want that; we want our books to be available in as many places as possible” and praised Amazon for their distribution.

If you are a fan of Mad Men (as I am), you may have chuckled at the plotline this season where Roger Sterling was dictating his memoirs. Well, that fictional book will soon be a real book as Grove Atlantic will be publishing STERLING’S GOLD: WIT AND WISDOM OF AN AD MAN.

In case you think form rejections are a new invention, an old form rejection from Charlie Chaplin film producers Essany Film Manufacturing Company was unearthed, dating back somewhere during their lifespan of 1907-1925. Among the possible reasons a 1920s screenwriter’s idea was rejected: “weak plot,” “idea has been done before,” “too difficult to produce,” “too conventional,” “not interesting,” “not humorous,” and of course, “would not pass the censor board.”

As you may have heard, next week is NaNoWriMo, but if you’re not going to participate in that, Natalie Whipple has a great idea for an alternative: NaNoReaMo

Meanwhile, in writing advice news, Jennifer Hubbard has some thoughts expanding on yesterday’s post on self-editing, differentiating between the Inner Critic and the Inner Editor (listen to the Inner Editor). And Jim Duncan discusses the differences between Pantsers (as in “seat of the”) and Plotters.

And Jonathan Franzen made a visit to the White House, which Franzen said was “delightful.”

This week in the Forums, the story behind your screen name, the idea of bundling books and e-books like BluRay/digital copies, horror books in time for Halloween, discussing BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld, and of course, NaNoWriMo.

Comment! of! the! Week! goes to Crazy Cat Lady, with a very good suggestion about editing as you go:

I’d say editing as you go can serve a purpose, to avoid snags that will drag you down and get you stuck later on. However, my advice has always been to always save the words. Even if you go back and edit, use strike out or different highlights to cross out what you don’t like but DON’T DELETE.

You never know when those couple of thousand words you want to cut may come in handy in the validation stage. So, edit, but don’t delete is my take on it. =)

And finally, as mentioned San Francisco really loves its baseball team, what with Tim Lincecum (aka The Freak) and his long hair, Pablo Sandoval (aka The Panda) and the panda hats around in the stadium, and Juan Uuuuuuuuu (wait for it) RIBE. And then there’s closer Brian Wilson, who, earlier in the year, gave what is perhaps the funniest interview in the history of sports:

(video down)

Have a great weekend!


  1. Natalia

    Go Giants! (says the little voice from Austin, Texas, watching the game quietly from home so she doesn't get beat up by an inebriated, angry fan at a bar somewhere in town.)

  2. Sierra McConnell

    I nearly spit out my salad when I saw my post linked in the forums section. Now everyone shall see not only how despondant I was, but the knock down, drag out I had with Poly-butt.

    I think I might go crawl under a rock now.

    (But I'll definately take my salad with me. :3)

  3. Nathan Bransford


    I thought it was an interesting discussion, but have taken the link out. Don't want you to be uncomfortable (or lose a perfectly good salad)

  4. Anonymous

    I'm a Yankee/Mets fan, and I'm rooting for the Giants, but dude, I gotta tell you:There's never been an owner like Ryan (that I know of).
    I grew up watching Ryan pitch in his youth for the Mets and as good as Timothy Leroy Lincecum is (and he's both very good and great fun to watch) I knew in my gut just how great Ryan was: I just knew it, like a revelation.
    If you don't know:
    * 5,714 career strikeouts
    * 7 career no-hitters
    (Second on the career strikeout list: Randy Johnson with 4875…almost 1,000 less!

    Anyway, the Giants are great fun to watch, but a piece of my heart will always be with Nolan…
    Go Giants!

  5. Sierra McConnell

    Oh, I don't want you to take the link out. I don't mind it at all.

    I was just suprised it was that much of note! XD

  6. Anonymous

    I love Brian Wilson, b/c he looks just like my brother, but I have to wonder … are all Brian Wilsons crazy?

    Hey, my word verfication is certified ninja. How weird is that?

  7. Joseph L. Selby

    I miss when baseball parks had names like Candlestick. (Get off my lawn!)

    The current nook also allows you to read ebooks when you're in the store. Not all books are accessible in this way (I did get to read Steve Martin's autobiography this way).

    Amazon's lending is similar but not the same as B&N's. Kindle only allows for one week loaning while the nook is two.

  8. PJ Lincoln

    I'm with you on this one, Nathan, I'm pulling for the Giants. It's nice to see someone other than the darn Yankees in the World Series from the American League.

    The only thing I have against the Rangers, and this is a VERY LARGE ONE TO ME, is that George W. Freakin Bush used to be part owner. That's reason enough to root for the Giants!

  9. StephanieD

    Who doesn't love oddballs?

  10. D.G. Hudson

    I'd like to see the Giants take the series, and they've made a great start. Too bad you're away from all the baseball action, Nathan. Duty calls, I guess.

    Thanks for the links.

  11. CB

    Not sure if you know this, but ova here in Jerzee, we're not getting the World Series because our cable company is fighting with IDK!!!!
    In fact, we didn't even get the NLCS. Is this for real-I can't believe it. I was really looking forward to it. When was the last time the Giants won the pennant! The Giants won the pennant! The Giants won the pennant! 🙂 I'm a huge sports fan and this has been very disappointing. We've missed football games too! On the other hand, I've written more…
    I'm pulling for the Giants, but I'm also happy to see another forgotten team, the Rangers, in the Series as well.
    Go Crazy Cat Lady–I mentioned that I agreed with her!!

  12. Ted Fox

    I'm at our local B&N, and they now have Nooks laid out on parallel white tables at the front of the store so you can play with them. It's sort of Apple Store-ish. I'm liking it.

  13. Robert

    Wilson is funny, but Rome is unwatchable. Unless Jim Everett is throwing him on the floor.

  14. patlaff

    Is it possible to have too much awesome on your feet? I think not.

  15. Heidi

    From Canada, I've never been a huge baseball fan. But then, I never knew certified ninjas played baseball. I think I may have to reevaluate this…

    By the way, your NaNoWriMo Boot Camp was great. Thanks!

  16. Anonymous

    You are soooo lucky to have Bochy and Flannery there to coach the Giants. San Diego still misses them.
    GO GIANTS!!!

  17. M.J.A. Ware

    Thanks for the update on queries. I'd just double-checked the 'reply to' address on mine.

    I guess that's what happens when you get a reputation for super-fast replies.

    Giants in 5.

  18. Jennifer

    As a Baltimore fan (with little hope of making it back to the playoffs, much less the World Series in my life-time), I cheered when the Rangers knocked the Yankees out of contention. So special place in my heart for the Rangers.

    But I'm a big fan of Aubrey Huff (from his days in the AL East) and am slightly fascinated by Lincecum who I secretly imagine to be the grown-up version of Mitch from Dazed and Confused.

    I'd actually be happy with either team winning.

  19. Tahereh

    that interview was hilarious. and omg HIS SOCKS I WANT HIS SOCKS.

    wow. maybe baseball isn't so bad after all.

  20. Josin L. McQuein

    NO! B&N has gone to the darkside of backlighting their screens on nook.


    I wanted a nook, and was going to try and get one for Christmas, but now…


    I can't read backlit screens without serious visual issues.

    (Gotta cheer for the local boys – GO RANGERS!)

  21. Nathan Bransford


    I don't believe they're discontinuing the e-ink Nooks, they're just adding the Nook Color.

  22. dernjg

    Go Giants!
    And in publishing terms, I will buy a great many books that recap this bizarre little season for my beloved team. I may even write one myself.

  23. Steph Sinkhorn

    Ahahahahaha. If you've seen any short blond men going WOOOOOO and collapsing on your lawn/stoop, it was probably my boss.

  24. S

    Go Rangers! LA loves you!

  25. Bane of Anubis

    Brian Wilson reminds me of zach galifianakis — his comment after they won the NLCS was spot on ZG.

    Oh, but I was too busy cheering the 9 point first quarter by that trio down in South Beach… First time I've rooted for Boston in years.

  26. Thaddeus Glapp

    Were they giving writing classes at the White House? Cause that Franzen guy could stand to attend a few.

  27. Marilyn Peake

    Wow, it would have been great to be a fly on the wall in that meeting between Obama and Franzen. Bet the discussion was fascinating!

    I like Natalie’s idea of NaNoReaMo. I already jumped ship, swimming away from NaNoWriMo as quickly as I could late last night, for the island of my science fiction novel . All my excitement over NaNoWriMo and outlining a new novel for it helped tremendously, though. It motivated me to visualize a better plot and some exciting new ideas, and to begin creating a solid outline for revisions to my science fiction novel. In lieu of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to try to buckle down and work very hard on the science fiction novel, in addition to getting ready for the holidays, celebrating Thanksgiving, and reading as many books as possible. Good luck to everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo!

  28. Kristin Laughtin

    Libraries have been trying to negotiate lending rights for e-books for quite a while, with some attempts being more successful than others. Right now, most of our e-books have to be accessed through a computer and can't be downloaded. I'm hoping these features on Kindles and Nooks will help us come up with a new way to provide access to books!

  29. Laura

    ENOUGH about Franzen. I tried to read his first book a couple of years ago, and it bored me to tears. He's nothing special. Talk about Nick Hornby writing the lyrics for Ben Folds! THAT is news! 🙂

  30. ryan field

    I like that lending feature, but I have a feeling prices may start to rise because of it. Too soon to tell, though.

  31. Terry Towery

    YouTube seems to have pulled the plug on your Brian Wilson video, citing an ESPN copyright issue. Darn it. I wanted to see it.

  32. Shell

    I was actually in San Francisco when the Giants won…whatever the Giants won. (It's not that I'm not a Giants fan as such, but I don't really follow sports of any kind at all. Except for the Oregon Ducks, which my mom keeps me updated on religiously.) Our hotel was right on Columbus Street, and when I finally fell asleep at 1:00 am, there were still cars honking, people shouting, and general pandemonium right outside our window. It was awesome. Go Giants!

  33. Ramsey Hootman

    Nathan – Had to laugh when I saw this post. Apparently I was hanging out not far from you (about 3 blocks from the stadium) on Thursday while my husband interviewed. All I could think when we got off BART was, "Man, this Superman shirt was definitely the wrong wardrobe choice."

    Hope we'll be moving into your neighborhood soon! 🙂

  34. J. T. Shea

    Liberal hippies in San Francisco? Who'd ever have guessed?

    Bravo to Crazy Cat Lady! 'Don't delete' is my slogan too. I never throw anything away. You should see my house!

  35. Carol

    Thanks for posting that you are still behind in reading queries. I won't panic yet.

    Although I care nothing about baseball, I can certainly feel the excitement going on around you. I worked downtown Salt Lake during the 2002 Olympics. Being totally not a winter sports fan, it was really strange being surrounded by the Olympic fans. What an exciting time that was.

    Thanks for your blog. I read it constantly and always look forward to the next one.

  36. Jussi Keinonen

    A question from an occasional visitor and an ignorant foreigner: what is the World Series? Sports stuff?

  37. Sheila Cull

    Aha, Charlie Chan form rejection. Love it.

  38. Marilyn Peake


    That is beyond awesome!! I will share that with other Wrimo individuals. 🙂

  39. Ishta Mercurio

    Great tips and links.

    I'm glad for the Giants, but I'm sad the Reds didn't make it this year. They were so close! Next time.

  40. Mira

    No time, school demands, but really wonderful links, Nathan, I did get a chance to look at them – and a really wonderful page critique this week. I was very impressed.

    Hope your week in N.Y. is not just work, but fun too. Should be lovely in the fall.

    And I'm very proud of our oddball baseball team! Yay, Giants! 🙂

  41. Matthew Rush

    I hope you mention the Giants again today. Since now it is practically over. I have friends dying their beards black left and right all over facebook. Certified Ninja wannabees.

  42. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Hey babe, Giants season tickets! Yes! I've lived in the Bay Area for 20 years and I have never loved a team like I love this one – freaks, geeks, rejects and rookies – my kinda team!
    Last night (Sunday) was brilliant! More pitchers should work with horses.

  43. Helen

    Bummer. I checked off middle grade historical fiction, my current project. A big fat 0%.
    Guess it's not a hot genre.


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Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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