This week in books! Just a little late!
I wasn’t able to get this up on Friday as I was watching the fabulous Stringer Belle and todayokay at the Hotel Utah Thursday evening, but I saved up lots and lots of links for your weekend! Oh, and if you want to see Stringer Belle yourself, I shall see you at Cafe du Nord on April 21st. In the meantime, give Take This Song a listen. Good stuff!!
This week I also had the pleasure of participating in a podcast with Mike Wolf, in which I talk about what I do in my new job, what it was like leaving agenting, and some talk about the future of publishing. (Check out Mike’s awesome interview with Seth Godin as well)
The YA Mafia wars heated up around the blogosphere as people wondered: Is there a YA Mafia? Who’s in it? How do I avoid swimming with the YA fishes? Basically, accusations of cliquishness have been flying and hashtags were formed. YA Highway has a helpful summary, and Jenn Laughran, Ally Carter and Natalie Whipple were among those weighing in. My response: Yes, there are cliques on the Internet. No, it’s not a conspiracy. Yes, I’m in a top secret underground blog alliance. No, we won’t kill you. Yes, I’m kidding.
If you sold 40 million books would you keep your day job? Jeff Kinney did! The author of the Wimpy Kids phenomenon has kept up on the website Poptropica, a virtual website for pre-teens that he developed the idea for. Pretty cool.
Blogging. Does it help your writing career or is it a waste of time? Should I stop here and call it an afternoon? Well, Justine Musk wrote a pretty cool defense of blogging that has some very good blog advice mixed in as well. Basically: be patient, don’t obsess over your stats, and write some epic $*#& (via Jenn Laughran)
Problem: Authors can’t sign Kindles. Solution: Invent a really cool app that does just that.
The newest publishing phenomenon isn’t vampires. Instead: A book about an eleven year old who had a near death experience and met Jesus. The New York Times took a look at the story behind HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, which has sold 1.5 million copies and counting.
What’s in a name? Well, for Hadley Freeman the answer is: A lot. She wrote a fascinating article on her obsession with the other Hadley (Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife), the burden Hadley Richardson represented for her, and how she ultimately came to appreciate Richardson thanks to a new bio.
This week in the Forums, I launched a new forum dedicated to social media, so if you have social media news, want to talk blogs or Facebooks or what have you, please stop by! It’s way easier to register for the forums than it used to be, so don’t hesitate to register. Also being discussed: dystopian book recommendations, sex in fiction, writing in a genre that’s been “done,” and, of course, crayons!
Comments! of! the! Week! This has truly been one of the great comments week in this blog’s history. THANK YOU so much to everyone who has weighed in, it’s been completely fascinating. I already highlighted some great comments on Tuesday, but wanted to post two more. First, Jim Duncan talks about some of the benefits of traditional publishing (which he expanded on in his own post):
Such an interesting topic. The one thing that struck me most about Hocking’s post is that she stated how much her efforts at trying to make success have cut into her ability to have time to write. For me, this is the biggest drawback to the whole self-publishing business. I love the idea. I cringe at the massive amount of time and effort required to have any chance at success.
Honestly, I’d rather be writing. My chances overall are still greater through a publishing house, and they do their best to take care of things I’d rather not take the time and effort to deal with. I’m not a full-time writer. I work, have a family, and such, so writing is not a full-time job. Self-publishing is not a “do it on the weekend” gig, not if you want to have a chance at success. It is it’s own business, and unless you can afford to hold down two jobs, I still don’t recommend this as a first or best option for writers.
Sure, it’s fine if you are just wanting to get your story out there, and yes, good things can happen. They do and will continue to do so, but I don’t believe a lot of writers get how much beyond the writing it can be to deal with all aspects of putting a well done story out there.
For now, I’m very happy letting others take care of many of the things I don’t want and can’t afford to be involved in. Perhaps one day, if I’m selling well enough to cover the costs of living, raising kids, having insurance, and so on, I’ll delve headfirst into this realm, but for now, I’m content with a paper publisher (and yes, they’ll have an e-version available), and having the time to write more stories.
I really think publishers are missing one key fact with their current strategy. In the past, they would put out the hardback first, then a year or so later the paperback. Readers who didn’t want the hardback, either because of cost or space issues, would notice the paperback on the New Releases table when they went to the book store, and say, “Great, it’s out; now I’ll buy it.”
A lot of eBook buyers don’t go to the bookstore anymore. There won’t be new reviews when the paperback comes out, and the publishers lower the price on the ebook (if they remember; it does not always happen). How will the ebook reader know the book he was interested is now a more reasonably priced ebook? Generally speaking, he probably won’t know. So publishers may be protecting the revenue they get from the reader who will buy the hardback instead, but they are also losing revenue from the reader who doesn’t want the hardback at all and will only buy the ebook. It’s question of which number is greater. As the number of ebook buyers grows, publishers need to find a way to not only manage price changes but let readers know about the changes.
And finally, here’s an incredible glimpse at the future, courtesy of Corning Glass. My favorite YouTube comment: Our future will be vulnerable to rocks.
Have a great weekend! Which is already here!