This week! Books! It’s been a while!
The elephant in the Amazon has been the subject of many an anguished quote from many an anonymous publishing executive, who are extremely nervous about What Amazon Is Up To With The Kindle And The New Amazon Publishing Imprint Thing. The latest notable entries in the field: Confessions of a Publisher: “We’re in Amazon’s Sights and They’re Going to Kill Us”, a profile of Larry Kirshbaum aka Amazon’s Hit Man, and Worried Publishers Pin Their Hopes on Barnes & Noble.
I urge you not to read those articles all three in a row unless you want to get the sense that the traditional publishing industry is, um, a little nervous about how relevant it is in the future and mildly uncertain about what it should be doing.
All of this has Mathew Ingram from GigaOm asking: Hey publishers, remind us why you exist again?
I’ve been out of the publishing game a while, but it’s worth taking a deep breath and remembering some things: a) This is still a print world (yes, still), and publishers are still best at getting paper to customers (yes, still). b) Some authors will still benefit from the collection of services publishers offer into the new era.
But also: Publishers must think about how their brands matter in the new era, especially to consumers, and how they can make themselves indispensable to an author’s sales figures and bottom line. Right now they ain’t getting it done by relying on authors for their own promotion and offering very little added value except for a few titles a season (who are often the titles that need the least boost).
But the sky isn’t falling yet.
Whew! Meanwhile, Kassia Krozser at Booksquare previews the Tools of Change conference and tackles the perennial topic of print/e-book bundling.
And in agenting news, BookEnds updated their publishing dictionary.
This week in the Forums: When to query an agent, the Do You Have a New Blog Post thread now has over 2,250 stellar entries, how do authors decide which part of a book to read at readings, the best dystopian novels, and what is your writing weakness?
And finally, there’s cute, and then there’s a baby bear playing with a baby wolf (via io9)
Have a great weekend!