Self-published e-books? The horror, the horror!

The best books start here.

Tag: Opinion

kindle-2-carrieBack at the start of this year, Jonathan Galassi wrote an awesome editorial for the New York Times about the value that a publishing house actually provides for a book and an author—those ineffable quality enhancers that make a book cost more than its printing, paper, and binding. Editing. Marketing. Publicity. Design. Attention to detail. Vision.

Galassi’s piece is the perfect counter to those who suggest publishers are going the way of the T-rex, that authors need only throw their manuscripts onto the Kindle. Seventy percent royalty rates! these people crow. Take that, Legacy Publishers! My audience will not be bound by the old paradigms! And then they—I don’t know, twirl the ends of their moustaches while they count their doubloons.

But is Amazon’s self-publication plan truly the first death knell for traditional publishers? … [more]

keyboard-on-fireAnother November is upon is, and, as I’m sure you savvy writers know, that means it’s once again time for NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month, for those afraid of acronyms).

Agents and editors sometimes cringe when we think of NaNoWriMo, because we envision a gigantic pile of rushed, ill-conceived manuscripts being wheeled our way.… [more]

readmymanuscriptHave been polishing up two talks this morning (creating Power Point slides for them—thank you for the kick in the pants, Martha Bee), and so have also been musing about the national SCBWI conference in Los Angeles. It was about six weeks ago that it wrapped. I didn’t get to attend this year, and I really missed it. It is grand in every way—thousands of people, speakers who inspire and entertain, children’s books celebrities hobnobbing at the lobby bar, and a huge costume party/dance on Saturday. Being surrounded by like-minded people is inspiring, narcotizing, energizing. There’s nothing else like it.

I love attending and speaking at conferences. No, not just because I am a complete ham; and no, not just because of an obsessive need for endless attention, thank you very much. Rather, it is … [more]

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Before I got into publishing, maintaining my social network pages was easy. I joined Facebook in 2005, a bygone era where the most I had to worry about was whether or not my profile picture made me look chubby.

When I was lucky enough to land a job in publishing, I suddenly realized that my Facebook profile was filled with material I didn’t exactly want every writer out there to see: three years worth of immature jokes shared with college friends, photos of me in silly costumes from various Halloween parties, and links to off-color material that made me laugh. I decided the day I became an agent that I was going to maintain Facebook only for my personal use. If I didn’t know you or want every piece of information on my profile to … [more]

There’s no doubt that the Internet is a fantastic resource for fledgling and established writers alike. You can tweet, friend, and chat with editors, agents, and other writers. You can do research to find an agent, or participate in various discussion forums about hot topics in publishing.

And of course, there’s the juicy publishing gossip—which editors have quit to become agents? Which agents have quit to become editors? Which editors/agents have quit publishing cold turkey?

I make it a point not to read author discussion boards or forums, but on the few occasions I’ve stumbled across a discussion between authors, the tone and content of some of the discussions has caused me great concern. Which authors submitted what to whom? Which agents have accepted, rejected, never replied? Some authors even go as far as keeping … [more]

Apparently, it is all about giving it the right name. Happily, you can hire someone to figure out the name for you:

Dear Mr. Michael Stearns,

When customers browse the racks at the local book store or scan the listings on Amazon.com, a book’s title is often the most significant purchasing factor. We at Novel Titles create commercially successful, effective and memorable titles for your client’s work. You can expect complete commitment, integrity and respect with each and every project… [two more paragraphs of drivel]

Sincerely,

[Mr. I Am Happy to Take Your Money, Sucker!]

Thank you, noveltitles.com. Now if we can just hire someone to actually write the book, we’ll be all set.… [more]