Entries Tagged 'Industry News' ↓
July 31st, 2012 — Industry News
The legal difficulties surrounding Google Books has been around for a while now. It was greeted with open hostility back in 2005, and was still drawing attention as recently as 2008 when the Google vs. Author’s Guild settlement resulted in the creation of the books rights registry. What was thought to be a settlement turned out to be the a lull in the ongoing legal battle, and the case has been fought for the last seven years, moving in and out of the public consciousness as developments came to light.
The suit popped back onto our radar this week because Google has finally released it’s defense of the Google Books project under fair use guidelines, as reported by Publisher’s Weekly. The defense forth the argument that Google Books – which scans the contents of books held in libraries – holds enormous social benefit and provides transformative benefit to the works without challenging copyright.
The potential benefits of Google Books has never really been in doubt. The issue raised by the Author’s Guild, and many writers who have been watching this case for the past seven years, is the wholesale appropriation of copyrighted works without the creator’s permission.
Google’s defense is part of their most recent attempt to get the case dismissed, and we recommend any writer or creative with an interest in copyright take a look at the Publisher’s Weekly report which covers things in far more detail. You can rest assured that Speakeasy will be keeping an eye out for additional commentary as it crops up around the internet, particularly as the courts make their decision as to whether the case can continue.
July 30th, 2012 — Industry News, Self-Publishing, e-Publishing
It’s been a week since the Harrowgate Crime Writing Festival in the UK, but there are parts of the internet that are still buzzing about the events at their Wanted for Murder: The eBook panel. This shouldn’t be surprising, really, given that the title of the panel session alone seems designed to court controversy and the report from the man at the middle of the fracas, Stephen Leather, indicates that they were intentionally looking to create a talking point:
“Running the festival this year was Mark “Scaredy Cat” Billingham, one of the best writers in the business as well as a top stand-up comic. Mark came over to me in the green room before the panel and had a quiet word with me. Basically there is a danger of the panels turning into a luvvie love-fest and he wanted me to take a view and be a tad confrontational if at all possible. He wanted the panel to be the talking point of the festival. I’m never one to duck a good argument so I said I’d go for it.”
The result was a panel where the topic of ebook pricing came under heavy critique, the heated debate fueled by some poorly worded remarks regarding the role of piracy and promotional tactics on the part of Stephen Leather.
Leather, who has experienced phenomenal success self-publishing his own work in the UK kindle store, quickly found himself up against an agent, his fellow authors, representatives from the UK Publisher’s Association, and a large portion of the Harrowgate audience. The result, by all reports, seems to have been a tirade against ebooks and the devaluation of writer’s works.
This isn’t exactly a new accusation. Ebook pricing has been at the core of many publisher’s issues with Amazon and the rise of the one dollar self-published ebook has been commented upon many times. Pricing is definitely an issue worth talking about in relation to electronic publishing, and as yet there’s no clear understanding of what an ebook is ‘worth.’
What’s intriguing about the Harrowgate panel is the open hostility being displayed by both the publishers in attendance and the readers. Stacey Bartlett has a more detailed summary of the panel over at We Love This Book which summarizes the general tone of the event, complete with Leather being referred to as a tosser by members of the audience. The response was strong enough for Dean Kurtz at Melville House Books to ask whether the Harrowgate audience represents a bellwether:
Has awareness about the ebook pricing battleground made its way to a more general reading populace? The self-selected crowd at a literary event with such a title could be called atypical, but with so much reporting on the DoJ lawsuit against Apple and others making its way to front pages, we might have moved beyond that sacred tenet that all book buyers are only concerned with price. Many booksellers reported a surge in vocally conscientious customers after the release of the laughably nefarious Amazon price-checking app. Will we see similar reactions even in the ebook marketplace? Is this the year in which readers come to see their literary pixels of choice as having real production costs? And too, I wonder if the audience for Mosby and Leather’s panel is so very aberrant.
Leather has posted a considerably longer write-up about his experience of the panel, and admits that he was shocked by the fact that parts of the audience was against lower-priced books. What’s disappointing, based on his account, is that parts of the debate were overshadowed by the inherent theatrics that comes from playing to a crowd:
“So I explain to Ursula – and the audience – that I can write a short story in five days and am happy to sell that at the Amazon minimum of 72p which generates me an income of 25p. At this point Ursula – who runs one of the biggest publishing houses in the UK – asked me “so you’re happy to work for 5p a day, are you?” The audience laughed and clapped, and I was frankly gob-smacked. I couldn’t understand why they hadn’t seen the fallacy in her comment. She was assuming that I spent five days writing a story and then sold one copy. She can’t possibly have believed that, could she? Of course I don’t work for 5p a day. My Inspector Zhang stories sell about five or six hundred copies a month. Each. So one story sells 6,000 copies a year. So over the next ten years it could sell 60,000 copies which means I’d get £15,000, which is £3,000 a day and that’s probably more than she gets paid.”
What’s been lost in the point-scoring of this debate is the fundamental shift ebooks represent in thinking about publishing, which is well-articulated in Catherine Howard’s post about the incident, Low Ebook Pricing: The Compensation Model.
That Leather believes in ebook publishing is the future seems fairly obvious – you don’t title your blog How To Make A Million Dollars From Writing eBooks (or How I Learned To Love The Kindle) unless you have some confidence in the format – but the worrying thing about the hostility he experienced isn’t just the aversion to the ebook, but an apparent hostility towards the idea of a writer choosing to run his career like a business and/or courting a larger audience.
Then again, perhaps this hostility isn’t entirely unwarranted. While the bulk of the online conversation has revolved around Stephen Leather, the other author on the panel, Stephen Mosby, has expresses his own frustration with the experience. Chief among them were the inability to get a word in edgewise, the tendency for questions to be direction in Leather’s direction, and the problems inherent with talking about books as “product” in an audience full of passionate readers. Mosby concedes that writing is a business, but there’s a time and place to talk about it as such.
Equally interesting is the post from audience member Rebecca Bradley, whose summary of the issues that generated such hostility from the audience is an interesting counter-point to the online ruckus, at least in terms of Leather’s gaffs.
June 15th, 2012 — Business In The Industry, Freelancing, Genre, Industry News, Writers
The big publishing news this week included the launch of HarperCollins 360, a global publishing program that ensures all books published by any division of HarperCollins around the world are available in print or digital format in all English-language markets. When the program is fully implemented, the HarperCollins global catalog — 50,000 print books and 40,000 e-books — will be available, limited only by the rights held, not by technology or geography. This may seem like a no-brainer to many casual observers, but the 3 Reasons 360 took so long to start post over on publishing perspectives offers some insight into why it’s taken so long.
Rejection is a part of the writing life, and all too often there are those who take rejection as an excuse to mope. Keith Cronin is prepared to institute a No-Moping Zone for the good of all writers, offering up some alternative reactions to rejection that may better-serve an aspiring writer in the long-term.
Stephanie Vanderslice speaks out in praise of author-crushes at the Huffington Post.
Gossamer Obsessions discusses the importance of being nice for book bloggers.
The Queensland Literary Awards – the community-based initiative that replaced the recently axed Queensland Premier’s Awards – has received twenty thousand dollars of funding from the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) Cultural Fund to administer and deliver this year’s awards.
Jon Merz discusses the rise of the authorpreneur in light of the news that best-selling fantasy novelist Terry Goodkind is planning to self-publish his next novel.
Chuck Wendig offers 25 Reasons This is the Best Time to be a Storyteller.
You’ve probably heard of Nora Roberts, best-selling romance novelist, but what about Nora A. Roberts? Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a post examining the tactics used by two self-published novelists who adopted the pen-names Nora A. Roberts and James A. Paterson. It’s a great example of why this sort of thing isn’t a great idea, and the response from the real Nora Roberts included in the article goes a long way towards answering Shakespeare’s question, what’s in a name?
Jane Friedman has a great interview on her blog detailing How One Introverted Author Successfully Markets his Work.
Those are the links that caught our attention at the AWM offices this week. As usual, we’re keen to hear about your favourite links in the comments – tell us the advice, opportunities, and essays about writing and publishing that caught your attention this week.
April 20th, 2012 — Agents, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Craft of Writing, Digital Publishing, Genre, Industry News, Opportunities, e-Publishing, social media
Apologies for posting this a little later than usual on a Friday – it’s been a busy week here at the AWM offices with the announcement of GenreCon and the work going on behind the scenes for the next Australian Writer’s Marketplace print edition. But we’re sneaking this in under the wire, and there’s plenty of interesting links for you to chew over on your weekend.
If you’ve paid attention to publishing in recent years, you’ve noticed that everything seems to be changing, and the future looks increasingly uncertain. Other people have noticed too, which is why we recommend the Syllabus for the Future of Reading – a collection of links to books and articles about the future of the book and publishing.
There are myths about writers and there are truths about writers, and one is invariably more interesting than the other. It’s a split that Kim Wilkins looks at in her most recent blog post, What Writers Do, although it’s possible the thing we’re most excited about in that link is the news that there’s a new novel coming up.
We link to a lot of advice here on the Friday Fry Up, but there’s no doubt that there are times when too much advice is almost as bad as having none at all. For those situations the Booklife blog offers up a handy decision tree that can help you ensure the advice you apply is the advice that will work best for you. They also offer some handy advice should you find yourself in the unenviable position of choosing to leave your agent.
If you’re interest in scriptwriting then the 2012 Neighbors Initiative is a great opportunity. The Australian Writers’ Guild and FremantleMedia Australia are giving two writers the opportunity to spend 6 weeks with the story department of Australia’s favourite television serial, learning the ins and outs of writing for television.
There’s a great live-blog of the London Book Fair Digital Minds Conference that covers topics such as the development of JK Rowlings website, Pottermore, and the blurring line between writers, readers, and publishers in the digital realm. Lots of interesting reading and well worth checking out.
There’s so much discussion surrounding Amazon’s role as a bookseller that its easy to forget that they’ve started their own publishing arm. Paid Content’s article in which Larry Kirshbaum shares details on how Amazon Publishing will work offers a slightly different conversation than the ones we ordinarily hear about the Amazon brand.
And those are the links that have caught our attention this week – how about you? Let us know about any interesting links we missed in the comments.
March 5th, 2012 — Competitions and grants, Industry News
Last week the Australian Council launched an online survey regarding the relevance and support they provide to the arts, culture, and creative industries.
They’re looking for responses from artists and art-workers across all art forms, including writing and publishing, to contribute feedback on what aspects of the agency can be improved. The questionaire should take about ten minutes to fill in, and it closes at 5pm AEDT, Friday 9 March 2012.
We urge all Speakeasy readers to head over to the Australia Council Review Survey site have their say on the role the Council plays in the future.
February 17th, 2012 — Editors, Funding opportunities, Industry News, Uncategorized
It’s Friday and the weekend looms, so here’s a handful of tasty links to get you in the writing mood:
February 29th is the closing date for The Australian Society of Authors Children’s Picture Book Illustrators’ Initiative, which offers grant opportunities that assist emerging, developing, and established Children’s Book Illustrators in the creation of new picture books. Application details are available online.
Eliza Green’s interviews with four editing professionals makes for interesting reading, especially if you’re a writer who isn’t familiar with the editor’s side of the publishing process.
AWM Manager Meg Vann recently attended O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing in New York, a yearly conference that draws professionals and publishing companies engaging with new publishing technologies and business models. She’s posting notes from the conference over on if:book Australia, starting with the session Magic Eight Ball: questions about readers/audience/market we don’t yet have the tools to discover.
Finally, check out these images of Michael Cunningham’s bookshelf filled bathroom. They provoked plenty of spirited debate around the office, largely regarding the practicality of storing one’s books right next to the tub and the dangers of mold, but the book-lover in me still approves. What say you, Speakeasy readers? Is this the worlds best bathroom or not?
Enjoy your weekend of writing!
May 24th, 2011 — AWM, AWM Forums, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Craft of Writing, Genre, Industry News, New Markets, Opportunities, Writers, Writers Groups, Writing Races, Writing Resources, Writing courses
May 4th, 2011 — AWM, AWM Forums, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Craft of Writing, Genre, Industry News, Opportunities, Writers, Writers Groups, Writing Races
April 5th, 2011 — AWM, AWM Forums, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Craft of Writing, Industry News, Marketing, Opportunities, Writers, Writers Groups, Writing Races, Writing Resources
February 11th, 2011 — Digital Publishing, Industry News, Upcoming Events
This year’s O’Reilly TOC Conference (Tools of Change for Publishing) promises another smorgasbord of writing and publishing visionaries. Including the likes of uber-author Margaret Atwood and Booksquare’s Kassia Kroszer, TOC also features Queensland Writers Centre CEO Kate Eltham presenting her views on the use of social media during Queensland’s recent natural disasters, and the lessons in community engagement to be learned. To get your brain zinging with ideas about the future of publishing, you can view the TOC keynote speakers live online from next Tuesday 15 February.
Speaking of future-now developments, does your eReader look like this? Galleycat looks at the new trend in book signings.
Saving the best til last, The Lifted Brow is launching in Melbourne tonight (The Workers Club, Fitzroy) and in Brisbane next Wednesday 16th Feb (Avid Reader, West End). It’s M*O*N*O*B*R*O*W* excitement plus!!!
Have a great weekend of writing, folks.