Entries Tagged 'Industry News' ↓
September 14th, 2010 — Industry News
The Public and Educational Lending Right office in Canberra is changing the way it administers the Education Lending rights and Public Lending Rights schemes.
The office will no longer acknowledge receipt of title claims or changes to contact and banking details sent by mail, fax or email. (They will still process them, however). Automatic acknowledgements will be provided if you lodge title claims through Lending Rights Online (LRO).
So authors who look forward to receiving their annual income boost from lending fees through public and educational libraries, you would be wise to make sure your email address in LRO is current, as they are moving towards an online system.
April 6th, 2010 — Digital Publishing, Industry News, Publishers
You wouldn’t steal a policeman’s helmet and go to the toilet in it, would you?
… So says The IT Crowd in its spoof of anti-piracy warnings, brilliantly channelling consumer frustration with the hypocrisy of Digital Rights Management.
A New York Times ethicist entered this controversial territory when he penned a recent piece in which he uses the example of a generally law-abiding citizen who, when unable to purchase an e-book version of a title, purchased the hard copy and then illegally downloaded an electronic copy for convenience while travelling. The ethicist states:
Buying a book or a piece of music should be regarded as a license to enjoy it on any platform. Sadly, the anachronistic conventions of bookselling and copyright law lag the technology.
But although this rationalisation may gel with the feelings of many a consumer, piracy is still illegal – and, in this case, illogical. Nathan Bransford argues that encouraging piracy does not provide answers to the current transitional glitches in the rapidly evolving publishing industry:
The electronic era is full of possibility as well as potential downfalls, and I think we need to get past the idea that an electronic format is value-less relative to print. It has value. It is a different product. You can add that value yourself by converting something you bought, or you can pay for a new file.
While publishers resolve work flow management issues to enable cost-effective publication across a range of formats, the market is moving in to fill the gap. Pundits have argued for some time that e- and p-book bundling would be an effective commercial model. O’Reilly have been offering bundles ahead of the pack. Now Barnes and Noble are trialling bundles:
Under the plan, B&N will offer customers who buy a print edition at one of their stores the opportunity to buy the e-book at a discount. Prices will be worked out in discussions with publishers, Lynch said, adding that B&N’s aim is to make the transaction with consumers as seamless as possible.
I love books in all their forms. Having spent pointless hours over the Easter weekend trying to locate e-books that are compatable with my e-reading device, geographic region, tastes, and wallet, I can sympathise with the compulsion to rationalise piracy – but, as a writer, piracy gives me great pause. It is more than just consumer pressure for equitable e- and p-book access that demands innovative strategies be employed throughout the production and distribution chain.
Writing Race at AWMonline forums tonight, with special guest Captain, speculative fiction author Angela Slatter. Woot!
February 12th, 2010 — Business In The Industry, Industry News, New Markets
The fabulous Margaret Simons, font of knowledge on the future of journalism and a guest speaker last year for QWC’s Wordpool (access the audio at ABC Pool), has compiled a table of pay rates for freelance journalists in Australia. It also notes insider knowledge about editorial processes and other handy tips. This has sparked off an interesting debate on the ethics of freelancers being asked/forced to work for free. In response, Margaret crowd-sources advice and information for writers looking to get started.
Margaret Simons in conversation with Matt Condon at a QWC Wordpool event
For creative writers, the pay rates are no better. This article on The Writer Career Arc (or why we love the Susan Boyle story) points out that ‘… the literary apprenticeship is a lengthy one for the majority, …getting published at all is difficult, and to get paid enough to not do anything else but write is virtually a dream.’
Writing is a labour of love, and the financial incentives are few. But remember: many people do make a living out of their writing, so you can, too. Think creatively about opportunities, build your author platform as well as your craft, and don’t give up.
February 9th, 2010 — Digital Publishing, Industry News
Anthony Mullins of Hoodlum has finished his article for the 11th edition of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace due out later this year, and it’s fantastic! You’ll be amazed and inspired by his take on the possibilities for writers in multi-platform storytelling. So today we’ll look at a few projects, just to just give you a taste of the huge depth and breadth out there.
Hoodlum’s award-winning narrative online accompaniment to British drama Spooks allowed viewers to log on after the show and participate in a range of activites that enhanced and extended their engagement with the program. The online narrative also fed back into the television show, creating an exciting interactive platform for viewers, and a fantastic opportunity for multi-platform storytellers to develop new creative techniques.
To advance your understanding of the technical and creative elements of interactive fiction, read this interview with Nick Montfort, author of Twisty Little Passages. As Bob Stein, founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book says, if you want to see the future of creative writing, look to the computer game creators of today.
For a beautiful example of the digital enhancement of print media, have a look at this mind-blowing Augmented Reality book – make sure you watch the video of Le Monde des Montagnes (World of Mountains) in action before you read the whole article, or it will spoil the magic.
From television shows and computer games with mass appeal, to eclectic high art projects … there are so many worlds to explore as a creative writer, if you keep an open mind to emerging technologies.
Reminder: Writing Race tonight, 8-9pm AEST for AWMonline subscribers. Come along and get your Write ON!
January 27th, 2010 — Industry News
Hey authors, you need to read this article from respected copyright scholar Pamela Samuelson. It gives you a good round up of your options under the Google Book Settlement, but you have to act by January 28 (U.S time).
Plus, you may also want to check out CAL’s presentation on the issue for Australian authors.
And just a quick aside, have you seen the McGraw Hill gaff, where their CEO blabs some of the closely-held details of the Apple Tablet prior to tomorrow’s launch (AEST time)? CNBC have pulled the video footage already, but you can still see the initial quote and the grumpy comments!
November 10th, 2009 — Industry News, Upcoming Events, Writers Groups
More reports are reaching us about "jobs" for authors being offered through Seek.com. This latest one headlines with the promise of "generous" royalties, and guarantees editorial services at cost price as well as the latest in e-marketing.
We do not know the company involved, and leave you to make your own investigations should you wish to follow it up. But as a general rule, remember that writing your book is a craft, but from then on it’s all business. When approaching any publishing service, ask lots of questions to understand what they offer, check each line item in the entire publishing/editing/marketing package to ensure you understand any fees payable, and make sure all the publisher’s information is transparent. Seek legal advice before signing any contract. Keep your dreams of publication alive in your heart, but make your financial decisions with your head…
In other news, Harlequin Press are forging a path among the big players in publishing, with the launch of their digital-only publishing house, Carina Press. Check out this Juno books post for more details.
Come and get your write on with the Racers tonight, featuring Writers of the Future winner, Jason Fischer. Jason is based in Adelaide, South Australia. He attended Clarion South in 2007, was shortlisted in the 2009 Ditmar Awards for Best New Talent, and is a contributing member of the Daily Cabal project. He has stories in Dreaming Again, Apex, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and Aurealis Magazine. Check out Jason’s blog – he has a way with puns and an eye for the obscure and funny!
Writing Race Special Guest Jason Fischer
Join us at 7.45pm (AEST) for an hour of power writing from 8-9pm…
If you haven’t read it yet, have a look regular Racer Dr Kim’s latest post, Don’t Be a Cry Baby, with a special lift-out section for motivating writers. Hilarious. And true.
Writers Groups FTW!
Are you a member of a Writers Group? You are? No way! AWMonline loves Writers Groups!!
We know how hard Writers Groups have been working all year, and especially in NaNoWriMo, so we want to show our support by extending you an exclusive offer. If your Writers Group signs up as an institutional member (which means all the members of your Writers Group can access AWMonline for one low fee), you will receive an extra month’s membership for free!
Contact email@example.com or phone 07 3839 1243 for more information. Hurry, this offer is only valid until Friday 20 November.
September 18th, 2009 — Digital Publishing, Industry News, Writing Resources
Remember how the Productivity Commission found that ditching Parallel Import Restrictions would deliver cheaper books for Australians? An assertion suspiciously similar to the consortium of giant chain stores known as, what was it again, oh yes … the Coaltition for Cheaper Books? Well, check out this media release from the Australian Publishers Association for some interesting news on the subject. In response to the damning independent study into the Commission’s report (see this great summary), the Commission is now asserting ‘even if repeal of the PIRs were to cause the cost of books to booksellers to fall but these savings were not passed on to consumers … the repeal of the PIRs would still provide benefits’.
It’s becoming excruciatingly clear just who those ‘benefits’ would flow to, and it sure isn’t Australian readers and writers. Try Coles, Woolies, Target, Big W… who want to restructure the Australian publishing industry into a rapacious beasty feeding on the souls of Australian literary producers.
Don’t be fooled, people, PIR reform is not about delivering cheaper books, it’s about delivering more profit to major retailers.
Verse Novelist, Tim Sinclair
On a lighter note, if you are a young writer living in South-East Queensland, check out the Young Writers Boot Camp at QWC these school holidays, with the amazing Tim Sinclair. It’s going to be zine-tastic!!
Also, have a look at Wordbox. It’s an amazing resource directory of opportunities, festivals, tips & competitions for young Australian writers.
Playwrights, check out Writer’s Tips, where the lovely Dr Tess Brady interviews seven successful writers (including Louis Nowra, who I met at BBWF09 – he is totally quirky and super-smart!) on how to write a great play.
Lastly, Kat Meyers and colleagues’ venture into commercial digital publishing has come to an premature end. A confluence of unfortunate events has seen Quartet Press’s demise, and Meyers has issued a statement that demonstrates the sort of transparency, integrity, and savvy that we wish for all publishers:
What is amazing is that the bookish community are being so kind and understanding about our failure. It’s made it even more apparent that readers really want quality, affordable digital books. One way or another, each of us are committed to moving forward and helping to make that happen eventually. Quartet just wasn’t the time or place for us
September 16th, 2009 — Awards, Digital Publishing, Industry News, Uncategorized
Why is it that the more time passes between blogging, the harder it is to publish that new post? To paraphrase writing genius Aaron Sorkin, let’s overlook that I came late to the party, and celebrate the fact that I turned up at all…
Time to catch up on recent events in the blogosphere:
They’ve started announcing the Book Bloggers Appreciation Week Awards. In particular, check out the nominations for Best Blog Tours – great leads for bloggers wishing to reach a broader audience.
And of course, you’ve all heard that Twitter has announced their new terms of service, summarised in their blog. They are eager to reassure people that, unlike Facebook, ownership of user content will remain with the user. You own your Tweets. But what rough beast slouches towards the Twitterverse? Targetted advertising, folks - it’s just over the horizon. Which is great, because I don’t know about you, but I’m sure sick of having to spend hours hunting down information about the latest miracle-celebrity-weightloss-facecream!
So have you tried the new Facebook Lite? It’s a clutter-busted version of Fb, with old school design to be easy on the download quota.
Mashable has a great short post on tips on writing for digital markets: take this quiz and let me know how your web content measures up!
Know your objective: Do you adopt a different tone for articles, blog posts, tweets and status updates?
Know your audience: Do you think about who will be reading your content, and target your information accordingly?
Keep it short: Do you omit needless words?
Make it scannable: Do you write in the F-shape, highlight your main points, and use comprehensible titles instead of in-jokes?
Embrace constraints: Still feeling frustrated with only 140 characters, or do you enjoy the challenge of working within different physical and cultural constraints?
Give yourself a star for each yes answer. I’m about a three-star web writer. (Room for improvement is a good thing, right?)
And completely off the topic, whose September would be complete without sparing a smile for the pint-sized funkster phenomenon… so much talent it’s kinda disturbing!
I’ll leave you with a quote from NaNoWriMo guru Chris Baty, who attended a live forum at AWMonline this morning:
Once I discovered that there was a reasonably unhorrible book lurking in there all that time, I started wondering what ELSE was inside me. It’s funny what tackling an overly ambitious creative project can do to help people realize their potential.
Happy writing, folks, and I’ll see you real soon (no, I mean it!)…
July 15th, 2009 — Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Industry News
By now, you would have heard the anguished cries of authors around Australia railing against the Productivity Commission’s recommendations to lift all Parallel Importation Restrictions (PIR). The Commission’s report can be summed up a few keypoints:
- repeal PIR protecting Australian publishers and independent booksellers in 3 years
- ‘review’ the financial assistance needs of the Australian literary sector
- ABS to survey industry and measure impact of changes in 5 years
In case you didn’t catch the drift there, the Commission is recommending that the currently self-sustaining Australian literary sector be forced to take taxpayer handouts, so that profits can be syphoned off to big booksellers.
Heading the media charge to spin these findings in favour of Australian readers is Dymocks CEO, Don Grover, who heads up the so-called Coalition for Cheaper Books."This will only serve to bring in a more competitive market," says Grover. Excuse me? How is a market where smaller booksellers are wiped out and fewer Australian titles available for sale more competitive? Ah, I see, he mispoke. He clearly meant to say "…a more profitable market. For me." Got it.
Bob Carr claims the report is "A win for Australian literacy". Awesome! This from the man whose political legacy has been to completely trash the infrastructure of the state of New South Wales, and now has the Australian writing and publishing industry in his sights. Good to see he is at least consistent in his strip mining approach to social equity and infrastructure, since the books available to Aussie kids will finally teach them how to pronounce "mom" and "zee" correctly. Bring on the Republic.
To take action against the report or find out how you can support the cause, visit Ausbooks or the Australian Society of Authors.
For a balanced overview, see this article in The Age. For the flagrant misuse of teen cleavage to sell a lemon, see the front page of The Australian.
July 3rd, 2009 — Festivals, Industry News, Writers
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic) has discovered a creative new application for Twitter: revenge, After a less-than-glowing review of her new book, she tweeted critic Roberta Silman’s phone number and email address, urging fans to communicate their displeasure with ’snarky critics’. Fortunately, Hoffman got the number wrong, and Silman enjoyed her weekend away uninterrupted. Neither was her inbox inundated with complaints. Hoffman has apologised, her reputation in tatters. Here’s a good article summarising the spat, with links to sites that still have some of the original tweets (Hoffman’s Twitter account is no more). It certainly gives pause to consider the issues this has raised in terms of an author’s online presence.
The Queensland literary scene is on fire this year, with ten (and counting) debut authors launching their books across a range off genres. One of the reasons for this surge in publications has been the mentoring and fostering of new writers by established authors, and a prime mover in establishing this supportive literary community has been author Nick Earls. Today we talk with Nick , fresh from his rocking book launch at the Powerhouse last night, about Byron Bay Writers Festival.
Sp: Have you attended/appeared at BBWF before – if so, what is your favourite BBWF moment?
NE: Yes. The time I was on a panel with a major TV star who is now also a writer, and he appeared to be hungover after the night before but turned out to be still drunk. The panel was unchairable, but compelling. I’d always heard about the panels at previous festivals where someone had gone feral. Finally I was part of it.
Sp: What is it you most value or look forward to about BBWF 09?
NE: The environment is hard to beat. The audience members behave like they love to be there. And there’s a beach to run on.
Sp: Did attending writers festivals help develop your writing craft/career when you were a developing/emerging writer?
NE: Yes, I quite often learned something, and not always from the big-name novelists. Once I heard Wendy Harmer (back when she was a comedian and hadn’t written books) talk about writing comedy, and about when to be general and when to be specific, and how differently they worked. Sometimes you should say biscuit, sometimes it just has to be Tim Tam. She’s right, and what she said still has a bearing on my writing.
Sp: What are your Top Tips for making the most of Byron Bay Writers Festival?
NE: For authors: eat and drink anything free that comes your way. Okay, eat everything, but maybe don’t drink everything. Do try to deliver when it’s your turn to speak.
For audience members: make the most of the laid-back atmosphere. If you see a writer you want to talk to, go up and talk to them.
Sp: Can you please select a topic from your BBWF session/s, and briefly share your thoughts on it?
NE: ‘Meet Nick Earls’ – surely that topic’s irresistible. I hear sometimes he throws cash into the audience. (Okay, maybe not …)
SP: Please tell us about your current book/project.
NE: This year’s story, The True Story of Butterfish, exists as both a novel and a play. The central character, Curtis Holland, is 35 and after his band breaks up he moves back to Brisbane to reconnect with his brother and work out what’s next in his life. I realised he wanted a small world and that the best way to tell the story was with as few characters as possible. I ended up with six and, as I got to know them, they felt like a more natural fit as a play cast than any of my four novels that have been adapted for theatre. So I wrote the story as a play as well as a novel, and I alternated drafts. The novel’s out now, the play is on at the Powerhouse in Brisbane in Oct.
You can follow Nick on Twitter at twitter.com/nickearls. He’s as hilarious as he is generous.
Also at Nick’s book launch last night was author John Birmingham, who took a break from his Spartan writing regime to enjoy the festivities. John will be joining us at AWMonline next Tuesday night to lead us on to great word counts at the Writing Race: log in around 7.45pm AEST for an hour’s dedicated writing time from 8-9pm. If John’s tweets are anything to go by, the man is a (fabulous) writing machine. Can’t wait!
Have a lovely weekend, folks, and happy writing.