Monthly Archives: December 2017

Why is it so difficult to the make the case against counterfeiting

10 December 2017

From IPKat:

Why do there seem to be so many willing purchasers of counterfeit goods? After all, counterfeiting is a business and it works only if there are willing purchasers. Unless one is prepared to believe that all purchasers of counterfeit products do so on an innocent basis, then the reasonable conclusion is that at least some of them are complicit.

. . . .

Moral arguments, equating counterfeiting with stealing, do not seem to go very far with swathes of certain populations (have you had a talk about counterfeiting with a millennial lately?). Criminalizing counterfeiting, and the penal sanctions that go with it, may carry some weight, especially against the middlemen who import and then distribute the counterfeit goods. But the criminal sanction reaches only a small number of offenders.

. . . .

Ball’s primary argument focuses on the claim that counterfeit goods are “dangerous” and “pose a serious threat to consumers and businesses alike”, with special emphasis on product safety. The second line of attack is that counterfeiting contributes to economic hardship at the aggregate level, affecting innovation, stealing from legitimate companies, evading the payment of taxes, assisting illicit trade and even terrorism.

Link to the rest at IPKat

It was just an idea

10 December 2017

It was just an idea I had, that it could be cool to have a book covered in fake fur.

Dave Eggers

Holiday Book Sales Slipped Again

10 December 2017

From Publishers Weekly:

At outlets that report to NPD BookScan, unit sales of print books were down 1% in the week ended Dec. 3, 2017, from the similar week in 2016. This was the second consecutive week in the holiday season that sales were lower than at the same time last year; the previous week saw a 2% decline from the similar week in 2016.

. . . .

Adult fiction unit sales were down 1% from this time last year, despite two debuts: Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian selling more than 74,000 copies in its first week, putting it #1 on the adult fiction bestsellers list, and Danielle Steel’s Past Perfect landed in the sixth spot on the list, selling almost 28,000 copies.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Business Musings: Sustainability

10 December 2017

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

The big topic among successful indie writers in the last six months of 2017 is the possibility of burnout. Writers are slowly realizing that the pace they’ve maintained through the last few years isn’t sustainable.

Worse, it has become clear through data and anecdotal evidence that the more a writer produces, the more her income rises.

But that fact, coupled with the fact that incomes have fallen for indies in the past year or so, has given rise to something like panic among the successful indies. They’re having to work harder or just as hard to maintain an income that seemed to come easier in 2015.

And you know what? That’s normal.

I know, I know. You didn’t want to hear that. Because indie writers saw their incomes rise and rise and rise in the first three years of the gold rush. It seemed like every single thing the indie did increased her revenue.

And then, in 2016, those things didn’t work any more.

. . . .

I am also aware that some self-publishing venues, like All Romance eBooks went out of business, taking a lot of writers’ incomes with it. And other venues, like Smashwords, no longer attract new customers the way they used to.

I’m not talking about those changes, although they did have a major impact on a lot of writers’ careers. I’m talking about the changes in income to writers who were not rushing to every new way of doing something, writers who were not gaming algorithms, writers who were producing a lot, interacting professionally with their fans, and doing everything right.

Those writers received major rewards, both in sales and in income, in the early years of indie publishing. Those rewards have diminished, because we are entering into a mature market.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Here’s a link to Kris Rusch’s books. If you like the thoughts Kris shares, you can show your appreciation by checking out her books.

Hoopla Digital introduces ‘Read-Along’ children’s books with audio narration

10 December 2017

From TeleRead:

Starting today, digital library service Hoopla Digital is introducing a new line of “Picture Books with Read-Alongs” for young readers. Unlike Hoopla’s normal ebook titles, which feature traditional reflowable text sized to fit device screens, these Read-Along titles are displayed in specific picture-book layouts, much like PDFs. And they feature an audio player with audio narration, as well as highlighting the word currently being read.

The format is launching with titles from Hoopla’s partners Walt Disney Books, HarperCollins, Lerner, Charlesbridge, and Brittanica. As with Hoopla’s other ebooks, read-along titles can be checked out for up to 21 days.

Link to the rest at TeleRead

Comparing Trends in Children’s Publishing at Guadalajara’s International Rights Exchange

9 December 2017

From Publishing Perspectives:

From Brazil, Norway, Canada, the UK, Lebanon, and Turkey, we gather reactions to Guadalajara International Book Fair’s Rights Exchange fellows—all based in children’s publishing.

. . . .

[W]hat are the world trends that you see shaping children’s publishing today?

Isabel Lopes Coelho:  Well, there is, of course, a variety of books and illustrations and also a contrast of themes. For example, we can see many books about immigration and people displaced in the world–which reflects on how much global movement is going on.

Sarah Odedina: The theme of migration is definitely a worldwide trend. There’s a great concern that’s shared by children for the plight of people in the world.

Publishers are really responding to those concerns and trying to publish works that explain and try to help humanize these stories that are basically headlines–numerous and anxious political situations.

Esra Okutan, Sarigaga Books (Turkey): The trend that I saw last year was girl power, and now the father figure is becoming more powerful, I find. Turkish society and Asian countries are trying to get the father more involved in children’s care.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

The Pitfalls of Landing a Traditional Publisher

9 December 2017

From HuffPost:

Publishizer is a NYC-based startup and crowdfunding platform that’s helped hundreds of authors get published.

. . . .

Loren Kleinman (LK): Can you talk about the traditional publishing route vs. what Publishizer has to offer authors? What are the benefits? Is Publishizer a new publishing model?

Lee Constantine (LC): Landing a traditional publisher can be a frustrating, convoluted process. Yet, most speakers, professionals and fiction writers want to publish a book. The main reasons being: credibility and retail distribution, followed by logistical help producing and fulfilling sales.

Self-publishing lacks legitimacy, especially now that anyone with internet access can publish on amazon and call themselves an expert on whatever topic they choose. It’s lowering the legitimacy of Amazon bestsellers every single day, while traditional publishing remains an elusive endeavor.

Publishizer uses proprietary software to query your proposal to a targeted list of acquiring editors from traditional publishers. We believe pre-orders can be used to filter and match authors with a diversity of potential publishers. Debut authors can get discovered, experienced authors earn better book deals, and acquiring editors make more profitable acquisitions.

. . . .

LK: What was the idea that sparked Publishizer? What’s been the process like growing the new platform?

LC: The idea was built around rejection. Acquiring editors at traditional and independent publishers, for one, receive hundreds of book proposals to their inboxes every day.Andthey don’t have time or the resources to read through every single one to determine writing quality and market fit. So instead, they default to traditional gatekeepers, which include literary agents.

On the author side of things, they don’t usually know what publishers really want, or often times how to gain a loyal readership. And if they do know how, they’re not great at executing. So they also default to traditional gatekeepers: literary agents.

As a result of these gatekeepers, 96% of book proposals get rejected — usually because most books don’t have potential to earn a $50k advance from the publisher (of which, the literary agent earns 15%). So, tons of highly quality amazing books never leave the slush pile simply because someone’s not making a big enough paycheck. This is a major downfall of the book publishing industry.

Link to the rest at HuffPost and thanks to Dave for the tip.

Here’s a link to Publishizer.

PG admits not being terribly impressed with the interview or the Publishizer website, but he could be wrong.

Amazon Has a Patent For a “Garden Service” That Would Help You Grow Food

9 December 2017

From Modern Farmer:

Amazon has a new frontier it’s looking to tackle: your garden. The tech company recently received a patent for a new service that would let users upload photos of their vegetable gardens then receive a variety of recommendations from Amazon including recipes for the specific veggies they’ve planted, gardening tools they might need, and even advice on what else to plant and exactly where in your plot it should go.

The “garden service,” as the company bills it in the patent, uses algorithms and image recognition software to make the recommendations.

. . . .

The much more interesting part of the service is that it can identify any are growing impediments—a tree that’s shading a section of the garden, for instance—and make recommendations for plants that do well under those conditions (for the hypothetical shady garden plot, Amazon suggests a wild ginger plant) that users could buy from the site. The service, given the right inputs, could also geolocate the garden’s specific location to determine what plants have the best chance at success in that area; the user would see a “virtual garden” explaining the best places to plant certain vegetables, herbs, or fruit trees, and would include a feature where they could see what the garden would look like from season to season

Link to the rest at Modern Farmer

Write

9 December 2017

Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.

Author Unknown

Why Everyone Is Mad at Patreon Now

9 December 2017

From Gizmodo:

Over the past four years Patreon has grown to become the de facto funding model for independent creators online—a platform where supporters pledge small monthly recurring donations that better support an enduring career instead of the need Kickstarter or GoFundMe’s per-project setup fills. But an overhaul of its fee structure announced yesterday has creators furious and patrons leaving in droves.

. . . .

Patreon—which supports YouTuber channels like Binging With Babish($11,000/month), animators like David Firth of Salad Fingers fame ($10,000/creation), and podcasts like Chapo Trap House ($87,000/month)—has long relied on a simple financial arrangement that allowed creators to receive a lump sum at the beginning of each month. Of course, that paycheck might vary somewhat because creators were obligated to eat payment processor fees in addition to the 5 percent take the platform shaved off the top.

The new structure—and why everyone is so angry—passes those processor fees on to patrons instead.

“Starting on December 18th, a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge,” the company’s announcement post reads. “Streamlining these fees for creators and patrons ensures that creators take home as much of their earnings as possible.”

Sure, that math checks out—until you factor in a mass exodus of pledge-makers.

Link to the rest at Gizmodo and thanks to Maggie for the tip.

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