Want to Get Published? NY Literary Agent’s Tips For Native Authors

21 July 2016

From Indian Country Today Media Network:

Native authors wanting to get their books published may have felt a jolt of inspiration over the past year as publishers and literary agents embraced such social media movements as #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Though many literary agents and publishers want to work with authors of diversity, most don’t know how to find them.

Eddie Schneider is a successful literary agent and Vice President ofJABberwocky Literary Agency, which he joined in 2008. Schneider says he is among those agents who wish to work with a greater selection of diverse authors, but says many aspiring writers don’t know how to navigate the submission process.

Schneider’s website and literary blogcites some sobering statistics about the lack of diversity in the publishing world.

“According tothis study of literary prize demographics conducted by the University of North Texas, 95% of Pulitzer Prize winners are white, 75% are male, and 85% of them live on the East Coast. When it comes to the National Book Award for Nonfiction, it’s only slightly better; 90% of winners are white, 70% are male, and 80% live on the east coast. The winners are being drawn from a pool where the numbers are stacked against women and minorities. Seventy percent of the submissions for these awards are for books authored by men.”

. . . .

“As obvious as it sounds,” writes Schneider, “the first thing that you want to do to get your work published is to write the manuscript (fiction) or the proposal (non-fiction). With fiction, one of the great pitfalls that authors encounter is finishing projects they start. Too often, the candle that burns brightly at the start goes out before all the wax has been used. With a new author, agents and publishers need to see that you can finish projects, and the way to demonstrate that . . . is by finishing a project.

“Non-fiction is a little different. What you need to succeed there are sample chapters that demonstrate you have writing ability, and a proposal that shows you have a strong concept for the book as a whole.

. . . .

 “If you’re near a bookstore, that makes things fairly easy,” says Schneider. “You can move around the physical space and look at the other books that might one day be your book’s neighbors, and see where your book fits in, as well as how it stands out within its own genre/sub-genre. Sometimes people already have a strong sense of which genre they write in, but sometimes this can be eye-opening.”

. . . .

Schneider says there are four things to remember when writing a query letter.

“First, is that your letter is going to capture the tone of your book. It will even if it feels to you like the business letter that it is and everything in you wants to break the mold and do something unusual to stand out.

“Second, it’s a good idea to have one or two catchy lines that don’t feel contrived. That sometimes shows up as a hook near the beginning of the letter, sometimes as some part of the plot summary that sticks with you later, sometimes in the final paragraph which is mostly just to say that you look forward to the agent’s (or publisher’s) response.

“Third, it’s best not to self-aggrandize and get too adjectival when describing the work.

“Fourth, the bio paragraph should contain information that’s relevant and not get all that personal. If you’re a nonfiction author, this is your first opportunity to show your platform. If you’re a novelist, list a few publication credits (if you have any) or mentions of relevant work, life, or college experience will suffice.

“When submitting the query letter,” says Schneider, “Send it simultaneously! And if an agent offers representation, let the other agents know. And be sure to follow individual agents’ guidelines. Usually they don’t differ too radically from one another, but we get hundreds of email messages and letters each month and if something comes in that has ignored our guidelines, well, we’re looking for excuses to trim down the size of our reading piles.”


Link to the rest at Indian Country Today Media Network

Or you could self-publish one or two or three books during the same amount of time it takes to go through the above-described exercise and immediately increase the number of diverse books available for purchase.

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Author Sues Universal Over Musical Theater Adaptation of ‘October Sky’

7 June 2016

From Yahoo Movies:

The author of the New York Times best-seller Rocket Boys is suing Universal Pictures for overstepping the life rights he granted in the 1990s and shutting down a musical adaptation of his book in favor of launching its own, according to a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Homer Hickam Jr. says he agreed to give Universal the rights to one book to adapt into one film, October Sky.

Now he is suing Universal, and its president James Horowitz and vp of live theatricals Christopher Herzberger, for a host of claims including breach of contract, fraud, misappropriation and unfair competition. Hickam is seeking at least $20 million in damages, an injunction to shut down the October Sky musical and a declaration from the court that Universal does not have any rights to his life story other than the right to make the original 1999 film.

Rocket Boys is the story of Hickam’s life, centering on the family conflict surrounding his decision to build rockets instead of entering the coal mining business.The author claims he sold that story to Universal in 1996, and his now-deceased literary agent Mickey Freiberg assured Hickam that his sequels were protected and reserved, that the agreement was for one film only and that Universal would have to provide significant payment if it wanted to remake the movie or create a new project.

A decade later, Hickam developed and produced Rocket Boys into a live stage musical with the approval of Universal, according to the lawsuit. In 2015, Universal decided to create an October Sky musical, purportedly based on the film and Hickam’s memoir, and has shut down the author’s stage show.

“Universal has demanded that Hickam cease and desist in developing, producing and performing the Rocket Boys musical and accept a complete gag order that would punish him if he ever said a word about Universal’s wrongful and improper conduct,” states the complaint. “Universal has taken the completely fallacious position that Hickam has optioned all rights to Universal to make any and all motion pictures or live stage productions arising from any and all stories he may write about his life.”

Link to the rest at Yahoo Movies and thanks to Meryl for the tip.

PG will observe that deceased agents are not very useful for determining the meaning of ambiguous contract clauses.

If an author contractually grants rights to his/her book for the full length of the copyright (the remainder of the author’s life plus 70 years in the US and similar durations in other western countries), everybody involved in creating the contract will be dead before the contract ends. This is one of the many reasons for getting the language of the contract exactly right.

Of course, the consequences of poorly-drafted contract language would have fewer potential adverse consequences for the author if the contract’s duration was a more reasonable period of time. A misunderstanding that impacts an author for three years or five years or seven years is less serious than one the author will never outlive.

PG will also observe that the contracts of KDP and other ebook sales channels of which PG is aware may be terminated by either party at any time. This is not to say that authors should not take their KDP contracts seriously and understand the obligations contained therein, but an author who wants to take their book in a different direction can easily do so.

Writer Steve Hamilton’s Second Chance

20 May 2016

From The Wall Street Journal:

Thriller writer Steve Hamilton tends to reserve the high-stakes drama for the pages of his novels. For years, he stayed with the same agent and the same publisher. He lived in rural upstate New York, and wrote at night while working as a technical writer at IBM.

Then he went rogue. When his brand-new mystery was about to go to the printer last year, he blew up his book contract in an unusual dispute over marketing and publicity and went looking for a new publisher.

Today, that book, “The Second Life of Nick Mason,” comes out amid more fanfare than he’s ever experienced. With a new book deal and movies in the works, Mr. Hamilton is hoping to take his career to a new level.

The 55-year-old author grew up around Detroit devouring the hard-boiled likes of Elmore Leonard and James Crumley. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1983, he moved to upstate New York and went to work as a technical writer for IBM. He spent the next 32 years explaining the company’s products to customers.

He joined a writer’s group and in 2000 sold his debut novel, “A Cold Day in Paradise.”

. . . .

“I led a double life,” the author says. “When my co-workers were on vacation, I was on a book tour,” which usually meant driving to stores in Michigan and Illinois.

But after 12 books in 13 years, Mr. Hamilton, who is married with two children, hadn’t broken out nationally. “I was ‘that Michigan writer,’ ” he says. Like many authors, he blamed it on a lack of marketing and publicity support from his publisher, the Minotaur imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

. . . .

In 2013, as his New York literary agent prepared to retire, Mr. Hamilton signed up with Hollywood screenwriter and producer Shane Salerno, who sidelines as a literary agent. Mr. Salerno’s main book client is Don Winslow, who used to scribble novels while on stakeouts working as a private investigator.

Mr. Salerno urged Mr. Hamilton to launch a new series and quit his day job. “He needed to be a full-time writer,” Mr. Salerno says.

Mr. Hamilton felt loyal to his publisher and didn’t want to abandon his McKnight fans. With St. Martin’s, he signed up for four more books—two Nick Masons and two McKnights—in a deal reported to be “near seven figures.” IBM offered to match the money in his contract, Mr. Hamilton says, but after learning the amount, they said, “OK, good luck.”

As Mr. Hamilton turned to full-time writing, what mattered most to him was launching Nick Mason with broad media coverage and advertising as well as a bigger book tour.

. . . .

About two months before the publication date, Mr. Hamilton and his agent say they asked for a marketing and publicity plan. They were shocked. “It was a page of nothing,” Mr. Hamilton says, well short of what had been promised. Advance copies of the book for the media promised an initial print run of 75,000 as well as a national marketing campaign. Mr. Hamilton called that a “complete and total lie.” The two sides argued for a month but St. Martin’s didn’t satisfy the author and his agent. So they decided to yank the book and buy back the contract.

“I just couldn’t watch it die,” says Mr. Hamilton. He says St. Martin’s executives told him: “You’re making the biggest mistake of your life; you’re ending your career.”

Heading toward the rupture, “my wife and I were lying in bed just staring at the ceiling,” Mr. Hamilton says. “I was terrified.”

. . . .

Mr. Hamilton says he was deluged with emails from other writers. One wrote, “I feel like I’m in a jail cell, watching you go through a hole in the wall.”

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire) and thanks to Ruth for the tip.

‘Star Wars’ Director Claims the 20 Percent He’s Paying Agents Is Unlawful

15 May 2016

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Star Wars: Episode VIII helmer Rian Johnson is now piloting a campaign that might be described as the talent strikes back.

In March, Johnson was dragged to court by his former agent Brian Dreyfuss, who claimed entitlement to 10 percent of all commissionable projects including Star Wars. Not only is Johnson resisting the demand, he’s now returning fire by seeking to have Dreyfuss disgorge past commissions from past works.

Dreyfuss began representing Johnson in 2002 as an agent at Kohner Agency and helped raise money for Johnson’s first feature-length film, Brick. Four years later, Dreyfuss formed his own firm, Featured Artists Agency, and Johnson came along as a client. Up until March 2014, the two worked together as Johnson’s stature in the industry rose with projects like The Brothers Bloom, Looper and several key episodes of Breaking Bad.

In 2011, though, around the time Johnson was readying the release of Looper, he had also retained Creative Artists Agency. That meant for the subsequent three years, he was paying double commissions — 10 percent each — to both CAA and FAA. In his lawsuit, Dreyfuss says CAA’s engagement was the result of interference from Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman who allegedly wanted to “marginalize” him.

. . . .

Regardless of how it happened, Dreyfuss’ relationship with Johnson came to an end on March 23, 2014. “I just want to pursue other opportunities,” Johnson allegedly then told Dreyfuss, who is now suspicious about the timing of his termination. According to Dreyfuss, Johnson was pursuing a World War II spy film, an adaptation of acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, and perhaps most importantly,Star Wars. Dreyfuss says that in January 2014, he was contacted by LucasFilm to inquire about Johnson’s interest in future film projects. Johnson allegedly waived it off, but Dreyfuss can’t help but think that by “other opportunities,” Johnson meant Star Wars. Dreyfuss demands a cut.

Post-termination commissions aren’t unusual, but in this instance, Johnson has reacted by filing a petition to the California Labor Commissioner.

In the petition, Johnson says he fired Dreyfuss well before receiving an offer to write and direct Star Wars, and that Dreyfuss didn’t play a role in him obtaining the gig, but what takes the dispute beyond the ordinary is allegations how his former agent has “circumvented guild rules and regulations on licensing requirements, maximum commissions and post-termination commissions.”

According to Johnson, when Dreyfuss first began representing him, the Kohner Agency was licensed and franchised by the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. The guilds have an agreements with the Association of Talent Agents whereby directors and writers pay no more than a 10 percent commission to agents.

Johnson, through his attorney Aaron Moss at Greenberg Glusker, says he’s now come to learn that Dreyfuss has been operating as an unlicensed talent agent, and further, “unbeknownst to Johnson, when Dreyfuss left Kohner to start Featured, Featured deliberately failed to become franchised by the DGA, in order to attempt to avoid the obligations required of the ATA-DGA Agreement.”

Link to the rest at The Hollywood Reporter and thanks to Alexis for the tip.

What’s Driving Self-Publishing? “Company Policy.”

14 May 2016

From The Zack Company (a literary agency):

While self-publishing experienced huge growth driven by authors who could not get publishers to pay attention to them and agree to publish their books, there are now very good authors—even authors who have deals with major publishers—getting into the self-publishing game. Why? Two words: “company policy.” And, no, I don’t mean banning casual Fridays. If only. I mean insisting on certain rights or royalty rates and refusing to negotiate on those rights or rates.

I have repeatedly been informed by publishers that they must have audio rights and that there will be no offer without the inclusion of audio rights. I have also been informed that they must have World English rights or even World rights, or they will not make an offer. This is not about negotiating the best package of rights given the advance; these are firm take-it-or-leave-it positions. Yet, in most cases, the editors have not even yet read the book!

Whenever I make a submission, I specify the rights I’m offering. And what I offer US publishers is the United States, Canada, and the non-exclusive Open market, excluding Audio, Film, TV, Graphic Novel, Comic Book, and other traditionally retained rights.

All too often, the editors respond by saying, “We appreciate your position, but it’s company policy.” Really? Company policy to withhold an offer or break off a negotiation over rights the house may or may not exercise? Company policy to alienate the author you want to do business with by drawing a line in the sand not after a series of offers and counter-offers, but at the very start? Seems like a terrible way to start a relationship.

. . . .

Authors should feel excited about getting a publishing deal. Not as though they just agreed to an arranged marriage in which the terms were dictated to them. The vast number of authors who get publishing contracts do not get them after an auction or bidding war. Most are patiently waiting for editors to get to their manuscripts and make an offer. That doesn’t mean the offer won’t be for good money from a good publisher. But when the offer comes and it ignores that certain rights were on the table or it takes the position that getting World rights including Audio is company policy and those things are not negotiable, I think most authors end up feeling boxed in and bullied into giving up rights they would otherwise have hoped to license for additional advances and income elsewhere. Perhaps we should just be grateful that getting movie rights has not become “company policy” anywhere . . . yet.

And I understand authors can always walk away, but we both know that it’s not a realistic move.

Link to the rest at The Zack Company and thanks to Joseph for the tip.

Agents and Estates

6 May 2016

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

Last week, I posted a blog on Prince’s lack of a will, and talked a little about estates. Of course, some people (who apparently never read my blog) asked me if agents should handle a writer’s estate.

No, agents should not.

Before I even get to the issues below, let me tell you this: Many literary agencies are small businesses, just like your writing business is. Many agents have prepared no better for their deaths than Prince did for his.

. . . .

Dean constantly nagged Bill about writing a will. And Bill would always respond, “What do I care about what’ll happen to my stuff after I die? I’ll be dead.”

As I’ve aged, I understand where Bill was coming from. I have a lot of stuff, more than I can fathom, particularly considering I moved to Oregon nearly 30 years ago with Dean, my cat Buglet, and most of my possessions stuffed into a LeCar. I did ship 20 boxes of books, but that was it. Not even enough for a small U-Haul trailer, let alone a van.

. . . .

When Ralph Vicinanza who was a major (unmarried) agent died suddenly, his entire estate went to his sister, a clueless woman who had no idea how to run a business, let alone a literary agency.

Behind the scenes, I did a lot of hand-holding with heirs to estates handled by that agency. These heirs were brilliant people, many of whom had grown up around Grandpa the Writer or Mommy the Writer, but never learned the business of writing. The heirs often made their own money at super high-powered careers of their own, but they were lost when it came to publishing.

. . . .

So, if you had asked me five years ago, what you the writer should do when it came to who should handle your estate, I would have told you this:

  1. Choose someone to manage the literary part of your estate who has an interest in publishing, particularly the publishing business.
  2. Make sure that person gets a percentage of what she does to manage the literary estate.
  3. If you don’t have any heirs, pick a charity to receive the money from your estate, and then designate a representative to handle the management of the estate. Make sure the charity receives enough money so that if the estate is mismanaged (and they often are), the charity will complain and a new representative will be appointed.
  4. If you don’t have any heirs or you don’t have any smart heirs, and the charity you’ve chosen is outside of the publishing industry, then get a literary agency that has a long list of literary estates to handle your estate after your death.

You’ll note that I have put a line through point four. I do so because some of you will ignore the rest of this post and think that I am advising you to hire an agent to handle your estate.

Yes, I used to give that advice.

And—God as my witness—I was so wrong that I’m embarrassed by it.

. . . .

But on the estate side, I have now worked with a lot of agents, many of them Big Name Agents. The Big Name Agents who handled multimillion dollar clients as well as estates all assigned the estate matters to assistants.

The assistants were so incredibly clueless that I actually felt sorry for them. The assistants didn’t know who I was (not a big deal to me), didn’t know the names of the various companies I was working with (some of which they should have known), did not understand the contract terms and asked me about them—which you should never ever ever do in a negotiation.

If you’re negotiating, you shouldn’t let the other party know the depth of your ignorance. Seriously. Think that through for a minute. These assistants have bosses. They’re the Big Name Agent, hired (in theory) for the prestige and for the Agent’s experience in all matters. And the Big Name Agent did not use that prestige or that experience in these negotiations. The Big Name Agent was too busy to be bothered – for a client.

. . . .

Agent doesn’t care and/or doesn’t know that Famous Dead Author’s works are all out of print and unavailable. Yeah, I can’t believe it either, but when I mentioned it to a few of the agents about their client estates, the agents were shocked to realize that nothing had been in print for years.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Here’s a link to Kris Rusch’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

Indie or Traditional?

14 March 2016

From MadGeniusClub:

Before we get into the heart of the video, let’s start with what we know — or don’t know — about the man making it. He is, apparently, an agent. He is from Great Britain. His accent and reference to pounds instead of dollars sort of gives that away. But that’s it.

Now to the video, “Seven reasons why you shouldn’t self publish” (His reasons are italicized)

1.It’s expensive because you have to pay for jacket design, “all the photos”, copy editing and proofreading. He goes on to say he doesn’t feel comfortable with any system that forces authors to pay money to enter the marketplace.

Oh, my. Where to begin?

First of all, you don’t have to hire someone to design your cover. There are templates out there you can download for free. There are detailed instructions to walk you through building your cover. There are free photo manipulation programs as well. As for “all the photos”, I don’t think I have ever paid more than $10 for cover elements. I will admit that I don’t build my own covers, not the final versions. I find what I want and then talk to Sarah or Cedar or a couple of others I know and then trade services. I will copy edit/proofread if they will make what I have drafted as a cover look good. (I’ll admit right here that lettering is my downfall.)

As for the copy editing and proofreading, I admit to shaking my head when this so-called agent didn’t mention content editing. Again, copy editing and proofreading are services you can trade off with other authors for. Effective use of beta readers will also handle a lot of those issues. So, again, no money out of pocket. Nor did this agent mention the fact that there are writers who are traditionally published and who pay to have their work edited before they send it to their publishers because they have learned the hard way that is the only way quality editing will happen.

But what really had me scratching my head was his comment about not being comfortable with any system that “forces authors to pay money to enter the marketplace.” At first, I wondered if he was conflating self-publishing with publishing through a vanity press. After all, those presses, and I use that term loosely, are notorious for making authors pay large sums of money for the production of the books and then forcing the authors to buy a certain number of books that they then have to hand sell.

Then he went on to say that the expense of producing a book should be the responsibility of “big corporations”. Okay, that’s to be expected from someone who makes his living by selling his clients’ work to these traditional publishers. But does he really think authors don’t get that, by going with a traditional publisher, you are paying them in a way? Not only is the author signing over rights to their book for a period of time, they are also giving up the majority of any moneys that might come in from sales of the book. Giving up that money is, if you are honest about it, paying the publisher to publish you. That is especially true regarding e-books when there is no shipping cost, no storage cost, no printing cost and, if you are really honest about it, no editing cost because the book has already been edited. Yet, the authors still receive less than 50% of the royalty in many contracts for digital sales.

. . . .

5. Indie publishing puts off agents and publishers.

He says this is because the author has missed the “debut bloom”. He goes on to say that you need to sell in the high five figure to hundreds of thousands of copies of your indie book to impress a publisher.

That’s when I fell out of my chair, laughing hysterically. Yes, it scared the dog and the cats looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Of course a traditional publisher would like someone with that sort of history to come knocking on their door. Unfortunately for the indie author, the track record of traditional publishers maintaining that level of sales for the author after signing a contract is poor. Part of it is that they don’t promote the author like the author promoted herself. Part is the difference in pricing. More folks will buy an e-book at $4.99 (or lower) than they will at $12.99. Not that traditional publishing gets that. They simply see a higher profit margin instead of more of a lower margin. There comes a point in profit where you will make more by selling more at a lower cost.

What he didn’t say, and what may have been at the back of his mind, is that agents and publishers are scared of indie authors. Sure, they might sign one to a contract but they know the indie author knows what sort of money she made on her own. She knows how to read royalty statements and, more importantly from the author’s point of view, she knows that she has an alternative to traditional publishing. She knows she doesn’t have to be tied to traditional publishing to make money or get her books into the hands of her fans.

Link to the rest at MadGeniusClub and thanks to Sara and others for the tip.

When Publishing Trophies Become Meaningless

7 March 2016

From agent Janet Kobobel Grant:

Publishing trophies come in three forms: signed contracts, making a best-seller list, and winning a writing award. But, with all the changes in the publishing industry, these trophies are beginning to look like kids’ sports trophies–if you were on the team, you receive a trophy. That way everyone wins; but that also means trophies lose meaning. Here are some hints to figure out what’s what:

Signed contracts. Scrolling through posts on Facebook, I see plenty of pics of writers turning into authors as they sign their first book contract. It is a heady moment, and the writers have worked diligently and probably for years to arrive there. But a contract with a tiny indie publisher that includes little or no advance is not the same as a contract with a long-established and revered publishing venue–let alone a contract with one of the Big Five.

. . . .

[T]he difference between signing with a publisher who will sell a couple hundred copies of your book and signing with a publisher who can bring in thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of copies sold is like the difference between riding a tricycle and revving the engines of a Harley.

. . . .

Making a best-seller list. You may have read about marketer Brent Underwood’s hoax in which he created a #1 Amazon best-seller with $3 and in five minutes. He recounts how he created a wordless book and sold three copies to make his book a best-seller.

. . . .

Underwood set out to reach best-sellerdom to make a point: If you become an Amazon #1 best-seller, that might be akin to the kid who showed up for every grade school baseball game wearing a uniform. If you understand what you need to do to win the trophy, it’s not all that hard to achieve.

Now, legitimately winning a spot on the New York Times list, Publishers Weekly list, USA Today list, ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers) list  is not so easily achieved and holds real meaning.

Even managing #1 best-selling status on Amazon can mean significant sales have occurred. The caveat with Amazon is that fame can be fleeting (capture a screen shot of that #1 status because it can be gone in the next hour). And the book must achieve that status in highly-competitive categories (parenting, historical fiction, cookbooks, etc.).

Link to the rest at Books & Such and thanks to David for the tip.

PG says the best trophies are monthly direct deposits from Amazon with no deductions.

Seven reasons why you shouldn’t self publish

7 March 2016

Thanks to Michael for the tip.

It’s Time for Bookstores to Stop Boycotting Amazon Publishing

16 February 2016

From agent Andrew Zack via Huffington Post:

When announced it was going to start publishing books as well as selling them, my reaction, like many in the publishing world, was mixed. On the one hand, I loved the idea of a new market to which to license the rights to my clients’ works. On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine any other bookstore–chain or independent–ever selling a book published by Amazon, which would mean that books published by Amazon would be sold only by Amazon. Would that be enough?

I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. I’m not alone in this, of course. Publishers dislike Amazon for certain practices, such as mucking around with pricing and devaluing books by charging too little. But publishers also love Amazon because it nearly single-handedly began the business of selling books online, creating a sales channel that has provided great rewards for publishers.

As predicted, bookstores–chain and independent–have mostly chosen not to carry the books published by Amazon Publishing. But has the time come to end the refusal to stock Amazon Publishing’s books? Has the position simply become more one of spite and petulance than principle?

Let’s be honest. The boycott by traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores of Amazon Publishing’s titles hasn’t hurt Amazon at all, but it may be hurting the authors it publishes. Some publishers may say “Good! They should never have done a deal with Amazon.” But as an agent I have represented books published by Amazon and I welcomed the offers from Amazon’s editors. In fact, I was excited to see what it would look like to see a book published by Amazon.

. . . .

The irony is that by not ordering books published by Amazon, bookstores are helping to increase the profitability of those titles for Amazon. Let’s not forget how the publishing industry works. It’s one where bookstores order books and return books that don’t sell. Yet Amazon pretty much doesn’t have to worry about returns, because few bookstores are ordering its titles. If Amazon had to suffer the ignominy brought on by the utter failure of titles it publishes, to be bloodied in the marketplace on a level playing ground, perhaps it might develop a new appreciation for the difficulties regular publishers face. Perhaps it might even take a different tack in its dealings with them. Or perhaps it would just shutter its imprints, deciding it was a foolish endeavor to start publishing its own titles. Some might see that as a “win” for traditional publishing. Many would certainly find it ironic.

But, for now, traditional bookstore owners and chain buyers should give the titles published by Amazon’s imprints the same consideration they give those published by traditional publishers, not because failing to do so hurts Amazon, but because failing to do so hurts the authors of those books.

Link to the rest at Huffington Post


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