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Posts Tagged ‘publishers’

Hey Writers who Read this Blog!

My book marketing teacher mentioned a publishing company called PUSH. I went on the site, and now I’m really intrigued.

When I called self-publishing vanity publishing, someone commented that big publishers NEVER publish first time authors. But PUSH only publishes first time authors! Perhaps that’s exactly what we need: more publishers solvent enough to take a chance actually TAKING a chance and publishing a new writer.

Right now, I feel like publishing houses are putting themselves into a rut by publishing the same authors over and over. And let’s face it – an author might have one great book in them, but sometimes their second and third books aren’t as good as someone else’s first novel.

I understand the authors’ frustrations with this, just as I understand the publishing houses’ point of view: they want to print books that they know will make them money!

But, again, it might be nice if one or two of the big publishing houses, who have the money to take a greater chance, created imprints to publish first time authors. Then, they can keep those authors in-house with another imprint but new authors would have some hope of publication beyond paying their own way.

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Hey All,

I assume most of the people reading this blog are interested in things literary. Why else would you be reading this? All I talk about is books! So let’s talk about books. And publishing. And graphic novels. And acquisitions. And agents. And young adult writing. And…..everything else? I can’t talk about everything and frankly you wouldn’t want me to! I’m not an expert, just a girl with a little obsession.

But there’s a conference next month where experts WILL be talking about these things. Write to Publish, or Oolicon, will be May 22-23. I will be there both days, to check out the local literary scene on Sunday, but mostly to learn from the experts on Saturday.

Here’s the workshops I find most interesting:

Young Adults Trends and Audience (Sara Ryan, two-time Oregon Book Award winner in the YA category): Young adult (YA) fiction is one of the most lively and profitable genres in publishing. Get an overview of current and upcoming trends and tips on writing for this diverse and voracious audience.

Graphic Novels: Publishing and Process (Brett Warnock, head publisher, Top Shelf Productions; Aaron Colter, marketing coordinator, Dark Horse Comics): Graphic novels are more popular now than ever before. The intricacies of the publishing process for this genre are varied and unique, and new technologies have created exciting possibilities for graphic novel writers and readers. This workshop will examine the opportunities and difficulties inherent in the creation of graphic novels. Learn the importance of design and marketing in this medium.

Writers, Conventions, and the Web: A Friendship (Bo Johnson, head publisher, Bowler Hat Comics): Learn about building your presence on the web and how conventions can help you get your foot in the door. This workshop will give you the tools you need to make your next convention visit more productive. Learn the many ways to network and promote yourself as an author.

So, everyone, buy your tickets for the workshops NOW!! Support Ooligan, of course, but really this is for writers –  to help authors learn about the industry from the experts. Be there or be square. Plus, Ursula K. LeGuin will be there – now there’s an author worth obsessing over.

Workshops: HERE.

Industry Mingle and Author Stage: HERE.

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There was a popular book written about the heroine scene in Cairo called 1/4 Gram by Essam Youssef, and it prompted this article: “Are There Still Topics Too Taboo for Fiction?

The end of the article asks a very interesting question – “In a world where there is increasing tolerance, even craving, for grim reality, are there still subjects that remain taboo?”

I think this goes back to my post about teen books being depressing. They crave this grim reality. And they want to read books that push the boundary of too far, that boundary that still exists but is so transparent, so thin, that I think soon it will fall. I actually think it has fallen for adults, especially with self-published books that can talk about any subject the author pleases.

So, my answer is no. There isn’t anything that remains taboo.

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According to the AAP (the Association of American Publishers), book sales fell about 1.8% in 2009.

Here’s the breakdown of the report:

Sales went up in 2009 for the following:
Adult hardbound books
Paperbound books for children and juveniles
E-books
Higher education books

Sales went down in 2009 for the following:
Paperbound books
Hardbound books for children and juveniles
Mass market paperbacks
Mail order and book club sales
Audio books
Religious books
Elementary and high school books

Stayed about the same:
Trade sales of adult books
Trade sales of juvenile books

I would like to point out, before the pessimists take over, that the publishing industry, according to the AAP, still saw $23.9 billion in sales in 2009. And the economy hasn’t been great, so the fall of sales was actually pretty understandable. And e-book sales went up about 700%.

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While I’m still skeptical about Twitter’s ability to sell any books for publishers, I can’t really deny that Twitter is supporting the “cult of personality” type following that authors now enjoy. It seems like an author’s book doesn’t matter as much as their online presence and persona. If publishers could make money every time someone read the Twitter or Facebook posts of their authors, perhaps they wouldn’t be so worried about financial problems.

But, since everyone’s following the authors anyway, here’s a list of the most popular:

50 Best Book People to Follow on Twitter

There are some great authors on this list, including Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, and J.K Rowling, as well as some publishers, book reviewers, and publishing news sites.

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On Galleycat today, there was an article about an Egyptian man who was arrested for publishing a book about a controversial figure in the country. It seems weird to me that police would arrest a publisher – it seems like arresting the author would make so much more sense. But, I guess, in their minds the publisher gave the author means to spread a dissident’s opinion.

Which actually brings me to an interesting question we were discussing in my Advanced Editing Class yesterday….what is the author’s responsibility to the reader? In this case, did the publisher feel it was his responsibility to help inform the public about the opposing view in political arguments? Or was he simply trying to make money from the controversy? Perhaps the author, a journalist, was the one who felt responsible about spreading The Dream of the Green Revolution (the subtitle of the book).

I don’t know what I think an author’s responsibility is. I know I don’t think they have any moral obligations to the reader, but perhaps they have more responsibility to themselves, really, than the reader at all.

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I’ve already shown that I’m a fan of traditional publishing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that authors have a responsibility to market their own books. Books are increasingly associated with their authors – to the point that people buy books based on their author’s presence online or in the media. And while publishers are creating press kits and setting up interviews and events, there are other avenues that only the author can explore.

So, for all authors, here’s a list of things you can do to increase your visibility to readers:

1) Create a website/blog/Facebook account/Twitter  account (or all of the above)
2) Enter contests of all types
3) Publish articles in print and online about anything in your book. For example, if your mystery novel takes place in Eastern Oregon, write a fun travel article about the locations you used, send it to a travel site, and add just a little hook at the end about your book.
4) Give dynamic “readings,” interviews, and presentations. Reading from your book isn’t enough – you need to give an audience a good show. (See this article)
5) Send book to reviewers (ones that your publisher might not be considering)
6) Try to get a book club to read your work. Even if you have to create such a group, word of mouth is an amazing marketing tool.
7) If it’s applicable (which it often is for fiction books), create a book trailer and post it online.

These are all just ideas – but they can all work to your advantage. So go forth and market!

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