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Posts Tagged ‘Publishing’

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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The Grove Review is looking for a new distributor, and I’m having trouble finding one. I’ve sent out lots of emails to other literary journals and magazines in the Northwest, asking for recommendations, but many of the responses I’ve gotten are:

Yes, we have a distributor; We use  _______; And NO, we can’t recommend them.

Why can’t anyone recommend their distributor? Are all of these small presses just dissatisfied with their sales, and blame the distributor? Or, perhaps, are distributors just trying to take on too many books and therefore can’t really give each one the necessary amount of time? I wish I knew.

I would really like to use a smaller distributor, one that focuses on the Northwest and independent booksellers, but Baker & Taylor and Ingram seem to be taking over ALL distribution for books in the U.S. – which seems like a bad thing.

So, any suggestions for a distributor?

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As I mentioned before in an earlier post, I am now the Managing Editor of The Grove Review, a local literary journal, and I’m very excited about it. I started working with The Grove in October, as an intern, but it quickly became apparent to me that The Grove needed someone who was a little more willing to take charge and get things done – so I did.

But I was impressed right from the very beginning with the warmth and friendship at The Grove. Matt, the publisher, invited everyone who wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving to come to his house; Gregory, the fiction editor, invited me to a Doctor Who marathon, and our meetings are often sidetracked into fun and crazy subjects that Matt calls “entertaining, but not useful.” As busy as I am, I think I make time for this publication mostly because I like the people.

Sadly, several of our group are leaving us – one accepted a job in Eugene, one is going off to grad school at Columbia, and one is graduating and hoping to focus on her own writing projects. So we’re looking for new volunteers. And I’m hoping we can get a few great people to complement the already great group we have.

Here’s the official blurb about our volunteer recruiting:

The Grove Review, one of Portland’s finest literary journals, is looking for new volunteers and interns for the spring/summer seasons!

The Grove Review volunteer group creates a meaningful exchange, where volunteers work to print the journal and gain valuable publishing experience, while contributing their own new and innovative ideas. In return, participants are given the opportunity to interact with a wonderful group of professionals in the Pacific Northwest publishing industry and the larger community of Northwest writers.  Volunteers leave with valuable skills in a range of areas, and the knowledge that they have left a mark on the development and trajectory of a first-rate literary magazine.

Currently, the Grove is looking for several individuals with interests in marketing, social networking, poetry, and/or art. We publish art, fiction, and poetry and our latest issue will be out in June. To that end, we want to publicize the release, host a launch party, and generally let the Northwest literary community know more about our amazing journal. To do that, we need submission readers, marketers, and people interested in writing and publishing to come help us. We meet every two weeks or so.

While there is no monetary compensation available (The Grove Review is a non-profit publication), you will receive publishing experience and meet great new people. College credit is available for students. If you have any questions, contact Maureen@thegrovereview.org.

If you are interested in working with us, please submit your areas of interest with experience (and resume, if applicable) to matt@thegrovereview.org. Visit www.thegrovereview.org for more information about the journal.

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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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