December 15, 2015 · 11:45 am
A reader’s manifesto
Here’s a secret statistic that Nielsen won’t tell you — Penguin coffee mugs and adult colouring books together now represent 85% of total bookstore sales, with 10% left for Mog’s Christmas Calamity and 5% for everything else. That’s a true fact. Look it up. In fact, the same statistics that were being used to predict that the market would be 50% digital in three years could now be used to predict that all reading will be replaced by adult colouring books in the next 11 months. So get ready to attend the FutureAdultColouringBook conference here in 2016.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
I want to think he was being humorous. But any trip to Barnes & Noble is like stepping into a store that specializes in toys, games, and licensed souvenirs that also happens to stock some books.
1922: How To Market Reading And Books
1922: How To Market Reading And Books, Part Two
October 20, 2015 · 1:46 pm
The Tsar of Love and Techno
You think record execs are bad, publishers are much worse, kinda like movie executives on steroids, people who believe they’re better than us. And I’m not going to laud the uneducated, but the publishing world is everything I hate about New York, where your pedigree rules and it’s all about keeping everybody else down. Come on, have you seen Donald Trump’s act?
Books are so passe it’s laughable. And so many are written by graduates of writing workshops where the standard is unreadability. It’s like they pack their tomes with words you have to look up to make them feel better about themselves. Whereas the first criterion of a book is readability.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Another opportunity for me to link to this: A Reader’s Manifesto.
It’s not you. It’s the book. That book you have to wrestle with is shit.
Who Do You Write For?
September 21, 2015 · 7:45 am
Moneyball, the movie:
Billy Beane: It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball. This kind of thing, it’s fun for the fans. It sells tickets and hot dogs. Doesn’t mean anything.
Fuck baseball. How can you not be romantic about book publishing?
Harper Lee’s Millions
Everyone was in on the auction last week. The proposal went out to fifteen hundred fucking people. Matt Damon got one. On Mars.
This post is for my fellow writers. No one else would understand.
January 31, 2015 · 12:15 pm
Because they promote ignorance. And ignorance leads to all other evils and ills.
Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul
When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people’s ideas.
Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press.
We need a worldwide program to digitize every damn library.
Continue reading →
January 14, 2015 · 5:08 pm
December 15, 2014 · 10:13 am
This is just nuts. Amazon loves books? Do they know how to read any?
Graeme Reynolds's Blog
This is a really strange blog post to have to write, simply because the situation is absurd. It would be comedic, really, if the situation was not costing me money and resulted in one of my best-selling books being unavailable in the run up to the busiest time of the year.
Let me tell you a little story.
I was sitting in front of my computer on Friday night, as is often the case, talking to friends on Facebook, randomly browsing things that seemed interesting and, in this particular case, attending the launch party for Chantal Noordeloos’s latest Coyote book, when I had an email notification arrive in my inbox from Kindle Direct Publishing.
The email was titled rather ominously as
Kindle Quality Notice: High Moor 2: Moonstruck – B00BVC7MKW
Now – Moonstruck has been out for around 18 months now. It’s done well for itself and, at the time…
View original post 877 more words
December 6, 2014 · 1:31 pm
Book publishers are incentivizing midlist authors to abandon them for Amazon
So when you’re a company that’s dealing with revenues in the billions (with a B), suddenly a product that can only sell a few thousand units and is ultimately “unscalable,” isn’t worthy of investment. So instead they invest in products that have the potential to not only sell millions of units, but also spawn spin-off merchandise and movie deals.
This has been happening for quite some time. It was evident way back in the early 1980s. Alarms were sounded back in the 1970s.
And here’s something the publishers haven’t taken into account. Even books that can grow into the kind of scale they seek don’t need them.
Exhibit A, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in an American comic book published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming and bad television with Laird. Using money from a tax refund, together with a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The TMNT comic series has been published in various incarnations by various comic book companies since 1984.
The Turtles started their rise to mainstream success when a licensing agent, Mark Freedman, sought out Eastman and Laird to propose wider merchandising opportunities for the franchise. In 1986, Dark Horse Miniatures produced a set of 15 mm lead figurines. In January 1987, Eastman and Laird visited the offices of Playmates Toys Inc, a small California toy company that wanted to expand into the action figure market. Development was undertaken by a creative team of companies and individuals: Jerry Sachs, ad man of Sachs-Finley Agency, brought together the animators at Murakami-Wolf-Swenson headed by Fred Wolf. Wolf and his team combined concepts and ideas with the Playmates marketing crew, headed by Karl Aaronian, VP of sales Richard Sallis and VP of Playmates Bill Carlson.
The established publishers can never, ever be as hungry as an individual who can see an opportunity and pounce on it.
Just ask — and here’s Exhibit B for the win — the McDonald brothers who met Ray Kroc!
December 6, 2014 · 8:50 am
Century 21 FX Exclusive
I understand how they’re marketing to collectors. But some of us out here are no longer collectors — yet we’d still like the information and images.
So why limit this to print and limit possible income?
Continue reading →
November 3, 2014 · 9:12 am
There is no war between Amazon and Traditional Publishing
My interest in publishing has declined. There are only so many times I can bang my head against a wall. Still, from time to time I will point to worthwhile publishing-related posts. The above is one of them.