Living as a Writer, Living through Books

No one owes you a living. No one owes writers a living. No one owes artists a living. No one owes anyone a living. Depending on which country, which culture, you grew up in, and where you are, the attitude toward livelihood might change. In some countries, people consider it the role of the government…


The Ongoing Boxing Match: Amazon vs. Hachette

If you follow the publishing industry you’ve seen quite a few articles and blogs on the dispute between Amazon and Hachette. One is a giant retailer, the other a giant publisher.
Amazon is demanding higher royalties (and lower prices on e-books) from Hachette. Hachette is demanding, well, who knows? It doesn’t seem to speaking for its…


The Don’t List

Many people accomplish things by setting goals. But they also set limits.
You can’t do everything – not that you’re not talented and all. You don’t have the time to do everything well, even if you’re a gifted performer and writer and whatever like James Franco.
So to get back to writing your book, or to finish…


On Your Own

Very few people look ahead – most people react, and are slow to react at that.
Publishers could have sold directly to readers a long time ago (and some, like Reader’s Digest, with its condensed books, or Time-Life, with its various cookbooks or nature titles, did as well). But they didn’t.
Publishers could have developed an e-reader…


The Shadow Industry

While traditional publishing counts for the bulk of all books that reach bookstores – brick-and-mortar or virtual – there is a significant shadow industry of self-publishing that accounts for, by some estimates, around $1 billion a year in sales.
That’s a long shadow.
But, as J.A. Konrath points out in his always-excellent and thought-provoking blog, A Newbie’s…


The Non-Existent Amazon War

Some writers should have it so good.
Stephen Colbert, who happens to be a Hachette author (Hachette is a giant publishing company, for those who may not yet know this, or even care about it) in addition to being a television personality, has been very pro-Hachette, naturally, in remarks concerning the so-called war between Amazon and…


Publishers Have No Time for the Slow Build

Traditional publishing waits for no one, least of all authors. The bestselling crime writer Val McDermid, would have a hard time starting out today, she says in an interview in Britain’s Telegraph, because publishers don’t have time to build an author’s career. She’s gone on to sell more than 10 million copies of her tough-minded…


E-Book Strengths, Publisher Anxiety

E-books account for a healthy portion of total book sales, and growing. The market for books – estimated to be about $15 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers, a 14% increase since 2008, when e-books starting really taking off. Now, e-books make up about $3 billion of that total.
But if you take e-books…


E-books and the Future of Publishing

The publishing industry is doing well. In fact, last year it had $27 billion in net revenue, according to the Association of American Publishers, and sold something like 2.7 billion units.
What’s most surprising is that, although trade paperbacks remain the number-one format for books, the greatest strength comes from the growth of e-books, which had…


Delivery of Digital Content: It’s Not the Device It’s What’s On It

The news that Barnes & Noble is spinning off its Nook unit, in order to separate its brick-and-mortar business from its e-book one, shows just how difficult it is to figure out what exactly readers want in an e-reader.
The company has found that its e-readers simply can’t compete against Amazon and tablets, in particular the…