Changing Landscape of Book Publishing [Economist]

 In some ways the transition from paper to digital distribution for book publishers and independent authors is a boon. It’s true that most e-books currently have high profit margins, and are free from many of the drawbacks of print. Peter Osnos, who is the founder of PublicAffairs Books, states that the biggest challenge small publishers face is managing their inventories. Print too many books, and lots of them will be returned by stores. Print too few and publishers will forgo sales while they order reprints (at higher prices). None of these problems exists when distributing books digitally.

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Richard Branson gives Time Management Advice. Authors Listen Up!

Entrepreneur Richard Branson says that his best advice for managing your time effectively is to stay focused. Distraction is time lost. Manage your mobile device, Branson says. Don’t let it manage you. Check email in bursts and then put it away to concentrate on the task at hand. When it comes to managing others’ time, it’s better to give your employees space than micro managing. As long as you’ve hired people you trust, you will feel comfortable giving them the reins and letting them take responsibility for their actions. 

“Many executives check their smartphones throughout meetings and during off-hours. This is not good for concentration, and has a negative impact on decision making. Use it only in bursts: check emails for an hour or so and then put it away…”

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Can Authors Survive in the New Publishing World?

“With the era of digital publishing and digital distribution, the age of author advances is coming to an end,” explained Ewan Morrison at the Edinburgh international book festival.  “Without advances from publishers, authors depend upon future sales; they sink themselves into debt on the chance of a future hit. But as mainstream publishers struggle to compete with digital competitors, they are moving increasingly towards maximising short-term profits, betting on the already-established, and away from nurturing talent.”

The Bookseller claimed in 2009 that “Publishers are cutting author advances by as much as 80% in the UK”. A popular catchphrase among agents, when discussing advances, meanwhile, is “10K is the new 50K”. And as one literary editor recently put it: “The days of publishing an author, as opposed to publishing a book, seem to be over.”

 “Publishers are focusing on… READ THE FULL SPEECH

15 Years Later 90-year-old Man Publishes Digital Book

In the prime of death

Click image for book details

Studying journalism in 1937, Roscoe Born never dreamed of seeing his own writing in digital format. But looking back now, the 90-year-old author said he is grateful for the technology advancement that has given him the ability to publish a roughly 95,000-word murder-mystery novel, which he started 15 years ago, in the form of an e-book.

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“In The Prime of Death” – get the full details on this book here.

Online Bestseller Lists Key for Authors

Online Bestseller?How much do e-books benefit when they hit the Nook and Kindle bestseller lists? A lot, new findings suggest. Meanwhile, the New York Times bestseller list appears to have less effect on e-book sales.

“We found that there is a significant benefit to making these lists, and that benefit is far stronger for e-books than it is for print, where titles rise and fall in sales rank far more frequently,” he writes. “In fact, e-books that rise high on the bestseller list can normally look forward to a far longer time on the list than an equivalent print book.”  [LEARN MORE]

Building an Author Platform When You Hate Selling Yourself

author platform

Do you have a platform?

It’s no longer a question of if an author needs a program, it’s now part of the writing business and can mean the difference between success and failure.

I’m going to let you in on the most important, and most often overlooked aspect of social networking: It’s not about selling. It’s about participation. It’s about being a member of a community. It’s about connecting with people who share your interests.

Those that use social networking[LEARN THE 5 STEPS]

Discoverability – A Major Key for Authors

Books Are Dead?

Perhaps the more than 200 authors gathered last month at the Hyatt Regency for the Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference should have prepared themselves upon seeing the title of blogger and publishing strategist Jane Friedman’s keynote lunch speech, “Is the Book Dead? Who Cares!”

As Friedman got under way, she talked about “the state of the book” and then clicked to an image of a mushroom cloud. The room full of would-be authors sat aghast…

From creating a great blog to finding a following on Twitter, Friedman’s point was clear — authors need to create a direct line to their audience, a platform that they control. [READ THE FULL STORY]

Using E-Books to Sell More Print Versions

Brick and mortar bookstoresHow do you help brick-and-mortar stores sell books? Throw in an e-book.

That is the idea of one publisher, Algonquin, which began a promotion in 300 Barnes & Noble stores this month that gives a discounted e-book to customers who buy an Algonquin trade paperback. The publisher has planned a similar effort for October, giving customers who buy a hardcover copy of “When She Woke,” by Hillary Jordan, the digital version of the book free.

“We spend a lot of time lately trying to figure out how to sell books in this new world order,” said… [READ THE FULL STORY AT NY TIMES]

Mystery Writers association to Accept Independent Publishers

The Mystery Writers of America made a major change to its membership guidelines today, opening the membership door to eBook and print-on-demand publishers.

Here is a brief summary of the changes: “The publishing business is experiencing massive changes and if MWA is to remain relevant, we have to change, too.  That’s why we’ve… [read the full details]