Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fracas in Book Land

An interesting response from Smashwords to the Amazon-Hachette battle--something readers and writers ought to read. And a writer with a response to that response. Another. And another related one. And one on indie expansion. Feel free to add any thoughts or further links in the comments--readers and writers have a stake in these events. Big hat tip to Damien G. Walter

Here's an issue about paying artists for my friends who paint, collage, make encaustics, etc. Hat tip to Makoto Fujimura.

9 comments:

  1. Perhaps someone has already noted this -- but here it is: Because of Amazon's proprietary control of Kindle (the dominant e-format?), it seems to me that Amazon holds most of the cards in this Amazon-Hatchette game. Of course, I could be wrong. Certainly the market is evolving fast and less author-and-agent friendly. Is it more difficult now being an author or an agent?

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    1. Unless publishers joined together, yes, Amazon holds the cards.

      Income for many writers has plunged, certainly. Others say they are making money as indies. Not all. And many agents have become freelance editors for authors who want to submit. Or some other related job...

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  2. Thanks for the link to Guardian article. How true it is here in Canada as well that artists rarely get paid to exhibit their work. I think I've been paid maybe three times in several decades of exhibiting - in fact there is often a fee to apply for certain exhibitions.

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    1. Yes, it is the same here for most of my friends who are visual artists, and of course there are expenses with shipping and packing and so on. It's hard. Very few writers or artists can support themselves in a decent style. Alas.

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  3. I get paid royalties on "real" books but not on ebooks. My study of the poetry of Gregory Corso is in 1400 libraries around the world, but I only got paid for the 350 or so hardcover books that were sold to libraries. I never got a penny for the 900 ebooks. Certainly the publisher got paid.

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    1. Ouch, Kirby! I am accustomed to the thought that writers don't get paid enough in various ways, and that contracts can dupe you, but that's sad. I'd be rereading my contract and getting in touch...

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    2. I saw "badminton" on your list! Saw some Amish young men and women playing badminton in full regalia north of us... So amusing and sweet.

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  4. There is no way I would have been published by a major publisher. And there is no way they would have created the PR and social media and placement I have myself (I am on the front page of the US Easter Seals website until father's day).

    So, I am practical. I jsut got my first checks from Amazon, Nook, and iBooks this month and I have held events in non-book stores where I have either broken even or created some good buzz and friend-of-friend sales.

    I may not be "profitable" soon (or ever) on the project, but the project would NOT have existed at all had I relied on a publisher or agent.

    Also, now that the project has legs, perhaps I will entertain an offer from a publisher -- but I have sales data to stand on, so it won't be an "advance" it will be a purchase based on a track record.

    Cheers,

    Gary

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    1. You have worked hard and done well, and I think your nonfiction book stands a good chance of being picked up elsewhere.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.