Steve

News You Can Use

Would John Locke Be Better Off with a Traditional Publisher? – Mike Shatzkin analyzes the revenue of million copy e-book selling author John Locke. The math is fascinating. According to Shatzkin, the author is making less than $30,000 per book. It is highly likely a traditional publisher would pay him a lot more for his work. Read the post. You decide.

Cherish the Book Publisher – You’ll Miss Them When They Are Gone – Eric Felton’s delightful Wall Street Journal article from last Friday. Key quote:

“It’s only natural for those locked out to despise the gatekeepers, but what about those of us in the reading public? Shouldn’t we be grateful that it’s someone else’s job to weed out the inane, the insipid, the incompetent? Not that they always do such a great job of it, given some of the books that do get published by actual publishers. But at least they provide some buffer between us and the many aspiring authors who are like the wannabe pop stars in the opening weeks of each American Idol season: How many instant novelists are as deluded as the singers who make with the strangled-cat noises believing they have Arethaen pipes?… No doubt there are geniuses languishing in obscurity. Who knows how many great books are just waiting to be discovered? But are we really more likely to find them once the publishing pros have been handed their hats and shown the door? I rather doubt it.”

J.K. Rowling Leaves Her Literary Agent for Another – Her, now former, agent Christopher Little has a testy response. Little’s representative claims the departure “came out of the blue. He was surprised to say the least. He has contracts in place with [Ms Rowling], and he has contracts in place with Neil Blair. He is still considering his options.” Which implies a possible lawsuit may be in the future.

Majority of Science Fiction/Fantasy Readers Read E-books – I was just saying this to some editors last week! The technological revolution is going to initially be dominated by those already predisposed to gadgets.

Southern Baptists Officially Condemn the NIV 2011 Version – At their recent convention they unanimously voted on the new translation. The old 1984 edition of the NIV is still considered okay. The resolution may effect the Lifeway stores and is a significant blow to Biblica and Zondervan who spent so much time trying to update the translation and avoid this very thing.

You might think, “who cares?” But the next time you quote a verse in your book you may want to think carefully about which translation you are quoting depending on the audience to which you are writing.

The Death of the Serial Comma? – Has the University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide has decided to drop the comma before the “and” in a series? That original post created a storm of online controversy which led to this new post. Which leads me to this cartoon (I know it isn’t a serial comma, but it is still funny):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy 4th of July!

Every year our family makes it a tradition to listen to this rendition of Sandi Patty singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

This youtube clip is from 1985 when it was first played for the nation. The song last six minutes and gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

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Book of the Month – July 2011

by Steve Laube

Small Message, Big Impact by Terri L. Sjodin is this month’s “Book of the Month.” I recommend that every veteran and aspiring writer read this book and glean from it.

The key to this book is in the subtitle: How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech Effect to Work for You. Sjodin defines the elevator speech as:  “A brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy, or an idea.  The name suggests the notion that the message should be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride, up to about three minutes.  Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter’s complete proposition in the near future.”

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News You Can Use

A $30 iPad…for kids? – take a look at the new anaPad. Have to admire the entrepreneur, even when the idea seems a little odd.

Twitter Profile Mistakes – Excellent advice for writers who tweet.

Andrew Wylie in the Wall Street Journal Magazine – See what this uberagent has to say about the future of publishing. Especially note his thoughts on the global market.

Would James Joyce have used an iPad? – An interesting look at a “classic” writer and what tools he might have used today.

Top Ten Misused English Words – A great list. Any words you would add? (Calvary vs. Cavalry…)

Take a gander at this fascinating infographic comparing Walmart and Amazon.

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News You Can Use

by Steve Laube

Thirty Three Twitter Feeds to Follow – The folks at Poets & Writers put together a helpful list of publishing and writing oriented twitter feeds to follow.

Kindle Spam Clogging Amazon – What a mess. Fake compiled books are being uploaded on the Kindle digital platform and sold to unsuspecting people. Another argument for Curation.

Google Books Creates Affiliate Program – Click this to apply to become a sales affiliate for Google Books. Similar to the Amazon program. At least it gives you an alternative if your state has been shut out by Amazon’s war with State Departments of Revenue.

Turn Off Your Phone – Donald Miller seeks out the secret to productivity. Simple but effective.

How Many of Your Facebook Friends do You Know? – Tech Crunch summarizes a Pew Research Study. They claim, “Facebook users have about 229 Friends, with about 22% of their total Friends list being comprised of people they know from high school, 12% extended family, 10% coworkers, 9% college friends, 8% immediate family, 7% people from extracurricular groups and 2% being neighbors.” I guess I’m not normal.

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The Myth of the Unearned Advance

by Steve Laube

A common myth permeating the industry is that a book is not profitable if the author’s advance does not earn out. I would like to attempt to dispel this myth.

First let’s define the term “Advance.” When a book contract is created between a publisher and an author, the author is usually paid an advance. This is like getting an advance against your allowance when you were a kid. It isn’t an amount that is in addition to any future earnings from the sale of the book. Instead, like that allowance, it is money paid in advance against all future royalties, and it must therefore be covered by royalty revenue (i.e. earned out) before any new royalty earnings are paid.

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In Memory of John Wooden

Last night the great basketball coach John Wooden passed away at the age of ninety-nine. As you can see from the photo to the left I had the privilege of attending one of his basketball camps during the Summer of 1974.

by Steve Laube

Last night the great basketball coach John Wooden passed away at the age of ninety-nine. As you can see from the photo above I had the privilege of attending one of his basketball camps during the Summer of 1974.

It was a John Wooden and Bill Sharman (then coach of the LA Lakers) camp in Honolulu. We lived and breathed basketball 24/7 during that week. We drilled during the day, sat in classes, and scrimmaged in the afternoons and evenings. It was heaven for an aspiring athlete. (For the rest of the world that week was notable because President Nixon resigned that Thursday August 8, 1974.)

During one drill Coach Wooden pointed at me and said, “Come here young man and show me how you rebound the ball.” I sheepishly came out in front the other players and for a couple minutes Coach Wooden schooled me on how to box out. No matter what I did, spinning, pushing, hip-checking, and jumping, he always snagged the rebound. I couldn’t believe this gray haired “old man” who was at least five inches shorter than me could do that. (Coach Wooden would have been 63 years old at the time.) It was only later that I found out that he was in the Hall of Fame…as a player (inducted in 1960)! No wonder he taught this skinny kid a lesson!

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