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):










2 Responses to News You Can Use

  1. Ashley Clark July 5, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Interesting that you mention the death of the serial comma because I was just discussing that issue with my Comp I students last week.
    “I thought we didn’t need a comma before ‘and,'” one of them said.
    “It depends on what style guide you use.” Then I thought better of that and simply said, “Just use the comma.”

    Thanks for the news updates! I had no idea about the SBC and the NIV 2011.

    Ashley Clark

  2. Teddi Deppner July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Great news bits, Steve! The debate in the comments of the John Locke article was a nice peek into the lives and opinions of real authors who are actually publishing e-books and experimenting with the options.

    I’m glad people are talking about the whole gatekeepers / curator thing. We’re going to need them in this wild frontier of e-publishing. I’m just waiting to see somebody grab the horns of this thing and launch some sort of e-book curation service. Delivereads is the first hint I’ve come across, since I haven’t bothered to actively search for it.

    The bit about sci-fi/fantasy fans reading e-books makes total sense. It’s one of those “Duh!” moments for me — I’ve known for a while that my audience is out there in the e-book reading world, but hadn’t heard any surveys (even an unscientific one) that proved what my gut told me. Of *course* people who like futuristic stuff would go for e-books! Love it!

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