We're winning the war on Word, fellow writers. Enjoy the freedom
theguardian.com – Sunday October 28, 2018
In a grim political season, there are signs that journalists are successfully challenging at least one odious tyrant.
In Slate, Rachel Withers has reported that in newsrooms throughout the United States, Microsoft Word is finally giving way to other programs, including Google Docs.
Some of the journalists Withers interviewed mentioned costs – Word may have become cheaper but in straitened modern newsrooms it’s hard to compete with free.
Others mentioned Google’s superiority as a platform for collaborative work. This is true, and it hints at a broader truth – Word is no longer fit for the purposes that many writers and editors need it to fulfil.
Word was launched in 1983. Then it was quite a simple program, running in DOS, and it emerged into a rich ecology of programs designed for writing.
Whatâ€™s the Matter with Fiction Sales?
publishersweekly.com – Sunday October 28, 2018
According to 2017 estimates released this summer by the Association of American Publishers, sales of adult fiction fell 16% between 2013 and 2017, from $5.21 billion to $4.38 billion. The numbers, though not a major worry, raise questions about the books the industry is publishing and what consumers want to read.
Since 2013, fiction sales fell every year with the exception of 2015. That year they rose 1%, helped by Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and three other novels that topped one million print copies sold. (The AAP tracks all major formats—print, digital, and audio—in its sales estimates.) Interviews and discussions with various industry members uncovered different theories about why there’s been a downturn in fiction.
How Science Fiction Magazines (And Their Payment Rates) Shaped The Genre
forbes.com – Friday October 26, 2018
Today, prolific writers can earn six-figure incomes entirely through stories self-published on Amazon. If they'd lived in the mid-twentieth century, those same writers might have instead turned to science fiction magazines, a source of income that has all but dried up today.
"Payment rates haven’t kept up with inflation," says Alec Nevala-Lee, the writer and biographer whose latest book, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, is out this week and covers the era that saw the rise of our modern conception of science fiction, the years roughly between 1939 and 1950. The book follows John Campbell, one of the genre's most influential figures and, not coincidentally, editor of the magazine that offered the highest rates on acceptance. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction paid writers after accepting their work, rather than paying them only after publishing the story, as many other magazines did. It gave him outsized influence in the field. But that payment rate — and influence — has plummeted in the decades since.
Writers Guild Launches Campaign Against Free Work
variety.com – Wednesday October 24, 2018
The Writers Guild of America West has launched a campaign to urge its members not to work for free.
“All writers need jobs, and especially when it’s early in their careers, it can feel like they have to do whatever it takes to get hired,” said screenwriter and WGA West board member Michele Mulroney. “But leaving behind a treatment for a producer or executive is the equivalent of writing for free. It opens the door to what can often be months of more free work like getting notes on the treatment and revising it multiple times. Guild rules do not allow for uncompensated work and members need to know that they simply don’t have to give in to these requests.”
How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds
atlasobscura.com – Tuesday October 23, 2018
One of life’s great treats, for a lover of books (especially fantasy books), is to open a cover to find a map secreted inside and filled with the details of a land about to be discovered. A writer’s map hints at a fully imagined world, and at the beginning of a book, it’s a promise. In the middle of a book, it’s a touchstone and a guide. And at the end, it’s a reminder of all the places the story has taken you.
A new book, The Writer’s Map, contains dozens of the magical maps writers have drawn or that have been made by others to illustrate the places they’ve created. “All maps are products of human imagination,” writes Huw Lewis-Jones, the book’s editor. “For some writers making a map is absolutely central to the craft of shaping and telling their tale.”
How to Find the Perfect Time to Write
lifehacker.com – Tuesday October 23, 2018
If you dream of becoming a writer, you have to eventually sit down and write. Whether you’re doing National Novel Writing Month in November, or you dream of being a writer “someday,” the first inescapable step is making the time to do it. Here’s a 15-minute exercise toward that end that you can do today.
61% of Canadian publishers are producing audiobooks, up from 16% in 2015
booksandpublishing.com.au – Monday October 22, 2018
In Canada, 61% of publishers are producing audiobooks, up from 16% in 2015.
According to a recent study on audiobook use published by BookNet Canada, the average audiobook listener in Canada identifies as female, is aged between 25 and 34, and listens to audiobooks between one and ‘several’ times per week. Audiobook listeners over the age of 55 grew by four percent from the previous year.
"Free is not fair" won't make authors richer, but fixing publishers' contracts will
boingboing.net – Monday October 22, 2018
Australia is about to radically expand its copyright and the publishing industry has forged an unholy alliance with authors' groups to rail against fair use being formalised in Australia, rallying under the banner of "Free is not fair."
Selling Graphic Novels In a Changing American Marketplace
publishersweekly.com – Saturday October 20, 2018
Over the past five years, the North American graphic novel market has welcomed a wave of new readers and grown from about $805 million in sales in 2012 to more than $1 billion in 2017. At a panel titled “Comics Readers: Who They Are and Where to Find Them,” held during the recent New York Comic Con, a group of comics professionals focused on identifying some of the consumer and cultural trends driving this growth.
The panelists focused on a new generation of comics-loving librarians and comics shop owners, the bookstore market, and the ever-growing popularity of graphic novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Long dominated by the superhero genre, the North American comics market is now offering a wider variety of works thanks to growing numbers of women, girls, people of color, and LGBTQ fans. The panel also examined the growing popularity of translations from the European comics market and a wide range of nonsuperhero material that is now available.
Penguin Random House Merges Two of its Successful Publishing Lines
nytimes.com – Friday October 19, 2018
Penguin Random House, the largest publishing company in the United States, is merging two of its most prestigious publishing lines, Random House and the Crown Publishing Group.
The new joint division will be lead by Gina Centrello, currently the president and publisher of Random House. In a memo to employees, Madeline McIntosh, the chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., said that Crown and Random House “will retain their distinct editorial identities.”