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Writers' News

Why is Irish literature thriving? Because its writers and publishers take risks

theguardian.com – Tuesday July 30, 2019

Much has been written about the boom in Irish writing, buoyed by the apparently ceaseless tide of new voices: not a smattering of talent making a splash but waves and waves of writers, going beyond much repeated names such as Sally Rooney and Eimear McBride to the equally talented and ambitious Mike McCormack, Sara Baume, Colin Barrett, Anakana Schofield, Gavin Corbett and Lisa McInerney.

Now there’s more. Having been an all-American affair in 2018, this year the shortlist for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award (the world’s richest short story prize – £30,000 for a single story!) is dominated by the Irish: Kevin Barry, winner of the award in 2012 and just longlisted for this year’s Booker; Danielle McLaughlin from the Republic and Louise Kennedy from Northern Ireland. Joining them on the shortlist are Joe Dunthorne (Welsh), Paul Dalla Rosa, based in Melbourne, and Emma Cline, the sole representative of the US.

[Read the full article]

E-Book Revenues Decreased In April While Audio Continued Its Strong Streak

forbes.com – Sunday July 28, 2019

E-book revenues continue to drop. April saw publishers face a 2.5% net revenue decrease over the same period in 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers, following decreases in February and March. AAP's figures come from 1,360 participating publishers, though notably do not include data from Amazon's publishing efforts.

Audio, on the other hand, remains strong. Downloaded audio was up 28.7% in April over the same month in 2018—this despite the fact that January through April's net revenues in 2018 were up 36.1% over the same period in 2017.

[Read the full article]

James Patterson: ‘I've got too many ideas to write all my books myself!'

express.co.uk – Sunday July 28, 2019

THE WORLD'S biggest-selling thriller writer has told how he relies on an army of co-authors to create his books - because he has too many stories in him to write them all himself.

James Patterson has a 4in-thick file where he stores the torrent of ideas pouring out of him every day. He says: "I have so many stories to tell. There are only so many books you can put out there and I could not possibly do all of them myself, so this is one of the attractions of co-writing." By outlining the plots and using emerging talent to write the first draft, which he then edits and rewrites, Patterson has become a one-man publishing phenomenon. With more than 200 adult and children's books to his name, he has sold 385 million copies across the globe.

[Read the full article]

Hooray for Hollywood

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Sunday July 28, 2019

The movies didn't spoil my books. They're still on the shelves.—James M. Cain, author of The Postman Rings Twice

One writer told me that she had been advised to hold onto the film rights to the book she’s currently making an effort to place. I looked at her blankly. Discussing the sale of film rights to an unsold book is a pretty minuscule—not to say completely irrelevant—consideration. Sell the book first. Moreover, very few books are optioned for film, much less actually turned into one. That said, of course you want to keep whatever rights you are able to, or as large a percentage of them as you can, but never let that be a dealbreaker.

[Read the full article]

Publishizer Is Building An International Virtual Agency

publishersweekly.com – Saturday July 27, 2019

Can a nomadic Australian tech entrepreneur transform literary agenting? Guy Vincent thinks he can. Vincent says that in 2013 he was living in Singapore and working for Tien Wah Press, one of the region’s largest printers, when his friend Jackie Treagus asked for help publishing her book—a pocked-size cookbook for adventurers titled The Backpacker Chef. Vincent helped Treagus raise $5,220 through crowdfunding, garnering 522 preorders, and thus Publishizer was born.

Fast forward six years and Publishizer has become, Vincent says, “the world’s first crowdfunding literary agency.” He is speaking via phone from Amsterdam, where he lives after moving from Singapore to Bali, then Peru and New York City. The company is based in the Netherlands due to a $420,000 investment from Netherlands-based Arches Capital, which built on an earlier $100,000 investment from 500 Startups, a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Initially, Publishizer launched its own crowdfunding platform to fund books that would then be self-published, taking 5% of the money raised as a fee for the service. As the company grew, it began seeing that publishers were interested in acquiring books that had garnered more than 500 preorders on the platform and began placing books with publishers on behalf of authors. Today, Publishizer takes a fee of 30% of the crowdfunding campaign’s earnings, but it gets no cut of any ensuing publishing deal, and authors are also free to sign up agents and publishers on their own.

[Read the full article]

Buchwald Becomes Second ATA Literary Agency to Sign Writers Guild Agreement

hollywoodreporter.com – Saturday July 27, 2019

Mid-tier talent agency Buchwald has become the second literary agency to break ranks with the Association of Talent Agents and sign a so-called franchise agreement with the Writers Guild of America, just three days after the WGA signed a smaller shop, Kaplan Stahler, and three weeks after the guild sidelined the ATA with a cease-and-desist letter that ended joint talks.

The news, which broke Thursday in a WGA member email, marks a victory for the union in its campaign to reshape agency business practices, particularly around packaging fees and affiliate production, and is likely to increase pressure on other mid-tier firms to sign as well.

[Read the full article]

WGA Launches Staffing And Development Platform For Agentless Writers

deadline.com – Friday July 26, 2019

The WGA has launched its new Staffing and Development Platform to help writers without agents find work. The platform is part of the guild’s ongoing efforts to outlast the talent agencies in its standoff with the Association of Talent Agents, now in its 104th day.

Details of the platform were outlined to guild members in a new WGA video featuring WGA West board members Angelina Burnett and Michele Mulroney, who also serve on the agency negotiating committee.

“We’re consolidating the tools already in use, like the portal and the weekly memos with newly developed tools and we’re calling it the Staffing and Development Platform” Mulroney said. “This platform will provide all sorts of ways for producers and writers to share and access information about one another. It will help connect you to open writing assignments and development opportunities.”

[Read the full article]

Is the Internet Making Writing Better?

newyorker.com – Friday July 26, 2019

A common refrain from writers on Twitter is that writing is hard. Often, this insight is accompanied by the rueful observation that tweeting is easy. This is, of course, the difference between informal and formal expression, between language that serves as a loose and intuitive vehicle for thought and language into which one must wrestle one’s thought like a parent forcing his squirming kid into a car seat. We’ve long had both formal and informal modes of speech. The first pours from political orators; the second winds around friends at a bar. But, as the linguist Gretchen McCulloch reveals in “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language,” her effervescent study of how the digital world is transfiguring English, informal writing is relatively new. Most writing used to be regulated (or self-regulated); there were postcards and diary entries, but even those had standards. It’s only with the rise of the Internet that a truly casual, willfully ephemeral prose has ascended—and become central to daily life.

McCulloch begins with a taxonomy; different cohorts of users have different linguistic tells. “Pre Internet People” (think grandparents) tend to avoid acronyms like “ttyl”—mostly because they don’t know acronyms like “ttyl.” “Semi Internet People,” who logged on, in the late nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, as adults, are more likely to type “LOL” than “lol”; they don’t view digital conversation as the place for tonal subtlety. “Full Internet People,” who grew up with AOL Instant Messenger and joined Facebook as young adults, are fluent in text-speak but perhaps less steeped in the grammar of newer platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp. (McCulloch identifies a source of mutual misunderstanding between Full Internet People, who “infer emotional meaning” in symbols like the ellipsis, and Semi Internet People, who perceive such additions as straightforward bits of sentence structure.) Finally, there are “Post Internet People,” who joined Facebook after, rather than before, their parents. They’re the ones to watch: the digital avant-garde.

[Read the full article]

Library E-Book Lending Poses Rising Problem for Publishing Industry

wsj.com – Friday July 26, 2019

One of the country’s largest book publishers is changing the way it sells e-books to libraries, whose increasingly popular digital-book borrowing apps are taking a toll on its sales.

Macmillan, whose recent hits include Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” and James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty,” plans to limit each library system’s access to only one digital copy of each new book it publishes in the first eight weeks of the book’s release.

The move comes as borrowing e-books from local libraries has become easier than ever and as other leading publishers have adjusted their terms.

[Read the full article]

Abrams Artists Lit Agents Brad Rosenfeld, Paul Weitzman & Karen Kirkland Exit to Launch New WGA Signatory Agency

deadline.com – Thursday July 25, 2019

Veteran literary agents Brad Rosenfeld and Paul Weitzman are leaving Abrams Artists Agency after a 4.5-year stint as VPs and co-heads of the literary division. Partnered with fellow Abrams lit agent Karen Kirkland, the trio have launched a new agency, Culture Creative Entertainment, which has become a WGAsignatory, signing the guild’s new franchise agreement.

According to the principals, CCE will initially focus on writers and directors but will expand to include other areas of representation as they grow.

The move comes more than 100 days into the standoff between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents, which led to more than 7,000 writers firing their agents, including those represented by Abrams Artists.

[Read the full article]

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