New Literary Agent Listing: Katherine Wessbecher
firstwriter.com – Monday December 30, 2019
Katherine is looking for children’s books (picture books through YA), upmarket adult fiction, and narrative nonfiction for all ages.
How Many Characters?
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Monday December 30, 2019
I never really thought about how many characters might be best in a novel because my characters have always had real and necessary roles, and that’s what I’ve stuck by. But recently I had a student whose novel is off to the races with 10 different third-person point of view characters and about an equal number of secondary characters. The student was struggling with whether that was optimal or whether she needed to ditch the whole project. Hey, wait, never toss a project until you’ve pondered the various implications.
Houston-based Romance Writers of America sees board exodus after racism allegations
houstonchronicle.com – Sunday December 29, 2019
Nine board members of the Houston-based Romance Writers of America resigned this week in a startling exodus that took place during a holiday lull. The organization — which represents a billion-dollar industry and celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 — will enter the new year with decimated leadership and lingering questions about its focus and future after several romance authors questioned the association’s commitment to a diverse community.
“I knew this kind of thing could happen, but I certainly didn’t see it happening this way, over Christmas week,” said author Piper Huguley. “I knew there was a big push coming, a resistance against this. I believe we’re in a fight for the soul of this organization, which to a number of people who observe it is not unlike what’s going on in the country politically. Right now the big question is, ‘What’s going to happen?’”
How To Get Signed By Literary Agent Eric Smith, Whose 2020 Manuscript Wishlist Includes Genre Blending Literary Fiction And Young Adult Novels
forbes.com – Thursday December 26, 2019
Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary, where he’s represented titles such as New York Times bestselling essay collection I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi (Harper Perennial), cookbook Eat to Feed by Eliza Larson and Kristy Hohler (Da Capo), young adult novels Love, Hate & Other Filters (Soho Teen), Internment (Little Brown), and Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know (Soho Teen) by Samira Ahmed and Suggested Reading by David Connis (Katherine Tegen Books), astrology guide Friendship Signs by Brianne Hogan (Adams Media) and the nonfiction children’s book Kid Activists (Quirk Books) by Robin Stevenson, and many others.
The 2010s were supposed to bring the ebook revolution. It never quite came.
vox.com – Monday December 23, 2019
At the beginning of the 2010s, the world seemed to be poised for an ebook revolution.
The Amazon Kindle, which was introduced in 2007, effectively mainstreamed ebooks. By 2010, it was clear that ebooks weren’t just a passing fad, but were here to stay. They appeared poised to disrupt the publishing industry on a fundamental level. Analysts confidently predicted that millennials would embrace ebooks with open arms and abandon print books, that ebook sales would keep rising to take up more and more market share, that the price of ebooks would continue to fall, and that publishing would be forever changed.
Instead, at the other end of the decade, ebook sales seem to have stabilized at around 20 percent of total book sales, with print sales making up the remaining 80 percent. “Five or 10 years ago,” says Andrew Albanese, a senior writer at trade magazine Publishers Weekly and the author of The Battle of $9.99, “you would have thought those numbers would have been reversed.”
And in part, Albanese tells Vox in a phone interview, that’s because the digital natives of Gen Z and the millennial generation have very little interest in buying ebooks. “They’re glued to their phones, they love social media, but when it comes to reading a book, they want John Green in print,” he says. The people who are actually buying ebooks? Mostly boomers. “Older readers are glued to their e-readers,” says Albanese. “They don’t have to go to the bookstore. They can make the font bigger. It’s convenient.”
Ebooks aren’t only selling less than everyone predicted they would at the beginning of the decade. They also cost more than everyone predicted they would — and consistently, they cost more than their print equivalents. On Amazon as I’m writing this, a copy of Sally Rooney’s Normal People costs $12.99 as an ebook, but only $11.48 as a hardcover. And increasingly, such disparities aren’t an exception. They’re the rule.
So what happened? How did the apparently inevitable ebook revolution fail to come to pass?
EU Court of Justice claims selling used ebooks is illegal
goodereader.com – Sunday December 22, 2019
Publishers all over Europe have been fighting Tom Kabinet since 2014 and the European Court of Justice has issued a ruling, reselling used ebooks is illegal. It is basically a violation of copyright law. Tom Kabinet stated that the first sale doctrine should apply to ebooks and users should be able to do whatever they want with them, after they are legitimately purchased.
In 2014, Tom Kabinet launched a website where second-hand e-books could be sold. Publishers immediately filed a lawsuit and sent numerous cease and desist letters against the company. In 2015, the judge in The Hague ruled that reselling was allowed in principle, but that the seller had to be able to prove that the ebooks were legally purchased, instead of downloaded from the internet or stripped the DRM. Tom Kabinet then changed its website: sellers had to be able to submit the download link for the book. However, this could not guarantee that sellers had removed their own copies. Now customers must submit the original download link and delete their own copy. In exchange for the ebooks they receive credits, which they can exchange on the site for other e-books.
The kindness of strangers has saved our publishers
standard.co.uk – Friday December 20, 2019
One of the reasons my husband Sam Jordison and I set up Galley Beggar Press, our small independent publishing company, in 2012 was that it would allow us to take risks on publishing the books we loved.
I’m happy to say that it worked. We haven’t put out many books in the past seven years, but the ones we have, have had a big effect. They’ve won prestigious literary prizes, been translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world. And they’ve also, luckily for us, sold enough copies here in the UK to help keep our little company going.
This year was an especially fortunate one. Our title Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann was shortlisted for The Booker Prize. It’s a big deal — and it meant that Lucy’s masterpiece, which we loved so much, was going to find more readers.
How The Husband And Wife Writing As Cleo Coyle Craft Their Bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery Series Together
forbes.com – Thursday December 19, 2019
Cleo Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of the coffeehouse mystery series set in Greenwich Village...and she’s also the pseudonym of husband-and-wife author team Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. The pair, as Coyle, are the authors of, most recently, Brewed Awakening (Berkley), book 18 in the coffeehouse series starring Clare Cosi.
The couple, who also write the haunted bookshop mystery series, have been married for 19 years, and met while living in New York pursuing independent writing careers. Via email, I interviewed them about their writing process, the pros and cons of writing as a team, why they chose a pseudonym, and how they keep their mysteries fresh for readers.
Conversations With Friends (Who Are Also Writers)
nytimes.com – Thursday December 19, 2019
Jenny Zhang was in sweatpants, wrestling one Sunday afternoon with a short story that wasn’t coming together. She typed out an email to seven other writers: “Yo. Can we meet up next week? I have something that I kinda semi-urently” — the g key on her keyboard was broken — “need help on.”
The story, which jumped back and forth between plotlines, was intentionally nontraditional, and she didn’t want to lose that. The peers whose advice she sought, she said, “would let the jagged edges remain” while making the story “better than it was.” When she met with them, they helped her find the thread in the story, which she finished and included in her 2017 book “Sour Heart.”
Writing is often considered a solitary act, but some writers have figured out a way to make the process more collaborative even before editors, agents and other publishing professionals get involved. Zhang’s group, which includes Alice Sola Kim, Karan Mahajan and Tony Tulathimutte, has been meeting about every month since most of them were undergraduate students at Stanford University. Their sessions are highly structured, with deadlines for submitting drafts and detailed manuscript notes, while other groups gather more informally to talk about their careers, commiserate over deadlines or gossip about the publishing industry.
End of an era for book publisher Penguin
news.sky.com – Wednesday December 18, 2019
It is the end of an era for one of the most famous names in book publishing.
Penguin is being sold by Pearson, its owner for the last half-century, as the company focuses its activities exclusively on education.
Pearson today announced that it was selling its remaining stake in Penguin Random House, the book publishing joint venture it formed six years ago with Bertelsmann, the German media group.
The company originally owned 47% of Penguin Random House when the joint venture was set up in 2013.
It sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, its joint venture partner, for $1bn in July 2017.