firstwriter.com's database of publishers includes details of 2,795 English language publishers that don't charge authors any fees for publishing their books. The database is continually updated: there have been 49 listings added or updated in the last month. With over a dozen different ways to narrow your search you can find the right publisher for your book, fast.
If publishers will cut costs for Sarah J. Maas, no one stands a chance.
We, and many others, have already written at length about the threat AI poses to writers and artists, not because the AI-generated works make good art, but because studios and organizations will use them to undercut and get away with not paying artists. The worst part is that they’re already doing it: Tor got caught buying AI art for an upcoming novel, a U.K. Literary Festival recently used AI-Generated promotional art, and Studios are already trying to use AI to replace their striking WGA writers.
Therefore, this most recent incident isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing.
The entertainment industry is going through a reckoning. The WGA has writers banding together to advocate for themselves and their work, which has given us a peek behind the curtain of the frankly appalling treatment writers have had to put up with from studios.
But that’s not the only struggle writers have been dealing with.
In the past week, dozens of authors have reported that a major literary agency, New Leaf Literary Agency, has dropped them from representation. Some of these authors were in the middle of contract negotiations with publishers and will now be left without agents representing them. Some authors were notified of this loss in representation via a 10PM email on Friday evening.
A military veteran claims he paid a publishing house £14K to bring out his book - which they printed full of mistakes. Granddad Joseph Hentosz, 79, says AuthorHouse promised his novel would get the 'Hollywood treatment' and promoted around the world.
He had spent nine years writing his autobiographical story ‘From the Brink of Death and the Gates of Hell’. It tells the incredible story of how in 1947 his mother met a Polish soldier in Blackpool and took her two young sons to live with him in Poland - but forced to live in a cellar.
Joseph says he paid the publishers 14K over three years - who said the money was for 'scriptwriting services', promotion and exhibits. He says the self-publishing firm also promised him it would be shown to TV producers and movie executives.
But when the book came out Joseph says they had published his rough manuscript which was full of incorrect dates and spelling and grammar errors. He says he only discovered the mistakes when he spotted the book for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Waterstones.
The book then only generated $79 in sales - and Joe claims the publishers told him it was too small amount to pay him. The Royal Air Force vet of Bridlington, Yorkshire, says he has been left in debt and with a stress-related illness as a result.
More than half of authors (54%) responding to a survey by The Bookseller on their experiences of publishing their debut book have said the process negatively affected their mental health. Though views were mixed, just 22% of the 108 respondents to the survey described a positive experience overall with their first publication.
Of the survey’s respondents, 61% primarily wrote adult fiction, followed by 19% non-fiction and 17% children’s fiction. Around half of respondents (51%) had been published by an independent publisher while 48% were published by one of the Big Four (Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Hachette). The remaining 1% selected “other” and were a mix of self-published authors and “hybrid publishing”.
Of those who described a negative impact on their mental health 47% were published by an independent publisher while 44% were published by one of the Big Four with the remaining 9% citing “other”.
Among the majority who said they had a negative experience of debut publication, anxiety, stress, depression and "lowered" self-esteem were cited, with lack of support, guidance or clear and professional communication from their publisher among the factors that contributed.
Signing a contract with even a brand-name traditional book publisher initially feels like a ticket to Nirvana. You may expect, for example, your new publisher to set you up with a big fat advance, a multi-city promotional tour, your very own personal PR rep and multiple copies of your book on every bookshelf in the nation (and Canada) for as long as you and your book shall live.
But to understand how book publishers really work, study this list of what I call the four great “myths” of traditional book publishing. Then, by all means, proceed to seek out a publisher if that’s your goal but do so with your eyes wide open. Your relationship with your publisher will run much smoother if you recognize its pitfalls as well as its glories.
In 2021 author, poet and teacher Kate Clanchy gained an unwelcome new accolade: the award for the most liberal target of a cancellation yet. Clanchy’s much-celebrated Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, about her experiences of teaching poetry to disadvantaged children around the UK, won the Orwell Prize in 2020. But a year later, thanks to a handful of the book’s sentences being shared out of context on social media, she found herself publicly shamed by today’s self-appointed moral guardians. She went from being applauded for bringing poetry to working-class children to being humiliated into accepting sensitivity-reader approved rewrites of her work.
It might be a new year but Clanchy’s punishment beating continues. It was announced last week that plans for a woke rewrite of Some Kids I Taught had been dropped – not because it was a God-awful idea to begin with, but because Clanchy and her publisher, Pan Macmillan, have decided to part company ‘by mutual agreement’.
The publisher’s statement notes: ‘Pan Macmillan will not publish new titles nor any updated editions from Kate Clanchy, and will revert the rights and cease distribution of Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me and her other works.’ This is an astonishing attempt by a publishing company to distance themselves from an author and her work.
Not so long ago, writing and publishing your own book was just a pipe dream for many of us.
It wasn’t so much getting the words down on paper which was putting us off.
It was more the expense of either finding an agent and a publisher or paying through the nose to print dozens of copies yourself which might have ended up unsold and gathering dust in the garage.
But that is resoundingly no longer the case. Digital publishing and online booksellers such as Amazon have been an absolute game-changer.
I've fallen in love with printed books. Again. Especially those for children.
Twenty years into my book publishing career—which included marketing for trade book publishers and founding a children's imprint—I had the opportunity to go digital, move into the future, hang out with the cool guys, play games, do the bicoastal thing, and grow a ponytail.
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