firstwriter.com's database of book publishers includes details of 1,980 English language publishers that don't charge authors any fees for publishing their books. The database is continually updated: there have been 29 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.
A spate of global phishing scams attempting to access agencies’ and publishers’ manuscripts and other sensitive information prompted Penguin Random House (PRH) North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff as the Frankfurt Book Fair began.
The company sent an email to staff on Wednesday (10th October), when The Bookseller revealed scouting agency Eccles Fisher was hit by a phishing scam. Owner Catherine Eccles said someone was purporting to be her in emails and attempting to access manuscripts, authors’ details and other confidential material. The PRH email was circulated with the subject line “Important: New Phishing Alert” and reads: “We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats.”
Time was, the publishing industry could claim a stable existence, safe within its leather-bound borders. If a publishing business was held and run by competent hands, it could typically expect a nice payoff from those gilded-edge pages. Over the past decade (or more), however, sales numbers have become increasingly unpredictable.
The merging of some traditional publishers and the shutting of doors by others has made becoming a debut author perceptibly less likely. Literary agents have more methods than ever for heaving even the most adventurous and resolute new author out the door — particularly if the author doesn’t arrive on the agent’s doorstep with an existing base of eager readers. What new and unaided author can show up with the needed number of followers in tow? I would guess the number may amount to about zero.
Following last month's release of the print edition of firstwriter.com's 2019 edition of its Writers' Handbook, the digital editions are now also available from various outlets around the world. These include:
FutureBook is partnering with social reading app The Pigeonhole to run a short story competition exploring the future of the book. The winning author is to be hosted at the FutureBook Conference, 30th November.
Judges will be Molly Flatt, author and associate editor of FutureBook; Anna Jean Hughes, founder of The Pigeonhole; and Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Science Fiction.
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.
Several years ago, as an aspiring novelist with stardust in my eyes, I used to spend most of my waking hours in Yahoo’s Books and Literature chatroom in the company of fellow aspiring writers. I clearly remember how one of the main topics of conversations used to be the number of rejection slips one had received on that particular day (or the previous week), agents/publishers who had requested a synopsis or proposal, and those who had just not bothered to respond. All of us were united by the looming sense of uncertainty, suspense, and the palpable realisation that the odds were firmly stacked against us.
Today, having spent more than seven years on the other side, first as a consultant and then an agent, I think many writers have wrong notions about rejections. While most books are rejected because of poor quality and incompetence (as they should be), there are several other factors that play a role in publishing decisions. And these affect “good” books too.
When Simon & Schuster announced in late February that it is canceling Milo Yiannopoulos’s book, Dangerous, many in the publishing industry reacted with a sigh of relief. The six-figure book deal that the right-wing provocateur landed at Threshold Editions, S&S’s conservative imprint, late last year caused a wave of criticism—from various factions of the media, the public, and the house’s own authors. And, though it’s still unclear what ultimately motivated the publisher to yank the book, the fervor that the alt-right bad boy’s deal caused put some on alert. Could other publishers be pressured into canceling books by controversial conservatives? Does the industry have a double standard for authors on the right? Does it matter?
Emmanuel Nataf has a simple mission: “I want more people to share their ideas with the world.”
That’s why three years ago, the Frenchman moved to London and co-founded Reedsy, a curated marketplace for authors to find publishing professionals to help bring their book to life. While Paris may have Station F now, Nataf saw opportunity in the British capital thanks to the concentration of publishers, writers, and investors.
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