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Old 04-30-2013, 06:21 PM   #46
fjtorres
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Good, reputable freelance editors, formatters, and artists are available at reasonable rates. If a self-pub'er chooses not to rely on their services...
Well, again; it's their brand.

(Sturgeon's law applies justt as well for indie books as it ever did for trad-pubbed titles.)

One thing Eisler highlighted in the ongoing conversation in the comments to the GUARDIAN article:
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There's a widespread tendency to compare the reality of self-publishing to the ideal of traditional publishing. I think it's more accurate and useful to compare reality to reality,
Or, in this case, the worst case self-pub scenario to a best case trad-pub scenario.

Again; Indie publishing offer up the freedom to choose poorly as well a wisely. But even when choosing poorly, the author will experience the result of their *own* bad choices, not somebody else's. (The horror stories from the trad-pub world are *not* uncommon.)

The fact that so many authors are rushing for the exits at the first crack in the gatekeepers' barriers suggest all was not sweetness and light under the hegemons' rule.

It'll be a while before things shake out and *both* sides learn to properly value publishing services. But I'm pretty sure the final outcome will not be built off 100-year contracts with 15% of revenue for the author.

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #47
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Re the current viability of self-publishing:

This week's New York Times eBook nonfiction list has 35 titles, and, if you count Random House as commercial, every one seems to have been published by an imprint of a large commercial publishing house:

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-...tion/list.html

Certain types of nonfiction books, like autobiography, might move to self-publishing. Some of the novels on the fiction list are probably autobiographical. But I can't see an end to book proposals* and advances doing anything good for nonfiction. Imaginative literature is different, because there will always be extraordinary novelists who can do almost the whole job themselves.

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Originally Posted by SleepyBob View Post
I didn't dig too deeply, but it strains credulity that "The Great Gatsby" is really the #7 best-selling e-book.
And it's not even on the 35-book-long New York Times fiction eBook list:

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-...tion/list.html

Maybe the Times doesn't measure sales to schools, which, as noted by teh603 in #43, are significant. This could explain the discrepancy.


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* Many nonfiction writers don't write the book until the proposal is accepted by a publisher.

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:12 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Not really. Each high school has at least a thousand copies.
It's a fairly short book, so perhaps a high schoolers select this book when they are required to select a book from a list of classics.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:56 PM   #49
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It's a fairly short book, so perhaps a high schoolers select this book when they are required to select a book from a list of classics.
A lot of teachers make it mandatory reading. Not that I remember much of the book. Actually, about all that I remember is that green lawns are a sign of the nouveau riche.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:25 AM   #50
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Speaking of the NYT book reviews, I ran into this:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...etirement-plan

It seems like the NYTBR has a new boss and in some circles this is seen as a sign of impending doom. With a sense of resignation, as if it had worn out its welcome long ago. Quite odd in tone. Not sure if he's mourning or chortling or just writing an obit for a faded celebrity.

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There is an untested assumption among some long time New York Times readers and among writers who measure their careers in the Book Review's pages that the NYTBR is quite a vital and even necessary part of the Times – that the identity of the New York Times is integrally related to higher culture and that there are few more important reflections of that high culture than the Times Book Review. But this, of course, is nonsense.

That day is gone. Only the awkwardness of admitting otherwise maintains the assumption of a necessary Book Review.

It quite simply has no ads. The entire newspaper is challenged by falling advertising, but the Book Review is really at the end of this road. Practically speaking, it has no revenue.

This is a long slide, reflecting not just a hard market but the manners of a bygone world.
Quote:
In a way, it might be a good thing to have recruited a new editor without literary conceit whose success depends less on taste than it does on the Book Review's very survival. Maybe, she has a really smart and aggressive new approach, which she's sold to the Times' management.

On the other hand, the approach so far seems just to give less space to reviews. The bestseller lists, derived from overlapping and trivial new methods of categorization, now fill most of the back pages. Pamela Paul herself seems to be responsible for a particularly empty weekly Q&A interview feature with celebrities and other banal sorts about their love of books.

Book reviews, I am afraid, are a downer, an outdated form. Literary editors – hell, literary people in general – are mightily outdated, too.

And while the NYTBR has been at the very center of the book business in New York and has been the most influential voice in book culture for the better part of a century, it is surely hard to say quite what to do with this weighty history. Not to mention, how to squeeze a buck out of it. The New York Times has other things to worry about.
Yet another example of old-school angst, I suppose.

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Old 05-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #51
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From reading another article about the NYTBR new editor, it sounds like she has no prior history or experience at all, and there's a lot of questions about her qualifications for the post.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:43 AM   #52
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From reading another article about the NYTBR new editor, it sounds like she has no prior history or experience at all, and there's a lot of questions about her qualifications for the post.
The NYT managers apparently saw something in her.
So, unless she has some juicy video of her bosses in compromising circumstances, it may be they *wanted* somebody from outside the insular (to be polite) NYC literary establishment.
Desperate times bring desperate measures?
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #53
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It may be that they want someone from outside the literary establishment, to bring some fresh air to the process, I don't know. The article that I read said that, under her editorship, more space is being taken up by the various "best seller" lists and less space is given to long book reviews. I don't know - I don't run into the NYTBR very often - they don't tend to review the kinds of books I read (genre books, mostly).
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #54
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It may be that they want someone from outside the literary establishment, to bring some fresh air to the process, I don't know. The article that I read said that, under her editorship, more space is being taken up by the various "best seller" lists and less space is given to long book reviews. I don't know - I don't run into the NYTBR very often - they don't tend to review the kinds of books I read (genre books, mostly).
The Guardian article said much the same but it wasn't clear if things were that way *before* she got there.

Hmm, since that is where Patterson ran his ad, maybe *that* is what set him off....

In troubled times there is a tendency to see "Omens and portents" everywhere.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:11 PM   #55
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"Omens and Portents" wasn't that the title of a Babylon 5 episode?
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #56
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The editor for the NYTBR has no say on what books are reviewed or their length. She's probably just their to enforce deadlines.

Re The Guardian: Of course, they have their own Book Review publication. They wouldn't be bad-mouthing the competition? Nah, the wouldn't
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #57
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"Omens and Portents" wasn't that the title of a Babylon 5 episode?
Signs and Portents. Also the title of the first season Boxed DVD set.

The romans were big believers in omens and portents, especially when it came to augury in troubled times.

I like your reference better.
Especially with the way things played out for most of the characters showcased in that episode.
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