Links to articles, blog posts, etc., that I found especially interesting this week:
– The Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple and five of the Big Six publishers for alleged ebook price-fixing–in which three publishers settled, and Apple and the remaining two vowed to stand and fight–was the big news last week. This week, industry expert Mike Shatzkin provided a concise summary of where we stand now. His conclusion:
Amazon (which includes any other player largely dependent on Amazon) and the most price-conscious ebook consumers have won. Everybody else in the ecosystem: authors, publishers, and other vendors, have lost. The reaction from all quarters seems to confirm that analysis.
– More fallout from the DOJ lawsuit: Laura Hazard Owen of PaidContent takes a look at how the lawsuit will affect ebook buyers: lower prices (though not right away), new promotions, the possible death of DRM, and some stuff that won’t change.
– Speaking of DRM, author Charlie Stross makes a passionate argument that killing DRM is the way for publishers to compete with Amazon, enabling readers to “to buy books from a variety of outlets and move away from the walled garden of the Kindle store.” This is a MUST READ post for anyone who’s concerned about the future of publishing.
– For a lot of people, it seems axiomatic that because they don’t involve paper and ink, ebooks are very cheap to produce. Author and former agent Nathan Bransford explains that it ain’t necessarily so. Why? Because paper doesn’t actually cost very much.
– As if the scandals over plagiarism in the KDP program weren’t enough, now it appears that there’s a major knockoff problem: cobbled-up books titled to resemble bestsellers in hopes of tricking consumers into buying them. I Am The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, anyone?
– Attention, authors: This interesting chart of what Twitter users do and don’t like demonstrates why Twitter is such an excellent resource for self-promotion. You’ve got to be savvy about it, though–on Twitter, as elsewhere, spam does not work.
– Like most authors, I’ve had good experiences with editors (my current editor is a genius and a gem, and I adore working with her) and bad experiences (such as the editor who inherited my book after the original editor departed, and made it very clear she wouldn’t have signed me if things had been up to her). But even the worst experiences haven’t shaken my certainty of the vital importance of the editor’s role. At Salon, writer and former editor Gary Kamiya explores the awesomeness of working with a great editor.
– Is the self-publishing gold rush starting to wane? Self-pubbed author Rik Davnall thinks it may be. There’s some interesting food for thought here; I’ve long agreed with Rik’s observation that device enthusiasm, as much as readers’ desire for new material, has been a major driving force in the electronic self-publishing boom, and that as device enthusiasm levels out, so will the boom.
– Just for fun: Why waste time waiting for rejection letters, or worrying that your dream agent’s lack of response means she has a “no response means no” policy? Now you can beat them all to the punch and reject yourself. Behold: the Rejection Generator!
– And here’s the ultimate Mary Sue: a custom book company that will make you the protagonist of your favorite classic novel. Elizabeth Bennett, anyone? (They’ll personalize original genre novels, too!)