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ePublish a Book » ePublishing - The week in Brief » ePublishing Week In Brief – August 19th to 23rd, 2013

ePublishing Week In Brief – August 19th to 23rd, 2013

ePublishing NewsePublishing Week In Brief – August 19th to 23rd, 2013


Why are publishers the new villain in the digital age?

As Amazon tears down the gates around literary culture, even independents are caught in the crossfire

Perched on the end of a panel filled with writers who are throwing off the shackles of conventional publishing, surrounded by Kindle enthusiasts of every stripe, Mark Buckland found himself very much the odd one out at the Edinburgh international book festival. The head of the e-savvy independent publisher Cargo began by asking how many in the audience were self-published authors and wryly suggested he was “going to get lynched”.

It’s no surprise that an audience which had paid £10 a ticket to hear about writing in a digital age was mostly made up of authors, with a sizeable minority already publishing themselves, but the hostility Buckland faced as a representative of the publishing industry was something of an eye-opener.

Catherine Czerkawska, who described herself as a “classic midlist author”, had already revealed how as publishers became bigger she found herself suffering from the “rave rejection”, her agent telling her she was “too accessible … to be truly literary, but too literary to be popular”, how she had uploaded her backlist to the Kindle store and “never looked back”. Maggie Craig had just confessed how, for the first time since she had begun writing, Amazon had given her “a good monthly income”, joking that if big publishers find a writer is making money “they call a meeting to find out what’s going wrong”.

‘High value & innovation make publishing a thriving business in India’

NEW DELHI: Great value for money, constant innovation and growing literacy of its population has contributed to a thriving publishing business in South Asia, particularly India, at a time when the evolved markets of North America and Europe are witnessing a steep decline in the business.
Media industry leaders on Thursday spoke about the unique advantages of the Indian newspaper market even as they underlined the need for constant change and harnessing the power of digital media in a discussion on the subject “Why is publishing continuing to thrive in South Asia?” Source Meets Textbook Publishing – Much Cash Freed UpThere’s no denying the growing impact of open source software in today’s business landscape, but for those who want additional proof of the open approach’s viability, there’s OpenStax College. Since 2012, the initiative has been producing peer-reviewed open source textbooks under a Creative Commons license.This year, the organization expects to save some 40,000 students at 300 educational institutions about US$3.7 million on textbooks, it announced on Tuesday. Since June 2012, OpenStax College’s free books have been accessed online by more than 1.7 million people and downloaded more than 170,000 times.—Much-Cash-Freed-Up-78776.html#sthash.zdJYHDDx.dpuf

Want to publish a book? First use data to figure out who’ll read it

August is usually slow in the publishing world. Not this summer: Amazon and Overstock are in a race for readers’ purchases; two of the largest publishers, Random House and Penguin, are merging; publishers reached pricing settlements with the Department of Justice and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced plans to purchase the Washington Post.

Yet in spite of headlines about industry transformation, more needs to be done to assure the strength of the book publishing industry. After decades in book publishing—as the publisher at Harlequin, the CEO of Troll, and general manager of Marshall Editions—I have heard consistent complaints about the industry from authors, fellow publishers, retailers and readers.

This Author Won $25,000 For a Novel That Publishers Turned Down 

this, author, won, $25,000, for, a, novel, that, publishers, turned, down, This Author Won $25,000 For a Novel That Publishers Turned Down
Sergio De La Pava’s 700-page novel, A Naked Singularity, started out as a hidden gem, but has become an impressive critical success. The book was originally self-published through Xlibris, a print-on-demand company, but the University of Chicago later picked it up, and last week, De La Pava won the $25,000 Robert W. Bingham Prize from the PEN American Center. De La Pava is now negotiating translations and film rights, and has obtained a deal for a second self-published novel,Personae, which will come out in October. De La Pava’s triumph brings up questions about exactly who curates what we read, and emphasizes the importance of digital self-publishing.

Traditional publishing houses have been scrambling to catch up with the online publishing world, as they tend to publish formulaic bestsellers, rather than gambling with on innovative manuscripts. At the Reuters Global Media Summit in 2011, Penguin Group CEO John Makison said of publishing industry, “This is a business which has always been driven very much by supply rather than demand factors. Consumer taste doesn’t actually change all that much but what does change is the availability of books in different channels.”

Shakespeare and the myth of publishing

Reinventing publishing: what can we do now that we’re no longer tied to the myth of stable literary objects?

A few weeks ago, Tim O’Reilly sent around a link to Who Edited Shakespeare?, which discussed the editor for the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It included a lot of evidence that someone had done a lot of work regularizing spelling and doing other tasks that we’d now assign to a copyeditor or a proofreader, presumably more work than the Folio’s nominal editors, Heminges and Condell, were inclined to do or capable of doing.

It’s an interesting argument that prompted some thoughts about the nature of publishing. The process of editing creates the impression, the mythology, that a carefully crafted, consistent, and stable text exists for these plays, that the plays are static literary objects. We like to think that there is a “good” Shakespeare text, if only we had it: what Shakespeare actually wrote, and what was actually performed on stage. We have a mess of good quarto editions, bad quartos, the First Folio, apocryphal works, and more. Some versions of the plays are significantly longer than others; some scholars believe that we’re missing significant parts of Macbeth (Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, for which the First Folio is the only source). Perhaps the worst case is Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, which is known entirely through two early print editions, one roughly 50% longer than the other.

Controversial Digital Publishing Blueprint Review Sparks Heated Discussion on Popular IM Forum

A controversial Digital Publishing Blueprint review published on a popular IM forum has sparked a heated, emotionally charged discussion by internet marketers from all over the world.

An in-depth review of Ed Dale’s Digital Publishing Blueprint system has been published on a popular IM forum, covering the essential details of the program and revealing the hidden flaws behind the platform that Ed Dale is aggressively promoting.

This controversial review has sparked a hot conversation with users from all over the world sharing their views and asking critical questions. The curtains on Digital Publishing Blueprint are being pulled back and its promise of creating successful, high-earning magazine publishers is being questioned.

“God gave you a penis for a reason” – publisher cancels gay author’s novel

Sweetwater Books/Cedar Fort Publishing cancelled a novel days before press time after its author asked that his male partner be included in his bio. During discussions, author Michael Jensen called the owner, Lyle Mortimer, only to be subjected to a screed about the gay agenda and God’s plan for his penis.

Update: On a completely public Facebook page, a user identifying himself as Mortimer jokes “Whose lips are juiciest, Angelina Jolie or my son the beekeeper?”

The press release follows.

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