Children of the Sun > Reading & Writing

The Changing Face of Publishing

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nacho:
I'm an advocate AGAINST agents.  They don't do anything for you, except tie up your manuscript needlessly and nickle and dime you for your meager royalties.

Agents tend to adhere to an old school philosophy of publishing and will either dismiss or hassle small presses because the advance isn't big enough... Though as I've said for years, the advance is actually just a trap.  Quick money for the writer (and the agent) and then the book dies before it gets to paperback because of low sales.

Anyway... Here's a free e-book I just saw pop up in articles debating agents:

http://www.spywriter.com/dta/index.html

RottingCorpse:

--- Quote from: nacho on January 14, 2010, 05:11:01 PM ---I'm an advocate AGAINST agents.  They don't do anything for you, except tie up your MOVIE needlessly and nickle and dime you for your meager royalties.


--- End quote ---

What he said.

nacho:
It really boils down to logic:  Never trust your art to someone whose only motivation is to make as much money off of you as possible.

They'd rather turn opportunities down that would otherwise put you in front of an audience if those opportunities don't pay enough to cover the work they put in.

Fair enough, of course.  That's their job.  But, in modern publishing, holding out for a big contract with a big publisher is both short-sighted and just plain wrong.  The big publisher will drop you as soon as the book makes under X dollars a year.  But, in many cases, even though they let you go out of print, they'll sit on your book for years.

People ask me daily about agents and publishing, and I always say avoid them.  Work with the small presses, and hire a contract lawyer for negotiation.  That'll cost the writer $500 to a grand in legal work, but then the lawyer goes away and everything else you make off the work is 100% yours.

nacho:
As predicted, the fall of Borders begins...


--- Quote ---Several publishers say payments from Borders have been delayed and they have retained a bankruptcy group as legal counsel, according to Barron's, which quotes a Debtwire report. Borders told Debtwire that it is paying vendors and "is not aware of any material dispute related to its December 2009 payments."
--- End quote ---

Borders is lying.  I've been warned by the distributor (and so have the hundreds of other publishers they represent) that selling to Borders will probably mean non-payment and, so, lost merchandise.  We've been encouraged to refuse Borders orders.

Of course, Borders talks a big game.  So everyone who shrugs and hopes for the best is selling them merchandise on credit.

When they were closing the UK stores, it took them six months to build up enough money to pay off their debts. 

Now they're in the same pattern...and no way to get a quick influx of cash. 

Borders falling will leave lots of holes in America's strip malls, eh?  And, more disturbingly, they'll take many small presses down with them.  Everyone who blindly sold them inventory, or went against the advice of their distributor or rep, will lose.  Not a fun game to play in a business where every dollar counts.

nacho:
Oh, good! We do have a "death of print" thread... Sort of.

Something a little tongue-in-cheek from the New Yorker:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/magazine/bill-keller-wants-to-ban-books.html


--- Quote ---For years now the populist prophets of new media have been proclaiming the death of books, and the marketplace seems to back them up. Sales of print books in the U.S. peaked in 2005 and have been in steady decline since, according to publishers’ net revenue data reported to the Association of American Publishers.

Watching that trend, I find my grief for the state of civilization comes with a guilty surge of relief. Sure, I would miss books — and so, by the way, would my children — but at least the death of books would put an end to the annoying fact that everyone who works for me is either writing one or wants to. I would get my staff back!

Every month, it seems, some reporter drops by my office to request a leave of absence to write a book. I patiently explain that book-writing is agony — slow, lonely, frustrating work that, unless you are a very rare exception, gets a lukewarm review (if any), reaches a few thousand people and lands on a remaindered shelf at Barnes & Noble. I recount my own experience as a book failure — two incompletes, and I’m still paying back a sizable advance with a yearly check to Simon & Schuster that I think of not as a burden but as bail.
--- End quote ---

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