Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Musings

The Strand on Fulton Street is closing, and they're offering 20% off on everything to avoid having to transfer inventory to their Broadway and 12th flagship location.

Josh Getlin at the LA Times interviewed Simon & Schuster's Carolyn Reidy.

The Macavity Award nominees were announced (the link is good, there seems to be something wrong with their site).

According to Publishers Marketplace, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin is writing a memoir for Collins. My college ex is probably freaking out right now. OMG.

Finally, my heart goes out to Nathan Bransford, whose Sacremento Kings drafted a player who pretty much all the experts think is a reach at at the twelve pick. Then again, my San Antonio Spurs drafted three players I've never even heard of.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Electronic Giveaways

The debate about Kindle, electronic books, and the future of the printed word seems to be dominating the publishing landscape lately, especially among my agent colleagues. I don't want to dive into all of that again here, but I did want to mention an intriguing subplot in all of this, the e-book giveaway.

As you may know, some publishers have allowed readers to access either chapters or an entire book electronically as a publicity measure in advance of publication. This has been done selectively, and usually only for a short period of time. I haven't seen any convincing hard numbers yet, but early indications are that this has led to increased sales of the print edition. Intriguing, right?

A nuts-and-bolts issue relating to electronic giveaways is how to handle all of this contractually, assuming that this turns out to be a good publicity measure. Many publishing contracts give publishers free reign when it comes to publicity, which I've never liked. I try to limit any excerpts used by publishers without approval to either ten percent of the entire work or 7,500 words. I also try to add language that ensures that we'll negotiate a payment for my client if at some point publishers should receive moneys from these publicity efforts (i.e. the online provider agrees to share advertising revenue with the publisher). If electronic giveaways are the future of publishing publicity, than these are just a few of many points to consider in your contract.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

April Book Sales

According to the Association of American Publishers, net sales dropped 3.5% percent to $472.7 million, though net sales for 2008 were 2.183 billion, unchanged from last year.

For the month, E-book sales rose 19.9% (though they are still only generating sales of $3.4 million) while religious books decreased 21.5% ($34.2 million).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Client Blogging

Brian Jones is a guest at the Hudson Historical Valley Blog, where he discusses the release of Washington Irving's Sketch Book.

Jaye Wells just guest blogged over at Editorial Ass about Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Jonathan Bender is back from Brickworld 2008. Did you get me any LEGO candy while you were there?