Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be The Publishing Game

Welcome to another quiet day in the publishing industry.

Publisher's Lunch advertised the Amazon Kindle Best Seller List, including their "Top Movers & Shakers", with Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton (Berkley) at the #1 spot.

The Google settlement agreement has been given a tentative approval. PL says "Judge John Sprizzo's order was made public yesterday, and he set a June 11 date for a fairness hearing to 'decide if the deal is fair, reasonable and adequate.'"

Given the importance of this copyright milestone for the internet age, I'll try to keep abreast of this case and report the details as it moves forward. Legally, everyone is scrambling to get all they can, or, in the alternative, protect themselves all they can, before the laws get put in place. It's groundbreaking work that is happening here, and, as we saw with the WGA strike against the producers in Hollywood over internet usage of their work, it can have devastating effects. Stay tuned!

Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri's Book Marketing Expert Newsletter (see link to susbscribe!) has great details on the ins and outs of marketing via the internet, including website, blog, Twitter and social pages. If you have a hankering to keep up to date on a great newsletter with excellent ideas for managing your marketing time and resources, I urge you to subscribe. Additionally,there are free classes to be had on marketing. (nNte that Penny's Red Hot Internet Publicity class is this Thursday, Nov. 20 from 4-5 pm Eastern).

Your sales are your responsibility. Even if you have assistance or guidance from your publisher, be it a traditional publisher with a teensy-weensy budget for your marketing efforts or an e-publisher with no marketing budget, you will be the Main Man on the marketing front. It's up to You!

And if you are thinking that blogging is not worth your time? Guess again.

According to Penny's newsletter of Nov. 13, Technorati's State of the Blogosphere report for 2008 has found that:

Blogs have a total internet audience of 188.9 million; There were 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of internet users) and 77% of active internet users read blogs.

I found another industry site, Publishing-Industry.Net, that covers publishing in its every permutation, from newspapers to books. It's not an American site, but covers the American publishing industry. Give it a look (though it is heavily business oriented.)

Given the light nature of the fare (blast my PW for always being delivered late by my mailman! I love Brian, he's a very cool dude, but what is he doing with my Magazine!)

But, in order to give you guys a good dose, I'm going to include some other tidbits to make things worth your while.

Did you know that some publishers are now including a new provision in their contracts? As if the rights to your next title weren't enough, they are adding "Non compete" clauses, which would hinder you from plying your writerly trade to other publishers for the duration of the contract.

As with the option for your next title, negotiate this clause, too, should you come across it (and are not able to have it removed, and by all means, ask to have it excluded). Given that the language will probably be broad (which is in the publisher's favor), try to negotiate it to a more specific area. Do you write urban fantasy for the publisher? Negotiate a non-compete ONLY for urban fantasy (leaving you free to peddle your steamy erotica, or your YA, or your romantic suspense, elsewhere). If you are contemplating a contract and do not have an agent, consider employing the services of a publishing attorney (not your Uncle Max who does trusts & estates, or you brother Steve who just graduated from law school). A publishing attorney will be well-versed with the industry standards, what is traditional, what is unusual, and will know how to negotiate any contract to your best interests. If not, consider an option such as the Authors Guild, which, for $90, you can join and get free legal advice. I posted their link earlier on so check them out.

But most of all, you should be as knowledgeable about the law of publishing as you can be, for your own protection and your own benefit. It is not complicated law and there are lots of books out there to give you a leg up when you are holding that precious piece of paper in your hands!

Some titles are: Every Writer's Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law, Third Ed. by Ellen M. Kozak (Henry Holt & Co., 2004); Author A to Z: A Desktop Guide to Writer's Rights and Responsibilities by Randolph/Davis/Dustman/Elia (Capital Books, 2005); and Writer's Guide to COpyright Law: How To Get Your Full Financial Reward and Avoid Pitfalls by How To Books (2006).

And on that note, have a lovely evening.

No comments: