Thursday, November 6, 2008

News From Publisher's Weekly 11/3 Issue

PW is an invaluable resource (an ironic sentiment, I know, given the pricey subscription rate for the publication). However, as this week's issue illustrates, it provides a wealth of up-to-date information that every author needs.

PW reports that the Authors Guild, AAP and Google $125 million preliminary settlement ends 3 years of litigation. And further "providing the broad framework for how books - and their content - will be sold in the digital age."

The agreement "ensures that, the online world books will be discovered and rights holders compensated. The agreement gives authors and publishers two things they want the most: control over what is browsable and control of pricing for in-print copyrighted books."

Additionally, "The settlement also gives Google something it wanted, too, the opportunity to continue to (legally) scan copyrighted works and make them viewable, with the permission of the rights holders. The out-of-court settlement also avoids setting a precedent of what constitutes fair use in the digigal age. Google had contended that its scanning of copyrighted books from which it would show only snippets was fair use, a theory publishers and authors rejected."

This is a very complex issue, and I will do my best to cover it as the settlement details unfold.

Read more about it on the Author's Guild site. Links are included to both the official press release as well as the actual settlement agreement for those so inclined.

Suffice it to say that this is one large first step on the road to recognizing the rights of authors in the world of internet and "e-media". As a new frontier, legally-speaking, it will require much legal action to define and hone the parameters that protect rightsholders by translating copyright issues and fair use issues for the new medium, but also allow business to be conducted without undue restriction.

PW also announces their picks in this issue for Best Books of the Year.

The Mass Market category includes the debut Avon novel of author Jordan Dane, No One Heard Her Scream, savying about the book "tight plotting and smooth prose...a story that appeals to mainstream thriller readers as well as romantic suspense fans". Another high-profile deal was the sale and publishing arrangement of Sherry Thomas' Private Arrangements (Bantam). It comes in for kudos - "Deft plotting and sparkling characterization mark this superior debut historical romance..." The other 3 mentions are Mira's The Face by Angela Hunt, HQN's Deadly Deceptions by Linda Lael Miller and Terry Spear's Sourcebooks' title, "Heart of the Wolf". It was particularly interesting to me that Harlequin had 2 titles receive mention, coming on the heels of last year's Quill Nominee under their Mira imprint, The Kommandant's Girl. For anyone who might think that HQN is all about category, their Mira, Luna and HQN imprints are obviously holding their own in the single title arena.

In the main fiction reviews section, PW gives a nice review to Lora Leigh's upcoming St. Martin's Griffin trade paperback release, Only Pleasure (January 09), saying of her heroine Kia, "a superior heroine; strong, sexy and vulnerable."

In the mass market section, romance received reviews for: Die Before I Wake by Laurie Breton (Mira) (Starred review); Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl (HQN) "winning tale"; Stolen Fury Elisabeth Naughton (Dorchester/Love Spell) "rock-solid debut"; and Warrior of the Highlands by Veronica Wolff (Berkley Sensation) "passionate and magical".

Note, too that Publisher's Weekly Romance issue is November 17 and their Mystery special issue November 24.

Check out the bible of the publishing industry. Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America memberships will both get you a discounted subscription off the $225 cost for a year's supply. ($8.00 per single title copy, but they are not usually available on newsstands).


On the books-to-TV front: Big news for fans of the True Blood series and Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse. A 2nd season's episodes has been ordered by HBO.

Hip Hip Hooray! And pass the red stuff...

I've gotten myself a subscription to Publisher's Marketplace ($20.00 per month). I'll check it out and see what's what. They offer info on deals, agents, editors, lots and lots of blogs and sites to check out as well as a job board. I'll let you know if I think it is worth it.

And anyone can get a free subscription to Publisher's Lunch.

That's all for today.

1 comment:

Deborah Blake said...

I'll be interested to know what you think. I get the free version, which is interesting but so far not really helpful. Can you look up individual agent's sales?