The Week in Publishing


by J Tanner

Catch up on the industry news and opinion you may have missed this week.

Trade Publishing

  • Jamie Raab, head of Grand Central Publishing answers some tough questions about the challenges for trade publishers. Joe Konrath poops on the answers in a followup (but he did have nice things to say about Jamie personally and his past experience with Grand Central.)

The New World of Publishing

  • The Tsunami of Crap argument heads into Tsunami of Porn Comics territory. (Note to self: Do not Search for “X-men” on Amazon…)
  • BookTango is a new self-publishing distribution service akin to Smashwords with, by appearance, a slick editing/formatting front end. The downside seems to be no (currently) or limited (in the future) pricing options and an obviously manipulated royalty comparison of gross for them and net for competitors that has them making the ridiculous claim of “100%” royalty from them vs lesser amounts from their competitors. But a quick comparison of a $4.99 sale on their site paying out $3.49 vs a similar sale on Smashwords paying out roughly $4.00 even after Paypal fees with their supposedly lower royalty rate exposes the truth. That doesn’t inspire confidence. However, outside of that their pricing to retailers looks competetive with Smashwords and if their formatting tool works well it could end up being a nice alternative for some self-publishers.
  • Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords discusses the origins of the service, his own writing, and how he thinks the near future will play out for publishing.

Retailers

  • Amazon’s 4th quarter results are in and while sales were up, growth was down. Investors said boo.
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