Top Publishing Stories of 2017

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Russ, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    So PW has produced their list of the top publishing stories of 2017, all of them quite interesting.

    Very pleased about the continued resurgence of print. I think we are close to some long term market stabilization that will be good for all types of authors and publishers. Many other interesting stories as well:

    PW's Top Publishing News Stories of 2017
     
  2. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    You pointed out the only interesting part of the top 10, LOL. Sadly, I will no longer support print sales, my eyes enjoy black backgrounds and large font, LOL.
     
  3. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Yeah, some of them you have to actually be in publishing or close to it to care about. But for people actually in the business the Amazon thing and the NYT changes were a VERY big deal. And that Tate story is the end of a long sad saga. IIRC one of the members of this site was tied up with them once, or maybe it was another fraudster.

    With the print return that issue is not that big a deal for authors, but is very important for both the printing business and book sellers. Publishers aren't that invested in print because they make some very good margins on E. For publishers the concern with E is the size of the whale, amazon, which makes a lot of people nervous. Apple and Kobo are pushing pretty hard, it remains to be seen if their strategies succeed at all. We should know in two or three years.
     
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Oh yes, for the industry the whale in particular is interesting. E-pub and its effect on the industry will continue to fascinate.

    I should also say it’s not that they aren’t interesting in some respect, it’s more that you hit the highlight for me.

    I personally don’t care a wit about the NYT or anything they do, LOL. I have found several stories over the past couple years involving their best seller lists amusing, and fascinating, in understanding the arcane arts of said lists.
     
  5. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Oh yeah, it makes for great cocktail party discussion among people in the industry. The stories I could tell you about their algorithm.

    I feel bad for a couple of friends of mine who have peaked at #2 on the list and were really hungry to get to #1, but with the changes are never likely to do so.

    But really, how sorry can I be for people who have made #2 on the NYT bestsellers list?
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    #2, what losers, LOL. And of course, so much depends on release date and competition... It’s more a vanity system, and the ability to slap #1 on your next book, than anything else. Show me the readers.

    And I’ve also had regrets about buying a book to help in my little way to a better sales mark, because it sucked, but my purchase counted just the same, LOL. This is where the power of Amazon and other reviews come into play, they count more than sales, even if they can (obviously) be fishy too. I was talking to a small publisher a while back and was pleasantly surprised to find that their purchased reviews tracked closely to the “in the wild” reviews, so just because people were paid didn’t mean they gave the book a better review.
     
    Russ likes this.
  7. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    You are dead right that release date is a huge deal. You should see the maneveuring and planning that goes into a release date. They slightly moved the release date of my wife's second book to avoid coming out within a certain time frame of a much bigger author to not get drown out in the noise. We have certain ways of dealing with that, but they are limited and imperfect.

    I have zero time for paid reviews. It strikes me as unethical and a clear conflict. I get free copies for a review, but the paid review system makes me, and many other very nervous. Even if the paid reviewers don't give better reviews, the appearance of venality hurts the whole system.

    The other interesting thing when we talk about best seller lists is that we still call them "readers". With the advent of e books in particular the data starting to be gathered is telling us many e readers buy books on impulse and either never read them or don't read them for a much longer span than people who buy print books. Thus some in the industry and thinking differently about "purchasers" and "readers" as different groups to be dealt with differently.

    As one astute (and very successful) author put it recently at a conference "Purchasers buy our books. Readers buy our books and readers sell our books."
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  8. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Yeah the difference between reader and buyer is interesting and important, hard to discern, although e-sales might better be able to track actual reading.

    Paid reviews are freaky and make me nervous too, but a free copy of a book is in essence a payment with (small) monetary value. For a self-pub or small house, I can see it as a quick way to get some quick reviews up (hopefully positive) to help get some momentum. Me, I check reviews whether big house, small, or indie, to go with the sample. After reading a few of the lastest self-pubs I found this way, I no longer put any weight on having a publisher. I’m just as likely to enjoy self-pub’d as I am big house so long as I take the time to sort through reviews and samples.

    This may speak poorly to my taste, or the garbage the industry pubs, or both.
     
  9. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Actually I think it speaks more to your thoroughness. If you read samples, reviews, etc and know your own tastes I think you can find some very good reads in the self pub world. To me that is the biggest problem in the self pub world. The stuff that is good is just getting lost in a sea of weak entries.

    I just don't have a time to do all that homework. I am more likely to go with an author whose work I know, an author I saw speak or met and found interesting, or recommendations or blurbs (another interesting topic) from someone or a group I trust. I also will check what editor picked up the work as that can help me find quality as well.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Might work for you, but you all also fall deep into books, I don’t. I don’t even trust buying the same author over and over, LOL, let alone follow an editor or go by an author from what they said somewhere. And oddly I am more tolerant for unpublished works, I can read people’s work and finish it for comment but once I pay for something I get picky as crap, LOL.
     
  11. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'm curious how the rise in book sales holds across genres. One of the things ebooks don't do as well as print is let you flip through a book and bookmark pages for reference. So I mostly use my kindle for fantasy books - non-fiction, in particular, I insist on getting physical copies for. I wonder what kind of reading habits other people have that might affect it.

    I'm really curious about what kind of content they're referring to. Does anyone know more specifics?

    Also, it's a huge issue that they cut some of their bestseller lists, as that's always been an important way for authors to gain recognition and validity that lasts throughout their careers. "New York Times bestselling author..." This isn't a good trend.
     
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