Tagged business of publishing

What’s a fair deal for anthology authors?

On this week’s People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly answer a reader question! The question-asker edited an anthology, with all the authors donating their work and all proceeds going to a nonprofit cause. One author decided that the way the contract handled rights wasn’t fair, and now the publisher isn’t sure they did the right thing. We get into contracts, rights, and how to handle authors who sound off about you on social media. Whew, that’s a lot of ground in under 12 minutes.

Do half of all new books sell less than 12 per year?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle a bit of viral misinformation that’s making the rounds: The myth that more than half of new books by major publishers sell less than a dozen copies a year. (The first comment on this newsletter, from someone at NPD Bookscan laying out actual stats, is our primary source.) Don’t get us wrong, the numbers for most books put out by the biggest publishers are astonishingly bleak. But not that astonishingly bleak.

On the big changes at Barnes & Noble

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly look at some current events. Big bookstore chain Barnes & Noble recently announced that they’d be dramatically cutting back buying on new hardcovers, a cause of deep concern for many authors. We unpack what is actually changing, what it actually means for authors, publishers, and readers, and how B&N maybe could have talked about it a little more sensitively.

Hot takes from the Penguin Random House / Simon & Schuster merger trial

When dinosaurs fight, should the small mammals worry about it, or just continue scurrying along on our merry business? This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly offer some commentary on the current trial as the US Justice Department tries to prevent publishing giants PRH and S&S from merging into a single mega-publisher. How big of a deal is this merger in the publishing world and in the economy as a whole? Who does it actually affect? Should smaller publishers be taking any lessons or warnings, or just make some popcorn and enjoy the show? In under 10 minutes, we break down what’s interesting, why it matters, and to whom.

When publishers disagree…

For this week’s edition of the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Elly and Joe decided to pick a (friendly) fight . . . with each other. Watch or listen on as we try with only middling success to find publishing issues we disagree about and hash them out. In the first half we discuss our acquisitions process, an area where we often disagree about the merits of book proposals (and Joe elucidates how we ultimately make those calls), and in the second half of the episode we talk about the line between fiction and nonfiction.

How do you sell books without selling out your values?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle the seemingly thorny question of how publishers can stay true to our decidedly un-capitalistic values while attempting to, you know, successfully participate in capitalism. Come for the ethical considerations, stay for the practical advice and decided lack of hand-wringing. Yes you can create the world you want to see and sustain your operations financially.

How do publishers make decisions?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly talk about decision-making. When should you follow conventional wisdom or do what you see your fellow publishers doing? How do you determine what works for you? When you’re torn between two seemingly equivalent paths, how do you figure out which one to take? We give you some metrics and a flow chart here, because one practical step forward is better than a hundred think pieces about how not to do it.

How to bypass publishing gatekeepers (with Ariel Gore!)

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly are joined by Ariel Gore, author of many books including The Wayward Writer, which comes out this fall and offers encouragement and wisdom for writing with the goal of publication. (You can back it on Kickstarter right now!)

In this extra-long episode we dig into the question of gatekeeping in publishing. What is it, is it all bad, how do you get past it or work around it?

Want even more on the topic of gatekeepers? Here’s an older episode Joe and Elly recorded last year covering similar ground.