Tagged podcast

Can you get sued for publishing misinformation?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly answer a reader question: do book publishers need to be concerned about liability if they publish books containing scientifically inaccurate information? We’re not sure if the question-asker is considering publishing an anti-vaxx book, suing the publisher of one, or just noodling about fact checking in a more general way, but we do our best to give some practical perspectives.

Are profit & loss statements just a bunch of smoke and mirrors? More from the PRH/S&S merger trial

Back in August, the best show in publishing was the trial in which publishing behemoth Penguin Random House tried to make the case to the US Department of Justice that buying publishing mini-behemoth Simon & Schuster wouldn’t create an uncompetitive atmosphere for authors. We’ve covered it a bit in this podcast, and this week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we offer one last episode unpacking a funny statement that came out of it: the behemoths’ assertion that their profit & loss statements are meaningless and they actually have no idea how to predict if a book will be profitable. Spoiler: We kinda think they’re stretching the truth. Watch or listen for insights into what (if anything) this means for your own 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.