Dog-Eared and Dispatched: May 31, 2015
BookExpo America shakes up the literary world with announcements and book release anticipation, not the least of which was a Global Market Forum launch between U.S. and Chinese publishers. On the author front, the Authors Guild announced a series of articles on contract negotiation, citing a recent Guild survey that revealed a deterioration in the quality of author-publisher contracts. Ready? Set? Read!
On May 27, BookExpo America kicked off in New York City. The three-day conference brings together some of the book world’s most important members, including authors, publishers, librarians, readers, and more. Two of the conference’s “hottest” upcoming release items include Jonathan Franzen’s September FSG release Purity and Garth Risk Hallberg’s October Knopf release City on Fire. Other focuses of this year’s event were exciting releases in children’s fiction and romance in YA. On a more game-changing note, a panel moderated by Smashwords founder Mark Coker discussed whether or not subscription services are the future of e-books; National Book Critics’ Circle board member Walton Muyumba moderated a panel on whether or not diversity matters in book reviewing—and since the question had to be framed in such a way, one can deduce how important it is—wherein panelists ultimately concluded that diversity in book reviewing is led by diversity in book publishing. [BookExpo America, Publishers Weekly]
In a May 2015 press release, the Authors Guild rolled out its Fair Contract Initiative, which is designed to guide new and experienced authors through the contract negotiation process. This was set off in part by an April 2015 Guild survey, where their “preliminary findings suggest that full-time and part-time U.S. authors have experienced a significant decrease in writing income over the last five years.” This guide will release on AuthorsGuild.org as a series of commentaries over the coming months, focusing on “inequities” in boilerplate contracts and moving on to which contract terms are negotiable and how to negotiate for them. [Authors Guild, Publishers Weekly]
- American and Chinese dignitaries opened the largest global market forum in the history of BEA on May 27, marking the largest exchange between publishing professionals in the two countries since diplomatic ties were first established in 1979.
- Best-selling sci-fi author John Scalzi signed a $3.4 million, ten-year book deal with Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books. Most of the novels will add on to his popular “Old Man’s War” series.
- James Patterson debuts a children’s imprint called jimmy patterson, with the goal of increasing children’s enthusiasm for reading.
- Mike Shatzkin discusses the effects digital publishing has had on traditional publishing world through the lens of potential topics for the Digital Book World 2016 conference.
- Lit Hub takes a look at why we’re so fascinated with reclusive writers.
- The social reading and fanfiction site Wattpad revealed it has more than 40 million monthly users.
- At BEA 2015, a Chicago web development company launched Momentum, a social media campaign delegation and tracking service targeted at publishers.