This week saw two major authors, David Wolverton/Farland and Glenn Beck announce forays into the publishing world. Wolverton will be advancing an exciting, but I feel ultimately limited, new approach to publishing, while Beck is going the traditional route and will have major success in some areas.
Additionally, the bankruptcy of Borders advances, with up to 200 stores possibly to be sold in the next week or two. Are they down for the count? I don't think so. I'll explain in the details.
Finally, the Coloradoan published an interesting opinion piece by Holly Carroll about an interesting threat to libraries caused by the eBook industry. This is not a new argument in and of itself, but it brought to my attention something I think everyone should know about as it's an important little known item for authors. I'm going to tie it into a major announcement from DC Comics this week too.
David Wolverton has, as of late, been on an anti-publishing/agent-establishment rant. He even turned down top ltierary agency in the world who wanted to represent him for an upcoming novel. David is one of the biggest names in fantasy and and sci-fi and has published more than 50 books via traditional means. With the changes being wrought by the eBook revolution however, he sees the industry cannibalizing itself from the top down, with the ultimate prey being the agent. He summed it up at the beginning of a massive pamphlet-length email with:
Too many, it seemed his general conversation was towards self-publishing. This week it has been revealed that is not the case, at least not entirely. While he still seems to advocate that as better than many of the raw deals authors are getting lately as well as outright Intellectual Property (IP) theft they've experienced, this week it became apparent there was some self marketing for a business venture in his views, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
This week, David announced he and a few others have created the East India Press. From the announcement email:
The press is not open for submissions yet as they want to see how The Nightingale succeeds or fails before allowing others to put their trust in them. A smart business move. For those who have been following my blog, you'll know that a few weeks ago (Day 12) I mentioned a website by new author Peter Orullian where he made some incredible innovations in marketing for books, taking the concept of book trailers to a whole new level. I predicted this would be a key element in the future for successful publishing marketing, and it seems I am not the only one. David Wolverton's venture looks to capitalize on similar ideas, especially in terms of the enhanced books.
Let me be clear: I believe this venture will ultimately be limited ins cope because of the costs and time involved. Author's who want to use them will likely pay a heavy up-front fee or other long-term contract costs to cover the initial investment in them. I believe David however will have these fees spelled out clearly and then move to a very equitable structure after expenses are met. This is different than the shadowy contracts and numbers in place with many publishers and agents today and a definite step forward. Because of the initial investment in the author, either by the author him/herself or East India Press, they will not be taking on boatloads of people any time soon. Thus, this is for a niche group of authors, new and established, who feel they can really benefit from this approach versus eBooks and print-on-demand on their own.
I for one though will be looking seriously at them or similar ventures when it comes time to publish. Multiple income streams and audiences for your work is the key to author success in the future.
Glenn Beck. Love or hate Glenn Beck's politics, no one can deny he is a marketing and media powerhouse. He has seven consecutive New York Times bestsellers in both fiction and non-fiction, novels, and children's books, etc, organized one of the biggest rallies ever that united people from many political and religious spectrums for a day, is putting the finishing touches on his own WebTV station that will likely advance to Cable, produces 5 hours a day of original radio programming (3 with him, 1 with his Producer and co-host, and 1 with S.E. Cupp, a female conservative Nascar and gun loving atheist), is finishing up a five year run as on TV as one of the most watched Cable News/Opinion shows of all time, and much much more.
And he's not done yet folks. Not content to simply be published, he has now announced a publishing division of his company Mercury Radio Arts which will operate an imprint under Simon and Schuster. This is a match made in powerhouse heaven. Mercury Ink will be publishing a non-fiction this month on the Federalist Papers. Okay, not exciting for most people other than myself (I've read the Federalist Papers twice, all of them, and several books about them... I am kind of a history nut). BUT... it gets more exciting: the next book, due out later this year, is a YA Fiction by best seller Richard Paul Evans. I am very excited about this book because while it is a YA Paranormal book, it is also a thriller for the YA market. This is near and dear to my heart, because one of my long term goals after becoming an established thriller author is to write thrillers for the YA market, which is not a very well tapped area. I believe this is because of lack of authors who can do it well and are trying to do it, not because there is not interest. Richard Paul Evans could blow the doors wide open, and Mercury Ink will become a rock star.
Borders declared bankruptcy a little bit ago and shuttered quite a few stores. This shuttering of many stores led many to believe they were down for the count. Not so fast though. As someone who watches big business deals, I knew from the get go the bankruptcy was not a closure but a restructuring. Somehow most of the publishing world missed this. While I cannot prove this was my view before, it was, and I was right, so there! Bottom line is the bankruptcy was to restructure and become leaner and meaner. It looks like around 200 stores may be sold to an investor in a couple of weeks. This will give Border's the capitol to get into the black and pay old debts (at least some). They aren't resting on their laurels either. According to the Detroit News: