Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Roth awarded Man Booker International Prize | The Bookseller

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Roth awarded Man Booker International Prize The Bookseller

...not the biggest surprise following critic Carmen Callil withdrawing from the judging panel some weeks back.

Shifting Sands: From Konrath to...Who?

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Shifting sands in the wind can both expose and cover up what we see ahead. I see the debate on whether the gatekeepers of publishing should sit at the same poker table as the ebook and self-publishing ‘riff-raff’ in the same way. When I say gatekeepers, I mean mainstream publishers and literary agencies.

For me, the shifting sands of the publishing industry have taken us to a subtle but noticeable change in recent months. It wasn’t too long ago we were all fiercely debating the moves by mainstream houses like Harlequin and Thomas Nelson into the realm of self-publishing services and imprints. Several more publishers have decided to travel down the same path over the past twelve months. Recently, the sands have shifted again, and the debate is now focusing on literary agents taking the plunge into both self-publishing services and ebook publishing imprints.

The Wylie Agency played literary poker with the big six publishers when the company decided to launch Odyssey Editions, an imprint set up to publish digital versions of their clients’ back catalogue of books. Wylie forced the issue and ended up cutting some revised deals with publishers – a case of guns at dawn at two paces apart. Andrea Brown Literary Agents and Ed Victor UK have tried similar ventures, and Curtis Brown and Blake Friedman also raised eyebrows when both agencies announced plans for similar ventures.

Remember, these agencies were all perceived as part of the gatekeeper clan of publishing, and I think it’s cynical to suggest that they are all motivated by new profit streams. Unlike publishers, agents harbour the origin, and not the bounty alone. They remain closer to the interests of the author and are more mindful of the potential for authors to connect directly with readers and sellers alike. Right now, at the top poker table, authors still need guidance, mentoring and champions. What they can do without is a large cumbersome publisher – come book packager. If anyone is about to fall off the top poker table on the next bid – it’s publishers.

I don’t know if JA Konrath is a good poker player. He has certainly made some pretty shrewd calls on the next card in the publishing pack in recent years. He proved himself in commercial publishing and drew that success across to his own self-publishing platforms. On how publishing is headed – I’m inclined to sit next to Konrath and see how much longer he turns good cards, but my worry has always been that Konrath is happy to share the poker table with players, who in the self-publishing arena, don’t know whether they are playing Texas Hold Em or Snap! Self-publishing is nothing to do with luck or the next turn of the card. Konrath is a smooth player, practiced, and smooth players make hard work look easy, and that’s always my fear about the way other writers see Konrath. Konrath is seasoned, prolific, and understands the business of publishing. These are qualities which set him apart from the common self-published author and not what he is presented as to the publishing world – a maverick or renaissance author. Konrath does all that a modern publisher does, but sometimes does it better.

On Monday, Konrath’s agent, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, announced their foray into publishing.

“Again, what we are going to do is to facilitate e-publishing for those of our clients who decide that they want to go this route, after consultation and strategizing about whether they should try traditional publishing first or perhaps simply set aside the current book and move on to the next. We will charge a 15% commission for our services in helping them project manage everything from choosing a cover artist to working with a copyeditor to uploading their work. We will continue to negotiate all agreements that may ensue as a result of e-publishing, try to place subsidiary rights where applicable, collect monies and review statements to make sure the author is being paid. In short, we will continue to be agents and do the myriad things that agents do.”

Understandably, Konrath backed his agent’s decision. The news has created quite a stir, so much that D & G responded on their blog about questions raised elsewhere before about conflicts of interests and just where publishing was headed.

“Which brings up the question posed by several of you, both here and on Joe Konrath’s blog: what are you people doing to earn that 15% commission? Pretty much what we do now to earn that 15% commission. Our commitment to this is more than just uploading and watching the dollars trickle in. In addition to all we do as agents, managing self-published properties will be part of our job: updating metadata, copy, next-book excerpts, etc. It’s not just vague managerial duties, but concrete tasks that we will be adding to our other duties.
For some authors it will be the beginning of building a publishing career which may eventually include a traditional publisher because of the success generated by the e-book. For others, it will mean making worthy books available that are out of print and which still have potential readerships. And, we will want to try to exploit subsidiary rights whenever possible, with the understanding that even with traditionally published books some of these rights do not get picked up.”

I understand what D & G say they will do for the author, but is the 15% net or retail on books sold? There is a difference here between publishers and paid-publishing services – one is a professional contract, and the other is a contract of service exposed to the rigours of customer care. It is the one area many publishing services fall short. We seem no closer to shoring up anomalies for the protection of authors’ rights.

Right now, for me, publishing is full of champions, but scarce on winners. The winds are still blowing…
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Monday, 27 June 2011

Self-Publishing Services: Horses of a different colour?

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While catching up with the publishing news today after being away for a few days, I came across two separate articles about two very different kinds of author solutions services. From the perspective of an author wanting to self-publish, this is very much a case of horses of a different colour. Michael N. Marcus examines what is really behind the services of Xlibris Publishing, while Henry Baum takes a nutshell examination of what kind of services are offered by Pedernales Publishing.
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Pan Mac launches Compass for digital backlist | The Bookseller

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Pan Mac launches Compass for digital backlist | The Bookseller

Pan Macmillan has launched a new imprint to bring backlist titles to readers as digital editions or print on demand titles.
Macmillan Compass will be managed by fiction publisher Jeremy Trevathan and digital director Sara Lloyd. The publisher said the imprint will establish exclusive publishing partnerships with agents, literary estates and other rights holders. It said digital pricing across all formats will be "competitive".
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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What Traditional Publishers Can Learn from Self-Publishers | O'Reilly Webcasts

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This Friday O'Reilly Media will broadcast a free webcast about self and traditional publishing as part of their O'Reilly Tools of Change online event series. The subject of the webcast is 'What Traditional Publishers Can Learn from Self-Publishers'. It's a theme I have written about many times here on The Independent Publishing Magazine.

O'Reilly Media has pulled together an impressive list of guests for the webcast. Below is an introductory piece taken from the O'Reilly webcast site, but it is a little misleading about who is presenting from Blurb, listing CEO Eileen Gittens and VP of Product Chad Jennings. I suspect it is actually going to be Chad Jennings.

The webcast is free and you need to register for it here.

What Traditional Publishers Can Learn from Self-Publishers
O'Reilly TOC Online Event Series

DateThursdayJune 23, 2011
Time10am PT, San Francisco 
6pm - London | 1pm - New York | Fri, Jun 24th at 3am - Sydney | Fri, Jun 24th at 2am - Tokyo | Fri, Jun 24th at 1am - Beijing | 10:30pm - Mumbai
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.
Cost: Free
The lines between traditional and self-publishing is blurring. In fact, some traditional publishers are launching their own self-publishing imprints. We've lined up four leaders of the self-publishing world to share lessons learned and how we can all work together. The webcast features insights from Eileen Gittins (CEO of Blurb), Bob Young (CEO of Lulu), Mark Coker (Smashwords Founder) and Pete Nikolai (Director at Westbow Press, the self-publishing imprint of Thomas Nelson).

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Amazon Publishing Land Ed McBain Digital and Audio Deal

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Author Evan Hunter, March 2001, at a book sign...Image via Wikipedia
Amazon Publishing has landed another heavyweight deal with the announcement this morning that the e-tailer has acquired the digital rights to 47 Ed McBain titles. Amazon brokered the deal with Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents who represent the estate of the late mystery novelist.

McBain's 47 titles will be published in digital and audio formats through Amazon's recently launched imprint, Thomas & Mercer.

From the press release: today announced that Amazon Publishing has acquired the publication rights of 35 titles in the 87th Precinct Series--including "The Con Man" and "The Mugger"--by author Ed McBain. These books will be published by the Thomas & Mercer imprint in print, digital and audio formats starting in Fall 2011. In addition to the 87th Precinct titles, Thomas & Mercer will publish 12 titles in McBain's Matthew Hope series starting in Spring 2012. These 12 books will be published in digital and audio format, with most of the 12 available in print format. This is the first time any of these books have been available digitally for readers. Jane Gelfman of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. represented the estate of Ed McBain in this deal.

Ed McBain was a pseudonym of Evan Hunter, who passed away in 2005. McBain won the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement from the Mystery Writers of America in 1986, and he was the first American to receive the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain's Cartier Diamond Dagger award. He is the author of the popular 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope series. With more than 100 million books sold worldwide, McBain was praised by critics and fellow writers. "The wit, the pacing, his relish for the drama of human diversity [are] what you remember about the McBain novels," the Philadelphia Inquirer once said of his writing. People Magazine simply observed that "Ed McBain is, by far, the best at what he does. Case closed."

"McBain is a master of the mystery genre and we are thrilled to be able to repackage, publish and promote his unrivalled body of work," said Philip Patrick, Head of Rights & Licensing, Amazon Publishing. "One of the things we think Amazon Publishing can do is offer signature authors a new life for great backlist titles. Our agreement with the McBain estate is a perfect example of this approach."

"Evan was always an innovator and I am thrilled that these books will be available again for his countless fans as well as a new generation of readers," said Dina Hunter, widow of Evan Hunter.

Announced in May 2011, Thomas & Mercer--named for streets that flank the Amazon headquarters in Seattle--is the mystery and thriller imprint of Amazon Publishing. Thomas & Mercer books are available to English readers in Kindle, print and audio formats at, as well as at national and independent booksellers. For more information on Thomas & Mercer and upcoming titles, visit For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, visit Thomas & Mercer is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.

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The Rise of The Indie Author | BBC Online

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The rise of the indie author | BBC Online

It is not too often we see the BBC mention self-publishing. This morning this feature piece appeared in the Entertainment & Arts section about two UK authors riding high in the Kindle ebook sales charts.

"As American John Locke becomes the first self-published writer to sell a million Kindle electronic books, the first "indie authors" to top the UK e-books chart explain their success."

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eBook Sales and Seeing The 'S' Curve For What It Is

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I came across the Kindle published masses turning to Joe Konrath to explain an unexpected downturn in sales. Understandably, Konrath’s self-publishing and ebook success is seen as the line in the sand for so many authors.

“I've been asked to speculate about the future in several emails, mostly from panicked authors whose Kindle sales have gone down in June. My sales have also dropped off about 15%, pretty much across the board. I was averaging 831 daily sales in May. So far in June, I'm at 725 a day. On Nook, I was averaging 50 a day. This month, I'm averaging 40.”

And dutifully, speculate is what Joe does. When it comes to ebook sales and its wider impact on publishers and readers, that’s all we can do—speculate. All we can be sure of is that the ebook is on a massive growth curve. Caress and love the growth curve yearly, and you can be sure it will continue to hold a steady shape and rise to the heavens. Look closer at that growth curve, whether it is month on month or day by day, and the shape will change. Sales gurus with their bright whiteboards and squeaky pens call it the ‘S’ curve. It’s often how a new product, service or innovation behaves after launch.

“A type of curve that shows the growth of a variable in terms of another variable, often expressed as units of time.

For example, an S curve of the growth of company sales for a new product would show a rapid, exponential increase in sales for a period time, followed by a tapering or leveling off. The tapering occurs when the population of new customers declines. At this point growth is slow or negligible, and is sustained by existing customers who continue to buy the product.”

Think of something like the Rubix cube from the late seventies, and you might start to understand how the emergence and explosion of the ebook works. Konrath suggested several reasons for the first perceived drop in sales being reported over the past few weeks by some authors, including his own sales figures.

Like August for the media, June has never been a great month for books; e-tailers continue to experiment with pricing, sometimes quite drastically; competition and the massive growth of new titles to the market; the constant problem for ebooks of rights, visibility and discovery; the development and release of new devices and compatibility—this is a moveable feast, not a Sunday roast dinner.

If anything, there is a lot to be learned on the long tail from the growth of mobile phones (cell phones), and importantly, we have a much longer timeframe graph to compare the growth of the mobile phone to the growth of the ebook. Market saturation is not something you are going to hear for a long time with ebook devices, but the day will come, because the history of Apple and Microsoft in the computer operating system war will tell you a thing or two about controlling content. For so long, Microsoft believed controlling the device made you king, but in the long tail Apple showed that content was king with their 'app' for anything drive.

That was a tricky bet for Apple. The lessons of the past were learned, and it may be the mistake Amazon are making with the dedicated Kindle - just as publishers once believed the print book was sacred – Amazon may learn the Kindle does not equal the ebook alone. There are no mugs in Amazon and the launch of Amazon Publishing may be  about to change a lot of things in the publishing industry. But I don’t expect them to petition the Oxford English Dictionary to have ‘Kindle’ replace ebook, just as it was commonplace for ‘Hoover’ to replace vacuum cleaner.

The reality is we are nowhere being able to formulate any trend on ebooks, other than what is cursory. Reading into a month will lead to the apocalypse, and reading into the tailfin of the ‘S’ curse will only lead us to manna from heaven. Right now, we are the photographer constantly stepping back from the subject trying to get a grasp on what we are seeing. Our job is not to fall over something behind us before we get the perfect picture of what lies before us.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

John Locke Lands in The Publishing World | Deal With It!

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...and the news I reported earlier on my Facebook profile on John Locke reaching a million Kindle sales direct from the Kindle Newsletter. What has been most impressive about Locke is his ability to achieve this not with the backing of a previous commercial publisher and marketing campaign, like Konrath, but by using his own promotional steam, iUniverse, Amazon Kindle, and also author service Telemachus for his print books. Yes, Hockling, Eisler and Jeremy Robinson either built a following through their experiences in commercial publishing or eventually crossed the divide. Even William P. Young (The Shack), following his self-publishing success, sold print publishing rights to large commercial entities. Few successful authors are prepared to stick with a solo run in publishing. I'm still looking into this, but yes, Locke may very well be the first independent author to truly achieve this with a touchdown. It's certainly a marker, whatever the case, and I don't think he will be for turning for quite some time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, independent publishing is in the building. It's not going home any time soon... 

The challenge for the publishing community and authors like Locke is not to greet him with 'how very dare you', but rather, subtly lean over, and whisper, 'hey, Johnnie, baby, tell me, how'd you pull it off?' And then, the collective publishing community need to lean over their leather desk chairs and roar at their marketing departments and say, 'you getting all this, you schmucks, this is why I'm posting the next final ten monthly pay checks!'

John Locke Becomes the First Independently Published Author to Join the Kindle Million Club

John Locke is the newest member of the “Kindle Million Club,” and the first independently published author to receive this distinction.  As of June 19th, John Locke has sold 1,010,370 Kindle books using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The Kindle Million Club recognizes authors whose books have sold over 1 million paid copies in the Kindle Store ( Locke joins Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins and Michael Connelly in the Kindle Million Club. 

“Kindle Direct Publishing has provided an opportunity for independent authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the book selling industry,” said John Locke. “Not only did KDP give me a chance, they helped at every turn. Quite simply, KDP is the greatest friend an author can have.”  

“It’s so exciting that self-publishing has allowed John Locke to achieve a milestone like this,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content.  “We’re excited to see Kindle Direct Publishing succeeding for both authors and customers and are proud to welcome him to the Kindle Million Club.” 

John Locke, of Louisville, KY., is the internationally bestselling author of nine novels including "Vegas Moon,” "Wish List,” "A Girl Like You,” "Follow the Stone,” "Don't Poke the Bear!" and the New York Times bestselling eBook, "Saving Rachel." Locke's latest book, "How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months," is a how-to marketing guide for self-published authors.
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Monday, 20 June 2011

Every good ebook needs a good editor | Guardian UK

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Every good ebook needs a good editor | Guardian UK

"I don't say publishers today are perfect, because they're not. They've been far too slow to react to the digital age and don't really, I think, fully embrace its potential. I don't believe editorial standards in all traditional publishing houses are absolutely perfect, either. But as an author who has a contract with a publisher, I like the fact that, on a very basic level, every time I deliver a manuscript, I am auditioning for them all over again."

Harriet Evans, Guardian UK
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Saturday, 18 June 2011

e-Book Distribution with BookBaby’s Brian Felsen (video) | The Book Designer

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e-Book Distribution with BookBaby’s Brian Felsen (video) | The Book Designer

Joel Friedlander has a video interview with Bookbaby's Brian Felsen on his site, The Book Designer. Bookbaby is a recently launched eBook distribution program for authors and publishers. president Brian Felsen interviewed by from Joel Friedlander on Vimeo.
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Thursday, 16 June 2011

AAA will not expel agents turned publishers | The Bookseller

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"The Association of Authors Agents will not expel those agents who have begun publishing their clients' work, after a meeting of agents held last night came to what one agent described as a 'consensus' that it was not a conflict of interest.
The issue was discussed at the AAA's annual general meeting, and follows the decision by agents Ed Victor and Sheil Land Associates to set up publishing imprints.
Agent Peter Cox, who was unable to attend the meeting for personal reasons, had attempted to put a motion before the meeting calling for those agents who had begun publishing to be removed from the body. In the statement he said the AAA had to decide if it wanted to turn a 'blind eye, and therefore, an indulgent eye to the recent practice of agents becoming publishers to their clients'."
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Are Electronic Tablets Usurping Dedicated eReader Devices? | YUDU eBook Report

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YUDU Media has just released a whitepaper report on the rise of ebooks and suggests that electronic tablets may spell the end for dedicated ebook readers. The full report can be read here.

Press Release from YUDU Media:

New YUDU Research Report Finds That Tablets Are Usurping e-Readers as Reading Device of Choice for Consumers

Research Provides Detailed Insight and Statistics on the Rise of the e-Book Industry; 2011 Is Likely "The Beginning of the End" for Dedicated e-Reader Devices

Digital publishing company YUDU Media ( today published a new report summarizing key research, facts and figures on the e-book market, which continues to grow at a blistering pace. The report, titled, "Rise of the e-book: e-book stats and trends," discusses some of the key components of the industry in its current form, aiming to provide analysis and insight into some of its most recent developments.

A sampling of the research included in this report:

•E-book sales now outpace print book sales, as sales of e-books nearly tripled in the US from 2009 to 2010.

•Tablets such as the iPad appear to be overtaking e-reader devices such as the Kindle as the platform of choice for reading e-books; Forrester predicts that by 2015, there will be twice as many owners of tablet PCs than there are of dedicated e-readers.

•Apple's iBookstore is gaining rapidly on as the highest volume sales platform for e-Books.

•E-books have helped fuel success for self-published authors, who are no longer beholden to large, traditional publishing houses to get their works into the hands of readers.

"The e-book market shake-up is likely to become more pronounced over the course of the year, with a growing number of publishers and consumers alike choosing a tablet as their hardware of choice," said Richard Stephenson, CEO of YUDU Media. "While 2010 may be remembered as the birth year of consumer e-books, 2011 may well be considered as the beginning of the end for the dedicated e-book reader."

The e-book market in 2011 will experience exponential growth which will impact the book publishing industry as a whole. YUDU's report offers a deeper analysis of the e-book industry with evidence that transitions in the market go beyond a simple upward sales trend. Ongoing technology innovations and shifts in consumer behavior are driving the continued growth of the e-book market, which publishers are embracing to meet consumer demand and factoring in as part of their overall growth strategy in order to compete in this rapidly changing environment.

Those interested in more detail can access the white paper online at or on the iPad/iPhone by downloading the YUDU Media App and selecting 'e-book Report.'

About YUDU Media

YUDU Media is a web, mobile and tablet ePublishing specialist that's been serving digital publishing solutions to book and magazine publishers since 2003. YUDU has customers in over 70 countries, produces up to 1,200 digital publications a day and has developed almost 100 iPad and iPhone Apps. YUDU Book customers include Wiley, AA Publishing, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and HarperCollins.

Colum McCann wins IMPAC Prize | The Bookseller

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Colum McCann wins IMPAC Prize The Bookseller

Colum McCann has won the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel Let the Great World Spin (Bloomsbury), beating 161 other entries.

The €100,000 prize is the largest awarded to a single novel published in
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Elephant and The Professional Author | Two Articles From Bob Mayer - Who Dares Wins Publishing

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Here are two articles written by Bob Mayer of Who Dares Wins Publishing. The first one, Indies “vs” Trads: The elephant in the room, discusses the polarization of these two camps in the publishing universe.

"Publishers, don’t sit on books just because you have the rights. Consider the reverse royalty concept suggested above. Agents, push this."

"Indie authors: stop talking about things like DTB publishers—I had to ask what that was: dead tree books. Be honest and admit if you’d gotten an offer from a trad publisher two years ago, you’d have taken it. Heck, most of us would take one now. The reality is that indie is becoming trad if you examine what’s going on with those indie authors who have broken out. Think about it."

Mayer's second article, How Do Writers Organizations Determine if you are a “Professional” Author?, discusses what defines a professional writer in the eyes of writers' organisations, and how writers' organisations too often base their value of professional writers on a publisher's terms rather than readership and sales.

"I understand all these organizations are working to adapt to the new environment of publishing. Like publishers, they’re just behind the power curve. It’s hard to turn a large ship. But the thing we have to keep in mind is that these are WRITER organizations, not publishers, not agents, not bookstores. Why are we basing our credentials on things determined by those organizations, rather than readers? And readers vote for authors with sales."
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Monday, 13 June 2011

Hill and Baguchinsky Win 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

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Amazon press release:

Amazon and Penguin Group (USA) Name Gregory Hill and Jill Baguchinsky Winners of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Hill, author of "East of Denver," and Baguchinsky, author of "Spookygirl," receive publishing contracts from Penguin Group (USA)
SEATTLE & NEW YORK & CHARLESTON, S.C., Jun 13, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- (NASDAQ: AMZN) and (NYSE: PSO) -, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace, a part of the Amazon group of companies, today announced the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the international competition in search of the next popular novel, at an event held at the headquarters in Seattle. Gregory Hill is the winner of the general fiction category for his novel, "East of Denver," and Jill Baguchinsky is the winner in the young adult fiction category for her novel, "Spookygirl." Hill and Baguchinsky will each receive a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) that includes a $15,000 advance. "East of Denver" and "Spookygirl" will be published by Dutton's adult and children's divisions, respectively. The novels are available for pre-order now on at

This year's competition drew the most submissions in the history of the contest. After several rounds of judging, the winners were selected by customers from a group of six finalists.

"Today's winners were chosen by customers, and that's one thing that makes this contest so exciting - it offers aspiring writers the opportunity to be heard and also connects them directly with customers to help discover great new voices in fiction," said Nader Kabbani, Director of Independent Publishing at Amazon. "We congratulate Gregory and Jill and also thank all of the people who participated for making this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest the biggest ever."

Tim McCall, Vice President, Director of Online Sales and Marketing, Penguin Group (USA), said, "Penguin is always seeking exciting new work and we were gratified to see the many promising manuscripts entered in this year's competition. We are very much looking forward to publishing Gregory's and Jill's novels."

Gregory Hill lives in Denver where he works at the University of Denver library and plays in "The Babysitters," a rock and roll power trio that includes his wife on drums. "East of Denver" tells the story of Shakespeare Williams, who returns to his family's farm in eastern Colorado to find his widowed, senile father living in squalor. Facing the loss of the farm, Shakespeare hatches a plot with his father and a motley crew of his former high school classmates to rob the local bank. Expert panelist Lev Grossman, book critic for Time Magazine and author of the New York Times bestseller "The Magicians" and the upcoming sequel "The Magician King," says that Hill's writing is "on a par with that of top-flight black-comic novelists like Sam Lipsyte and Jess Walter, and it deserves to be read."

Jill Baguchinsky, a longtime fan of supernatural tales, wrote the first draft of "Spookygirl" as part of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, a movement that challenges writers to complete a novel in thirty days. In the novel, Violet Addison has moved into an apartment above her father's funeral home in Florida. Violet regularly converses with the ghosts in the house, but what she is really scared of is starting her sophomore year at a new school. Not only will she battle rumors about her father's involvement in her mother's death, but, even more frightening, the evil forces that inhabit the girls' locker room. Expert panelist Jennifer Besser, Vice President and Publisher of G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, writes that this "funny and suspenseful novel sets itself apart and heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice."

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is an annual contest co-sponsored by, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace. For the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest Official Rules, to view the winning excerpts and reviews, or pre-order the novels now, please
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Friday, 10 June 2011

Book Republic | New Signings for Autumn

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News from the Book Republic website...

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Friday, 10 June 2011

We would like to welcome new signings Mick Rooney and Gillian Duffy to the Book Republic team. We are delighted to announce that we have signed a three-book deal with author Gillian Duffy, and talented writer Mick Rooney is on board to publish his book 'The Memory of Trees'.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Redhammer's Peter Cox Slams Agencies Offering Digital Publishing

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Literary agent Peter Cox didn't mince his words yesterday in a blog post about the rising tide of literary agencies becoming digital publishers for their authors. Cox challenged the notion that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with an agent cutting a deal with one of their authors to digitally publish a book. Cox described such deals as 'opportunism', 'a rights grab' and close to what is termed in law as 'self dealing'.

"On a matter of law, the situation is very clear. An agent must at all times avoid conflict between the interests of the principal and his or her own.
Once you become your client’s publisher, you then become a principal in the transaction. This means you can no longer function as the client’s agent.
Agency law makes it clear that an agent must not engage in self-dealing, or otherwise unduly enrich himself from the agency. Nor must an agent usurp an opportunity from the principal by taking it for himself.
I really doubt whether any agent can legitimately claim that it is in the author’s best interests to be published by their literary agent. It’s like the ref in a game of footie being paid by one of the teams playing. It raises huge issues – and it just doesn’t feel right – does it?"

Rival literary agencies might argue that Cox is attempting to seize the high moral ground on this issue, but they will be even more incensed with the launch of Project FreeAgent. This is a new and free contract advisory service set up by Cox to advise authors contemplating signing a digital publishing deal with their agent.

It seems to me there is a degree of 'opportunism' occurring on both sides of this argument at the moment.  
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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bloomsday Celebrations | Irish Writers' Centre

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From the Irish Writers' Centre:

Finnegans Wake: Dead or Alive?
Thursday 16th June 12pm-3pm

A traditional Irish wake celebrating life, death and everything in between. Music, poetry, stories and song from 12pm to 3pm on Thursday June 16th. Celebrate Bloomsday, not with Leopold Bloom but with Finnegan and his wake at the Garden of Remembrance.

Prose performances will be given by Conor Kostick, June Considine, Catherine Dunne, Mia Gallagher, Mícheál O' Ruairc. Poetry will be read by Mark Granier, Anne Hartigan and Padraig J Daly among others.

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2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards | Winners and Finalists

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The winners of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards have been announced by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. This year the awards were presented at the Plaza Hotel, New York City.

Overall Grand Prize Winners:



Carny: A Novel in Stories
by James Hitt
(Aberdeen Bay Press)
(ISBN 978-1608300402)



Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth
by Larry J. Schweiger
(Fulcrum Publishing)
(ISBN 978-1555917173)

The DeValera Deception
by Michael McMenamin &
Patrick McMenamin
(Enigma Books)
(ISBN 978-1936274086)

Touching: Poems of Love,
Longing, and Desire

edited by Sari Friedman and
D. Patrick Miller
(Fearless Books)
(ISBN 978-0982279953)

I Can Only Give You Everything
by Bradford Tatum
(ISBN 978-0984489619)

Serve to Lead®: Your Transformational
21st Century Leadership System

by James M. Strock
(Serve to Lead Press)
(ISBN 978-0984077427)

Wisconsin's Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes
by M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman, photographs by Zane Williams
(Wisconsin Historical Society Press) (ISBN 978-0870204524)

For the full list of all category winners, click here.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards program began four years ago, and every year we have been thrilled with the entries. But this year surpassed all expectations. There were close to 50% more entries than last year and throughout the judging process, I heard continuous feedback from our judges about how impressed they were with the outstanding quality, the excellence in writing, and the creativity of books entered.
All of us at Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group are grateful to be part of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest not-for-profit book awards program in the world, which continues to honor and recognize so many talented individuals within the independent book publishing industry. This year's cash prizes total more than $12,000 with over 240 awards to be handed out to the winning authors and publishers.
With a significant increase in the number of entries, it was essential for us to increase the size of our judging team this year. The judges included seasoned book editors (including many who have worked with major publishing houses such as Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Penguin Books, Bantam Books, Dell Publishing and Avon Books) as well as designers, book buyers, agents, book reviewers, publishing executives, writing professors, best-selling authors, and other industry leaders.

Catherine Goulet, Chair of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest Not-for-Profit book awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its fourth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group ( in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O'Shea Literary Agency.
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