Spotlight on PUBLISHING

Maxim_the_cat_by_Mamaguri_at_flickrWhere it’s at, where it’s going…

Do you have a fictional masterpiece trapped in the back of your mind, just dying to be read by mobs of screaming fans? Do you get a little buzz every time you think about seeing your name on the cover of an actual published novel?
Hey, me too!
But…do you feel slightly less buzzed when you think about dealing with editors? agents? online booksellers? the whole nasty, soul-destroying process of bulldozing your beloved story through the frigid slush pile of modern publishing, and into the sweaty, grasping hands of soon-to-be fans and personal stalkers?
Hey, me too!
Fortunately, there are a lot of generous people out there who are willing, through the magic of podcasting, to share their experiences and knowledge with aspiring Stephen Kings and J. K. Rowlings such as ourselves.
In this ‘Spotlight on Publishing’ series, you’ll find links to the best interviews and discussions that I’ve found on the web. You’ll take a front-row seat as writers, publishers, agents, and other industry insiders trade their experiences and battle scars. By connecting you to them, I hope to make your journey less intimidating, and (hopefully) a lot more fun.
Enjoy ☺

•   •   •

In this spotlight, a traditional publisher offers a frank, open description of how the modern book industry works (if you’re new to publishing, then prepare to be shocked). Then, you hear from a panel of four published writers who describe emerging trends in marketing, self-promotion, and even genre-switching among fans.

So pour yourself a steaming cup of java, pull up a comfy chair, and prepare to be enlightened!

The Writing Show – An Interview with Carolyn Hayes Uber


“I think that the whole issue of returns…is what’s very broken about our industry, and if booksellers had to buy books with the expectation that they had to pay for them… they would stock their stores a lot more carefully…” – Carolyn Hayes Uber

We start off with a fascinating discussion about the traditional publishing industry, as Paula Berinstein of The Writing Show interviews Carolyn Hayes Uber, President of Stephens Press in Las Vegas.

The discussion is both wide ranging and refreshingly candid. Ms. Uber offers a fascinating perspective on many of the problems that plague the publishing industry today – woefully inefficient distribution channels, outdated book return policies, and industry consolidation and monopolization – and how they are contributing to an industry crisis.

But wait – it’s not all bad news. Ms. Uber also offers plenty of helpful information for authors, whether they go the traditional route or decide to self-publish. She describes how some of her authors are supplementing their writing income through speaking engagements; how profits are typically divided among the author, publisher, wholesaler, distributor, and retailer; and how to calculate the suggested retail price for your book so you don’t price yourself out of the market.

A fantastic interview conducted by the always-awesome Paula B!

Download it here.

Episode Originally Released: September 21, 2008 (but still completely accurate today!)

Runtime: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Writing Excuses 7.54 — Four Ways the Industry Is Changing

“If you are of the opinion that all self-published stuff is crap, or that all publishers are evil, or all agents are blood-sucking leeches,… you are doomed to make a bad decision.” – Brandon Sanderson

“If you are of the opinion that all self-published stuff is crap, or that all publishers are evil, or all agents are blood-sucking leeches,… you are doomed to make a bad decision.” – Brandon Sanderson

After Paula B’s eye-opening interview, you can head over to the Writing Excuses website, and listen as our intrepid co-hosts gaze into the cloudy future of bookselling, and prognosticate like there’s no tomorrow. They discuss four trends that are emerging in today’s publishing industry – trends that you may be able to take advantage of.

First, Mary talks about how (and why) genre readers have been shifting away from fantasy fiction and towards science fiction. (She also offers a cautionary note about jumping on any bandwagon, including this one.) Dan talks about the increasing demand for supplementary content and other marketing materials that today’s authors must supply in addition to their books, and how this is changing the way authors are being paid for their work. Howard describes how the ‘value chain’ connecting the author to the reader is changing, and how authors can take advantage of these developments. Finally, Brandon looks at how authors now have a lot more opportunity to get involved in promoting and marketing their work, and why this can be both good and bad.

As always, the conversation is focused, informative, and fun!

Download it here.

Episode Originally Released: December 30, 2012

Runtime: 19 minutes

masthead backgrounds:

Writing Excuses masthead — closeup photo of daytimer, by Bing Ramos | Source | CC

The Writing Show masthead — country road in winter, by Bert Kaufmann | Source | CC


Maxim the Cat by Mamaguri | Source | CC


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