Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Digital, Digital, Get Down: Insights from Attending the YPG Digital: Innovative Imprints Panel

“Who here works specifically in a digital area of publishing?” panel moderator Carly Hoogendyk’s question was met with a smattering of raised hands in the crowded Random House conference room. “Who doesn’t deal with digital properties?” About the same number of people raised their hands, a number nowhere close to the majority of young publishing employees gathered on Wednesday, October 23rd for the YPG Digital: Innovative Imprints panel hosted by Young to Publishing Group .

The answers were indicative of how many young publishing employees work in a sector of traditional publishing that now includes a digital component. The three guest speakers each had different insights to share about working for a digital-focused imprint.

Everything in digital moves quickly.  Lara Selavka, who is Project Manager at the mostly e-only publisher Open Road Media, said that the biggest difference she has noticed is between a digital imprint and a traditional is “the speed by which we turn things around.”  Turnaround at Open Road typically takes from three to six months, while at a traditional publisher, it can take much longer.  Selavka attributes that to the fact that a lot of their content is from a backlist so they can cut out a lot of steps, not that they’ve “found the magic bean and are working so much better than traditional.” They just have different content starting out that shortens the process.

The panelists seemed to be in agreement that the biggest challenge in today’s ebook market – and any market – is getting people to pay attention to their product.  Thea James, the Co-Founder of speculative fiction review blog turned short story ebook imprint Book Smugglers, has a problem that other small publishers can identify with: how to get retailers’ attention.  During her day job as Director of Digital Strategy and Operations at Workman Publishing, James can tell retailers about the press a title has lined up or pay for co-op to market a title, but Book Smugglers is “a really tiny fish that retailers don’t give a crap about.”  It has decided to circumnavigate the problem in a way only a digital imprint could do.  Although they will still sell through the usual ebook retailers, the blog will reach its audience directly by selling on its website, sans DRM or distributor. Read More »

Book Jobs Not by the Book: Maris Kreizman, Publishing Community Manager at Kickstarter

Maris KreizmanMaris Kreizman is a Publishing Community Manager at Kickstarter. She was previously the Editorial Director of Digital Content for Barnes & Noble/NOOK and a book editor at Free Press/Simon & Schuster and Counterpoint/Basic Books. She’s also the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and soon-to-be book (Flatiron Books, 2015) that celebrates the intersection of her two great loves–literature and TV.

What was your first exposure to book business and what were the most important things you gained from it?

I was a member of the last of class of the Radcliffe Publishing Course (now the Columbia Publishing Course). I called it Book Camp–it was a lovely bubble in which I and my classmates learned about the publishing industry from some of its most compelling leaders, while living in a dorm and not having to do any of the grunt work that would imminently follow in our early careers. Radcliffe is where I learned the professional value of unabashed enthusiasm. Loving to read books and talking about them with other people who love books is still my primary motivation.

How do you explain your current job to people?

I help people make great publishing projects on Kickstarter.  This can mean lots of different things: helping authors gain funds to self-publish books, helping traditionally published authors to do extensive book tours or raise the funds to research their next book. It could also mean helping a literary magazine launch its annual season, or a reading series to get off the ground.

In what ways did your previous jobs or internships prepare you for what you do currently?

I’ve had lots of different experiences in the publishing industry—I was an editor, I worked at two retailers, and I’m an author. Along the way I’ve worked with and befriended lots of smart people who have seen the industry from many sides. As I try to educate the publishing community about Kickstarter and to think of the myriad ways people who love books can use it, it’s so helpful to run ideas by the authors and literary agents and editors and booksellers I know. Some of my best leads and best ideas have been generated by having casual chats with friends. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 10/13-10/17

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

French publishers were warned by The Group for the Development of Digital Reading that Scribd may be making titles available on their platform without publisher permission.

It was a big week for book awards: the Man Booker Prize was awarded to Australian Richard Flanagan and the National Book Award short lists were announced.

Afghanistan is making a slow but steady entry into book publishing despite facing many challenges.

Amazon‘s crowdsourced publishing platform, Kindle Scout, officially launched this week.

Previously independent publisher, McSweeney’s announced it became a non-profit publisher this week.

Bonus link: Here’s an essay on being young in the publishing industry, moving to NYC, getting hired, laid off and everything in between.

Libraries and Licensing

This article was originally published on our parent site for the book publishing industry, Publishing Trends

728x90-banner-ad

* * *

With the ever-increasing importance of libraries as a way readers can discover new authors and books, and the growing popularity of digital access, we thought it was time to post a comprehensive update on libraries and ebook licensing.

It’s important to recognize that the large majority of libraries license, rather than buy, their ebooks.  This is a critical difference, because in licensing contracts, the first sale doctrine does not apply.

For those who need reminding, the first sale doctrine is the section of copyright law that states “once a product is sold, the original creator/owner gives up all rights to preventing that copy from being resold, lent, rented, or otherwise conveyed to another person,” according to John Palfrey at The Digital Shift.

When the issue of ebook collections came up, publishers opted to license ebooks instead of selling, not only because libraries are a distinct  market, but because they wanted to maintain the one patron, one book per rental paradigm with an expiration date imitating print’s inevitable wear and tear.  This decision came after a fairly long period of time when publishers grappled with the best way to mimic their print deals with libraries, resulting in the initially controversial HarperCollins model.

As currently set up, the Big 5 have a few ways of going about ebook licensing contracts:

Licensing Chart FINAL

Data from The Digital Shift, 8/2014

 

Read more >>

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 10/6-10/10

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

French author Patrick Modiano wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Amazon will open a pop-up shop in midtown Manhattan for the holidays.

Bertelsmann might be planning to increase its ownership of Penguin Random House by buying shares from Pearson.

Adobe’s new ebook software tracks its users’ reading habits.

Bringing two of his business ventures closer together, Jeff Bezos has made the new Washington Post application free on some Kindles.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 9/29-10/3

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Romance publisher Ellora’s Cave filed a lawsuit against Dear Author for reporting on the publisher’s financial issues.

The Authors Guild met with the Department of Justice in August regarding the Amazon’s business practices.

Danish publisher Egmont is selling their US division.

Fresh off of opening their own direct to consumer sales site, HarperCollins is encouraging their authors to sell direct for a higher royalty rate.

Scribd inked a deal with Harlequin that added of their 15,000 titles to the ebook subscription service.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss, Every Morning You Greet Me

While I titled this post with the Sound of Music song in mind, the purpose of it is to introduce you to a different Edelweiss than the song or the flower that inspired it. The Edelweiss we care about in the publishing world is a magical (read: free) online catalog that I only found out about a week ago, despite interning and working in publishing for the past two plus years. Shame on me.

According to the website, Edelweiss “allows reps, publicists, or other authorized persons in a publishing house to manage contact lists, create catalogs, share catalogs, and take requests.” These reps can also share DRCs and use the database for research or for networking with industry professionals.

Edelweiss was launched in 2008 by Above the Treeline and eight unnamed major publishers. Above the Treeline is a software company founded in 2001 by John Rubin specifically with the purpose of creating tools to provide sales and inventory analysis for independent bookstores and publishers.

Almost seven years later, 37,000 book industry professionals use Edelweiss to help their sales department sell to independent bookstores, according to their website.

Here’s how it works.

Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 9/22-9/26

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

New Jersey changed its state privacy laws to include browsed, purchased, and read ebooks.

Amazon is starting a new program to publish ebooks through crowdsourcing.

Amtrak announced the winners of its first Amtrak Residency Program, where writers will take a free long-distance round-trip to inspire new work.

Penguin Random House signed an exclusive deal with Universal Studios giving them first-look production of their titles for the next two years.

In London, the police took down their first ebook piracy website, OnRead.

NYC Bookternet IRL: Brooklyn Book Festival

On Sunday, my roommate Katie and I went to the 9th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival, which was our first book festival ever. We knew there was no way I’d be able to do everything on my to-do list, but also we knew I’d have to give it my best shot.

The numbers weren’t on our side, a fact that I blame largely on the deficiencies of time travel research. We had 8 hours – minus breaks for the bathroom, coffee, and food – to visit approximately 930 booths and attend almost 100 events at the 9 venues offered at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Brooklyn Plaza.

We knew going in that we’d have to pick and choose the events we cared about the most, since there were 10 going on at any given hour. Plus, we had to make time to visit as many booths as we could in addition to seeing authors.

It was hard to choose. The line-up was strong this year.  Some of the big name authors included Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates, Zadie Smith, Roxane Gay, James McBride, Phil Klay, Lev Grossman, Scott Westerfield, and Anne Brashares –just to name a few.

While in Booklyn (puns!), Katie and I wandered, which is probably the best part of the day.  Looking around, our initial thoughts were, “This is like the Scholastic Book Fairs of our childhood, but for adults!” and “How do we know where to go?”

Some of the day's goodies

Some of the day’s spoils.

The answer: just do what feels right. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 9/15-9/19

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

At last, ebooks are becoming poetry friendly.

Barnes & Noble scrapped the ability to download Nook Books onto computers for ebook security reasons.

The National Book Award longlists were announced this week.

HarperCollins is adding a digital watermark to their ebooks to add yet another layer of security to their digital media.

A loophole was discovered in Audible’s payments system, which gives customers free audiobooks.