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

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 11/24-11/28

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.

JetBlue launched the Fly-Fi Hub service, which will provide in-flight reading materials to passengers through a partnership with HarperCollins and Time Inc.

Amazon placed interactive ads in the New York City subway that allow consumers to browse for books while waiting for their trains.

Ferguson Public Library remained open in Missouri while other public services closed due to protests.

The University of Texas bought Gabriel García Márquez’s archive.

In an effort to encourage Black Friday shoppers to buy print books, Barnes & Noble is selling 500,000 signed books from prominent authors.

Book Jobs Not by the Book: Andy Meisenheimer, Freelance Writer and Editor

Andy MeisenheimerAndy Meisenheimer is a freelance writer and editor. He edits manuscripts for writers and for publishers, coaches published and unpublished writers in the art and craft of writing, and writes for fun and for profit. He is a fiction editor for The Red Fez, an online literary magazine. He lives with his family in New York City.

Give us a little bit of your history in publishing, and how you got started freelancing.

I started in college working at an indie bookstore, managing frontlist and backlist, among other things. From there, I began working at a publisher in sales, the kind of sales that has you traveling a three-state region visiting other mom-and-pop bookstores and small chains. I know Minnesota-Wisconsin-Illinois really really well. I moved from sales to acquisitions at the same publisher, and had a blast. Signed a bunch of good authors to write good books that all of nobody bought or read. Signed one New York Times Bestseller. Seemed as good of a time as any to retire (not really how it happened)—and so I became a freelancer. At first, I split my time between a long-term contract editing a series of mysteries, and working smaller gigs directly with authors themselves, and that’s sort of how I got started. Since then, I’ve co-written a book, I’ve written a lot of back ad copy, and I’ve done some acquisitions consulting and other odd jobs.

What kind of projects do you normally work on, and how do you get those projects?

My expertise, as it were, is in development and line editing. So most of my work is with authors and publishers early in the process, as opposed to the later copyediting and proofreading. I love to work with novelists, and I also have lots of experience with non-fiction as well, so I have been moderately successful at keeping a balance between the two.

The work I do with publishers comes from relationships I’ve built with editors and marketers in the business. But I also do work directly with authors, and that comes mostly from word-of-mouth. I really enjoy working with authors, and I think for the most part the feeling’s mutual, and that gets me a decent amount of referrals.
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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 11/17-11/21

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.

Oyster started their own literary journal and created an Author Advisory Board.

Google launched Google Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers.

Simon & Schuster lifted its required “Buy It Now” stipulation for digital library lending.

The 2014 National Book Award winners were announced during the 65th Annual National Book Awards ceremony.

Running Press and HBO have partnered together to develop new Game of Thrones products.

Bonus VideoUrsula Le Guin’s National Book Awards acceptance speech after being awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 11/10-11/14

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.

Amazon and Hachette have reached an agreement, bringing an end to their contract negotiations that began in May of this year.

Reed Exhibitions announced that BEA and BookCon will have separate dates in 2015.

Nook Media is expanding their author services offerings by adding print options.

HarperCollins was denied their request for over $1 million in damages against Open Road.

Amazon won their bid to own the new .book domain.

 

Fanfiction and Fandoms: A Primer, A History

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

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The Magicians Trilogy author Lev Grossman in his 2011 Time article summarized the mentality surrounding fanfiction in mainstream culture as “what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker.” Now don’t get Grossman wrong—he is pro-fanfiction, but he also acknowledges that to outsiders, it’s an odd world of what some might call extremists. Despite being considered a niche subculture, fanfiction has been steadily growing in popularity, particularly over the last three years.

Fanfiction is divided into “fandoms,” which are fan groups for movies, TV shows, comics, books, celebrities (called Real Person Fiction or RPF), cartoons, anime, manga, games, or plays. The posts can be long form fiction, short form, drabble (100ish words long) or a one-shot (a standalone chapter). When fans start a story, they can choose to put the characters in a completely different setting in what’s called an Alternate Universe (AU). They can re-characterize a literary figure completely, making them Out of Character (OOC) or introduce a new character of their own to a familiar fandom, known as Original Character (OC). They can choose to honor the fandom’s tradition couplings (Canon) or change it up with a non-canon same-sex couple (Slash). These are just to name a few fanfiction colloquialisms that writers use to describe their stories within the fan communities.

The limitless aspect of these fan rewrites draws in writers and readers. They take something the fandom loves and make it new over and over again. That’s a major part of the appeal of the fanfiction community: it’s driven by the fandom. The fans run the websites, they write the words, they edit the chapters, and they review the stories. Because it’s completely fan-sustained, the content is heavily influenced by what the users want to read or by what they sometimes wish the fandom’s creators had done originally.

Fans get to actively participate in the fanfiction world through comments and reviews. The communities are an exchange of ideas, often viewed by both budding and established authors alike as a viable and free forum for feedback on work or as a comfortable place to exercise their writing chops. Most fanfiction websites give readers the option of favoriting a chapter, story, or author. Aside from the occasional flame (a bad review), the community is largely helpful and encouraging. Reviewers can give guesses and hopes for the plot as the serialized chapters are posted, which might possibly help a writer tweak their timeline to better cater to the public’s interest.

One of the recent trends in fanfiction is fiction written by teens, stated Wattpad Head of Content Ashleigh Gardner. Peer-to-peer writing is different from traditionally published YA and New Adult content, because “when teens are writing for their peers, we see stories that are far more true to life, and often include themes important to the life of teens today, like the complications of social media and impact of technology on their lives.”

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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 11/3-11/7

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.

Scribd announced that they’ve added 30,000 audiobooks to their preexisting ebook subscription service for no additional charge.

In more audiobook news, Barnes & Noble brought back their audiobook department which includes an app for the Android platform.

This week Diversion Books launched EverAfter, an app for reading romance novels.

HarperCollins will be moving Harlequin’s non-fiction titles over the to the William Morrow imprint.

Rosetta Books published an interactive YA book that was financed by advertisers.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 10/27-10/31

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.

Sony is developing a new DRM that would allow the sale of used ebooks.

Doubleday and Vintage Books announced the launch of a new imprint with movie company Blumhouse Productions.

Here are the highlights from Literary Agent Andrew Wylie’s keynote address at the International Festival of Authors.

Google Play Books added a skim mode to its Android app to make reading nonfiction easier.

Kobo partnered with Marvel to add comics to its digital library.

“Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books?”: A Panel Event

What do you get when you put an author, an executive editor, a bookstore owner, and a radio host into a room together and ask them about Amazon’s influence on the book publishing industry?  Hosts New America Foundation NYC and Slate’s Future Tense gave people a chance to find out last night with the “Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books?” panel event.

The panelists dove right into discussing Amazon’s influence on the book industry and its even larger influence on getting everyone involved in discussing the book business.  “This is fantastic fodder for every journalist out there, right? It’s David and Goliath.” WNYC New City Tech Host and Managing Editor Manoush Zomorodi said.

It’s true that there’s always a David and Goliath complex in publishing.  “Publishers have always hated their biggest accounts,” author Hugh Howey said, noting that publishers used to hate Barnes & Noble just as much as they now hate Amazon.

It’s more than the usual story, though.  At least with Barnes & Noble, it was book people fighting with other book people.  “I don’t think people would hate Amazon so much if people thought they really cared, understood about books, and were good,” moderator and NewYorker.com Editor Nick Thompson said.

Regan Arts Executive Editor and Associate Publisher Lucas Wittmann agreed. “I think for Amazon a book is a diaper, is toilet paper, is a car –it’s kind of the same thing for them.”

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Adventures in Grown Up Reads for Young Adults

Editor’s note: This post was also featured on our parent site, Publishing Trends.

When someone says “YA” the assumption is he or she is referring to YA fiction. It might be time to retire that assumption. There’s a new(ish) YA in town: young adult nonfiction adaptations. This is a genre of young adult books adapted from books written for an adult audience. We’re certainly not the first to notice this phenomenon, The New York Times, The Awl, and Stacked Books have all covered it. But the question remains, why is this happening? And further, is it necessary?

Repackaging existing book material for the younger set isn’t a new idea. Young readers’ editions of various books have existed for some time. Very often, biographies and memoirs of inspirational athletes, celebrities, or historical figureheads are adapted for the younger set, including but not limited to I am Malala by new Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai which was republished as a YA edition this August. One imagines that retooling material for children is a somewhat easy line to walk, insofar as it’s simpler to know what’s inappropriate for a 9 year old as opposed to a 39 year old. The line between adult and young adult is presumably more difficult.

Therein lies the potential issue with these adaptations. All of them deal with fascinating material, but sometimes the quest to make these histories “appropriate” for a younger age removes their poignancy. Several of the books that have received the YA nonfiction treatment have some deeply unpleasant material in the adult version, from torture in Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand to the fast food atrocities in Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Unbroken is keeping the same title for the YA version, which will publish November 11th, but it won’t have all of the same grisly details as its adult counterpart. The New York Times interviewed Hillebrand about the YA publication of her book and Hillebrand said she wanted to leave out scenes that she thought would “upset” non-adult readers.

Fast Food Nation was repackaged for a younger audience and retitled as Chew on This when it published in 2007. Matt Buchanan from The Awl read Chew on This and describes it as “stripped of all its horror.” There seems to be an underlying struggle to get the spirit of the original right in the YA version.

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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 10/20-10/24

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.

Amazon and Simon & Schuster inked a deal this week after months of negotiation.

Both Atavist Books and Beacon Hill Press announced they will close before the end of 2014.

The New York Review of Books and Vice have partnered up to produce a series of videos.

Indies First announced the Upstream initiative, which encourages authors to send signed copies of their books to independent bookstores.

The Bronx’s only bookstore will stay in business for two more years.