50 Shades of Submission

Janet Reid writes…

I’ve recently had an agent request the first 50 pages of my manuscript after being “intrigued” by my query and first 5 pages. Good news, for sure. Here’s the thing: a MAJOR plot development happens on page 60; a real WOW moment (at least I hope).

I didn’t press my luck. I submitted the first 50 as requested. But I really wrestled with the idea of emailing the agent and letting her know about the major plot development and asking if it would be okay to send the first 60 as opposed to just the first 50. Would that have been okay? Or did I do the right thing but just giving her what she asked for and not pushing it (even though it would have potentially meant she’d have gotten to experience a real juicy moment)?

Read More at Janet Reid…

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Tor (SciFi Publisher) Embargos Libraries

The announcement last month that Macmillan’s Tor division (perhaps the world’s best-known science fiction publisher) has instituted a four-month embargo on new e-book titles for libraries is an unwelcome development. Tor officials say the change is designed to test whether library lending is affecting retail e-book sales. Librarians, however, see the move as an unwarranted restriction that will needlessly impact science fiction fans, some of our most avid readers.

Read More at Publishers Weekly…

Indie Audiobooks on the Rise

Looking to offer indie authors access to a booming audiobook market, Smashwords, the self-publishing platform and e-book distributor, is teaming with Findaway Voices, an online production platform and distributor of audiobook content, to create a turnkey solution.

In a blogpost, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker said the new partnership would give authors and publishers “greater control over pricing and distribution.” The deal, he said, will make it, “more economically feasible for authors and publishers to invest in audiobook production for shorter books, or books that might carry lower prices.”

Read more at Publisher’s Weekly

The Time Arthur Conan Doyle Helped Solve a Real Murder Case

From Publishers Weekly…

It was one of the most sensational crimes—and most scandalous wrongful convictions—of the 20th century, a case that would be known as the Scottish Dreyfus affair. It involved a savage murder, stolen jewels, an international manhunt and a wily maidservant who went to her grave knowing far more about the killing than she would ever disclose.

Even more remarkably, it involved the world’s foremost writer of detective fiction, playing real-life detective on a case in which the stakes could scarcely be higher—a case, he wrote, that was a “disgraceful frame-up, in which stupidity and dishonesty played and equal part.”

Just before Christmas 1908, Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy 82-year-old Scotswoman, was violently murdered in her Glasgow home. Robbery appeared to have been the motive, although Miss Gilchrist’s maid, Helen Lambie, told the police that only a single item was missing: a valuable gold brooch, shaped like a crescent moon and set along its length with diamonds.

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AudioBooks up 23%

Audiobooks continued their meteoric rise in 2017, a new report issued by the Audio Publishers Association found, with another year of double-digit growth for both audiobook sales and title output.

Total sales rose 22.7% in 2017, to an estimated $2.5 billion, over an estimated $2.1 billion in sales in 2016. Unit sales rose an estimated 21.5%, the APA reported. Sales are based on reports from about 20 audiobook publishers. The APA then extrapolates from those figures, to derive an estimate for the entire market.

The audience for audiobooks remains young, with 54% of audiobook listeners under the age of 45. They are also consistent readers in all formats, the studies found: not only do audiobook listeners listen to an average of 15 books a year, but 83% of frequent listeners also read a hardcover or paperback over the last 12 months, and 79% also read an e-book.

More from Publishers Weekly…

B&N Losing in 2018Q2

Total sales at Barnes & Noble fell 6.0% in the fiscal year ended April 28, 2018, compared to fiscal 2017, and the retailer posted a net loss of $125.5 million last year, compared to net income of $22.0 million in fiscal 2017. Revenue last year was $3.66 billion, down from $3.89 billion in fiscal 2017.

The net loss includes a host of one-time charges: impairment charges of $135.4 million, $16.2 million of severance charges, and $15.3 million of strategic initiative costs. Excluding one-time charges in both fiscal years, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was $145.4 million in fiscal 2018, down from $187.2 million a year ago.

More from Publishers  Weekly…