As could be expected, Miss L has some feelings about what goes into a good casting call. Basically, she believes honesty is the best policy. Even just the small things, like it being catered or having travel expenses covered. And if you must have nudity in your production, reassure your actors that they will be looked after and not exploited.
These all seem like obvious things, but it's amazing just how many people [leave] these things out. Miss L has an eye towards the bigger picture too, hoping that by shedding light on these casting calls, there can be changes in the industry. The site has led Miss L to more writing gigs about the industry and she has even managed to work her project into a minute stand-up act. Want more L. They don't expect it from you, and they don't want to see it.
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And you just pissed away a great opportunity to get something real done for authors in exchange for loyalty and hope. Good job, good effort. In other author news:. But guess what, Doug? Congrats on the big win! The only leverage Amazon has is those books. Not only will they do it again, anyone in their position would as well, including the company he just spent six months shilling for while pretending to be a man of the people. They have no reason to change in this respect and all the authors who showed their blind loyalty only reinforced their position. And in this tweet from Porter Anderson about Weldon from Futurebook Nope, not gonna happen.
Lipskar said. He said it was possible that there would be long-term consequences for some authors because of diminished sales when it comes to negotiating new contracts. Oops, nevermind. As our friend Mr. Weldon helpfully pointed out above, print rates are already lower than ebook rates. That means that The kind of leverage AG and AU just gave away for loyalty and hope.
No, that percentage will decrease in the new standard terms in their contract language resulting from this agreement and in the contract riders you all are about to get between now and when this agreement takes effect in a couple months or so. One of my main complaints with the author response to this dispute was that many of them showed a lack of understanding about who was actually responsible for what to whom under these contracts.
So what does Amazon have to say about this?
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Specific financial incentives for lower prices? The prevailing wisdom is that means a tiered, KDP-like system with a lower cut at higher prices. Or it could be something else altogether. They seem hellbent to protect the print market at all costs. As an aside, you may want to check on print discount clauses in your contract and see how many of those constitute your hardcover sales. Jacking up your ebook prices to restrain sales of a format that pays you more to encourage discounted hardcover sales that pays them more and, not coincidentally, you less is a decided possibility here.
Look out for it. To you, though, it sure as hell better matter. Well, I have a few suggestions. They can only coordinate if they have full rights to both. Another option would be try to separate the contracts; go for totally separate deals for print and ebook rights. Publishers will tell you they need all these rights so they can spread costs across all formats and maximize revenue with dynamic pricing. Linking two sets of rights with such divergent cost structures will inevitably lead to one getting the short end to favor the other.
Make it clear if they want both print and ebook rights, they have to exploit both to the fullest, not prioritize one over the other. Publishers will say that supporting bookstores is crucial to them and justifies hamstringing digital. For them, maybe. For you, not so much, especially in the long term. Separate accounting and reversion clauses is one way to create a barrier that prevents them from prioritizing one over the other.
Will publishers do this? On the whole, hell no! In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, just say no. Grow a pair and walk away. Taking a bad deal is not better than no deal at all. You will regret the bad deal later. Only actual pressure will. Will publishers be amenable? Almost certainly not but there are some who might. So, again, self publish is probably the shorter answer here, too. If you must sign on with a publisher, having a hard deadline they must produce in is probably a good idea.
I like the notion of a five year contract. You can work in provisions for renegotiation or what have you, but if publishers want to keep control of the rights, make them actually have to pay for that privilege. As it stands now, publishers are basically paying you nothing for lifetime control of your IP. Stop it! These kinds of contracts do exist and are becoming more common with smaller publishers.
But you have to be willing to walk away, which again likely means self publish. Life is all about compromise. But if you do end up signing on the dotted line, you must watch what they do with a fine tuned eye. Compare any sales data and monies you get from them with your own data. More than that, scour your contract and make certain you understand exactly what each format actually pays you and them and work that into your data.
Basically, pay close attention. Now what to do if you actually find something screwy, like sales being pushed to formats that pay them better and you less? Probably none. A car mechanic has a more difficult time padding their bill when a customer comes in showing knowledge about what the problem is and what the costs to fix it should be. Does this sound like a lot of work just to keep a company you should trust to do right by you on the clear path? Yes it does. Will publishers appreciate you being a pain and questioning their actions?
Most definitely not. But honestly, you should be doing this stuff already. I prefer not to get ripped off in my contractual dealings. Do you? Prove it. Um… Well, maybe… I suppose they could… They might… Huh. This weekend is the Fall used book sale at my local library here in scenic Chestertown, Maryland. They have these sales twice a year, Spring and Fall. They set up a large room with hardcovers and trade paperback books piled high on a series of tables, lined up on shelves surrounding the room with more piled three rows deep underneath the tables.
The hallway outside the room has another set of tables packed two layers deep with mass market paperbacks, and also has the piles of books underneath each. It takes a couple of hours to properly browse the available material. Some may not like it but when you consider none of those books are there for sale without someone having bought it full price first or discounted as the publisher wants , all I can say is get over it!
You want to know where discoverability happens? I spent my hour this morning browsing and finally headed out with a bag of nine books that, in total, set me back roughly three times the price of the cup of coffee I bought at Royal Farms on my way home. The notion that cheap nigh-on free books is some new development from the Internet is absurd.
This kind of sale has been going on for longer than all of us have been alive. The cover blurb sounds like a story my uncle would try to tell about his troubled life, after Thanksgiving dinner and one too many shots of Southern Comfort, before I get so bored I have to fake an excuse to leave the room.
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These books never move. The place is filthy with them! And not just one of each, dozens of copies of the same books, mostly all pricey hardcovers. It makes me wonder if those books were actually bought by the readers who donated them or were given as gifts. The churn rate on high dollar hardcovers evident there just seems out of place. And a damned expensive version of it at that.
There was a half a dozen copies of the 50 Shades trilogy books combined there.
There were four copies of the Twilight series books in total. There were a grand total of zero copies of any of the Harry Potter books. No George R. Martin, either. Nora Roberts was another mega seller whose books overran the place. The difference, though, is that they move. The Turows and his ilk, though, end up clustered all together, with the previously mentioned best selling lit-fic, as nearly everything else around them is picked clean.
I walked out of there with six mass market paperbacks, one trade paperback, one hardcover and one paperback that was a half-inch taller than a regular paperback. I added up the cover prices of all nine books. Not bad. The question, though, is would I have bought any of these books at full price? I just saw the movie and, while it was no great shakes, it did make me curious about the book. Which brings me to the last book I picked up this morning. Yes, I bought a Doug Preston book. Get used to it. If I read that book and enjoy it, the dynamic changes.
Hell, I might even buy one or more new, depending on how much I like this one. At the last book sale in the Spring, I loaded up, getting about 25 books of all different stripes. Since then, there have been six new book purchases by me as a direct result of those buys. If those are my only options or my cheapest options he has precisely zero chance of turning me into a full paying customer. Publishers have gouged libraries with exorbitant ebook prices and overly restrictive licenses.
You want discovery for ebooks to be better? Stop handicapping it. Libraries, used books for slightly above free and sharing between readers is where most discovery happens. Discovery in that sense is more surprised to discover something you actually want is there in stock. Like most worthwhile pursuits, the back end is where the money is. I get this one for a quarter today, he may well get 5 or 6 sales over the next few years at store prices. Get rid of this one, and he gets nothing. Cheap bordering on free books that have no direct revenue link to publishers or writers are an essential component to discovery.
But then, we might also be running a real risk of replacing sales with subscriptions rather than supplementing and supporting them as used books and library borrows do now. If we keep pretending books have some innate value while ignoring how, where and why the people buying them were first turned onto your work, and where they developed their notion of its value, trouble will continue to ensue. But I return to a theory I pointed out a while back. Sweethearts, those folks. All these are good signs. We may be entering a period where the Big 5 function as five totally separate entities, and that alone would make what the DOJ did worthwhile, not to mention the tens of millions readers got back after being ripped off by the illegal collusion.
That was pretty cool, too. It may truly be a brand new world. Or so I hope, anyway. Something Patterson said recently about this being like a religious war rings true. Seriously, could someone give me any clue to what the hell that means? But one aspect of the religious war narrative does make sense. The irrational arguing is mostly from the traditional side. That does seem to be an increasingly common response-type.
The converse of that is the people who argue with reasons in support for their positions. Did it occur to you that Amazon wants to sell books, even during the dispute? But then, Krugman writes for the New York Times. In this world, Amazon is a monopolist, indies are simultaneously pawns used to destroy publishers and junk merchants that are devaluing books and destroying literature, and publishers are the ones defending the world from the evils of competition, innovation and progress one overpriced ebook at a time. Tried and true. That the publishers are the ones creating the chop is often overlooked.
Write a book, publish a book, sell a book. With that in mind, here are the basic fallacies of the Seven Deadly Sins of anti-Amazon bullshit:. You probably should understand the difference. They have to successfully negotiate for that. Amazon does not have a monopoly or monopsony on books, ebooks or anything else. And no one has been able to point to any kind of statute that says they are.
Authors are not being targeted by Amazon, Hachette is. And those authors made themselves part of Hachette when they signed their contracts. Those things are usually binding folks, and they have consequences. The only people guilty of antitrust violations are the publishers, not Amazon. Just ask the DOJ. But if Doug Preston says so then, hey, what do a bunch of antitrust prosecutors know anyway?
Publishing is a cut throat industry that runs on hard market principles not fairytales perpetuated by a privileged class paid well enough to look the other way while their author brethren are ground under its wheels. I understand why the agents, the publishers and the big money writers are fighting this.
Their arguments are faulty but their motivations are obvious. No one in the industry is in a better position to take advantage of that than they are. Any day! The myth tells us that adapting to this rejection forges us into better writers. The truth is it forges us into writers better suited to their commercial purposes.
How many publishing contracts come and go quickly and quietly without the author even knowing what was done for the book, what happened and why? The stench is coming from inside the house! Part of that argument is an implication that these pubs are being altruistic by staying in it themselves. My entire working experience across two decades conflicts that point. Publishing is, has been and will continue to be, in various forms, an extraordinarily profitable industry, with or without this particular set of publishers, writers and retailers.
I think that shows the lie in their argument. Open your eyes and take a look around. There are opportunities emerging everywhere every day. What we can do today and the numbers of people we can reach is truly amazing, unprecedented in human history.
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You want a career in writing? Go and take one. Dump the bullshit memes of the past and get down to actual business, the kind those memes and the folks who propagate them have blocked writers from pursuing for decades going on a century. They offer opportunities in various forms and shapes and sizes.