Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Four News Items on the Publishing Front

(1) It was recently announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, David Mamet, will self-publish a novella and two short stories.  His previous book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, was a best-seller, yet Mamet has complained about poor marketing by publishers.  His agent, ICM, recently announced its new self-publishing service, following the lead of Trident Media Group, who initiated a similar program last fall.

According to Bowker, some 235,000 books are self-published each year.  Given the realities of the conventional publishing world (aka, NY Literary Mafia) these days, I suspect the figures will continue to climb.  25% of the top-selling books on Amazon last year were self-published.

Agencies aren’t the only ones encouraging authors to consider this option.  Major houses like Harlequin and Penguin now also have self-publishing divisions. 

(2) Another phenomenon is the “small” book.  Stephen King’s essay, “Guns,” is only around 25 pages or so in length.  This is too short for a printed volume, but the work is doing quite well as a Kindle Singles release.  [It should be appended that Amazon does a far better job marketing than some of the NY firms!]

(3) In a sign of a notable trend, e-books amounted to 22.55% of all sales in 2012 -- $1.54 billion of $7.1 billion. 

(4) Finally, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh is apparently writing a novella – on Twitter!