This week! Publishing! Thursday!
Here’s the schedule:
– The contest is open until today at 4pm Pacific, at which time I will close it to entries faster than you can say “thank goodness no more please thank you mercy.”
– Tomorrow I will announce the paragraphs I have chosen as the Stupendously Ultimate Finalists, most likely in the form of a character in a television show, so as to keep with tradition. Prepare yourself.
– Voting will commence in that thread and will be open until Sunday at 6pm Pacific.
– The winner will be announced on Monday, and I’ll also discuss my thoughts/reasons/observations/errata/postulations for all things first paragraph.
Before we get to the abbreviated week in publishing, a little plea:
I have now conducted enough blog contests to know the life cycle of every contest. At the beginning of the contest: everyone is excited excited excited! Then the finalists are announced, and a vocal minority goes from: excited excited excited! to mad mad mad! Throwing things! Shattered glass! Riots in the streets! I don’t like any of the finalists Nathan is an idiot ZOMG he didn’t choose the Charles Dickens paragraph I slipped in there to test him I think I’ll go eat mud!
So here’s my plea: please remember when the finalists are announced that this is just a contest on a blog, it’s not a referendum on your skills as a writer, it’s not the difference between getting published and not getting published, and with 2,300+ entrants, choosing only a couple out of such a huge number is a laughably difficult task. Let’s not overestimate the importance of a paragraph in the grand scheme of things. Just because previous finalists have a good track record (he brags) doesn’t mean that you also won’t go on to be wildly successful. Remain confident in your abilities! If you’re confident in your own work there’s no need to hate on the finalists. Yes? Okay then.
I trust everyone to conduct themselves with professional decorum. But I’ll be closing anonymous comments when the finalists are announced all the same.
This week in publishing!
Former Collins president Steve Ross penned the rarest of rare species: an article about how book publishers aren’t actually idiots/Luddites (via Pub Rants). He points out that publishers have every reason to want e-books to succeed, even if too-cheap e-books presents quite a daunting challenge for business models.
Everyone in the world pointed me to this New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs piece about a publisher’s fictional marketing plan. If so many people loved it it must be funny!
Galley Cat is breaking out its inner muckraker and is investigating an industry scourge: why isn’t your agent returning your phone calls? Not this one, mind you. I call people back right quick.
Christian publisher Thomas Nelson made big waves this week as they announced a self-publishing program that has many people wondering if it’s the future or simply a head-scratcher. The program is appropriating the name Westbow Press, which up until recently was an actual Thomas Nelson imprint. Thomas Nelson CEO/blogger Michael Hyatt writes that they see growth potential in self-publishing and will be looking for new voices. Rachelle Gardner, Maya Reynolds, Mike Shatzkin, and Victoria Strauss/Writer Beware all have must-read takes on the new venture and the many questions that have so far been left unanswered. Their responses range from cautious excitement to skepticism.
In e-book news, Gizmodo got their hands on some possible images of the Barnes & Noble e-reader, which combines e-ink with an iPhone like display for navigation. Well played, B&N. I wants one.
In other e-book news, JA Konrath peels back the mystery of publishing yet again with another blog post about his royalty statements. Turns out he’s earning more from cheaply priced Kindle books that he self-published than from the ones that are published by Hyperion and have a higher price. THE FUTURE???????????
National Book Award nominees were announced! Congrats to publishing powerhouse Wayne State University Press for scoring a nominee. Take that, NYC!
John Ochwat passed on this really cool article in the NY Times about a woman who read a book a day for a year. That’s pretty intense.
And finally, Esquire Magazine is always there with the pressing questions: are vampires so popular because women love gay men? (via Bookslut, naturally)
Have a great weekend!