Publishing decided to go and have a relatively quiet week this week. Thank you for the breather, publishing news! I had gotten used to the world being revolutionized. Every single day.
First up, for those of you in the vicinity of New York City, on February 18th there will be an upcoming panel on Digital Publishing and the Author with some publishing luminaries, including my quite brilliant colleague Ginger Clark. Be sure and check that out.
And speaking of digital publishing and the future, the NY Times found some customers who do not like e-books that cost more than $9.99. One. Single. Bit. Though I would have been more impressed if the NY Times found any consumer who would go on the record saying they like higher prices. Maybe someone living in opposite land.
The most helpful Stephen Parrish pointed me to an article wonder, so what in the heck is in J.D. Salinger’s safe anyway? So far the answer from everyone who might know has been “No comment. Hopefully this will end up being a tad more exciting than the time they opened up Al Capone’s vault on TV only there was nothing in it. Then again that might be kind of awesome too.
Jennifer Briggs pointed me to a very enjoyable post on the tacky book covers of yore. The cheesiness, it abounds.
In life of the writer news, @colsonwhitehead linked to a really interesting article by Dani Shapiro about the difficulty of making a living writing. She laments our current emphasis on publishing rather than creating, though I somehow suspect this isn’t actually a recent development.
In agent advice news, Rachelle Gardner has a great post on the three things that make her say “yes”: craft, story, and voice.
And finally, in an attempt to out-Twitter Twitter, Google Buzz launched amid a flurry of, well, buzz and controversy. Anyone checked it out yet? What do you think?
Have a great weekend!
Amber W. says
@Nathan Thanks for the link to the post. I'm not sure I'd agree that shipping, warehouse fees and everything else would only be another 2.00 per book, especially given the hike in fuel costs and the fact that they have to be shipped, trucked, delivered, to every bookstore in the country and many places outside of the country, even little Juneau here in alaska. If it costs 2.00 just to bind each book, I think it might be a little more to house and ship each book than that.
That said, it seems like book publishers might actually do well to start looking into releasing e-books from their own sites or platforms in order to keep all of the revenue and not have to split it with Apple or Amazon. Though I did read that Apple was only taking 30% not 50% like your other post said, which still seems a little heavyhanded to me given all they're doing is selling the e-book and nothing else really.
Wanda B. Ontheshelves says
Okay, So It's A Boring Box Example
Did somebody say "shipped, trucked, delivered?"
$2.00 sounds about right for all the other stuff – by way of a very recent example (as of an hour ago), I just broke down and bought some boxes, 4 x 4 x 58 inches at the UPS store. They were $3.85, and I bought 4 – I only need them half as long, so actually I'm making 2 boxes out of each one. So 3.85/2 = $1.93 (rounding up) each for the boxes.
If I were to buy 10,000 boxes, the price would drop down – at Uline (not the cheapest box place), you can get 1,000 4 x 4 x 30-inch boxes for $0.61, which is less than half walk-in retail (besides I don't have to cut boxes in half to get down to the size I want).
author Scott Nicholson says
I find it comforting the digital publishing conference actually includes the word "author"!
Amber W. says
But that was just for the physical boxes, right?
I know that shipping on a large scale makes a price drop, otherwise things would always be impossibly expensive. And even though it would cost me 15 bucks to ship a book to Canada, I know it costs a big corporation with all these things set up much much less.
It just seems like a lot to place the cost of binding a book at $2.00 and then all the other costs also at $2.00. I mean they have to ship it from wherever they bound it (Around the world usually) by boat or plane, pay for pallates, boxes, delivery systems, workers to make sure everything goes where it needs to go organizing all of this stuff, filling orders etc, so you've got their salaries, plus then the trucking and shipping costs to get them to every city, then every county, then every town…
These costs are of course divided amongst a large grouping of books. But perhaps I just have a hard time agreeing that a book I paid $25 for from the store physically only cost $4.00 to get to me, especially since everyone says book prices are already incredibly low and unfair to authors and publishers alike. That seems like a pretty good profit margin to me!
Rita Kaye Vetsch says
Here is a Wonderful & Inspiring Multicultural Children’s book called “The Many Colors of Friendship”. Realizing how important it is to give our children tools and the right education about Diversity, Multiculturalism and Racism, I wanted to write something meaningful that children come away with a positive message. A great way for us to give children ‘wings’ for the future, and encouraging our children to make new and diverse friendships.
Rita Kaye Vetsch