This week’s publishing news and industry blogs post covers 12/5-12/18/2015. Here’s all the publishing news that happened while you were busy gearing up for Star Wars! Fair warning, it was pretty busy in the publishing world, too.
Publishers Weekly reports that some supply issues at Amazon have caused a backlog of some titles, impacting sales for several small and indie publishers.
Retailers reacted to the new provision on the Customs Reauthorization Act–a provision that, unrelated to the main subject matter of the bill, removes the possibility of taxing online purchases (called the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, guaranteeing sales tax can’t be collected on Internet purchases). The language was later removed, but an Internet Tax Freedom Act (not permanent) was passed as a part of the federal spending package, which basically extends the status quo of no sales tax on the Internet.
Seven amicus briefs have been filed in support of encouraging the Supreme Court to review the Apple vs the DOJ price-fixing case, each arguing Apple should not have been found liable. The DOJ has until Jan 4, 2016, to file a responding brief of opposition.
The lawsuit against the JD Salinger Literary Trust has been dropped after the case was transferred to the home state of Salinger’s widow, New Hampshire. The suit alleged the trust of interfering with the Devault-Graves Agency’s attempts to license foreign editions of Salinger stories that have lapsed into the public domain in the US, but that aren’t necessarily public domain yet by the laws of the foreign countries where they were to be sold.
The Book Industry Study Group adds 512 new categories to the subject headings list, improving particularly how young adult titles can be classified by separating young adult from juvenile.
Smashwords expands its global distribution by signing new e-book agreements with worldwide e-book retailers.
Ingram acquires a new service that allows publishers, retailers, and authors to sell and produce print and e-books directly through their own websites, social networks, and blogs.
Books-A-Million finalizes it privatization with Clyde B Anderson acquiring the company. Shareholders are entitled to $3.25 per share.
Author Peter Beagle sues Conlan Press on the grounds of elder abuse, defamation, and fraud. Author Jim Hines gives his take on the Peter Beagle vs Conlan Press lawsuit, filled with lots of additional links to further reading material, showing his support of Beagle. (Couldn’t find much about this one online elsewhere. Thanks to Aritê gunê Akasa for the link!)
In Britain, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals campaigns for British politicians to stop closing libraries and start taking care of those that are left.
Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware posts a success story about the Neoverse Short Story Writing Competition, in which the new, small-publisher sponsor listened to criticism about and requested feedback on the rules, and then re-wrote them to make them more fair to the authors.
On the other hand, again on Writer Beware, Strauss notices that a different publisher, Almond Press, responds to criticism of the less-than-ideal rules of its own contest by giving one-star reviews to all her books.
Agent Nephele Tempest posts Friday Links for 12/04 and 12/11 and 12/18. Check out 12/4 for a link to some short story competitions.
Agent Kristin Nelson shares her #2 reason for passing on queries even if the writing is good: stakes aren’t high enough. She also gives a couple of tips for what to do with your manuscript after NaNoWriMo.
Agent Jessica Faust weighs in on self-publishing: as long as you’re shopping a book that hasn’t been self-published yet, having an established self-publishing career won’t hurt you anymore–but it won’t necessarily help you, either. She then expands on why she won’t shop a book that has already been self-published.
Agent Janet Reid answers questions and offers advice. She explains why she thinks authors shouldn’t use italics, especially for more than one word at a time. And she explains when you shouldn’t write your query like a dust jacket.
QueryTracker answers the very important question of when to give up querying (or at least take a break).
On the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal blog, how to keep mythology fresh in a modern setting, even when everyone else is writing contemporary-set mythology. And why an author newsletter is a must-have for marketing.
Author Nathan Bransford offers the Past Few Weeks in Books for 12/14.
Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch muses on thinking of your writing as a gamble, and why that’s a terrible plan.
On the Boston Globe, an article about how dead authors’ books are enormously popular right now.
A look at the anatomy of modern romance covers (published in November).
A digital subscription service, Playster, goes live in the US, offering access to media content including (but not limited to) music, books, films, and video games.
What other major publishing news have you encountered in the past two weeks?