Chris Rock was right.
Vox heralds the endless contraction of the (big) publishing world.
The publishing world is under ever-tightening control. An agent explains why this is going to make things worse for authors and readers alike.
By 2022, we will be down to The Big 4 – Penguin Simon & Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, and Harper Collins Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – plus a smattering of some mid-size but growing independents. And that’s it.This contraction significantly impacts writers an authors, and here’s why:
Read the whys part. Also, look at some of the comments about the Amazon Question. I’ve never signed up for Unlimited, as a reader or as an author. There’s just something fishy about it – beyond the obvious monopolization factor. In fact, at some point, I envision leaving Big A for either my own branded site backed by an on-demand outfit or else going with someone like Castalia (if they’d have me). As-is, I wouldn’t even consider wasting time with the gatekeepers of the Bigs.
American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time by Joshua Mitchell may be worth reading. Here’s a summary.
America seems to have gone mad. It still is the world’s richest and most powerful country, with the oldest continuous government on earth, yet it is in deep crisis and divided between hostile camps that reject each other’s legitimacy. Paradoxically, what made America strong also makes it inherently fragile. Joshua Mitchell, a professor of government at Georgetown University, presents a cogent diagnosis of America’s dark night of the soul in a remarkable new book that should be required reading for anyone who wants to make sense of today’s United States.
A Chinese acquaintance quips, “Now you are having your own Cultural Revolution.” In fact, the criticism and self-criticism sessions imposed on corporate employees and school personnel to root out hidden racism recall Mao’s Red Guards. But America is not China, and this is not a Cultural Revolution; it is an eruption of Christian religious feeling channeled into secular obsessions.
Asia Times’s review presents a somewhat jumbled but still compelling portrait. I may just pick this one up and report back in a while. If you’d like to beat me to it, check here.
A for what it’s worth post:
The already clustered book publishing world is getting just a little tighter and concentrated.
German media giant Bertelsmann SE agreed to buy the Simon & Schuster book-publishing business from ViacomCBS Inc. for $2.18 billion, giving the company a much-larger role in the U.S. market.
We’ll end up with two publishers holding nearly half of all US book sales. Now, what they publish and who reads it is another matter.
The book is proving about as popular as I feared it would, though I hope the few of you who have downloaded it find it helpful.
Lately, one of my selected nations has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Belarus is towards the end, written about when I was running out of steam and received the barest mention:
A little larger and inland, landlocked. Ethnically Belarusian and other Euros. 80% Eastern Orthodox, with more Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and various Protestants. An IQ like Lithuanian. Flat and cool. A developed economy where privatization is still in progress. They’re not on the Euro, using the “new” Ruble – theirs, not the Russians. They speak Russian and Belarusian, officially.
And now, oh, no! They have – surprise, surprise – political problems. What country doesn’t?
Here’s how I see the situation with Lukashenko, Putin, and the protesters: for [reasons], what’s happening there is still better than what is happening at the same time in dying Amerika. Watch Belarus. Whatever comes of the current turmoil will still be more pleasant than what unfolds in the US.
I’m happy to clear that up. Kids, if you’d like,
When not wearing a goofy comic book mask, like, ahem, the rest of you, I’ve been slowly adding to the Education Resources Page. I have a few more books. And I have a link for homeschooling in Europe (to include in Poland!). In a week or three, I’ll have a new column on the schools. Look for that here, at TPC, or … at a new outlet?
And, here’s a first:
Przetłumaczone mechanicznie na język Polski:
Kiedy nie noszę głupiej maski z komiksu, jak reszta z was, powoli dodawałam do strony zasobów edukacyjnych. Mam jeszcze kilka książek. I mam link do nauczania w domu w Europie (do włączenia w Polsce!). Za tydzień lub trzy będę miał nową kolumnę o szkołach. Poszukaj tego tutaj, w TPC, czy … w nowym sklepie?
Witajcie, kochani polscy przyjaciele!
The first edition of GET OUT! is primed and ready, pending one more little check. It’s, at this version, a cobbling of what has run here previously, with a few appended notes. Look for that ASAP.
Also, I submitted a new column to TPC this morning. I’ll have that when (if) it runs.
More to come and thanks for checking. Thank you, in particular, for yesterday’s heavy traffic regarding the final GO! segment and Scott’s necessary FP column!
I’m still working on the final segment, which should appear at this site soon. Then, after a few edits and an intro, I’ll foist a quick EZ e-book on the unsuspecting world. Subsequent improvements may lead, eventually, to something on Amazon.
Plain and simple. The ideas within are not appealing to those who seek out visual “fluff.”
Stay tuned. P
Mary Trump, that is. The girl done sold a million books(!!!) in a day!
Mary L. Trump’s tell-all book on her uncle President Donald Trump sold more than 950,000 copies in its first day of release.
Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man sold more than 950,000 “through Tuesday, July 14” — the book’s first day.
“The combined sales figure includes pre-orders and first day sales of print books, ebooks, and e-audiobooks in the U.S., and is a company record,” Simon & Schuster declared, adding that its “ordered a 14th printing of the book that, when completed, will bring the number of hardcover copies in print to more than 1,150,000.”
As a middling-worst-selling novelist and a meddling non-fictionado, let me say, I’M JEALOUS!
Seriously, think what you will of the book, the numbers alone are impressive.
Really seriously, if I ever mirror this performance, I will become rather difficult to find.
There’s something to the trend of Amazon both publishing and selling books, particularly fiction. My debut novel is doing okay, and apparently making waves now, but I’m not in the league of Amazon’s latest super author, Dean Koontz.
When Dean Koontz’s book contract expired last year, his stature as one of the country’s top-selling authors made him a hot target for several major publishing houses. He chose Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.16%
It was a surprising move because it means his new books likely won’t appear in retail stores, which generally boycott Amazon AMZN -1.16% -published titles. But Mr. Koontz is banking on Amazon’s vast retail machine to get his work to readers, whether in physical or digital formats.
“Maybe I won’t be in some stores or make the New York Times best-seller list, but I’m willing to take that risk and I think we’ll sell more books in all formats,” Mr. Koontz said.
Amazon dominates the U.S. book-retail market—accounting for over half of all new books sold in October, according to research firm Codex Group—but it is also a force as a book publisher. Signing up blue-chip authors like Mr. Koontz could make the tech giant an even more formidable threat to the traditional industry, led by publishing houses such as Penguin Random House, which is controlled by Germany’s Bertelsmann SE, ViacomCBS Inc.’s Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers, which is owned by Wall Street Journal parent News Corp.
Mr. Koontz’s first novel for Amazon is expected to publish March 31. He already has published a collection of short stories, “Nameless,” that generated over a million downloads in the first month after its debut last November. The stories are available only as e-books and audiobooks.
Mr. Koontz, whose over 100 books include hits like “Odd Thomas” and “Watchers,” isn’t the only high-profile writer Amazon Publishing has snared. In 2018, Patricia Cornwell signed a two-book deal; the first novel, “Quantum,” was published last October and enjoyed brisk downloads despite poor reviews. Both Mr. Koontz and Ms. Cornwell are in the top 25 of all currently published U.S. adult fiction writers, as measured by the size of their most dedicated fan bases, according to consumer surveys by Codex.
I am not in the, uh, top 20. But, getting there! (?) A million sales in the first month; I think I could handle that. Go Koontz!