Monthly Archives: November 2012
Fuze continues to report on the changes and struggles iongoing in the publishing world, as we develop and strengthen our special innovative niche. At times, the future has looked grim, at least for traditional publishers
who have done everything from declaring bankruptcy, climbing into bed with Amazon, or joining forces with former competitors, in order to cope with plummeting financial returns. In Peter Osno’s recent Atlantic article, entitled, “Ignore The Doomsayers: The Book Industry Is Actually Adapting Well,” this dark picture is challenged.
Osno illuminates two important areas. The first–how publishers are really doing. “The publishing industry isn’t a monolithic thing: some publishers are doing well and others are not,” says Jeremy Greenfield, editorial director of Digital Book World. “I don’t see an industry that’s flailing—I see one that’s managing a complicated transition much better than would be expected.”
And the second, how books are really selling. Osno says, “For all the complexities that publishing faces, the notion that books are somehow less of a factor in the cultural or information ecosystem of our time doesn’t hold up to the evidence.” In fact, the Association of American Publishers reporting on the first half of 2012 says trade sales went up 12.1 percent, and ebooks sales increased 34.4 percent. Doesn’t sound like a flailing industry, does it?
Not only are book sales up, but even more importantly, readership is up. If we can believe
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s figures, “when people buy a Kindle they read four times as much as they did before they bought the Kindle.” And, Bezos says, “They don’t stop buying paper books.”
The “rub,” so to speak, is that instead of competing with other publishing houses for the attention of readership, “publishers now must confront the immense power and reach of tech giants [read: Amazon] and adapt to their influence. These companies are so much larger than even the biggest of publishers that accommodating their demands on price and promotion is a formidable task.” Undaunted in the midst of the turbulence, Fuze keeps publishing books we believe in, those that awaken the heart and spark the mind.
Fuze encourages the joy of increased book sales and readership by offering our books in both print and ebook format, directly from our website.
As traditional publishing companies scramble to keep up with the rapidly changing publishing trends, some corporations are getting support from unlikely corners–their competitors. According to All Things Considered, a National Public Radio Talk Show, Random House and Penguin have decided still bigger is yet better with the decision to merge into one entity: Penguin Random House.
The culprit behind such a drastic move? EBooks. “The number one thing consolidation does for these large media companies,” says James McQuivey of Forrester Research, “is it allows them to share the burden of continuing to provide the physical products, in this case printed books, which are still a very important part of the business, but they are a very expensive part of the business and they’re not generating the growth that eBooks are.”
Literary agents, who have historically played one publishing company off of another to get sweeter deals, are also being impacted by this latest merger. “When there are fewer publishers to play against each other,” McQuivey says, “it just mathematically means you have fewer options.” With this trend, the options for authors to pitch their books get narrower as well.
What the article doesn’t consider, however, is the up-and-coming hybrid presses, like Fuze, that have emerged in the wake of the digital revolution. The story of how these presses have burst onto the scene and will impact the world of publishing–the literary agents, the authors– has yet to be written.
Phenomenal Turnout at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C. to Hear Cologne and Entering the Blue Stone Authors!
A standing room only audience of 80 listened raptly as Molly Best Tinsley read from her memoir, Entering the Blue Stone, and Sarah Pleydell read from her debut novel, Cologne, on Saturday afternoon. The venue was Politics and Prose, the premiere bookstore in Washington, DC.
After the reading there was a celebratory party hosted by Washington D.C. writer, Linden von Eichel, and attended by close friends and family as well as some Washington notables. Steve Steckler played the guitar and the festivities went on into the twilight!
Enjoy the photo gallery from the reading below:
TAPPING THE MUZE
WRITING FROM LIFE
Memoir, like any narrative, requires a strong story line, well-rounded characters, and intense, richly detailed scenes that surround the reader with the remembered world. There are also challenges peculiar to the writing of memoir, and here are some tips for surmounting them.
Molly would be happy to answer more specific questions from readers about writing memoir. Ask your questions on our Fuze Facebook page! Don’t forget to like us when you visit.
Molly Tinsley has authored five books, including The Creative Process (St. Martin’s Press) and has taught writing workshops for twenty years. In her new memoir,Entering the Blue Stone, the story of her parent’s decline unfolds with humor and tragedy, touching on a universal experience.
It used to be simple. A friend recommends a book. Or you stop into your neighborhood independent bookstore and a cover catches your eye. Or maybe one of the long-haired, well-read book clerks turns you onto his favorite find.
These days, according to a Digital Book World article entitled, “Book Discovery Landscape Becomes More Complicated as Reader Behavior Fractures,” predicting book buying behavior has become as complex and sticky as a spider web. According to Bowker Research Group, “in 2011, nearly half of consumers changed their book-buying behavior.” In fact, book buying behavior has become almost like a fingerprint–no two look like. For example, even though female readers who like to read romances might seem similar on the surface, with the options to search and download on a multitude of devices, those two readers could find their books in any number of ways. For the small indepenent presses working to get its books into the hands of readers, generalizations are hard to come by.
Another wrinkle to the map is the layers of data. Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of publishing
services for Bowker Research Group, reports that “tablet owners discover new books through free excerpts about 15% of the time; but readers of young adult fiction discover new books through the same way about 6% of the time.” Reaching tablet readers who like YA books becomes a nuanced and complicated project!
Kelly Gallagher has this advice: “book marketers should begin their strategic thinking by focusing on the reader that they want to reach and knowing where they can find them and what kinds of marketing they respond to best.”
Yeah, right–easier said than done!
Have you changed how you find/buy books? Leave your comments on the Fuze Facebook page.
Imagine entering a subway car and being instructed to “ride it to the end,” followed by, “write anything you want.” Oh, and paper and pens will be provided if you forgot them.
So began a recent session of a writers’ workshop held in a New York City subway car, according to the New York Timesarticle, “Subway Car Is a Writers’ Workshop on the Way to Queens and Back,” by reporter Corey Kilgannon.
The workshop, led by Aaron Zimmerman, Executive Director of the “New York Writers Coalition,” was attended by two dozen writers, who wrote alongside a diverse collection of passengers going about business as usual–talking on cell phones and regularly jostling thewriters. According to Kilgannon, “none of it seemed to bother the writers, who scribbled away, seeming to employ the same cone of concentration that an average subway passenger uses to zone everyone else out.”
The mission of the “Coalition,” taken from their website, is to “create opportunities for formerly voiceless members of society to be heard through the art of writing.” The particular subway line was selected for its diverse passengers.
Did the experiment work? By the end of the line, the group had picked up another two dozen commuters, who tried their hand at writing. Bravo to the “Coalition” for its creative and brave ideas!
What do you think? Leave your comments on the Fuze Facebook page.