Publishing

A Year Later, #WeNeedDiverseBooks Has Left Its Mark On BookCon

Publishing's big week is almost over. The industry's annual convention, BookExpo America, ends Friday in New York, and on Saturday the publishing world opens its doors to the public with BookCon, where avid readers will get the chance to mix and mingle with their favorite authors.

Last year, the lack of diversity on author panels at BookCon spawned the We Need Diverse Books campaign, which in turn sparked renewed conversation about the lack of diversity in publishing. Ellen Oh, one of We Need Diverse Books' co-founders, says anger about the lack of diversity in publishing had been brewing for a long time, but when BookCon announced its guest list last year, it struck a nerve.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/29/410272351/a-year-later-weneeddiversebooks-has-left-its-mark-on...

DSHR's Blog: Stretching the "peer reviewed" brand until it snaps

I'm much less optimistic. These recent examples, while egregious, are merely a continuation of a trend publishers themselves started many years ago of stretching the "peer reviewed" brand by proliferating journals. If your role is to act as a gatekeeper for the literature database, you better be good at being a gatekeeper. Opening the gate so wide that anything can get published somewhere is not being a good gatekeeper.
http://blog.dshr.org/2015/01/stretching-peer-reviewed-brand-until-it.html?m=1

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Self-Published Winners @ the Library

Annoyed Librarian -- Whenever I write about self-published authors, the comment section seems to erupt into a melee between self-published authors talking about how great self-published works are and librarians talking about how awful they are. One solution to the problem would be for the ALA to create an award for self-published books to go along with popular awards like the Newbery Award and all the other awards I can’t remember right now. Then the librarians in the trenches would know what books to buy and wouldn't have to read any of them.

Full piece:
http://lj.libraryjournal.com/blogs/annoyedlibrarian/

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The support infrastructure for entities to publish is growing but the most important piece may not yet be provided

I remember a song lyric from the early 70s for which the opening line was: “we don’t need more sailors, we need a captain”. (I can’t find the reference in LyricFind and I don’t remember the name of the band.) That song could be about the new publishing that is arising from the phenomenon of “atomization”, books that could come from just about anybody anywhere (that’s the “we”). They are supported by “unbundling”, the availability of just about every service required (those are the “sailors”) in the complex task of publishing books.

Full post:
http://www.idealog.com/blog/support-infrastructure-entities-publish-growing-important-piece-...

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Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong

October 27th, 2014 | Hugh C. Howey

Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers are somehow being hurt by ebook sales. The second is that independent bookstores are being crushed. The opposite is true in both cases, and without understanding this, most of what everyone says about publishing is complete bollocks.

Full post here: http://www.hughhowey.com/two-important-publishing-facts-everyone-gets-wrong/

Example infographic from post:

Marketing the author properly is a challenge for the book publishing business

Excerpt: But there is a big challenge related to this paradigm that the industry hasn’t really tackled yet. The “unit of appreciation” for many books is the author. And the “unit of appreciation” is also the “unit of marketing” and therein lies the problem. Because the industry hasn’t figured out how to bring publishers and authors together around how to maximize the value of the author brand.

Marketing requires investment. For an author, that means a web site that delivers a checklist of functionality and appropriate social media presences, as well as what any competent publisher would do to make the individual book titles discoverable.

But authors inherently do not want publishers to “control” their personal brand, particularly when so many of them have more than one publisher or self-published material in addition to what they’ve sold rights to. And publishers don’t want to invest in marketing that sells books they don’t get revenue from or to build up an author name that could be in some other house’s catalog a year or two from now.

Full piece:
http://www.idealog.com/blog/marketing-author-properly-challenge-book-publishing-business/

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Self-Published Authors Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

"But now," says Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, "the self-published authors walk into the room, and they say, oh, well, 'I made a quarter million dollars last year, or $100,000, or made $10,000.' And it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts."

Weinberg says there is still a strong financial case to be made for publishing books the old-fashioned way, but there are now many well-known independent authors who have made a fortune self-publishing online.

Full piece

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The Second Phase of Technological Disruption

I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemo?lu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.

Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.

Digital publishing is a case of technological disruption. Its challenge to the gatekeeper of a traditional publisher is now clear. Can’t get your book published? Do it yourself, and do it a whale of a lot faster—meaning you can capitalize quickly on issues of the day.

But I’ll propose that disruption has three predictable phases.

Full piece American Libraries

SAGE Publications busts “peer review and citation ring,” 60 papers retracted

SAGE Publishers is retracting 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring” involving a professor in Taiwan.
http://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/08/sage-publications-busts-peer-review-and-citation-ring-...
SAGE and Nayfeh then confronted Chen with the allegations, and weren’t satisfied with the responses, so in September 2013 they alerted NPUE to the case. Chen resigned from NPUE on February 2, 2014, according to the release, and in May Nayfeh retired and resigned as editor in chief of the JVC.

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