Authors versus publishers in the digital age

Max Atkinson

As many of you will know, there's quite a debate going on about Google's plan to make every book ever published available online. Although publishers are making a lot of noise about it, they've stayed remarkably quiet about another wheeze they've been exploiting since the digital age got under way - and about which they haven't bothered to tell their authors. for last year's royalties on the book, which they're now selling at an RRP of £18.99 (or £16.54

How to work with publishers and agents: The Public Words Speaker Forum 2010

Public Speaking Advice and Commentary

  And that means books published by traditional publishing houses for the most part, though there are exceptions.    But for most speakers, the book helps generate the speaking, and so traditional publishing is important.    At the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010 last week, two speakers held forth on how publishing is changing, what function agents perform, and how to navigate your way through the publishing maze. 

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Why all the Hail Mary Passes in book publishing?

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  For example, consumer spending is up 0.5%, the sixth time in seven months.    Yet, there is a surge in those Hail Mary passes to publish a book.    So, why the fantasies of how much new business, royalties, employment opportunities, and speaking engagements a book could bring in?  Barring a double-dip recession, the worst seems over. 

Seth Godin cuts out middleman publisher, sells books direct from blog

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Another arrow in the heart of the traditional publishing industry.    Big brandname marketing expert Seth Godin is cutting out his long-time publisher Portfolio and promoting/distributing his books from his own wildly popular blog.    For example, in the Introduction to AMA HANDBOOK ON PUBLIC RELATIONS, Dilenschneider, a leader in public affairs strategy, notes that chief executive officers [CEOS] come to him puzzled about social media. 

Your Online Presence - No, It Doesn't Have To Be The Happy Valley

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Gleefully, photos of grandchildren, the perfect chocolate mousse, and the royalty check from publishing that book are posted. You have been told, for example, that the way to become more visible on the all-important professional social network LinkedIn is to comment on Pulse. That's even the case when the post is a blatant sales pitch or a mere link to something already published on their own commercial website. The ethos of Facebook is primarily The Happy Valley.

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Online Moves Offline: Bob Dilenschneider on how PR keeps mutating

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  For example, special events have roared back.    But, for clients especially in professional services, publishing a book usually is the price of entry.  "Search engine optimization [SEO]."

No Joy in Bookville

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  Public relations icon Bob Dilenschneider published in February, with the imprint of the American Management Association, HANDBOOK ON PUBLIC RELATIONS.    For assistance with the HANDBOOK I am due 50% of royalties.    Will update you in August when the American Management Assocation sends out the sales and royalties numbers.   For example, Dilenschneider can hammer internal leaks. 

AMA HANDBOOK OF PUBLIC RELATIONS: Like careers, books have comebacks too

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  It was published around February 17, 2010.    Then I found out through the book was not to be published until mid February 2010.      On this blog I signaled the powers-that-be, ranging from Dilenschneider to publisher American Management Association, that the perspective and content had to be brought up to date.    It's been published and eventually will be listed on and the usual suspects. 

Le Book: Over?

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  The prime example is Andrew Young's THE POLITICIAN.   [Disclosure: I receive 50% of royalties for the work I did on that book.] My   Then why are too many still hell-bent on having a book published?  "A book is the price of entry." " That's what I used to advise clients.    They listened.    A book was produced.    And, they agreed, I was right. 

Andrew Young's Genius and/or Good Luck: Not all exposes created equal

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Note, for example, THE POLITICIAN, that expose about John Edwards, is written in the genre of the fallible first person.  So, what are the variables which make a book, in this post-print era, hot in terms of bringing in royalties?    On the other hand, Constantine was on business in India for the first several weeks when his book was published.  Unlike other tell-alls which quickly petered out, Andrew Young's THE POLITICIAN remains a brisk seller. 

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2010 - Writers's New Year's Resolutions

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  For example, public relations agencies might finally be needing hands-on help with social media.    * Publish more books, for our own bylines.    And, believe me, we don't know which will hit in the sense of pulling in new business, piling up the royalties, and enhancing a brandname.     The rule of thumb seems to be: For every book we publish there are about 4 false starts on our hard drive. 

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