Wednesday, June 13, 2012

News and Views, June 13, 2010

~Here's an update from The Wall Street Journal on the Microsoft/Barnes and Noble deal, in which Microsoft is investing over $600 million in Barnes & Noble, and specifically, Nook. A couple of key points from the article: "As part of the investment, Microsoft is taking a 17% stake in a new subsidiary that will include the e-book division and Barnes & Noble's college bookstores unit, which operates 641 stores."  And ". . .an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said Microsoft could choose to embed the Nook experience into Windows, emulating the way Apple weds its iTunes online store to its hardware and software—while Barnes & Noble gets help distributing the Nook. They each have what the other needs to be successful—if they can do it right."

~If you are an indie writer, or thinking of publishing as an independent, here's some data from The Bookseller that you might want to factor into your planning: under 10% of self-published authors earn a living from their writing. The article gives good info that breaks this down to a more usable form and makes it clear it IS possible to earn your living this way. (Also, the article doesn't address this, but I think I've heard similar numbers for traditionally published authors.) (this link came from a Sisters In Crime feed.)

~The always inspiring Jane Friedman has blogged about so many of the professional demands we are involved in as writers/authors. Here's a post she wrote identifying four ways you can dig into your book marketing to make a difference.

~ And finally, I get to end on an up note. A very encouraging one. One of the things that emerged from Book Expo America (BEA) last week was this: independent bookstores are getting stronger! This is something many of us have hoped for since bookstores started shrinking in number and size in the publishing revolution. Even farther back, the independents were going out of business right and left with the increasingly crushing competition of the big box and big chain brick and mortar stores, which have, themselves, now begun to shrink dramatically. Full circle? Nope. But at BEA 2012 the independent bookseller segment reported an increase from 1,512 to 1,567 stores, and the number of locations increased from 1,823 to 1,900. Plus, "despite challenges posed by e-books, independent booksellers were more confident of their place in the industry ecosystem." There's lots more of interest in the full article—worth a read.

Are you actively marketing your writing, or planning to? What do you find most affects your efforts, good or bad?


  1. Linda, this is an interesting update on the industry. Do we think that Microsoft, B&N and Nook can battle, Apple, Amazon, and kindle? They're going to give it a good show.

    Also, I was thinking about the not making a living being an independent publisher. But I often wonder what percentage of traditional published authors are making a living. Perhaps we're comparing independent with the select few that make it big with the traditional publishing. Point for all of us... don't give our day jobs yet.

    Must go check out Jane too. glad on independent bookstores. This may be my retirement job. When I'm done traveling, have a little book store and story time for the little ones.

    Fabulous post!

    1. Thanks, Karlene. I love your retirement idea. Have often daydreamed of a cozy little bookstore of my own for my ancient years. Will you be the story lady at yours?

  2. Nice new blog, btw! I'm glad to hear that Indie bookstores are making a comeback. And about 10% of self pubbed authors making a living off of it seems like a big number to me! That's pretty awesome.

    1. Thanks, Lydia! Well, given the assumption that a person can make a living in a different profession (a pretty big assumption these days), writing doesn't look like a slam-dunk alternative. But really, this is no different than it's ever been, it's just an up-front realistic statement that leads to what we often hear: don't give up your day job! Writing is a labor of love.