Saturday, February 12, 2011

Interim Report

August 9, 2010

The last month four months have been full. Since returning from Bologna I've conducted two workshops on "Editing for Writers," attended BEA, spoken to two SCBWI groups, one in Chicago and the other in Hammond, IN, taught at the Highlights Foundation writers conference at Chautuaqua, and, last weekend spoke at NYPL on all things digital. At namelos, we've licensed the paperback and ebook rights to our first novel, POD by Stephen Wallenfels, to Penguin to be published next summer on their adult list. We've also licensed Aus/NZ rights to Allen & Unwin. We've published our second title, a brilliant first novel entitle DEPARTURE TIME by Truus Matti (translated from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier) which has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and School Library Journal. Our third novel, THE FORBIDDEN LAND by Betty Levin is available now with an official publication date of December 1, 2010. And our fourth novel, THE SUNDOWN RULE by Wendy Townsend, will be available in a few weeks with a spring 2011 publication date. Life has been busy as well. Our second grandchild, Gustandean, was born in May.He's growing into his name. Our 400 raspberry bushes are in and coming along well. Our house in Pennsylvania is on the market, although that process was interrupted when thieves broke in a stripped all the copper piping out of the basement. And, a great sadness, our beloved dog, Shadow, died. Life continues to deal a mixed hand.
As we move into middle of August, the industry rattles and shakes. On the digital front by far and away the most interesting development is the deal Andrew Wylie cut allowing Amazon to publish exclusively ebook versions of titles by some of his agency's most prestigious authors. There are only 20 or so books involved, but this is all about the principle. If authors and their agents succeed in separating ebook rights from print rights, publishing as we know it is over. I can't imagine this opening gambit will succeed, but I do love opening gambits and there will be more as these issues are tested. In other news, Amazon announced that ebook sales have surpassed hardcover sales. Surely they will surpass paperback sales soon. And Barnes & Nobles is for sale. For publishers, these are interesting times.

We're hoping to take some "slow time" between now and Labor Day. Given all the wheels that are turning, it's not at all clear what that will look like. Be that as it may, enjoy the rest of your summer! We'll be back after Labor Day.

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