Friday, October 30, 2009

Interesting Book-y News

I am off today to collect the Boy Giant Teenager from boarding school/prison. It is apparently the boy's 16th birthday today. I've been operating from the fact that he's 13 and the sister is 15 but apparently time has passed- that of course has implications on me that I would not like to scratch at. In Botswana, unlike in America where I grew up, 16 is not such an important birthday since children here cannot get their driver's licences until they turn 18 , unless you are one of the Giant Teenagers who believe that President Khama upped the age to 21. Their mother told them she read it in the newspaper. It really does pay to keep up with those current affairs.

But that is not what this post is about -this post is about book news. If you recall a few days ago I wrote about not being very loyal to a particular publisher, it seems I'm not alone. John Le Carré has also recently swapped publishers. This interesting article in the Guardian speaks about the history of writers changing publishers and agents, sometimes under quite unfriendly terms.

And what about ebooks and the royalties for authors? I've mentioned before about fighting for higher royalty rates for ebooks. It looks like publishers, on the other hand are trying to squeeze the writer for no reason except that they can. Apparently in America the standard royalty rate for ebooks is 25%, Macmillan has sent out a new standard contract with ebook royalties at 20%. In this article from The New York Times, literary agent Richard Curtis feels that already 25% was too low and suggest taking into account the small set up costs authors should be making 50% of ebooks. Considering the slashing of the price, 50% seems fair.

Something to think about this weekend. I am off to the beautiful Tswapong Hills. Have a great weekend- I intend to!

8 comments:

Elizabeth Bradley said...

You made me laugh, (not with the part in your post about the greedy powers that be in publishing), but about thinking your son was three years younger. I often make my children younger than they are. ;-]

Have a great trip, and a wonderful weekend.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

In actual fact, Elizabeth, he did look big for 13- that might have given me a clue. I started calling them the Giant Teenagers because they both seemed tall for their ages, maybe not now.

Lyn said...

Great post Laurie. I enjoyed the bit about your son as well ... so cute. I also enjoy your insights in to being a writer - the trials and tribulations!

Selma said...

Hahaha. Wishing your dear boy a very happy birthday. Have a great weekend!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Happy birthday to your Giant Teenager. I also have a Giant Teenager who will turn 16 next year. I find it amazing how my children can get older and yet I don't age a day! (how I wish it were true...)

Elspeth

20% royalty on ebooks? Bite me. 50% is far more like it.

Maxine said...

I am off today to collect the Boy Giant Teenager from boarding school/prison. It is apparently the boy's 16th birthday today. I've been operating from the fact that he's 13 and the sister is 15 but apparently time has passed-

This made me laugh for about ten minutes! I've recently changed agents as well... or rather I have given the one I had the flick and decided to represent myself for a while. My agent took it extremely graciously, which made me want to take it back!

GutsyWriter said...

I just listened to a TV interview with a person discussing the future of independent bookstores, e-books, and publishing in general. Her blog is: booksquare.com. No one seems to know the future of the book business although, they all agree that many still want their small bookstore to browse. I have 3 read and critiques scheduled with agents at the La Jolla Writers Conference in CA, next weekend. My first time contacting agents.

Helen Ginger said...

Hope you had a fun weekend, Lauri. I spent the weekend at the Texas Book Festival - and had a good time, indeed. Thanks for all the publishing news.

Helen
Straight From Hel