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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Editors - What they Make in 2011 - Too Much or Not Enough?

I have discussed 'editors' in some detail in previous posts.

There are many different types of editors ... from the wordsmithing, novelist-improving type --> all the way to the magazine management, operational business type (e.g. editor-in-chief, executive editor, senior editor, associate editor, managing editor, etc., ad infinitum!).

This FOLIO Magazine survey reflects the salaries of the latter business type (by category); where, I strongly suspect, the most money is.

From FOLIO by Stefanie Botelho:

2011 Editorial Salary Survey

While all levels of editors are finding themselves with increasing responsibilities and decreasing resources, at least some of those surveyed are seeing relief in their paychecks. However, the editorial categories that experienced monetary gain are certainly earning their dollars.

A vast amount of editors who participated in FOLIO:’s 2011 Editorial Salary Survey, conducted by Readex Research, claimed digital duties added the most to their job descriptions this year. One respondent says, “I am now in charge of managing edit for the iPad, tracking print contributions for our dotcom and repurposing content for our dotcom as well.” In addition to the health of digital products, social media site management is another digital responsibility put under the care of editors surveyed here.

Perhaps in a reflection of these additional responsibilities (or the slowly stabilizing economy), three out of the four geographic regions surveyed experienced a spike in editorial director’s/editor-in-chief’s salary; only the West experienced a drop, polling $83,000 in 2010 and $72,400 in 2011.

Advertising revenue is a major concern for editors in 2011, as a digital answer to decreasing print ad revenue has not yet been cemented. One respondent says of their biggest challenges, “Along with the increased focus on revenue and declining resources, I also have to counter the perception that print is dead.” Another respondent sees building new revenue streams to replace faltering print ad resources as one of the most formidable challenges at their publication.

Overall, respondents to this year’s survey are interested in keeping business viable, maintaining a capable staff and staying relevant in the evolving landscape. Editors find satisfaction in their jobs in a variety of ways through their products and industry. One respondent says, “I value seeing a finished product in my hands, happy readers and friendship in the industry."


Overall, the editorial director/editor-in-chief sector saw its pay increase in 2011. While there is still a sizeable gap between genders, both female and male editorial executives experienced rises in salaries this year; male editoral directors are up at $99,300 from 2010’s $96,900, and their female counterparts earned $77,600, up from 2010’s $74,200.

Editorial directors in the New York city area saw a fruitful 2011, with their mean salaries up about $10,000 to $108,900. The same group earned a mean of $98,200 in 2010.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prominent French Publisher, La Martiniere, Reaches E-Book Detente with Google

La Martiniere, the third largest publisher in France (behind Hachette and Editis), fought a five year battle to stop Google from scanning and selling (mostly out-of-print) copyrighted works willy-nilly ... and they have successfully reached a detente.

I wouldn't have thought it would be so hard, even for out-of-print works, given that they are supposedly copyrighted for life ... unless the copyright ownership was in question.

Anyway, publishing intrigue is alive and well and shouting all over the place and across formats and platforms.

This from Barbara Casassus as reported in TheBookSeller.com:

La Martinière and Google sign agreement

French publisher La Martinière has dropped its legal action against Google and signed an agreement with it to scan specified out-of-print French language titles.

The publisher was locked in a five-year long legal battle against Google for having digitised copyrighted books without permission. The pact is similar to the one finalised last month with Hachette Livre, which was aimed to serve as a model for other French houses.

The difference is that La Martinière and Google will draw up a catalogue including both the titles already scanned in partnership with American libraries and those to be covered by the latest deal, a Google France spokesperson said. The publisher will decide which titles will be withdrawn and which will be scanned.

Several thousand titles could be involved, La Martinière c.e.o. Hervé de La Martinière said. The group will be able to sell the scanned books through the Google e-books platform on a revenue-sharing basis, with the publisher earning the undisclosed majority share, the Google spokesperson added.

Read and learn more

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

E-Books Dangerous to Writers and Their Livelihoods?

The number of discussions RE just how monetarily successful writers will be choosing to self-publish, even if royalties are higher, are increasing ... but, dividing into two distinct camps of thought.

You probably know the basics already: Self-published e-books are bringing higher royalties of 25% to 75% (or thereabouts), but, of very low unit priced products (say the current standard of $2.99 per e-book) ... This scenario compared with a lower traditional royalty of 10% to 15% of much higher priced books of say $20 to $30 per book ... etc, etc, ad infinitum :)

I feel all this pricing jumble in the new publishing jungle will settle out eventually ... AND, I think in the writers favor.

After all, the two essential ingredients in publishing are the writer and the consumer reader ... everyone else in between are middlemen, costly and becoming less needed.

Noted British author, Graham Swift, has a different take on the new digital self-publishing, and his view is discussed on the exceptional group blog, TechDirt, along with a rebuttal:

Author Says eBooks Will Hurt Authors Because Of Royalty Rates

from the but-the-percentages-say-otherwise dept

Opinions on the emergence of eBooks in the modern era come with all manner of widely varied opinions. We saw J.K. Rowling go from staunchly refusing to offer her works as eBooks to routing around her publisher and offering them directly to her fans. Barry Eisler turned down a huge publishing contract to self-publish his eBooks, even as the Mystery Writers of America were telling Joe Konrath, Eisler's friend, self-publishing meant he wasn't a "real author". And, of course, we have the always prevalent opposed viewpoints of the benefits of carrying your digital library everywhere versus the preference for the look and feel of a physical hardcopy tome.

But one argument I haven't heard before (and I spend a decent amount of time reading and learning about the publishing world, for obvious reasons) is that eBooks are dangerous to the future of young authors because the royalty rates won't support them making a living. That's the argument Graham Swift made in an article in The Telegraph by Nick Collins. Graham is quoted as saying:

“The e-book does seem at the moment to threaten the livelihood of writers, because the way in which writers are paid for their work in the form of e-books is very much up in the air. I think the tendency will be that writers will get even less than they get now for their work and sadly that could mean that some potential writers will see that they can't make a living, they will give up and the world would be poorer for the books they might have written, so in that way it is quite a serious prospect.”

Swift is an award-winning author and, as such, I assume he's as or more informed about the publishing world than I am, but I'm having trouble rectifying his speculation on declining royalty rates for eBooks with how such royalties are handled now. Unfortunately, because there is some variance in how royalties are handled in the publishing world, particularly with fiction, there are some distinctions to be made with how this all works.

Read and learn more 

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trouble With the World?

After being privileged with a kaleidoscope of world travel and experience ... and after thoughtful reflection, I have come to the conclusion that:

"The trouble with the world is that it's always one drink behind." :)

The above personal quote came from a very famous person ... Anyone want to hazard a guess?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Amazon a Danger Lurking in the Publishing Industry?

Is Amazon getting too big for its britches? Creating and positioning itself on a monopolistic throne where it can wield too much dictatorial power?

Victoria Barnsley, UK CEO of HarperCollins, thinks Amazon's presence and goals in publishing today are a big concern and says so in an article by Graeme Neill on TheBookseller.com:

Amazon publishing a "concern"—Barnsley

Amazon's move into publishing is a "concern" and the business is close to being in a monopolistic position, according to the c.e.o. of HarperCollins.

Victoria Barnsley was the latest book trade figure to appear on BBC Radio 4's "The Future of the Book" segment on "The World at One", broadcast today (16th August).

In a wide-ranging interview, she said she felt hardback prices would increase as they

increased in quality; digital fiction sales would be 50% of the category's total within two years; touched upon the News International phone-hacking row; and said the agent Andrew Wylie has apologised to her following a recent row where he accused the publisher of acting in a "shrill and punitive way" towards authors.

Barnsley described Amazon as a "very very powerful global competitor" of HarperCollins. She said: "I think Amazon's foray into book publishing . . . is obviously a concern . . . They are this weird thing. We can them 'frenemies'. They are also a very important customer of ours and they have done fantastic things for the book industry. I have mixed views about them but there's no doubt they are very very powerful now and in fact they are getting close to being in a monopolistic situation."

She described agents' attempts to secure greater digital royalties for their authors as a "bone of contention" between both parties. She said: "We would argue that we actually invest a huge amount in authors, invest a huge amount in marketing and reach. It is a bone of contention. I don't think we should be [in dispute] because what we add is of enormous value, which, say, the digital technology companies don't give."

Read and learn more

Related article: Amazon as publisher: What does it mean?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Publishing is One of Few Sectors Growing in Today's Economy

The traditional publishing industry was completely devastated by the new digital technology. Not totally knocked out, mind you, just put in a state of semiconsciousness.

When the first effects of the field-leveling tech blew out heavy printing, storage and shipping requirements; did away with the need for physical distribution; cut to damn near zero the finished manuscript to published/for sale timeline; redefined the scope for agents and editors; etc, etc, it had management in a tizzy!

But, when the tech storm dust settled a little, management began to better visualize how the new tech could be absorbed, understood and assimilated into existing business products and goals and new biz models began to appear ... now traditional publishing (TP) is offering dual media formats and a ton of apps for mobiles, etc.

All this has made the publishing industry, believe it or not, a growth sector in the current, dismal economy ... according to the well-respected Bookstats, an industry research and study group.

These details by Caitlin Bronson in ThirdAge.com:

E-Books Spur Publishing Industry Growth

The popularity of e-books has pushed the publishing industry to become one of the few sectors of the economy that is actually growing. The Christian Science Monitor reports that a Bookstats study puts the industry at a growth of 3.1 percent from 2008 to 2010.

At the helm of the upward trend are e-books, whose sales rose about 39 percent during the same time period. E-books seem to be the clear saving grace of the industry, whose mass market, hardcover and paperback sales actually fell about two percent over the same three years. The ease and relative inexpensive cost of e-readers like Nook and Kindle appeal to readers who may not otherwise carry a paperback around in their pocket.

Textbooks are also helping the industry grow, with sales up 23 percent, the study said.

Read and learn more

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sayonara to Traditional Publishing?

Traditional publishing has not disappeared just yet; but it is irrevocably changed!

I don't believe trad pub will ever disappear. I see it morphing some more and settling into a type of "status" or "collectable" entity.

At any rate, I just finished reading an article in the Today's Zaman (your gateway to Turkish daily news) by Musa Igrek that gives a most succinct, complete story behind the emergence and acceptance of self-publishing and the resulting, traumatic impact on the publishing industry as a whole:

End of the road for professional publishing?

The world of publishing is gradually becoming more and more dominated by technology.

Up-and-coming authors can now have their books published in e-book format through the self-publishing system, first introduced by the giant online bookstore Amazon.com.

Authors who self-publish bypass the publishing house phase, drastically reducing the cost of having a book published in hardcopy. The author can sell their e-book at whatever price they wish, and through programs available on self-publishing sites, can decide each and every detail regarding the book -- from typeface to cover design, from editing to distribution. This way, the author also holds all the rights to his or her work. The system bypasses numerous levels in having a book published, such as the editor, the publisher and the distributor, as well as the marketing stage.

The global market in self-publishing is constantly growing, particularly because it offers an area of showcase for first-time aspiring authors. There are authors who have sold hundreds of thousands of books through self-publishing. The arena of self-publishing also serves as a showcase for publishers to pick from, so self-publishing authors can sometimes be picked up by a publishing house, too. Turkish online bookstore Idefix unveiled last week its upcoming self-publishing project called “Açık Kitap” (Open Book), which will be launched next year. The company will start serving self-publishing authors in exactly the way Amazon.com does. The project’s director, Bora Ekmekçi, says the website does not intend to make a leap to the publishing business with the launch of its self-publishing branch. “We will be providing amateur writers with tools with which they can produce their own e-books and a platform on which they can publish their works,” Ekmekçi explains. “This project will set [book] production free, there will be more material [to read] out there and it will also help publishers discover new authors.”

Read and learn more

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Much Lighter and Cheaper Digital Textbooks on iPads

I posted on the coming (and I predicted explosive) growth of digital textbooks last year on my Publishing/Writing Blog and here on this blog.

This post gives the latest advances ... including popularity, growth and forecast figures.

Show me the money! AND the savings and convenience to students ... These e-textbooks (some with interactive, complex content) are probably the greatest invention since the vibrator :)

Three companies: Inkling (a startup stand alone), CourseSmart (owned by textbook publishers Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wiley, MacMillan and Cengage) and Kno (an Education software company) are the main players in the digital textbook field to date.

Details here by Jefferson Graham in USA Today:

Matt MacInnis believes college textbooks are heavy, expensive and outdated. That's why he decided to reinvent them as a multimedia experience for the iPad.

"We're trying to bring textbooks forward to the 21st century," he says.

San Francisco-based Inkling is the start-up he formed to bring next-generation textbooks to the iPad. Chapters of such educational tomes can be purchased for $2.99 a pop at the iTunes App Store. In early tests, students rave. Several colleges have jumped on board, using Inkling textbooks with college-mandated iPads for fall courses.

Investors like what they see. Inkling today will announce a second round of funding for the company, $17 million from Tenaya Capital, Jafco Ventures and Sequoia Capital. This follows the initial funding from Sequoia and others, including publishers McGraw-Hill and Pearson.

"This shows we're trying to scale the business in a big way," says MacInnis. "We're hoping it shows just how substantial our vision is."

Some $4.5 billion worth of textbooks were sold in 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers. Education consultant Xplana expects digital textbooks to represent 3% of sales in 2011, growing to 44% by 2017.

Read and learn more

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