Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss analyzes Harlequin Horizons and the trouble it presents for authors.
Posts Tagged ‘victoria strauss’
Yesterday, PW reported on the launch of AgentInbox, a new service from collaborative writing website WEbook.
“AgentInbox is a service that connects publication-ready authors with reputable, vetted literary agents,” says the service’s FAQ for writers. Writers enter their book’s “vital stats,” including title, genre, query letter, and all or part of the manuscript (there are several tutorials to help with the polishing process). They can then check AgentInbox’s roster of participating agents and choose which ones they’d like their submission to go to. WEbook staff pre-screens submissions, then forwards them on to the agents chosen.
On Friday, Google, the Association of American Publishers, and the Authors Guild filed a revised version of the Google Book Search Settlement. It’s now up to Judge Denny Chin to set dates for a notice period, an objection hearing, and the final Fairness Hearing.
As readers of this blog know, I’m fascinated by the strange phenomena that flourish at the fringes of the publishing world. So I was thrilled recently to discover yet another example: an online course that teaches people how to become Virtual Author’s Assistants.
Copyright, literally, is “the right to copy.” It guarantees the authors of creative works–including books, artworks, films, recordings, photographs–the exclusive right for a set period of time to allow other people to copy and distribute the work, by whatever means and in whatever media currently exist. It also prohibits copying and distributing without the author’s permission. You own copyright by law, automatically, as soon your work is fixed in tangible form–i.e., the minute you write down the words.
Unlike commercial or trade publishers, whose business model is based on book volume (selling as many books as possible from a limited number of authors), author mills’ business model is based on author volume (selling a limited number of books from as many authors as possible). The most famous example of an author mill is PublishAmerica, but there are others, such as VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller, an academic author mill.
Here are eight words you never want to hear from a publisher that is considering your manuscript for publication:
“How many books are you planning to order?”
As I close in on the end of my current writing project, the issue of self-promotion is much on my mind. I don’t mind admitting that it’s a prospect I contemplate with dread. I’m one of those I-just-want-to-sit-in-my-room-with-my-laptop writers who really is not constitutionally suited for a world in which the definition of “author” also includes “huckster” (or, if you want to be a bit more diplomatic about it, “entrepreneur”).
Last week, the U.S. Justice Department’s anti-trust division urged the court to reject the Google Book Search Settlement, citing “concerns of the United States regarding class action, copyright and antitrust law.” (The full text of the DOJ’s brief can be seen here.) However, it urged the parties to continue discussion, since “a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, [and] the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost.”
For some time, I’ve been receiving questions about VDM Verlag Dr Mueller, a German academic publisher. VDM describes its business thus: VDM publishes academic research worldwide – at no cost to our authors. Annually, we publish more than 10,000 new titles and are thus one of the leading publishing houses of academic research. We specialize […]