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Today's Articles on Publishing and Books

I tweeted and Facebooked these this morning, but here there are on LJ.

First of all, Nomi pointed this article from the Boston Globe out to me this morning: Kate's Mystery Books to close.

This is a real shame. Kate's has been a stalwart of Cambridge for two decades, and a real center for Boston mystery fandom.

Secondly, ReadWriteWeb has begun a series of posts about the future of the publishing business.

Part one can be found here:
Bits Of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 1

Part two can be found here:
Bits Of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 2

Some sobering stuff in those posts, especially on a day where McGraw-Hill has announced some layoffs.
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Something seems not quite right about the percentages that the ReadWriteWeb article assumes for sharing of Kindle proceeds, but I don't have time today to work out where the flaw may be. Interesting stuff to think about in Part 1.
I'd like to see an analysis of this sort that takes interest rates into account.

I've heard that the big problem a lot of dead-tree publishers (including the New York Times Company) face is not being unprofitable per se, but (a) the fact that many are now owned by investors who expect the same rate of profit as other publically traded companies, instead of being satisfied with a smaller but more consistent return, and/or (b) some have taken on a heavy burden of debt and even though their income is above their cost-of-goods-sold, they have trouble making their payments.

And of course a new writer's interest in getting an advance now versus waiting for royalties to gradually trickle in is a classic time-value-of-money problem.
Thanks for the links.

December 2016

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