WorldCon 2013 Report: Day Three — Publishing Intermediaries in the Digital Age

logo_72x72Panel: Steve Jackson (M), Tom Doherty, Irene Gallo, Joshua Bilmes, Betsy Mitchell

My Notes

  • Editors are needed to help the author make the book the best it can be
  • Agents are helpful in getting the right book to the right person
  • Provides a team of people already on the ground—curators
  • Personal relationships are important
  • Agents understand the contracts
  • Agents can how explain how the publishing and sales process works
  • Mass market is really hurting (repeat item from another session)
  • Only 3 key wholesalers now
  • Returns well over 70% last year for the largest distributor
  • In the digital space, a good cover is still needed
  • We talk about them being thumbnails now, but they always have been
  • 50% books are being sold online, so you want your marketing online too
  • Tor: 40% ebooks, but mostly backlist — about 18% on new titles
  • Partnership with NASA to make sure the science is right and will inspire kids
  • New term (for me, at least): "YA Okay"
  • NASA has a reach into tens of thousands of classrooms and will help to promoter their books
  • Self-publishing is not really a stepping stone to get into traditional publishing
  • A lot of bad books get good reviews—it’s the sales that count
  • A hybrid model is best, particularly for new authors
  • Authors who request this, though, might be at a disadvantage

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