Picture
I am a fan of free writing contests: 

1) Having a deadline forces you to finish your manuscript, 

2) If you win, you can call yourself an "award-winning author" which is great for your pub cred. (That's like street cred - without the tattoos.)

3) And if the contest is free, what have you got to lose?

The Fountain 100th Issue Essay Contest

Deadline: November 30, 2014

"You and Your 100-Year-Old Self"

The Fountain invites you celebrate their 100th issue by writing an essay to yourself on your 100th birthday. What would you say to yourself at that age? What would your 100-year-old self tell you back? Would it be a conversation of praise and/or regret? Perhaps praise for the achievements in your career, but regrets about a lost family? Or warnings about the mistakes you made in your projected future or in your past; pitfalls you happened to be dragged into, temptations you could not resist; or celebrations for the good character you were able to display and sustain over a life; a precious life wasted or a life lived as it was meant to be.
• Contest open to all writers worldwide

• Essay word count must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words

• Essays must be submitted through the essay contest page at www.fountainmagazine.com/essaycontest

• Cash prizes:

1st Place - $1,500

2nd Place - $750

3rd Place - $300

Two Honorable Mentions - $200 each
_________________

Creative Loafing's 2015 Fiction Contest “Crush”

Deadline: November 3, 2104

Submit a manuscript of no more than 3,000 words. All works of fiction must in some way incorporate “Crush” — as a theme, a metaphor, or some good ol' fashioned puppy love. Be creative, take risks, and send us your best work. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, feel free to write drunk and edit sober. Either way, the word count is strictly enforced.

1st place, $500

2nd place, $250

3rd place, $100

Deadline is Mon., Nov. 3, 5 p.m.

Winners will be published in Creative Loafing and honored at an awards ceremony.

Entry form and rules click HERE.
____________________

The Culture Trip Award

Deadline: November 30, 2014

The Culture Trip offers a $3,000 prize for the entrant whose article attains the highest readership within 3 months of publication. 
The Prize

• USD $3,000 for the most-read article

• USD $2,000 for the second most-read article

• USD $1,000 for the third most-read article

• Honourable mentions on social media for the 10 most-read articles

Eligibility:

• First or second degree students within final year of degree program; or students who graduated since May 2013

• Interest in a career in art, culture, food, travel sector

Submission Process:

• Send an email to award@theculturetrip.com asap and no later than November 30, 2014, with 'Trial article - topic request' in the subject line, to receive your allocated title for an initial trial article

• Receive your trial article topic within 5 working days

• Submit your trial article no later than December 30, 2014

We will judge the trial articles on quality of writing, structure, research, readability. If successful, you will be invited to submit your competition article(s) asap and no later than January 15, 2015. You can choose your competition article(s) topic(s) as long as it is within The Culture Trip's remit and it pertains to one or more countries. If preferred, The Culture Trip can set you a topic.

We aim to edit and publish successful trial articles (between December 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015) and suitable competition articles (between February 15 and April 15, 2015).

Competition entries will be published between February 15, 2015 and April 15, 2015

Award Ceremony and Press:

• September 30, 2015, London. Flights/transportation and accommodation covered by The Culture Trip (for the three winners)

Writing Guidelines:

For more information on style, formatting and length, please refer to published articles, as well as The Culture Trip’s writing guide: theculturetrip.com/write-articles/

____________________

The Vermont Writers' Prize

Deadline: November 1, 2014

The Vermont Writer's Prize is sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine, is open to Vermont writers, including seasonal residents and students enrolled in Vermont colleges.

Genres: Short stories, poetry, plays, or essays on the subject of Vermont.

Prize: $1500 and publication.

Read details here.

_____________________

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing

Deadline: November 5, 2014

Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada between July 9, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Self-published books are not eligible.

Genre: A book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life.

Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500.

Read details here.
________________

William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers

Deadline: November 15, 2014

Restrictions: Writers must not have published a book, short story, or dramatic work in the mystery field, either in print, electronic, or audio form.

Genre: Mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type - i.e., “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex.

Prize: Each grant may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers' conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award (no later than May 2016). In the case of nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. Each grant currently includes a $1,500 award plus a comprehensive registration for the following year's convention and two nights' lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals.

Read details here.
____________________

Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize 

Deadline: November 15th, 2014

This prize is sponsored by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival.

Genre: Non-fiction essay between 4 to 10 pages, set in Brooklyn about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters.. (Up to 2500 words).

Read details here.
___________________

The Caregiver Story Contest 

Deadline: November, 30, 2014

This contest is held by Shield HealthCare. Their annual caregiver story contest is on “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?”

Genre: Nonfiction, inspirational.

Prize: Top 3 Story Winner Prizes: $500 American Express Gift Card, One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine.

Entry form and details here.
____________________

IV Edition of the International Flash Fiction Competition


Deadline: November 23rd. 2014

"Museum of Words"

The slogan of this contest edition will be, Mandela: Words and Concord. The rules of the competition are as follows:

Writers from any country may enter their microfiction into the competition.

Submitted stories must be original creations; writers are free to cover any subject.

Writers may only enter a maximum of two stories. Stories may be written in the following languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic or Spanish.

A first prize of $20,000 will be awarded to the winning story. The three remaining finalist stories in the remaining language categories will receive a $2000 runner up prize.

Stories must not exceed 100 words. Entries must be sent exclusively by filling in the entry form that can be found on the foundation website:  www.fundacioncesaregidoserrano.com or www.museodelapalabra.com. All stories entered must be original, unpublished in all means (paper, electronic publications, network...) and have not been awarded in any other contest. Those who do not meet this condition will forfeit the entry.

The author certifies that the story sent is of his own authorship.

The competition will end on November 23rd, 2014 GMT+1, on the International Day of the Word as Bond of Humankind.

The finalists will be judged by a selected jury. The list of finalist’s titles will be published on the website of the César Egido Serrano Foundation.

The César Egido Serrano Foundation reserves the right to publish the finalist’s stories.

The decision of the jury is final.

Entry in this contest implies the total acceptance of their rules.

Texts failing to comply with any of the rules will be disqualified.
___________________

2015 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award

Deadline: Nov. 17, 2014

Also see2015 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for women authors living in Wyoming

The Neltje Blanchan Award, $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world.

This award is designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers. Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and script writers who have published no more than one book in each genre and who are not students or faculty members are invited to apply by submitting manuscripts and an entry form by the deadline.

Guidelines for the 2014 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards

Eligibility:

You may enter if you meet the following requirements:

*You must not be a full-time college student or full-time college faculty.

* You must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of Wyoming, living in the state for at least ten months of the year, since July 1, 2013.

* To receive an award, you must remain a Wyoming resident until Dec. 31, 2015, living in the state for at least ten months of the year.

*You must not have received a Blanchan or Doubleday award in the last four years. You may apply for these awards if you received a 2013 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.

* You may not have received a 2015 Arts Council creative writing fellowship.

* You may enter if you have never published a book, if you’ve published only one full-length book of fiction, poetry or nonfiction, or if you have published no more than one book of poetry, one of fiction, and one of nonfiction (self-publication excluded).

Manuscript guidelines
:

* Submit work in one genre only (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or script).

* Writing may have been previously published.

* Manuscript must be consecutively page-numbered. Include title of work and page numbers on each page.

* Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

* If you submit more than the allowed page limits (see below), extra pages will be removed; you will not be notified.

* If novel or play/film synopses are part of the manuscript (this is often helpful to the juror), include them in the total page number count.

Length requirements:

* Poetry, maximum length: 10 pages. Type single-spaced, with no more than one poem per page.

* Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced.

* Drama and screenplays, maximum length: 25 pages. Must be typed and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script submitted.

Submission procedures:

* You may enter each competition once only, by Nov. 17, 2014.

After you submit your application:

* Your name and credentials are not available to juror; all manuscripts are identified by number. Juror will not critique individual manuscripts.

* Manuscripts will not be returned.

If you win an award:

* Winners will be notified after Jan. 12, 2015.

* You’ll receive $1,000 (after Jan. 12, 2015). At the discretion of the juror, no award may be given.

* You’ll sign a contract which verifies that you’re eligible to receive this award.

* You must remain a resident of the state through Dec. 31, 2015, living within its borders for at least ten months of the year.

* You’ll need to supply a resume and photograph for publicity, and the Council will ask permission to publish some of your work in its publications.

* You’ll retain the right of publication to the work you produce during the award period.

* You must fill out a final report, due June 1, 2015, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year. There are no requirements regarding work you complete during the award period or how you use the funds.

* You will receive an additional stipend to travel to Casper in September 2015 to read your work along with the Doubleday winner and the contest judge at the annual Casper College Literary Conference. 


 
 
Picture
While literary contests are increasingly open to self-published authors, only a few of them have no entry fee. (This is because contests are intended to generate income for their sponsors.)

If you do decide to enter a paid contest, make sure its sponsor is worth putting on your resume. (Joe Blow's novel of the year contest will do nothing for your career.)

The Book Designer Monthly Ebook Cover Design Awards

Joel Friedlander's self-publishing site is heavily trafficked, so this contest is well worth entering. There is no restriction on publication date, but the e-books must be published at the time of submission. If you don't yet have a cover for your book, looking at previous winners is great inspiration.

The Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month

"The Guardian is the first national newspaper to champion self-publishing on a regular basis. The prize has been created with Legend Times, an award-winning independent publishing group, with companies including traditional fiction publisher Legend Press and a self-publishing company New Generation Publishing." Restrictions: Open to UK Residents only. How to enterClick HERE for complete rules.

Historical Novel Society Indie Award

HNS Indie Award, first offered in 2014, recognizes excellence in indie-published historical novels. Restrictions: English language only. Prize: The winner shall receive £100 or $100 ($100Aus). Deadline: Closing date January 31, 2015. How to enterClick HERE for complete rules.

You Write On

"For an opportunity to be eligible for the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Awards, simply join YouWriteOn.com at any time for free and upload your opening chapters or short stories. Each month the highest rated books receive feedback from editors for leading publishers, such as Random House and Orion, whose authors include Dan Brown, John Grisham, Bill Bryson and Ian Rankin. These stories enter the YouWriteOn BestSellers Chart and are then eligible for our Book of the Year Awards in the next year."

Click HERE for additional free contests.

 
 
Here are two new literary agents actively building their client lists. Patricia Nelson is an agent at Marsal Lyon, one of the most respected literary agencies in the country.

As always read the agency website to see if your book will be a good fit, and be sure to follow all submission instructions. (Click on the name of the agent and agency under the photos for links.)
Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

About Patricia: Before becoming an agent at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press. Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing. Follow Patricia on Twitter at @patricianels.

What she is seeking: Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. On the adult side, she is interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the New Adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For YA, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. In general, Patricia loves stories with complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships – along with writing that makes her feel completely pulled into these characters’ lives and worlds.

How to contact: Please send a query letter by email to: Patricia [at] MarsalLyonLiteraryAgency.com and write “QUERY” in the subject line of the email. Please note that the agency now accepts electronic submissions only. In all submissions, please include a contact phone number as well as your email address. “If we are interested in your work, we will call or email you. If not, we will respond via email. Our response time is generally 1-4 weeks for queries and 4-8 weeks for sample pages and manuscripts. We welcome unsolicited materials and look forward to reading your work.”
Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency

About Julie: Before joining The Seymour Agency, Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.

What she is seeking: Christian and Inspirational Fiction and Nonfiction, Women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), New Adult, Southern Fiction, Literary Fiction and Young Adult.

How to submit: E-query julie [at] theseymouragency.com. Be sure to include: genre/target audience, word count, contact information, references (conference, recommendation, etc.). No attachments, please. All of The Seymour Agency agents ask that you paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your email. “Simultaneous submissions are acceptable for queries and partials. However, we only review complete manuscripts on an exclusive basis.”
 
 
Picture
Bowker, the distributor of ISBNs, has reported a 16.5% increase in new print books in 2013, as well as a significant increase in self-published books to 450,000 - up from last year's total of 391,000. The figure of 450,000 may, in fact, be on the low side. Amazon, a huge platform for self-published ebooks, does not require ISBNs. 
What does this explosion in self-published books mean for authors? Obviously, more books means more selection and increased competition. But, the ebook world is just beginning to open up in highly populated parts of the globe (e.g. India, China), so there are also more readers. Distribution networks for ebooks are also expanding rapidly.
_____________________________________

Self-Published Books Topped 450,000 in 2013
By Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly, Oct 08, 2014

Although it comes with a number of caveats, Bowker's newest report on the number of self-published titles rose again in 2013, increasing 16.5%, to 458,564. The increase was due entirely to the release of new print books which rose 28.8% to 302,622 offsetting a decline in self-published e-books which fell 1.6%, to 155,942.

The totals are based on self-published titles that have an ISBN registered with Bowker as of August 6, 2014 with the year referring to the year of publication provided by the publisher. The report also does not include titles published through Kindle Direct Publishing since books created there do not need an ISBN, and also does not include titles from Nook Press. In addition, it is likely some titles are double counted as self-published authors who do both print and e-books often give different ISBNs to the same title. Beat Barblan, Bowker director of identifier services, explains that the counts are ISBNs, not titles, “and indicate trends rather than absolutes. We’re consistent in the way we calculate this each year, making the reports accurate reflections of trends.”

The report, Barblan continued, shows a self-published market that is maturing into a serious business. He pointed to an 8% increase in the number of ISBNs registered by small publishers--publishers that registered fewer than 10 ISBNs--as evidence of a move by self-publishers to business--owner rather than writer only.

Small publishers registered 46,654 ISBNs in 2013, placing that group fourth among companies that registered ISBNs. The Big Three in 2013 were Amazon’s CreateSpace which registered 186,926 ISBNs last year, followed by Smashwords which registered 85,500 ISBNs and Lulu which had 74,787 ISBNs. The different Author Solutions divisions had 44,574 ISBNs. The CreateSpace figure reflects only print ISBNs, while Smashwords includes only registered e-books.

 
 
PictureFirst Snow by taenaron, deviantart.com
There can be no doubt about it, the digital revolution has changed the face of publishing.

Random House, one of the Big 5, is getting on board with its Hydra digital science fiction imprint (better late than never).

HarperCollins has also joined the fray with its Voyager imprint, and Simon & Shuster has launched Simon451 (both of these are now closed to submissions).

Below are four established science fiction publishers accepting eBook manuscripts from authors.

Make sure to read their submission guidelines carefully before you submit.
__________________

Picture
Tor.com

AboutTor.com is a short fiction market edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer, and Ellen Datlow, with support and reading from Carl Engle-Laird, Cory Skerry, and Bridget Smith (and occasional others).

What they are looking for: Tor.com welcomes original speculative fiction short stories and poetry, including SF, fantasy, horror, alternate history, and related genres. They are particularly interested in stories under 12,000 words.

How to submit: Don’t query, just send your story. Submissions should be emailed to (tordotcomsubs)(at)(gmail.com)—the first part spelled out (“tordotcomsubs,” not “tor.comsubs”). They should be in something approximating standard manuscript format and be sent as *.doc (not docx), *.rtf, or plain-text attachments. They should not be sent as text in the body of the email. Read full guidelines HERE.
___________________

Picture
 Hydra

AboutHydra is the digital science fiction imprint of Random House. 

What they are looking for: They are interested in short content (customarily between 15,000 and 30,000 words) and full-length works (customarily between 40,000 and 60,000 words). Unlike tor.com they are open to previously-published manuscripts as long as the submitting author now controls all electronic and print publishing rights. 

How to submit: Submissions are through a form on the website that asks for basic information and a 1500-word excerpt from your book. Expected response time is 2-4 weeks. Publication is subject to execution of a mutually acceptable publishing agreement. The form is here.
___________________

Picture
Harlequin Digital First

About: Harlequin (now a HarperCollins division) is best known as a romance publisher, They began to branching into digital publications in 2013. Science fiction is new on the Harlequin scene.

What they are looking forSpace opera, sci-fi, and fantasy stories (10,000 words minimum).

How to Submit: Submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:
  • In the body of the email: a brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as any pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name, full mailing address, and any writing credits.
  • As an attachment: the full manuscript saved as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
  • As a second attachment: A 2–5 page synopsis of the book, detailing character development, plot and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, full mailing address, phone number, genre and word count.

Submissions should be sent to:  Submit_HDigital@Harlequin.com
___________________

Picture
Baen Books

About: Baen Books was founded in 1983 by science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen (now deceased). Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author. Publishes in digital and print format.

What they are looking for: Science fiction with powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are essential for science fiction submissions. For fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Manuscripts should be at least 100,000 words. 

How to Submit: Send your manuscript by using the submission form at:  http://ftp.baen.com/Slush/submit.aspx

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

Your submission must include your name, email address*, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. *[If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service.] Include a plot outline if possible.

Click HERE for more details.

 
 
Picture
Aspiring authors spend a great deal of their time and effort researching agents, writing queries, and perfecting pitches. Often, they are so delighted when an agent - any agent - takes an interest in them, that they tend to say "Yes, a thousand times yes!" before giving the long-term consequences of the union the cold, hard reflection it deserves.

You are not married to your agent. But, if you are not well suited to one another, getting a "divorce" can be tricky, especially if your agent has already sold one of your books. A split-up can involve a custody battle: changing the terms of your contract, lawyers, hard feelings.

And there will be gossip. The publishing industry is more provincial than you might think. Editors love to gossip among themselves about authors, and those editors often become agents, who also do their fair share of gossiping. If you end up divorcing your agent, everyone will know about it.

Guess whose side they will be on?

So, before you leap into the arms of the first agent who is willing to get down on one knee, consider the following:

Does the agent have a good track record with authors? Ask around. Find some authors they have represented (you can even ask the agent for a list), and ask how happy they have been. Go to conferences, talk to writers. Try to get a sense of how the agent interacts with people. Google the agent's name and see what pops up on absolutewrite, a forum where writers talk about their experiences in the publishing world.

Does the agent adore your work? Agents can only sell work that thrills them. Does the agent stand behind your book 100%? Will the agent be willing to spend a couple of years, if that is required, to get a contract? Or will he/she dump you after a few tries?

Does the agent like you? It is important for agents to be professional, but it is equally important for them to take an interest in you. I am not talking about sharing "worst date" stories. You need to feel comfortable enough to be able to ask your agent important questions.

Can you trust your agent? A publishing contract is not the end of the road. Contract negotiations are nerve-fraying experiences. If your agent is curt, or doesn't respond to your questions (particularly if it is your first contract ), or if your agent does not explain things to your satisfaction, you may want to bail out of the relationship before your contract is finalized. (This happens a lot more than you may think.) Talk to the agent about how he/she handles contract negotiations. And listen to your gut. If you have doubts, there may be a good reason for them.

There are other considerations as well: How many clients does the agent have (too many, and they won't have time for you, too few and they aren't successful); How many publishing houses has the agent worked with (if their publishing contacts are limited to houses that also accept unagented manuscripts, it's not a good sign); What genres has the agent represented (YA fiction is all the rage right now, but if an agent has not represented YA authors before, he or she may not have the contacts you need).

Ideally, you want a long and happy relationship with your agent. If you stand back and ask yourself whether you and your prospective agent are a "good fit" right at the start, you will avoid many problems further down the road.

 
 
(In this video, Dick Cavett and stand-up comedian Dave Hill have a Tough Talk about the Amazon vs Everybody Wars. A bit of satire never hurt anybody ... not much anyway.)

It is rare to find authors united against (or even for) anything. Authors, like tigers, prefer to hunt alone. But Amazon changed all that when it affected their sales, first by pulling Macmillan titles from its list, and then by pulling pre-orders from Hachette titles.

Amazon has engaged in a number of tactics which have ruffled the feathers of not only authors, but entire governments - except for ours. 

That may soon change.

Authors United, an ad hoc group of over 1000 authors, has called for a Department of Justice investigation into possible anti-trust law violations committed by Amazon. Among the literary luminaries who have joined Authors United are: Philip Roth, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul, Ursula Le Guin and Milan Kundera. The estates of Saul Bellow, Roberto Bolaño, Joseph Brodsky, William Burroughs, John Cheever, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Hunter S. Thompson have also signed on.

In a parallel move, the Author's Guild, the country's largest advocacy group for writers, met with Justice Department officials in early August. The Guild, which has more than 8,500 members, raised concerns that Amazon is violating antitrust law.
....................................................................................................

Authors United’s Next Move: DOJ

Publishers Weekly, September 24, 2014

Wednesday, bestselling thriller writer Douglas Preston, who oversees the group Authors United, confirmed that the organization intends to contact the Department of Justice requesting an antitrust inquiry into Amazon's tactics.

Authors United formed to voice the concerns of authors whose sales have been hurt as a result of the stalled sales terms negotiations between Amazon and Hachette. The Financial Times reported the group's intention to request that the DoJ mount an antitrust investigation into Amazon's approach to its business, and Preston confirmed the move to PW.

According to Preston, a letter addressed to William Baer, assistant attorney general for antitrust, has been drawn up and calls for a closer look at Amazon's practices. News of the letter, said Preston, was leaked "very prematurely."

The pending letter to the DoJ is the third action taken by Authors United. In August, the gorup made its first move by running a signed full-page ad in the New York Times asking readers to write to Amazon head Jeff Bezos. Authors United is also, currently, in the midst of putting together its second project, which involves FedExing a letter to members of the Amazon board of directors which questions whether the board approves the policy of sanctioning books. The letter states: “These sanctions have driven down Hachette authors' sales at Amazon.com by at least 50 percent, and in some cases by as much as 90 percent.”
 
 
Picture
In the latest round of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars, Great Britain is calling for an anti-trust inquiry into Amazon's bad "behaviour."

Amazon's book sales accounted for nearly one-third of all book sales in the UK, and nearly 80% of ebook sales. Britain's booksellers are worried, and rightly so, that they will be driven out of business. 

The inquiry will investigate precisely how Amazon is smashing the competition, but there will be no surprises concerning Amazon's tactics.

Because Amazon is the "everything store" it can afford to lose money on books. Amazon has claimed that it is on the "side of the consumers" by keeping prices low, but, in reality, it is merely using its broad sales platform to drive all of its competitors out of business. Once there is no competition, Amazon can do what it likes.

British retailers and book publishers are attempting to provide online sales outlets to compete with Amazon, but, so far, they have not had great success.  Frankly, it may be a case of "too little, too late."

So far, the US has not taken a stand on the Amazon empire - nor will it ever. Despite our official support of free trade, we believe in monopolies.

Related postsRound 10 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Japan

Round 9 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Authors

Round 8 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Disney

Round 7 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs the FTC

Round 6 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs The Authors Guild

Round 5 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs France

Round 4 of the Amazon vs Everybody Wars: Amazon vs Germany

Amazon Socks it to Time Warner: Authors, Are You Paying Attention?

Amazon Squashes Major Publishing House - Again (Hachette)

Round 1 was Macmillan.
___________________

Publishers call for UK antitrust inquiry into Amazon

By Henry Mance, Financial Times, September 18, 2014

British publishers have called for a competition inquiry into Amazon’s dominance, saying that the UK’s retail book market “suffers from a chronic and debilitating imbalance for authors, publishers and booksellers”.

The move is the latest broadside against Amazon – which is already facing a protracted battle against French publisher Hachette and a competition complaint from German booksellers.

Read the rest of this article here.

 
 
Picture
According to Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book, the British self-published market is a "growth industry," meaning it is still quite small compared to overall sales of books. That may put somewhat of a damper on its spectacular growth. Nonetheless, 18 million self-published titles purchased (worth £59 million) is nothing to sneeze at.

While the book industry continues to regard the self-publishing market with a somewhat lazy eye, Amazon has not. As a consequence, it is attracting increasing numbers of self-published authors, even as it undercuts its competition. 

Great Britain is taking steps to curb Amazon's enthusiasm, but given the growing popularity of its self-publishing platform, as well as the increasing use of ebook readers, it's not likely traditional retailers will be able to get a foot in the door of the ebook market. Especially now that self-published authors are beginning to gain a following on Amazon.
________________________

Self-publishing boom lifts sales by 79% in a year

By Alison Flood - The Guardian, June 13, 2014

As authors are becoming more established, they get followings, just like mainstream authors, so the self-published market is becoming more like the traditionally published market," [Bohme] said.

"Self-published ebooks tend to be impulse buys, discovered by browsing in genre, or in the recommendation or offer sections. However, they are increasingly planned, via author. [So] price and blurb are the top prompts to buy self-published ebooks, but series and characters are increasingly important."

Read the rest of this article here.

 
 
Here are two agents actively building their client lists. Brent is a new agent at TriadaUS. Lana is an established agent with a list of clients that she is seeking to expand.
Picture
Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Agency 

About Brent: Prior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc., he completed numerous internships in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. Find Brent on Twitter @NaughtyBrent

What he is seeking: “My tastes are eclectic, but all of my favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing. I am seeking smart, fun, and exciting books for readers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select mystery/crime and women’s fiction.

Middle Grade: for younger readers I am on the hunt for a humorous, intelligent fantasy; a scare-the-pants-off-me ghost or haunting story; fast-paced literary writing similar in style to Jerry Spinelli and Cynthia Lord. I have soft spots for larger-than-life characters and atmospheric setting (creepy and/or quirky).

Young Adult: I’m always looking for genre-bending books that can be an exciting puzzlement when thinking about how precisely to market; specifically mystery and crime for teens, the grittier the better; high-concept contemporary stories with addicting romantic tension. I’m a sucker for themes of finding your place in the world, new beginnings, and summer-before-college stories. 

New Adult: my tastes in New Adult tend to be more darkly skewed but I would love a well-executed story that shares the same excitement, wonder, and invigoration of books like LOSING IT. Although I appreciate any story that’s told well in great language, in New Adult I’m more concerned with being entertained and gripped by the edge of my seat than in being stimulated.Adult: I would love a psychological suspense based on actual events, i.e. CARTWHEEL by Jennifer Dubois which fictionalized the Amanda Knox trial and hooked me from beginning to end. Alternatively, 

I’d love high-concept women’s fiction; either an exquisitely told story huge in size and scope, or a less ambitious novel that simply warms my heart.”

How to submit: Send your query letter and first ten pages pasted in the body of the message to brent [at] triadaus.com.
___________________


Picture
Lana Popovic of Chalberg & Sussman

About LanaLana Popovic holds a B.A. with honors from Yale University, a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property, and an M.A. with highest honors from the Emerson College Publishing and Writing program. Prior to joining Chalberg & Sussman, Lana worked at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, where she built a list of Young Adult and adult literary authors while managing foreign rights for the agency.

With an abiding love for dark, edgy themes and shamelessly nerdy fare—Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon are two of her great loves—Lana is looking for a broad spectrum of Young Adult and Middle Grade projects, from contemporary realism to speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and historical. For the adult market, Lana is interested in literary thrillers, horror, fantasy, sophisticated erotica and romance, and select nonfiction. An avid traveler, she has a particular fondness for stories set in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, although she also loves reading deep and original stories about American subcultures. She will be a panelist at the Boston Book Festival this year, and also the AWP 2015 conference.

You can follow her on Twitter at @LanaPopovicLit.

What she is seeking:

Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction: Contemporary/realistic, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical, horror, sci-fi

Adult Fiction: Literary thrillers, sci-fi, horror, romance, erotica, women’s literary fiction

Adult Nonfiction: Pop culture, blog-to-book, literary memoir

How to contact: To query Lana, please e-mail lana [at] chalbergsussman.com with the first ten pages of the manuscript included in the body of the e-mail. Lana accepts queries by e-mail only

 

UA-35329706-1UA-35329706-1