The Friday Five: Publishing News & Power Cues | Pennies & Paper: The Friday Five: Publishing News & Power Cues


The Friday Five: Publishing News & Power Cues

Friday, June 6

There's a lot going on in the publishing industry at the moment! I mean, there are always many, many, many things happening in the publishing world, which is why I subscribe to about five million publishing newsletters. I feel like I'm always reading publishing news--who is moving to what company, which books are coming out when, what deals have been signed, who has be bought by whom. Most of that is nitty gritty detail that only a publishing major could love. But there have been quite a few things going on in the publishing world that are of interest to a wider audience. Plus, a minor event happened this week concerning my own intersection with publishing :)

The Friday Five

// Hachette v Amazon
This is the big one. The newsworthy one. The one that is most likely to have an effect on you. I can go for hours about why I don't like Amazon. I personally refuse to buy books from them, and will only make purchases that I can cover entirely with giftcards earned through Swagbucks and Bing [affiliate links]. But I'll refrain from going on a "yayyy, everyone boycott Amazon" rant. In short, Amazon and Hachette are having a bit of a spat over e-book pricing. I recommend reading this LA Times article breaking down the players and problem in thirteen steps. Few are happy about the issue. It's obviously not great for consumers, who are affected by needless delays in getting Hachette-published books. And authors are unhappy as well--both J.K. Rowling (who is published by Hachette) and John Green (who is not) have spoken out against Amazon. And Stephen Colbert, published by Hachette, is encouraging everyone to boycott Amazon. I personally would love Amazon to be taken down at least one notch, and I hope this will be enough bad PR to do so.

There are of course other opinions on this. Check out "Here's Why I Won't Boycott Amazon" to consider a common arguement, that the publishing houses need to deal with the $10 e-book price point. Fortune's Adam Lashinksy has a great piece about the customer's role in all of this.

My favorite reaction, by far, is the campaign put out by the American Booksellers Association (ABA), and which Indies First has adopted for the time being:

Thanks Amazon, the indies will take it from here.

// Penguin Random House
The conjoined houses of Penguin and Random House released their new logo today--and while I understand what they are going for, I can't like it. I can't like it because what I wanted was a penguin in a random house, as impractical as that would have been! (I want to point out that the two merged at least partially to hinder Amazon's bullying tactics--together they publish over half of the best seller list and the e-tailer cannot afford to alienate them.)

Check out the new logo and the story behind it in the Businessweek article "Penguin Random House's Logo Solution: Spell It Out"

DigitalBookWorld did a poll of designer-made mock logos against the real one--and I love them all!
Penguin Random House Logo

// The New Yorker on John Green
It's called "The Teen Whisperer," it's by Margaret Talbot, and it's fantastic. Read it, just read it.

// First Book Boston
First Book is a wonderful organization that helps get free or cheap books to kids who need them most--and it's coming to Boston! I'm planning on doing volunteer work for them in the coming year, because I sadly don't have the expertise, connections, or skills to be on the advisory board. If you're around Boston and interested in getting involved, you can ask to join the Facebook group!

// My First Published Book, Sort Of!
Last week I went back to my internship from last summer to do a panel for this summer's interns. Two former interns and I talked about our experiences and how we took advantage of the program. I then stopped by my old desk. Luckily, my old manager, an epic editorial assistant, was just coming out of a meeting when I arrived. It was so amazing to see her, and we were talking about my classes when all of a sudden her eyes went wide. "OH. You'll want a copy of this," she says and hands me this book:

Power Cues Harvard Business Publishing

I recognized it immediately, although I had last seen it in a very different form--as a manuscript. This was a book I had read and reread, suggested edits for, attended meetings about, edited and copyedited the endorsements, and nearly had memorized by the end of the summer. I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped open. Outside of the work I do for Undergraduate Students for Publishing (which is amazing work and we do technically publish real books), this is the first time I have ever worked on a book and then been able to see it in print. Such an incredible feeling! Even if no one knows it and even if I didn't have a huge effect on the final version, I put a lot of myself into this work. My copy is nice and settled on my nightstand for when I have time to read it :)

Do you have an opinion on any of these publishing developments? If you've had an internship, what was something you put a lot of work into?
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  1. I'm working on becoming a published author myself! :D do you have any tips?
    Great post to read btw!

    natalie @

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

      As for tips on becoming published--do your research and be persistent. There are tons of small publishers with specific niches who are always looking for the next new voice. Edit, edit, edit your work, because the less work a publisher has to do there is a higher liklihood they'll take a chance on you. And if you have an ability to market yourself through social media and your blog, make that known :) What sort of piece are you writing?

  2. Congratulations on helping with the book! That is so exciting! And I read the article about John Green and I agree, it is totally awesome :)

    Madeline | Ring-a-Round a Rosey | Bloglovin’

    1. Thank you! It really is exciting, and hopefully the first of many books I help publish :D The New Yorker nearly always have quality articles, but I think I like them better when I love what the subject is to start with.


Thank you for your comment--they are the highlight of my day :)

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