Tag Archive: publishing


“Small Press Month is a nationwide celebration highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. Held annually in March, Small Press Month raises awareness about the need for broader venues of literary expression. From March 1st-31st, independent, literary events will take place from coast-to-coast, showcasing some of the most diverse, exciting, and significant voices being published today.” [More info…]

For more information please click on the picture above and do your part to support small and independent publishers!

Editorial Campana is pleased to announce the first event for MARCH 2009.  In Celebration of International Women’s Month with Margarita DragoJacqueline Herranz BrooksSonia Rivera Valdés(Casa de las Américas Award winner) and  Paquita Suárez Coalla.  The authors will read from their new works and chat with the audience. The event will take place Thursday March 5th, 8:00 p.m. at Librería Caliope, NY. PLease visit editorialcampana.com for more information and for directions.

 

 

As we continue to see the effects of the economy, 2009 is staying consistent with the lack of spending. What once was in the New York publishing world, has come to a halt and is seeing a new makeover (and not for the better). Publishers once lived in a world where champagne was plenty, limousines were the norm, and places hard to pronounce was the native tongue. Yet with the recession, layoffs and a decrease in publishing is setting the stage for cutbacks in the way publishers celebrate.

The numbers explain why parties once plentiful are now small in number:

“Book sales have deteriorated since the beginning of October, falling about 7 percent compared with the same period the previous year, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of sales. That slide is driving much of the immediate cutbacks, but the publishing industry is also being convulsed by longer-term trends, including a shift toward digital reading and competition from an array of entertainment options like video games and online social networking.”

With these numbers and with more people turning towards newer (and less-expensive) means of reading, the publishing world is trying to keep up. However, with the economy the way that it is, the best way to keep up is simply to cut back. Many have considered publishers and the likes to have expensive taste- eating that is. Fancy restaurants are now less visited and what is becoming normal are telephone meetings or meeting over pizza and beer.

Aside from fancy parties and places, other aspects in the publishing world are being reviewed. Cash advances for authors (which for a while were increasing) are now being reconsidered. David Rosenthal, publisher of Simon & Schuster, states that:

“You used to buy some books and you paid X because you figured it would sell 100,000 copies. Now you have to do the math saying this book may sell only 50,000 copies.”

Some say there is a silver lining here though: since there are fewer books being sold, maybe less books should be published to help make up for lost profits. This is especially true when it comes to booksellers. “They need to have some sense of what is going on in the country and what the readers are really looking for,” stated Vivien Jennings, owner of Rainy Day Books, an independent. bookstore in Fairway, Kan. Booksellers won’t want to be overstocked with merchandise that is not going to sell. If more books are published and sent to a store, then the store is left with the item. To do what with them?

The store is left with no choice but to return the books to the publishers, which in turn, decreases profit even more. Reducing the price on  books (even more) that are returned might seem like a good idea to help boost sales, but many publishers argue that in a time where the economy is the way that it is, this may not have the outcome we would hope for. Returned merchandise, for the most part, is already slashed or offered at a great discount. All this brings back memories of the great depression, in which practices were created in order to promote bookstores to take in more copies of books.

Just like the phrase, “History always repeats itself”, many see this trend as simply that. Michael Korda, former editor in chief of Simon & Schuster, saw this in the 70’s and even cutback on his habits. In the end, “everybody went back to doing what they were doing before.” Will that statement hold true for 2009?

Using Google’s book search, you can search for a book, read details, and in many cases, read several pages of the book. This is a remarkable tool for those looking for hard to find titles and for just about any book lover. Until recently this book search was limited to books that are still published. However, what about books that are no longer published? These books may still be under copyright yet are no longer in print, making it difficult for the public to get their hands on them. Until now.

“Ever since Google began scanning printed books four years ago, scholars and others with specialized interests have been able to tap a trove of information that had been locked away on the dusty shelves of libraries and in antiquarian bookstores.”

This applies to currently in-print books. A settlement that took place in October, may breathe life back into many books that are no longer in-print. The settlement would allow for a greater collection of books to be searchable and read using Google’s book search- including many that are still under copyright. As well, this settlement would allow authors and publishers (as well as google) to make profit from digital versions of books:

“Revenue will be generated through advertising sales on pages where previews of scanned books appear, through subscriptions by libraries and others to a database of all the scanned books in Google’s collection, and through sales to consumers of digital access to copyrighted books. Google will take 37 percent of this revenue, leaving 63 percent for publishers and authors.”

How does all this connect to books that are no longer in print but are still under copyright? This settlement could allow out-of-print books to be born anew in digital format and at the same time allow authors to make money from titles that have been out-of-print for years. Currently, Google has scanned roughly 7 million books into digital format. Books that have been long out of reach (but not forgotten) may soon be available simply by doing a Google book search. Losing the traditional book format, these books will be available online for readers. This method may even help increase revenue due to the fact that the publishing cost will be eliminated. 

This all sounds great. Readers will be able to get their hands (or eyes) on out-of-print books: ” Google users will have an unprecedented ability to search (for free) and access (for a fee) books that formerly lived only in university libraries.” Authors and publishers will make a profit, and Google will continue to provide a wonderful service. Even the settlement itself seemed to allow a peaceful disagreement: 

“When the agreement was announced in October, all sides hailed it as a landmark settlement that permitted Google to proceed with its scanning project while protecting the rights and financial interests of authors and publishers. Both sides agreed to disagree on whether the book scanning itself violated authors’ and publishers’ copyrights.”

Some, librarians in particular, did express fears that as this service grows, Goggle may end up increasing subscription fees. Although there are other services available, none provide the assortment of books allowed by Google. Ever since Microsoft closed it’s doors on a similar book program, Google currently monopolizes the digital book search world.

Revenues generated from Google book search, may be small but are still noticeable.

“So far, publishers that have permitted Google to offer searchable digital versions of their new in-print books have seen a small payoff. Macmillan, the company that owns publishing houses including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and St. Martin’s Press and represents authors including Jonathan Franzen and Janet Evanovich, offers 11,000 titles for search on Google. In 2007, Macmillan estimated that Google helped sell about 16,400 copies.”

It might take a while before an author with an out-of-print book notices any sort of profit. Yet there is still another service that this settlement will allow. Maybe it’s not so much the monetary aspect that will make this service so remarkable, but the cultural impact it will have. As this new service continues and expands, hopefully many titles, especially out-of-print Spanish titles will become accessible to those seeking to open a book that no longer exists.

For most, the holiday season has passed. We are now looking to what 2009 will bring. In the last post, we looked at how the economy was impacting the book world, both traditional and digital. 

In the following article though, it seems as though the economy may not be impacting book sales as we thought. 

What’s undermining the book industry is not the absence of casual readers but the changing habits of devoted readers.

Readers are changing, just as the world is. Although we are in a recession and sales in books have decreased, the Internet is to blame a little bit. People use the Internet to buy books as we all know. Books bought online tend to be cheaper, especially with many stores now offering free shipping aside from incredible discounts. The Internet has also become a great resource to look for books (especially if one is looking to find anew author or genre) and a great way to sell books once they have lost their value or are taking up space on much needed shelves.

What is hurting the author and publisher the most are individuals known as “resellers.” 

Some [resellers] list them for as little as a penny, although most aim for at least a buck. This growing market is achieving an aggregate mass that is starting to prove problematic for publishers, new bookstores and secondhand bookstores.

In this new method of selling books, the individual selling the book makes the money. The author and the publisher see…NOTHING. Many of the books that are sold are cheap, as in 1 cent cheap. Why would someone buy a book for $19.95 new when they could get it for almost nothing. Many of the books online that are sold look brand new or have very little wear and tear. 

Although many might suggest that these individuals are taking well deserved income away from hard working authors and publishers, others might argue that resellers are somewhat like Ebay and similar online markets that allow you to sell your old and unwanted goods. The fact that all the proceeds go to the individual who sold the book might seem unfair. Maybe, as this trend picks up someone will find a way to use these online markets to help the author and the publisher.

As the new year approaches and as New Year’s Resolutions are being made, should we be rethinking the way we buy books? 

One consequence has been to change the calculations involved in buying a book. Given the price, do I really want to read this? Now it’s become both an economic and a moral issue? How much do I want to pay, and where do I want that money to go? To my local community via a bookstore? To the publisher? To the author?

Another interesting article: Booksellers and Publishers Nervous as Holiday Season Approaches

View the original article quoted: Bargain Hunting for Books, and Feeling Sheepish About It

According to a article in the online version of the New York Times, Microsoft will be ending it’s efforts to provide a book-based search engine. Unable to compete with Google, Microsoft stated on Friday that they will be “ending a project to scan millions of books and scholarly articles and make them available on the Web.” The project so far, according the article, has digitized over 700,000 books and indexed roughly 80 million journal articles.  

The decision to end this project was based on the following:

“Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer and content partner,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s senior vice president for search, portal and advertising, wrote on the blog.”

This statement may throw people off since Google continues to maintain and improve its book search engine. In fact, Adam smith (product management director at Google) stated that, “[we] are extremely committed to Google Book Search, Google Scholar and other initiatives to bring more content online.” As you may know from reading a previous entry , all of Editorial Campan’s titles are searchable and to some extent viewable though the book search program. So it looks as though users who once used Microsoft’s program will click to Google in order to continue their book searches. Is this a smart move on behalf of Microsoft? According to one individual, although this program was used on a small scale, it was still used, especially by libriarians.

“Mr. Sullivan said that the number of people using book search services from Microsoft and Google was relatively small, but it included librarians, researchers and other so-called early adopters who often influence others. These users are now likely to turn to Google with increasing frequency, he said.”

 Microsoft will slowly faze out their book search engine. Eventually funding for this project will have to come from else where. Is this proof that Google will forever be known as the ultimate search engine and how will this affect how people search for books?

Since 1989, the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents has been working to promote the Latino culture and its people.  The center was established by Dr. Isabel Schon and hopes to answer one of many questions including:

How do we motivate reluctant and struggling Spanish-speaking and Latino children and adolescents to become readers?”

Editorial Campana and Campanita (publisher of My Brain Won’t Float Away/Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando) are also promoting Latino culture and its people. There is a great need for reading material that caters to the many Hispanics living in the United States. Yet aside from libraries and schools, there is still more English literature readily available when you walk into a book store. Making sure that children and adolescents have access to books not only gives them the opportunity to read and learn, but can help them stay out of trouble and encourages positive behavior. Editorial Campana publishes literature in English and Spanish written by Latin@s that dare to challenge the literary canon, conventional social thinking, and that believe in culture as patrimony for everyone. The Barahona Center targets children and adolescents and strives to accomplish the following:

You can read the full article here

The Barahona Center and Editorial Campana are two examples of how we need to make sure that Latino’s have access to reading materials- especially literature that Latinos can relate to.

 

 

Don’t Be So Shy

It’s been almost two months and I haven’t heard a peep from anyone! Not a single comment on my blog! I guess I haven’t been going about this properly. I’ll introduce myself. My name is Alicia and I work for the publishing company Editorial Campana. I started this blog for fun, and my intention has been to post about Editorial Campana and our books and authors, but also about books in general. By being a part of a blogging community, I wanted to share some of my knowledge about publishing, about great websites for book reviews, recommendations, and more and to find the same from other people. Feel free to introduce yourself. Tell me your name and leave a link to your blog if you want. Why do you blog? What do you like about other people’s blogs? Tell me what you like to do, where you’re from, or don’t tell me anything at all!

There are no set in stone rules that all publishing companies follow when it comes to receiving manuscripts. I have read a lot of different “rules” and “tips” on manuscript submission, so think of these more as guidelines to follow when you are preparing to send your manuscript.

  • Do your research. Get to know the publishers that you wish to send your manuscript to. Beware of niche publishers. If you are sending it to small, independent houses, read their mission statements, and be sure that your book fits into it. It may sound obvious, but don’t send your romance novel to a company that only publishes historical non-fiction (okay, that was excessive but you get the idea).
  • Learn everything that you can about your subject. Read books in the same and similar subjects and get a feel for how other authors handle it. See if you can do better. Get ideas, but be creative. Remember, a publisher is not going to want to publish a book that’s already out there.
  • Along the same lines, get to know your target market. If your book is going to be a bestseller, you are going to have to sell it to someone (and anyone is different from someone). If your book doesn’t have a target market, give it one. A publisher is also not going to want a book that is hard to market.
  • Have your manuscript proofread. If you can’t afford a professional proofreader, get at least one other person to look at it and identify spelling and grammar mistakes. This is so important, if this was a numbered list, this tip would be number one. Get other authors to look it over for content as well, especially continuity. Making sure your writing is in top shape is the best way to prove that you are a professional.
  • Find out what format the publisher would prefer to receive your submission in. Follow their guidelines for submission. Some publishers prefer digital copies, others prefer hardcopies. This is important to make sure your manuscript doesn’t wind up in the trash (or the “Recycle Bin”).
  • Send a professional cover letter, along with the synopsis and several sample chapters. It is not always a necessity to have finished the book before you send out your sample for submission, but it is a good idea.
  • Don’t be afraid to self promote! If you can’t sell your book to a publisher, you won’t be able to sell it to audiences. This is a key tip-off to the publisher. Here’s why:
  • The author is the publisher’s best marketing tool. You have to be willing to help market your book, so do not even try to get published unless you are willing to do so.
  • Be prepared to wait. It may take 4-6 weeks for a response (or more, or less, depending on the publisher and their current volume of submissions), so be patient. If you haven’t heard back in a reasonable amount of time, follow-up.
  • And I will end this list on the one universal rule, yes rule, not a guideline, in getting published. Don’t be discouraged. Probability says you will receive more no’s than yes’s, and just because this happens doesn’t mean your subject or your writing is bad–just not what the publisher is looking for at the time.

Alicia Castaneda, Managing Editor

Tonight at Columbia University Bookstore in New York, NY…

Join us for Children’s Story Hour with Annette Perez reading from her bilingual children’s book My Brain Won’t Float Away/Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando, an autobiographical story about her experiences growing up with hydrocephalus.

WHAT: Children Story Hour @ Columbia University With Annette Perez
WHEN: TONIGHT! Tuesday, February 5th 6:00 PM
WHERE: Columbia University Bookstore
ADDRESS: 2922 Broadway, Alfred Lerner Hall Ground Level, New York, NY 10027/ Tel: 212-854-4131
PRICE: Free and Open to the Public

Also, check out this video of a piece about Annette on Despierta America (in Spanish). She really has an incredible story. You can read more about her and her book here.

Alicia