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Seattle7

From: Mark
Sent on: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:23 PM
Dear Seattle Writers Group - Daylight Hours Member:

I belong to several other writers' groups, and from time to time, I will pass on information that may be of interest to you:

Get Readers with the Seattle Seven

With the boom of the eBook and slashed marketing money for print publishing, authors need to work their own publicity and marketing.

You and 45 others can dine with some of the Seattle 7 Writers next Tuesday, Sept. 7 via the Seattle Free Lances meeting at 6 p.m. in Lake City. Cost is $18, all of which goes to the caterer. After dinner, three of the Seven will speak about their local methods of building readership.

Authors Kit Bakke, Erica Bauermeister and Jennie Shortridge will share ideas from marketing and publicizing, to workshops and energizing the reading community.

And they'll answer questions during their time on the floor.

Reservations are required. RSVP to [address removed]. For more information, go to the Seattle Free Lances site at http://seattlefreelances.wordpress.com/ and the Seattle 7 Writers site at http://www.seattle7writers.org/home/, or Google search either group's name.

==================

And here is the start of my September column about what the eBook means to writers (the end of it, Part 2, will come in a separate email):

E-books make huge gains
By Mark Hennon

They didn?t use the words, but two big Seattle companies might as well have said ?Print is dead? this summer.

Of course, it isn?t, because hardcover sales are up at Seattle-based Amazon.com, the largest online bookseller.

But when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said his customers ?now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books,? the electronic writing on the wall of print publishing became a vivid mural.

Although it launched its Kindle less than three years ago, Amazon reported that its second-quarter U.S. sales this year were 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcovers ? not including free Kindle books, and even including sales of hardcovers that have no Kindle edition.

In June, that ratio increased to[masked], or 80 percent more Kindle than hardcover.

Bezos predicted the trend will continue, with Amazon?s e-book sales surpassing paperbacks within a year, and eventually exceeding Amazon?s total sales of all hardcovers and paperbacks combined.

Other e-book devices, such as Apple?s iPad, Barnes & Noble?s Nook, and Sony?s Reader, are also selling well.

Costco cuts book sections
At the brick-and-mortar level, Seattle-based mega-wholesaler Costco has cut its stores? book sections in half, with more than 40 percent of the downsized tables now stocking children?s books, coffee-table books, cookbooks, calendars, and playing cards.

Novels once carried in depth barely cover smaller endcap displays.

As canny as Costco has proven to be in managing its floor space, the reduction felt brutal to some customers, and made the reality of print?s future viscerally shocking. ?My God, what happened?? one shopper said.

Agents defy publishers to go e-book
On a third front, author agency Wylie has defied Random House to strike a deal to publish its authors? titles electronically. With Amazon, no less.

The novels in question are all still in print and apparently under contracts that did not expressly give print publishers electronic rights.

Titles include Lolita, Portnoy?s Complaint, Ralph Ellison?s Invisible Man, John Updike?s Rabbit novels, The Stories of John Cheever, The Adventures of Augie March, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Although the Author?s Guild hailed the agency for taking action against print publishers? extremely low offers on e-book compensation to authors (Amazon?s paying almost three times as much), it expressed concern over Amazon?s role, stating ?Amazon has, time and again, wielded its clout in the industry ruthlessly, with little apparent regard for its relationships with authors or publishers, or, for that matter, antitrust rules.?

[continued in separate email "Seattle7, part 2"]

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