The Morning Coffee – 21 February 2014

Top stories this Friday morning include commentaries on Google (link), iBooks Author (link), fictional alien worlds (link), the misleading assumption that traditional publishing is a choice (link), and more.

  • How Google missed the boat (Scripting)
  • iBooks Author tempts you with bling (Studio Tendra)
  • In Defense of Short Sentences (Indies Unlimited)
  • Is Traditional Publishing a Choice? Not really. (
  • The Worst Blunders People Make in Inventing Fictional Alien Worlds (io9)
  • You can kill a paperback, but long live the ebook (TeleRead)

About Nate Hoffelder (11467 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 21 February 2014

  1. The only people who can actually *choose* to publish traditionally are those that already part of the system. The choice for everybody else is to self-publish, submit and pray, or go home.

    And the whole submit thing has in recent years come to remind me of the old and most rude of acronyms: BOGU. Or the less rude marine version: BOHICA.

    Anybody who wants to cast aspersions on indie publishers should first research the predatory terms to be found in modern “industry standard” contracts.

  2. A writer who has gone through the agent-publisher submission process and is offered a deal by a traditional publisher does indeed have a choice: he can accept the deal offered or he can turn it down and self-publish for the speculative benefits to be gotten from publishing himself.

    If this wasn’t in fact a choice, we wouldn’t have so many posts, like Bunker’s, or Barry Eisler’s at Joe Konrath’s blog, comparing the literary lotteries of traditional and self-publishing.

    • yes, but what fraction of those who submit a manuscript are offered a contract? For the vast majority there is no choice; it’s closer to being struck by lightning than choosing.

      • It can get even worse. Often times a writer is asked to rewrite their work on spec, based on the agent or publisher or often even the assistant’s notes. They can go down a path where they make changes to try to please some middle person, and even then they can get rejected. But once you’ve allowed yourself to ask someone else’s permission for acceptance, it’s hard to not take their “expert” advice.

        Apparently that is part of what happened with John Kennedy Toole, he was asked to rewrite by Robert Gottlieb of Simon & Schuster and still got rejected. (His book, of course, A Confederacy of Dunces, famously went on to win a Pulitzer prize.) Obviously, it took a huge toll on him.

  3. Also, I thought the Google piece was very interesting, but I had to scratch my head when he said people aren’t blogging as much anymore (in his blog).

    Then the following links (including Michael Bunker’s great blog post) seemed to disprove it.

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