Morning Coffee – 10 August 2018

Morning Coffee - 10 August 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Friday morning.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

9 Comments

  1. Richard Hershberger10 August, 2018

    That essay on digital presses is very odd. The suspicion with non-traditionally published books is that we, the readers, are being asked to pay to read the slush pile. Sometimes this is unfair, but often it is. This essay unintentionally makes the “slush pile” case, with non sequiturs, weird paragraph breaks, sentence fragments, ambiguous pronoun antecedents, et cetera. It is, in short, badly written. It also clearly is unedited. Minimally competent copy editing would have fixed many of the problems.

    Yes, I know that J. K. Rowling got a bunch of rejections. That tells us something interesting about traditional publishing. But what exactly? I’m not sure, but I know that it does not tell me that I want to read the slush pile.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 August, 2018

      Well, no, Rowling really didn’t get very many rejections. That’s actually a myth; there are authors who get over a hundred rejections before getting accepted by a tradpub.

      And thanks for the comment on the editing; I too thought that but I wasn’t sure if I was misreading it.

      Reply
      1. Richard Hershberger10 August, 2018

        OK, you made me look. This article https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/24/jk-rowling-tells-fans-twitter-loads-rejections-before-harry-potter-success
        says it was taken up by the second agent she submitted it to, and he sent it out to twelve publishers before it was accepted. This is still interesting, but considerably less dramatic than what the story has grown into.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder10 August, 2018

          TI should have added that this is actually a common myth about Rowling, and I guess people use it to show that even she struggled.

          I didn’t know she was accepted by her second agent; that too is surprisingly faster than average.

          Reply
  2. Will Entrekin10 August, 2018

    Yeah, the slant on the “Build Your Own Small Press” is amusing if not exactly surprising. Of course one of the major callouts is “A self-publisher is just a publisher who ended up not becoming a publisher.”

    When really it’s the opposite: “self-publishing” is a small press founded by one author whose list consists solely of his or her own books. And that’s where a lot of small presses started, as noted in the article.

    I hope someday we fully move away from the “self-publishing” phrase.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 August, 2018

      That’s where Random House started.

      Reply
      1. Will Entrekin10 August, 2018

        Joking, yeah?

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder10 August, 2018

          I was serious but also wrong. I thought Bennett Cerf started the company to publish friend’s works, but I was mistaken.

          Reply
          1. Richard Hershberger10 August, 2018

            His memoir “At Random” is well worth reading: a fascinating look at publishing in that era. My recollection is that he co-founded Random House with a partner by buying The Modern Library from his employer, with the bulk of his share of the cash being his inheritance from his grandfather.

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