Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dancing with elephants

In a blog about science fiction, written by an SF author, it's hard to imagine not commenting on the conflict that erupted last weekend between Macmillan and Amazon. Macmillan, as in the parent company of Tor Books: the largest American publisher of SF. Amazon, as in certainly one of the largest booksellers around.

For the latest news about the business issues and differences of opinion between these two corporate giants, look here.

Lost in the noise is how their disagreement impacts authors and readers.  Print and Kindle editions of books by Tor authors remain unavailable from Amazon, except from used-book resellers.

(If you ever wondered ... an author won't make a penny if someone buys a used book. But Amazon and its reseller still profit.) 

This blog is syndicated to Amazon, and so I'll refrain from naming competitors. That shouldn't stop you -- if the mood comes over you to acquire any of the books Amazon is boycotting (full discloure: five books of mine fall into that category) -- from finding those books elsewhere.

3 comments:

Edward M. Lerner said...

Update: my Macmillan titles (including Kindle editions) are once again for sale at Amazon.

As for how close Amazon and Macmillan are to settling the bigger issues ... I wish I knew.

- Ed

Brian said...

Dear Mr. Lerner:

I just finished D of W and I have a quick question: is this the last book of the series, or are there others to come?

I'm sure you also get requests to look at manuscripts by unpublished authors, so here's mine.

I've written a story that is somewhat similar to the Gw'oth (just how do you pronounce that?), but is set on Europa.

My problem is that I don't have an agent... sort of a Catch-22. You can't write a book without an agent and you can't get an agent unless you have published a book.

Are you allowed to look at manuscripts? Please let me know if you'd like to see this.

Rick Steele
Sarasota, Florida

Edward M. Lerner said...

Hi Rick,

I'm glad you enjoyed Destroyer. Yes, there will be at least one more novel in the series (I don't know why some reviews call Fleet/Juggler/Destroyer of Worlds a trilogy.)

Yes, breaking into publishing is a challenge. While I don't have the time to look at your manuscript, maybe I can offer a bit of relevant experience: submit to the SF magazines (e.g., Analog, Asimov's F&SF). A short-fiction sale to any pro magazine or e-zine (and all are open to new writers) will give your queries more credibility with agents. And as soon as you sell a story in a pro market, you'll qualify for associate membership in SFWA (www.sfwa.org).

Good luck!

- Ed