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S.G. Cardin
Saturday, 25 April 2009
POEM - Shattered by the Light of the Moon
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Just finished watching "Bottle Shock" on DVD
Topic: Writing

This is a French form of poetry similiar to the Kyrielle.

 There are 16 lines, 4 quatrains.
 A refrain is in a different line each quatrain. In the 1st quatrian it is in line 1, in the 2nd quatrain, it is in line 2. in the 3rd quatrain, it is in line 3, in the 4th quatrain, it is in line 4.
 There are 8 syllables per line.
 It does not follow a set rythme scheme.


Shattered by the light of the Moon

Shattered by the light of the moon,
I dropped to the forest ground.
His words were icy and bitter.
Heartbreak's cold arrow would not come out.

I shivered, stung, pricked by ice,
shattered by the light of the moon.
Once done, my nocturnal lover
walked away, no compassion

splayed upon his face, no cold grace.
My brittle bones ached, my skin quaked,
shattered by the light of the moon.
Rejection, so cooly done rent.

Dark hours past, sunrise's twilight peeks
out over an obsidian cloud.
My doomed heart, beating still, was
shattered by the light of the moon.


Posted by sgcardin at 11:05 AM
Updated: Saturday, 25 April 2009 11:06 AM
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Saturday, 7 March 2009
The Soul of an Isle - A poem about St. Patrick's Day
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing

Thought I'd share this poem about St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy. Steph

***

 

From Dublin to Derry,
there's one day to make merry.
Top o' the mornin' to you
on St. Paddy's Day.

It's time to wear green,
and revel in the dreams
of an Irish saint,
on St. Paddy's Day.

Irish raiders took a young lad prisoner,
but that didn't stop him from becoming a minster.
He'd walk'd the forty shades o' green
with no fear or malice
on St. Paddy's Day.

He paid homage to Easter with bonfires,
musical notes on a lyre.
A sun on a cross;
three leaf shamrocks
honor St. Paddy's Day.

Three leaves of clover,
found in Dover,
helped explain the Holy Trinity
to those on St. Paddy's Day.

Four leaves of clover be rare,
yet they compel care.
Hope, Faith, Love, Happiness all,
bring joy on St. Paddy's Day.

Maewyn now Patrick;
no ill-will to prick.
Visions from God,
began his good mission,
on St. Paddy's Day.

A man's soul bound tight,
An Emerald Isle bathed in light,
A tale woen in myths and legends
inspire all on St. Paddy's Day.

 

*********
3/6/2009
in Honor of St. Patrick's Day.


Posted by sgcardin at 12:20 PM
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Monday, 16 February 2009
THought of the day - Life & Ebooks
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Sirius XM Sat. Radio
Topic: Writing

I know it's been a while as usual, but last week was crazy.  I didn't have Monday off as I usually do, so that threw me off. Then I had to stay up on Tuesday while we paid a visit to the taxman.  I wasn't too happy with our tax returns but a little something is better than nothing.  We're supposed to get 400 back from California. {e:laugh} Cold Day in Hell, I suppose. The state is tetering on bankrupcy. Well, let it go. Every poltician in this state is corupt - but that's a post for another time.

I couldn't even find time to make my gym appointments for my trainer last week. I did make it to Weight Watchers were I droped 1.2 pounds.  This week has been a challenge for me.  We visited our favorite French restaurant on Friday in early celebration of Valentine's Day. I had my usual, the filet mignon which was delicious as usual. (Actually, it was a little red in the middle. I asked for medium and well, it was rare,) but I ate anyway. It was a nice dinner, but I'm still recovering from that.  If I lose .2 this week I'll be thrilled.

The weekend wasn't too busy, but it rained and it's torture for two boys under 6 to be in the house due to the rain. Joe's doing good w/his therapies. His child development therapist has evalutated him at 23 months which is fantastic from his first eval.  (He's now at 30 months) There's still work to be done, but thrilled at the progress.

That said, I thought I'd share the thought of the day with you: EBOOKS.

So, how many have ebooks?  How many ebooks do you have? How do your read them? On your computer or on a Kindle or a similiar ebook reader?  Why do you like ebooks. What's the appeal to you?

I ask because I don't have an ebook. Well, I have two ebook short stories, but that's about it. They're on my computer. Personally, ebooks don't appeal to me (right now) because I love getting my hands on a paper book, but that's not to say I'm not totally turned off by ebooks.

So what's happening with ebooks? Amazon is releasing Kindle 2 on 24 and it's going to have a new "controversal" feature - text to speech. What's text to speech? It's where the Kindle will read the text of the book outloud in a computerized voice.

The Author's Guild calls this a violation of copyright law since only an audio book has rights to read a book out loud.  BUT DO THEY? That's what they claim. Amazon says this is different. This is a computer reading the book, not actors giving voice to a story. Amazon and a lot of the experts in the field think they have the law on their side, but if they go ahead with Kindle 2 then their might be a lawsuit from the Author's Guild.

So why buck the trend? Is ebooks the next BEST Thing?

Well, heck, there was unhappiness with CDs and and the Internet when they first started out, too.  A lot of the Author's Guild complaints stem from the fact that they don't want to open the gates to an area they can't control. Even the publishing houses are afraid of change.

Think of it this way - if you self publish and offer a book through your website - you take 100% (or most of) the profit without having to go through the publishing gatekeepers.

Is that cool? Well - self publishing doesn't have a good rep. Sadly, most of what is self published is not up to par, suffering from editiorial and proofreading mistakes. Self published books like "The Shack" are few and far between. Until self publishing gets a better rep, ebooks (at least the self published ones) won't take off.  The crux: Most ebooks are self-published.  Traditional publishers are afraid to go there - yet.  That said, if they could jump on the techno bandwagon, they might see their profits increase at a time when the traditional market is suffering right now.  Heck, Harper and Collins just recently laid of 25% of it's workforce.  Not Cool.

If the publishing industry wants to be innovative in this publishing downturn my advice would be to explore ebooks. But that's just me.  Anyone else have any thoughts on ebooks?

Smiles,
Steph


Posted by sgcardin at 5:40 PM
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Monday, 26 January 2009
Thoughts on Amazon's Kindle
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing

Here's something that I thought was Cool - I was at work the other day and one of my co-workers had a Kindle by Amazon.  A Kindle is basically an electronic book reader. It always one to read e-books and e-stories. He was gracious enough to say he paid about $300 for it.  I was very impressed with it but I almost gagged on the price. He also said Amazon was backed up on orders until March and the backup was getting longer.  I got the impression that the Kindle was in high demand.

On my Writing Workshop group, I learned that there are other ebook readers that range from between $230-300.  Ereaders therefore, aren't cheep, but at my work, I can see why my co-worker liked it. I have a feeling ebook readers are going to get more popular.  Many on my writing group felt the price would come down as well.  Let's face it, I liked the Kindle but I couldn't afford it. Still - I liked the concept of reading ebooks like that.

Does anyone else have a Kindle?  Thoughts on it?
Smile
Steph


Posted by sgcardin at 6:56 AM
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Friday, 23 January 2009
Writing thoughts on PLOT
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Underworld 3 - Rise of the Lycans
Topic: Writing

Hi all. I found an interesting article about PLOT the other day which got me to thinking about my own story plots and what works and what doesn't work.  That said, I thought I'd share some words about PLOT and PLOTTING and how important it is to a story and how it's effected my own storywriting.  I hope you find some useful info to take away with you.
 
For me, plot is a sequence of events that carries a story from beginning to end. It involves the evolution of the main character and tells a compelling story. Plot must compel the reader to turn the page - the character is that element which keeps the reader there.

So what's the plot? Introduce a sympathetic character who tackles a difficult problem and overcomes it by the end of the story.  As the character goes on this journey, he or she must change (or not).

So how do you start a story? One thing I've learned is to start in the middle of an action sequence and show the reader how the main character gets out of it. This beginning involves the reader.  At a MIN - put the main character in motion - have him moving - walking or running, but have them in motion.  That also engages the reader.

While introductory background information is generally discouraged - if employed carefully, it can work well. In my novel, "The Wolf's Torment," 10 year old Mihai (my main character in this novel) and his mother are being chased by an evil witch. THe action of the chase is met to draw in the reader giving the reader a little background information on Mihai and his mother which is important because Mihai always considers what she would do when he encounters major life decisions.

In my forthcoming novel, 'Twilight Over Moldavia," it starts in the moment. (No prologue) Michael and Stefan are in the heat of a horse race.

As you start keep this mind - do you start with action? Or do you start with a telling scene full of background info that doesn't engage the reader?  That's a very important PLOT element you have to consider when working on your story.

Another thing that works for me - make a ROUGH outline of the story - and I do mean rough. Start with your action orientated event then introduce a series of challenges for your main character to overcome and then by the end of the story show how the character has grown or hasn't. I mean rough because sometimes your character may dictate a different series of events you didn't originally plot. THAT'S OKAY. Go with it. At the end of the story the character should get to where you intended them to go.

By doing prelimilary work on my story including Drafting a Plot, it will show in a quality story that is engaging, compelling, and a page turner.

THOUGHTS On Meyer's TWILIGHT
I'm still reading this book but I'll be honest - I didn't find the opening sequence too enaging. Bella switching schools just felt like a routine sequence to me. I will say the character's voice was good - it had to minus the lack of an engaging opening, but if I didn't know Bella was going to met a vampire, Edward, that she falls in love with, I might not have stayed with the opening as long as I did.  I think a better place for Meyer to have started is where Bella, as a new student walks into her biology class and notices Edward's reaction to her. For me, that was the first engaging scene of the novel?

Thoughts?
Smiles,
Steph

Just a quickie note on some life stuff:  good news I'm down a pound at Weight Watchers this week so I feel like I'm off to a good start.  Two pounds total in two weeks and a total 16 pound weight loss in my journey - which by the way started in Jan 2007!! I'm also going to see UNDERWORLD 3 today and I'm very excited about that. I haven't seen a movie in a movie theatre in like 8 months.

Smiles to all
Steph


Posted by sgcardin at 12:35 PM
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Sunday, 18 January 2009
Life and thoughts on the publishing world
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Sirius Sat. Radio - 1st Wave
Topic: Writing

Just thought I'd pop in and say "Hi." It's been a busy week.  I work at night from 10 pm to 6 am and it's been a challenging week.  Some of my challenges?

Sleeping.  I'm only averaging 5 hours at home after working all night. I have to work in more sleep, but my body is waking up.  I suppose it's still adjusting to the new schedule.

Weight Watchers.  I lost .8 pounds this past week.  Can't complain but I thought it would be more. I'm sticking it to it though. My husband lost 5 pounds. The bum.  But I do realize boys/girls lose weight differently and my weight loss isn't going to be as easy as his.  It's encouraging. 

Writing
I found one day to write one chapter of my paranormal romance. Now the challenge is to find time to post it here on WDC for feedback.

Now I was crusing my writing group and I found this recent tidbit from "Shelf Awareness:"

"Shelf Awareness" has recently reported that Barnes & Noble is downsizing for the FIRST time in the company's history. THey eliminated nearly 100 positions in their corporate headquarters. B&N have approx. 40,000 employees and 800 stores overall.

MY THOUGHTS
Even B&N is not immune to today's tough economic times, however this looks like a restrucing move to me. I think think restructing is important and it's probably what has to happen to avoid a bankruptcy. I think there's A LOT of overhead in today's business and I think a vast majority of business can go for some streamling and restructuing.  I'll be monitoring B&N along with Borders to see how today's economy continues to effect them - and us.

Books on the reading list:

The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erikson
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
Armed & Dangerous by William Queen.

Anyone else want to share their reading list?

Currently reading: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer


Posted by sgcardin at 6:06 AM
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Saturday, 10 January 2009
Thoughts on Borders and a book review
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: The Bangles, Different Light
Topic: Writing
THE WRITING WORLD

I hear that Border is having troubles. They didn't "Internet" savvy until lately and it may be too late. While Amazon and Barnes & Nobles began an Internet campaign in the early 2000's, Borders didn't get really active with it until 2006. Borders also didn't offer a rewards/membership card like B&N until recently. To make it appealing, they offered it free, but still, it may be a little late. I heard they just fired their CEO, and that can't be good. Borders is also downsized their stock that they keep in stores - 85K which is hard to match B&N 140K - 150K stock. I would hate to see Borders go under but I think they need to come up with something that is unique and their own to stay afloat. I'll be monitoring Borders in the next couple of months and come back with a occassional updates.

I'll be tackling element of Romance Gothic in my next official newsletter and have the winners of my poetry contest announced. I hope to have the newsletter out next week so be on the lookout for it.

And now for a book review...

Book Review for: “Wanting Something More”
Written by: Kathy Love
340 pages
Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0-8217-7614-2
$5.99
4.5 Stars

Kathy Love tells the story of Marty Stepp, the supermodel sister in the “Stepp Sister” series. “Wanting Something More,” finds Marty visiting her sisters in Millbrook, Maine during the winter months only to meet up with Nathaniel Peck, a previous paramour that broke her heart. Love weaves a delightful contemporary romance that will leave the reader anxiously turning the page.

The story opens with Mary returning to Millbrook to get in touch with her roots. She has supermodel burnout and was just ditched by her boyfriend who turned out to be gay. Stuck in a blizzard, the town’s top cop, Nathaniel Peck, comes to her rescue. Marty’s immediately distrustful of him. He hurt her pride back in high school with a mean-spirited kiss. Nate appears to be a changed man. He takes being a cop seriously and he strives to be an honorable police officer. He’s remorseful for treating Marty so badly in high school, but Marty is a hard sell.

Nate finally gets Marty to go out for a cup of coffee. Marty slowly eases into a dating relationship with Nate. She’s still a little afraid that he might be tricking her. When she discovers from her sisters that he was attacked while sleeping and his knee was injured, Marty starts to soften toward him.

While out on a date with Nate, Jared Nye, another old classmate comes onto Marty with a forceful kiss. Nate breaks it up and takes Marty to his place. They make love, spending the next twenty-four hours trapped by a snowstorm, getting to know each other well.

Once they’re able to get out, an old school chum, Josie, who knows Jared and Nate, tells Marty that Nate is using her - again. Josie has been put up to this by Jared. Marty can’t bear the thought of Nate using her and leaves. Nate goes after Marty once he finds out the truth – that Josie and Jared set him up. Can he convince Marty that his love is real?

Love’s writing is sharp. Marty’s life as a supermodel, while glamorous, lacks substance. Her vulnerability will touch the heartstrings. Nate is a likable guy who has changed his ways and readers will find themselves rooting for Marty and Nate. The dialogue is crisp and spirited. The love scenes are visual and emotional. Love does write in a “Lonesome Dove” point of view which switches with no clear breaks or division. This might be disconcerting for some readers. The plot moves forward seamlessly. “Wanting Something More” is a delicious way to spend the weekend.

Posted by sgcardin at 11:39 AM
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Thursday, 8 January 2009
Just dropping off a book review...
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing

Just thought I'd drop this off for you Harry Potter fans...

 

Book Review for: “The Tales of Beedle The Bard”

Written by: JK Rowling

Scholastic, Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-545-12828-5

$12.99

5 Stars

 

Discover Harry Potter’s wizarding world’s unique fairytales in “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.” Filled with wizarding fables that invoke “Grimm’s Fairytales,” these five short stories carry messages of hope, morality, and virtue. Rowling expands Harry Potter’s universe by sharing these magical fairytales in a writing style that’s easy to read and appeals not only to children, but adults as well.

 

The most compelling story is that of the three brothers. They encounter death as they cross a bridge. Death gives them each a gift – the elder wand, a stone that brings back the dead, and the cloak of invisibility. It is this story which is referenced in book seven of the Harry Potter series and it gives Voldemort’s driving desire to possess these objects perspective, as Voldemort was trying to find a way to cheat death.

 

The other stories are just as interesting. In “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” a self-serving wizard refuses to share the hopping pot with the townsfolk. His refusal to help others leads the hopping pot to drive him crazy until he does. In Dumbledore’s footnotes, Rowling cleverly ties in legends of our own history and talks about how the wizarding community and humans came to have separate societies.

 

“The Fountain of Fair Fortune” rebuilds trust between muggles and the magical. Three witches and a knight go on a quest and discover what they were looking for was more in their hearts than in their magic.

 

“The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” tells what happens when a magician gives up his humanity by removing his heart. Its probably the most gory of the fairytales – but its also one that captures the essence of the Grimm stories.

 

“Babbity Rabbitty and her Crackling Stump,” is one of the first stories in Harry Potter’s universe that deals with Animagi – those wizards and witches who can change into animals. In it, an arrogant king wants to be the only one who can do magic in the kingdom. A sly charlatan who can’t do magic, fools the king into becoming the Grand Sorcerer. When the king puts the charlatan on the spot, he turns to Babbitty, an old witch, to help him fool the king.

 

All the stories have folksy, fairytale appeal. They read like we would expect a fairytale to. The use of magic in the story makes little difference to the moral of the story being told.

 

The book complements Rowling’s Harry Potter series well. The writing is easy to understand. The stories are well paced. Rowling makes her characters appealing with little emotional touches reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. Overall, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” is a book all will enjoy.

 


Posted by sgcardin at 11:14 AM
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Sunday, 28 December 2008
More Publishing Industry Thoughts & Comments
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing
This is another piece I found on my Mike's Writing Workshop Group that I belong to on Yahoogroups.com:

David Didriksen, a bookstore from Massachusetts had an interesting
op/ed in 12/22/08  Shelf Awareness:

"These are hard times for our publishing brethren, and by extension,
for booksellers as well. Large publishers have been placing a
moratorium on new titles, laying off workers, firing executives and
scrambling to downsize. The lay-offs are likely to continue and
booksellers are the ones most likely to feel the aftershock."

Mr. Didriksen lists the following issues:

**an industry bloated by years of inefficiency

**cranking out too many inferior products, while failing to leverage
the best assets in its portfolio: backlist titles

**publishers that have commoditized themselves into a corner, trying
to live solely off blockbusters for the benefit of huge mass market
chains and Amazon.

As an aside, I was struck by how similar this list is to the issues
facing American automakers: failure to adapt to new technology and
focusing on short-term best-selling products instead of thinking
ahead to the future."  --  This comment is from Maya, the person who brought the piece to the group, and I have to agree with it. I think the big thing, for me, is failure to adapt to new technology, but focusing on the short term hasn't helped the industry either.

". . . publishers could benefit from new efficiencies and creative
new initiatives. Publishers might even rediscover the intrinsic value
of backlist sales . . . And Amazon is getting so powerful, it may
someday wonder whether it needs publishers at all."

"Booksellers and publishers once acted as partners in the book
industry, developing authors and promoting backlist titles, before
the lure of quick bucks in mass merchandising channels changed the
relationship. Now may be a good time to get back to basics and do
business together again if we all want to survive."

 This may help the traditional market right now and act like a transition tool like the hybrid is for the auto industry.  (what a comparison!)

Getting back to basics will help, I think. We've become so bloated on "I want it right now" and "mass marketing" techniques, I think we've gotten away from the more personalized touch of traditional publishing and marketing.  

From seeing articles like these, I'm not surprised the publishing world needs restructuring, just like the auto industry.  Let's see what happens...

Steph

Posted by sgcardin at 8:01 AM
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Sunday, 21 December 2008
Thoughts on the Publishing Industry & These Tough Economic Times
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing
I belong to Mike's Writing Workshop on Yahoogroups and there were a couple of News articles I wanted to bring here and share my thoughts with you:

1ST ARTICLE

Got this off a news website.

NEW YORK – Another book publisher is cutting jobs: Macmillan, where
authors include Thomas Friedman, Rick Atkinson and Janet Evanovich, is
eliminating 64 positions, just under 4 percent of its work force.

"Going forward we are tightening our belts in response to the current
recession, but we are also reorganizing and rethinking our business to
position ourselves for the long term," Macmillan CEO John Sargent
wrote in a company memo, a copy of which was obtained Monday by The
Associated Press.


ME: Yes, I definitely think reorganizing is a MUST in today's tough economic times, but what will it mean for the publishing industry? How do you reorganize? What are the priorities?


Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Thomas Nelson also
have announced layoffs in recent weeks. Staff reductions are likely at
Random House Inc., which is undergoing a significant consolidation.
Other publishers, including Macmillan, have frozen wages or deferred
raises.

Sargent said Monday that it was "necessary to adjust our company and
become more efficient in the face of the market we are dealing with."
He added that there would be no cuts in the budget for acquiring books.

 Me: That's good for us aspiring authors hunting for the traditional publishing contract.

"That's 100 percent unchanged," he said in an interview.

In a move Sargent said he had been looking into for months, Macmillan
will combine its seven children's companies into a single division,
the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, effective Jan. 1. Macmillan
also plans reductions through a "centralized business and production
group for its adult and children's publishing companies," according to
the memo.

Other changes include the increased use of digital technology and
reducing Macmillan's presence at BookExpo America, the industry's
annual national convention. In the Internet age, other publishers have
questioned BookExpo's role; the show's manager, Lance Fensterman, has
said he is looking at ways to make the show more affordable and more
productive.

 ME: Consolidation and increase digital technology. Use of Internet Marketing, I wonder? Streamlining BookExpo of America.  I think are good moves, considering the times.

"I think it makes more sense to funnel our marketing dollars
elsewhere," Sargent said, referring to the book convention.

Macmillan's publishers include St. Martin's Press, Henry Holt & Co.
and Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Macmillan is owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg
von Holtzbrinck, based in Stuttgart, Germany.

"We will remain a loose federation of publishers producing and selling
a remarkable collection of books by exceptional authors," Sargent
wrote in the memo.

************

2ND ARTICLE

Layoffs at Random House, Simon & Schuster

By HILLEL ITALIE – Dec 3, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — The economy has crashed down on an industry once
believed immune from the worst — book publishing — with consolidation
at Random House Inc., and layoffs at Simon & Schuster and Thomas
Nelson Publishers.

"Yes, Virginia, book publishing is NOT recession proof," said Patricia
Schroeder, president and chief executive officer of the Association of
American Publishers. "It's sad day."

At Random House, the country's largest general trade publisher, the
man who helped give the world "The Da Vinci Code" is in talks for a
new position, while the publisher of Danielle Steel and other
brand-name authors is leaving altogether.

Stephen Rubin, who released Dan Brown's blockbuster thriller in 2003,
is negotiating for a different job after Random House eliminated his
position as president and publisher of the Doubleday Publishing Group.
Bantam Dell head Irwyn Applebaum, whose many authors have included
Steel, Dean Koontz and Louis L'Amour, is departing, effective immediately.

Ouch. The guys the authors trust is leaving? Is he that expensive? 

Random House, under the leadership of chief executive officer Markus
Dohle, announced the changes Wednesday as part of a "new publishing
structure" that will "maximize our growth potential in these
challenging economic times and beyond."

Spokeswoman Carol Schneider would not say whether Applebaum, 54, was
leaving voluntarily; Applebaum and Rubin, 67, have more than 40 years
of combined experience in publishing. She said that layoffs are
possible as the company's many imprints and divisions are shifted and
split up.

"There may be difficult decisions to make and if layoffs are necessary
they will be done as fairly and as quickly as possible," she said.

Simon & Schuster has been helped by President-elect Barack Obama's
embrace of Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," but not enough to
save some 35 positions, about 2 percent of the staff. CEO Carolyn
Reidy said in a company memo Wednesday that "today's action is an
unavoidable acknowledgment of the current book-selling marketplace and
what may very well be a prolonged period of economic instability. "

Reidy added that "the entire publishing industry is coping with these
truly difficult circumstances. "

On Tuesday, a top executive at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt resigned as
the publisher faces a credit squeeze and possible sale. Meanwhile, the
head of Thomas Nelson Publishers, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company
that releases religious books, announced that about 10 percent of the
staff, "54 of our friends and co-workers," had lost their jobs.

"This will affect nearly every department in our company," CEO Thomas
S. Hyatt wrote on his blog, http://www.michaelh yatt.com.

An overhaul has been expected at Random House ever since Dohle was
hired last spring by parent company Bertelsmann AG, a German-based
conglomerate, and began a planned months-long review of the publisher.

Last month, Random House said it would freeze pensions for current
employees and eliminate them for new hires.


Me: Ouch! No pensions for new hires? 

Under the new alignment, Random House will reduce the number of its
principal divisions from five to three: The Random House Publishing
Group, the longtime home to E.L. Doctorow and Maya Angelou; the Knopf
Publishing Group, a literary institution that includes Toni Morrison
and John Updike; and the Crown Publishing Group, known for such
political authors as Obama and Ann Coulter.

Applebaum's Bantam Dell Publishing Group and Rubin's Doubleday
Publishing Group will be dispersed among the three divisions. Bantam
has long been in trouble as sales for mass market paperbacks dropped,
while Doubleday has been hurt by the absence of Brown's long-awaited
follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code" and by disappointing sales for a
highly publicized debut novel, Andrew Davidson's "The Gargoyle."

Dohle said Wednesday that he is hoping to "create a new role" for
Rubin at Random House, working directly with the CEO.

"As you know, Steve has successfully led Doubleday for almost two
decades and is universally respected and admired throughout the
industry for both his publishing expertise and management skills,"
Dohle said in a company memo.

Rubin, through a spokesman, declined to comment Wednesday.

Applebaum said in a statement he had been "honored to work with a
long-standing team of extraordinarily skilled colleagues at Bantam
Dell who, book by book, year after year, consistently have brought to
the marketplace more top-level best-sellers than any other group of
Random House."

Asked if he had been offered another position at Random House,
Applebaum declined to comment.

Dohle is retaining at least one Random House tradition — allowing the
divisions to bid against each other for books, a practice far more
welcomed by authors and agents than by those worried about expenses.

Me: This sounds good, considering the purse straps are tightening.

"I want to stress the fact that all the imprints of Random House will
retain their distinct editorial identities," Dohle said Wednesday.
"These imprints and all of you who support them are the creative core
of our business and essential to our success."

Also, Wednesday, The New York Times announced its 10 best books for
2008. Nine of them, including Toni Morrison's "A Mercy" and Jhumpa
Lahiri's "Unaccustomed Earth," were published by Random House Inc.

TRENDS: (Thoughts from me)

What does it mean for the future of publishing? Look at the last 10-20 years. 2 Big things have happened:

# 1 - Publishing has moved to BIG publishing houses and away from medium sized firms.

#2 - Publishers spend outrageous amounts of money to support just a handful of books they think will be successful.

Print books are here to stay, I firmly believe that. Yes, there's been an expansion in self-published books for about 10 years since IUniverse and other self-publishing firms developed, but the digital media used here, is not the same digital media traditional firms want to tap into. I think we're going to see less money thrown at traditional marketing strategies and more cost effective marketing via the Internet.

People still like to sit down and rip into a meaty book.  I do think the publishing industry is going to re-examine how they do business and MARKETING is a big area they are going to look at next to layoffs. They need to tighten the purse straps.

MY PREDICTIONS:

I think you're going to see less money thrown at a handful of books. I think you're going to see publishers and agents be very selective about who they represent.

That said, it becomes very important to establish writing creditals. Without name regconization it will be that much harder to break into traditional publishing, I think.  Attend the Writing conventions and conferences if you can.  Making personal contacts with agents and publishers might give you a foot a door esp. now.
 

Anyone care to share thoughts?

Posted by sgcardin at 4:49 AM
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