Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

11/07/2012

Obama and the Publishing Industry


Obama tinkering with publishing?

Tonight a little fun publishing prognostication tied to the 2012 never-ending presidential campaign and final election. 

What are some of the plausible impacts to the publishing industry resulting from Barack Obama’s reelection?

Jason Pinter, bestselling author of thrillers, writing on Huff Post Blog, throws out some immediate and longer term Obama publishing industry influences:

How Barack Obama’s Reelection Will Affect the Publishing Industry

No doubt the reelection of Barack Obama as President of the United States will have tremendous impact on numerous industries. Here are my predictions as to how Obama’s second term will impact the book publishing industry, which Nate Silver has said are 90.9 percent accurate. (OK, maybe not, but I’m pretty certain of at least most of these guesses.)

1) Obama the Moneymaker. With his reelection, Obama has solidified himself as a self-sustaining cash cow. Obama’s first two books, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, have sold well over four million copies. A second term means his books will continue to backlist strongly, whereas a defeat would have made his books more of a curio as the country shifted to a Romney presidency. It also means that, when Obama leaves office, he will do so having served eight years, and depending on how his second term plays out, permanent devotion from a large portion of the country. Jimmy Carter, the Democrat’s last one-term president and frequent GOP punching bag, has published numerous bestsellers since leaving office, including a novel (!), and it’s safe to say that if a post-presidency Obama wants to stay in the public eye as an author, he’ll see strong success and sales. He is already rumored to be writing his next book with cherished Jewish activist Elie Wiesel.

2) The New Blood. With eyes already looking towards the 2016 election, a bumper crop of (relatively) new Republican faces will likely publish books as primers on their positions and sales tools for their backers. Depending on their individual ambitions, I would expect new books by Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal among others to hit shelves in advances of the 2016 primaries in order to make cases for their next prospective office. On the other side, with a new Democratic candidate needed for 2016, I wouldn’t be shocked if we see books from possible frontrunners Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Antonio Villaraigosa, Deval Patrick and even stalwarts Hillary Clinton and possibly… Joe Biden?

3) Conservative domination. There’s always been more money in opposition rather than the status quo, and Obama’s first term brought massive sales from books by conservative political pundits. Glenn Beck and Mark Levin broke the million-copy barrier with their respective releases, while Michelle Malkin, David Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D’Souza all had their own #1 bestsellers. And Bill O’Reilly has reinvented himself as political historian, with Killing Lincoln breaking a million copies and Killing Kennedy well on its way. Books by the opposition always sell well regardless of president, case in point Michael Moore’s huge #1 bestseller Stupid White Men and Al Franken’s Lies, both published during the George W. Bush presidency. Even comic behemoths Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert saw their newest releases, published under the Obama administration, fall far short of their tallies during the Bush years. Though Beck’s sales have dropped since moving from his television perch at Fox, it can be expected that these same commentators and more will continue to garner support from the loyal opposition at the cash registers.

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09/17/2010

Some Icons in Transforming Publishing

Filed under: Digital publishing,eBooks,Jason Pinter,publishing game changers — gator1965 @ 7:14 pm

I just read about 12 game changers in publishing that gives some good backstory into the rapidly changing publishing industry and just had to pass it on.

This article by Jason Pinter in the Huffington Post :

So the Huffington Post recently published their list of 100 Game Changers, but to my chagrin, outside of a few reality show stars they didn’t list any authors–or editors or publishing visionaries. I’m hoping to remedy that. Below is my list of Game Changers in the world of publishing. Now, please keep in mind that this is a highly subjective list. There are certainly many more game changers in this industry, and I invite you to add your own game changers in the comments section. There are many brilliant publishing professionals or aspects of the industry that slipped my mind for whatever reason (cough, old age, cough, dementia). So this is about celebrating those who have changed the game, pushed it in a new direction, or added something new and different to the conversation. Again, these are far from the only ‘Game Changers’ in publishing–so hopefully commenters will add their picks to the discourse below.

Andrew Wylie
For years, the literary agent Wylie was known primarily for two things: his nickname (“The Jackal”) and his incredible list of iconic award-winning and bestselling authors including Dave Eggers, Elmore Leonard, Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie. This summer, however, Wylie made a different kind news by opening the doors of Odyssey Editions: an independent e-book venture that would publish many of esteemed clients’ backlist titles exclusively on the Kindle. The ensuing furor forced a dialogue about the future of digital rights in an ever-changing landscape. Random House countered by refusing to acquire any new books from Wylie–however a truce was reached in August as Wylie shuttered Odyssey. Still, the controversy over digital rights to works published long before mobile devices were ever conceived rages on–and no doubt more shops like Wylie’s will be coming in the near future.

Dawn Davis
Davis, who was recently promoted to Publisher of the HarperCollins Amistad imprint and Executive Editor at Ecco, has published an incredibly eclectic range of authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward P. Jones, The Pursuit of Happiness by Chris Gardner, controversial ‘Video Vixen’ Karrine Steffans, tennis champion Venus Williams, and media personality Steve Harvey (whose Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man has spent over 60 weeks on bestseller lists).

J.A. Konrath/Seth Godin/Pete Hamill
In May, Konrath announced he would publish the seventh book in his Jack Daniels mystery series through Amazon Encore. In August, New York Times bestselling author and media guru Seth Godin announced he would no longer publish traditionally, selling his future books via his popular blog and website. In the same month, Little, Brown announced that bestselling author and journalistic icon Pete Hamill would release his next book, They Are Us, a tome about immigration, exclusively in digital. These three authors couldn’t write in more diverse areas, but they collectively represent a shift in the way publishing works: established authors forgoing print for digital. Whether the Konrath/Godin/Hamill model can work as successfully for other authors is to be determine (the first two have substantial direct-to-reader platforms, and Hamill has the backing of a major publishing house), no doubt there will be others following their model–and more traditional publishers experimenting with straight-to-digital books.

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