If anyone reads Publishers MarketPlace, in the automat section, there is an interesting reprint of an interview with Binky Urban, a high-octane (and some say the best lit. agent out there) with ICM.

She has some interesting points to consider, like;

1. She thinks authors are going to get smaller advances for their books. Advances more closely
in line with what the books will sell.

2. She think's Amazon's undercutting of book prices, especially in the ebook sales, could seriously
damage--if not destroy--publishing houses. She definitely is not a fan of Amazon.

3. She has some interesting insights on the first generation of readers who have grown up with
computers in their homes. On one hand she likes what she see's from them. On the other hand,
what they could represent with e-books in relation to traditional publishing is problematical.

4. The other point she hinted at is that top agents go after established authors. And it makes sense.
But what does that mean for the newbies in the publishing world? We must be getting the John Doe
from the Mail Room wannabe lit agent to represent us--if we get representation at all.

Interesting interview. And while you're in there. read the Robert B. Parker interview. He's got something interesting to say about today's mess in the publishing world.

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Comment by Eric Christopherson on February 26, 2009 at 7:16am
Could be the courts have it wrong to date on issues of "fixation" and such, and precedent won't be followed. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Comment by John Dishon on February 26, 2009 at 6:56am
Comment by John Dishon on February 26, 2009 at 6:44am
What did you find iffy about it?

And no, I don't think it will go to court. Text to speech has been around for a long time and no one complained about it before. Furthermore, if authors don't like it, they don't have to allow a Kindle edition to be made. I also think the article I linked to is right. If it is right, then the Author's Guild doesn't have a leg to stand on and the court would probably not even hear the case.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 26, 2009 at 6:36am
I read that article, John. Frankly, it sounds 'iffy' to me. I think this whole issue is heading for a court room. Don't you?
Comment by John Dishon on February 26, 2009 at 6:30am
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 26, 2009 at 5:23am
Read the article, Eric. Interesting.
Comment by Eric Christopherson on February 26, 2009 at 5:07am
On your #2 B.R., here's an article on how the Kindle 2 is being used to avoid paying audio rights to authors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/opinion/25blount.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 25, 2009 at 4:35pm
There was an article in MSN news about who is buying the new Kindle 2. They interviewed some young woman who lives with her husband out in the wilds of Washington. And she loves the Kindle. . . but loves her traditional books even more. Interestingly, she said it was great to order out of Amazon but she much preferred her local bricks and mortar bookstore.

Maybe there is hope, eh?
Comment by Bob on February 25, 2009 at 4:18pm
It's a new world we are facing. Fortunately most people resist change, so we have a dozen more years ahead with paper books and new authors. After that, when the electronic generation dictates, we will have to wait and see what happens, but it doesn't look good through my tainted glasses.
Comment by John McFetridge on February 25, 2009 at 11:26am
There's a pretty good article in this month's Harpers, too.

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