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A Writer’s Year in Review 2010

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-January-

War continues to wage between Author Solutions and many professional writers’ organizations. This battle started at the end of 2009 when Harlequin announced its new venture…eventually named Dellart. Fall out includes these organizations unrecognizing Harlequin as a qualifying market for membership. An agreement between Harlequin and most of these organizations eventually reached.

Amazon and Macmillan battle over eBook pricing and Amazon temporarily pulls all buy links from Macmillan books

Apple announces the iPad.

J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, dies.

Kage Baker, American science fiction and fantasy author, dies.

Erich Segal, author of Love Story, dies from a heart attack.

-February-

US Justice Department Rejects Google Book Settlement. The Author’s Guild disagree with their reading of the law.

William Tenn, British-born American science fiction author, dies at age 89.

-March-

Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie premieres but loses the top box office spot to Alice in Wonderland.

Authors Guild warns authors to protect themselves against publisher attempts to lock in ebook royalty rates.

Sid Fleischmann, Newbery Medal-winning children’s author, dies at the age of 90.

-April-

Publishers Weekly sold to George Slowik.

Zondervan, Christian publisher, reaches agreement with Apple to release 1,000 titles for iPad launch.

Carl Macek, American anime writer (Robotech), dies from a heart attack at age 58.

-May-

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson debuts in U.S.

BookExpo 2010 is held in New York.

Barnes and Noble announces new digital publishing platform.

-June-

Amazon announces new royalty plan that includes a 70% option for self-published Kindle Books.

-July-

Amazon announces that their e-book sales tripled in first half of 2010.

Worldwide sales of Stieg Larsson’s books reported to be in 35 to 40 million, is first author to sell over one million ebooks on Amazon, but his estate is in turmoil.

Literary agent Andrew Wylie announces new publishing venture to be offered exclusively via Amazon. In August this changes when Wylie and Random House come to an agreement over these backlist books.  

Barnes and Noble Debuts Nook.

-August-

Dorchester Publ   ishing announces it is going digital. Authors report not receiving payments for many months preceding this, layoffs at the house and an online battle follow. PubRants  Smart Bitches At least one author opts for self-publishing her Dorchester series.

Final book in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, is released.

Young adult author, Ellen Hopkins, gets uninvited from Teen Lit Fest in Humble, Texas. Numerous other authors opt out voluntarily in support of Hopkins.  Young adult author, Pete Hautman, tells why he chose to withdraw from the Lit Fest in support. According to an update on Hautman’s blog, in August the festival was canceled.

-September-

JA Konrath posts that he estimates he will earn over $100,000 from his self-published ebooks in 2010. “This ride has only just begun. I’ll end 2010 having earned over $100k on my self-pubbed ebooks, and that’s nothing compared to what I expect to make in 2011. And I’m doing it without touring, without promoting non-stop, without spending a lot of money, and without relying on anyone.”

Oprah selects Franzen’s Freedom as book club pick. Three months later the two make up on national television.

Stephen J. Cannell, American television producter and writer (The A-Team, The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street) dies at 69 from complications from melanoma.

Jennifer Rardin, American fantasy author of Jaz Parks series, dies at age 45.

Judith Merkle Riley, romance novelist, dies from ovarian cancer at age 68.

-October-

KidPub Press, books written by children, celebrates its 100th title.

Scrivener for P.C. Beta version available for download.

Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa.

Eva Ibbotson, Austrian-born British author dies at age 85.

Belva Plain, American author, dies at age 95.

-November-

James Frey’s hiring of MFA students to write young adult fiction come to light…to much controversy.  New York Magazine covers the story here, and The Huffington Posts adds commentary here.

Cooks Source magazine steals writer’s article and uses it without pay. The editor of Cooks Source, showing a disturbing ignorance of copyright law, refuses compensation and suggests the writer should pay the magazine for the editing they did. Internet battle that makes it onto the Today show breaks out. 

-December-

 New York Times announce addition of eBooks to best seller list.

Google launches Google Ebooks, an online store to compete with Amazon.

Seth Godin starts a new publishing imprint, The Domino Project, which will use Amazon’s Powered By Amazon publishing program. Amazon will sell the books in print, audio and for the Kindle, plus they will be available for other bookstores to sell.

From Godin, “…the structure of the book publishing industry gets in the way of books reaching people who can benefit from them.”

Oprah picks Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations as latest book club pick. (Both books available for free download many places including Google Books.)

Amazon announces that ebooks are outselling hardcovers by 1.43 to 1.


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