The Momentum Blog
Posted March 11, 2015 by Achala Upendran
I fell in love with ebooks the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.
Four years ago, I was gifted a Kindle Fire. Enthusiastically, I downloaded a couple of titles, mostly course books that I couldn’t be bothered to search for in campus shops and online retailers. I told myself that these were books I probably wouldn’t reread once I graduated, and I didn’t need them clogging up space on my shelf and making my move out of the dorm any more difficult than it had to be.
This says a lot about my relationship with my Kindle. It was a repository of information whose nature, I assumed, was important but temporary, not a hallowed digital vault of books I planned to return to again and again. Frankly, I couldn’t make myself love this device; I bestowed no cuteisie nickname upon it, didn’t carry it with me everywhere and eventually, after I graduated college, reduced it to little more than a glorified gaming device, on which I played various silly, time consuming things. But an ebook reader, it was really not.
The ebook versus ‘real’ book debate has been raging for a while now, and people are as sure as ever that the upsurge of sales in one seems to indicate the death of the other. Publishers and their ilk really are a bunch of doomsday prophets, aren’t they? Surveys are always being conducted, asking people what they prefer to read and what they prefer to read it on and there’s always that sense of absolute vindication and triumph in the voice of the journalist who declares that yes, physical, paper books are winning this race.
We will ignore the irony here: most of journalist’s readers are accessing his words through some kind of electronic device, more like as not.
I only really got into ebooks recently, three and a half years after my Kindle was given to me. It happened, mostly, because I got a smartphone (I know right, what was I doing without a smartphone for so long? How did I amuse myself?). With the smartphone came all those wonderful apps, like Amazon and, here in India, Flipkart’s Ebook Reader. Lying in bed one night, I realised i really, really wanted to read Lev Grossman’s ‘The Magician King’. I checked Amazon and Flipkart: both said it would take them at least a week to get the book to me (evidently it wasn’t much in demand where I was), but I could buy the ebook (at a considerably lower price) and read it immediately.
Everyone who has ever lusted after a book, waited months for it, or just finished its predecessor in a series and is dying to read the next knows how very irresistible that offer is. To be able to literally read a book the minute you want to—that’s an offer that few can refuse.
I clicked, I bought, I started to read. And the best thing about this purchase was that I never had to worry about whether or not I had put it in my bag. I didn’t have to weigh my purse down, or carry a bigger one just to ensure that I always had some entertainment to hand. It was on my phone, my digital limb, and it was going with me everywhere.
The convenience of the ebook really can’t be overstated. It’s so amazingly easy to play with: you can highlight stuff with little concern about ‘blemishing’ a copy, you can put bookmarks in everywhere,even scrawl little notes without tarnishing the fine print. You can have a huge library on your device and the luxury of options—stuff that would come at a huge price, weight wise, if you were to carry physical books. I love my ebooks for all these reasons, and of course the little boost I feel about saving paper makes me feel just the teensiest bit heroic.
That being said, I don’t think physical books are going to go away any time soon, nor will I contribute to that. I still enjoy the feeling of a book in my hands, and I dare say that there are some authors who I’ll buy ‘real’ versions of rather than ebooks. And it’s going to be a long time before graphic novels move into digital format, for me at least. Though with enhanced ebooks becoming a thing…who knows how long that will last.
But I am no longer of that party that believes that only physical books were ‘real’, that having a book printed on paper is any indication that you’re a better writer than someone who’s chosen to go the ebook way. What makes or breaks a book is its story, and what builds that story is, most often in the books adults read, words. And words are the same, whether they’re in an ebook or printed on a piece of paper.Tagged: ebooks, fault in our stars, Harry Potter, John Green, Kindle, Lev Grossman, publishing, The Magician King, The Magicians, voldemort
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Posted September 16, 2014 by Patrick Lenton
No, you idiots, I’m already married.
I typed this on the evening after the release of my first novel, The Foundation. But to avoid spamming my social media to death with ‘book stuff’, I let it stew for a few days prior to posting.
This is the last of the Path to Publication posts. In this series, I’ve shared with you the pitch and contract, dealing with the big issues, the edits, and the cover and marketing. Each stage is a giant anvil upon which your manuscript is hammered into a book able to be sold.
This edition is a little different: a look at what happens when the lights go on and the show begins.
With everything in the bag and the book off to production, I found the lull between working hard to finish the book and getting it to market tricky. By this point the author is pretty much off the clock on the book itself, though there’s plenty of marketing to do.
I found this part the hardest of all, which is quite surprising given my fingertips are now bloody stumps from all the keyboard pounding and my mind is some strange, rancid ooze from too much hard thinking.
I fulfilled my side of the marketing and enjoyed having a social life again, but the most overwhelming feelings after all this hard work were, in order:
- I WANT TO WRITE! WRITE LOTS! MORE! MORE! MORE EXPLOSIONS!
- I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
- I *AM* A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
- THOSE FOOLS AT MOMENTUM!
By the time I reached the last few days prior to launch, I just wanted to hitch a ride with the Doc and Marty McFly and get there, but the only guy I know of with a DeLorean is Matthew Reilly, who might resent me pinching it.
Rockets are cool.
But hey, it launched! So what actually happened on the day my first book comes out?
- Yes, I still went to work.
- No, I didn’t get as much done as I usually do.
- Yes, it felt as amazing as I thought it would.
- No, I didn’t crawl under my bed and hide.
- Yes, the back slapping and congratulations of friends and colleagues felt good.
- No, a marching band and dancing girls didn’t signify the release.
- Yes, there was some anxiety of the ‘what if everyone HATES it’ variety.
- No, I didn’t refresh madly for the first review to appear.
- Yes, I did go out for dinner and have a few drinks to celebrate.
- No, I didn’t go on a 48 hour bender on my publisher’s tab.
- Yes, I did thank the great people at Momentum for their hard work.
- No, I didn’t read it again. It’ll be a few months before I do that.
And, like that, The Foundation was amongst the millions of other books jostling for its place on the mountain. I was hoping it’d reach the peak, to hang out with Dan Brown and his supermodels, but if nothing else that it’d have a nice spot on the side.
But behold! It shot to the top of the Amazon Australia Political Fiction lists to claim #1 spot for a while.
Take that John Grisham! Eat my dust Ayn Rand! Though I’m not sure it’ll last, it was a nice pat on the shoulder for a nervous first timer.
The first review
But wait! There was more unexpected good news! My first review!
Although, technically, my first review was from the incredible John Birmingham, that was pre-release.
The honour of the first review post-release, at least as far as I’m aware, goes to ReadingKills.com. Head over there. It’s a great review.
I must admit, when I saw it, I felt nervous clicking on the link. But I was quite honestly chuffed with the result. My favourite lines?
‘…a roaring political thriller that is unnerving in its description of how the world would go to war.’
‘This is a jet-setting, alarming, bang-pow-kaboom read full of metaphorical and literal bloodshed, political machinations you’ll hope desperately will never become reality, and late-night giant-popcorn-wielding funsies.’
I’m sure the snarky one-star Amazon reviews are coming, but for now I’ve got a nice little protective bubble going on. Thanks ReadingKills!
The sign off
So we’ve come to the end of the path to publication. The book is done, readers are… reading and my wife is telling me we’ll be late for dinner.
But wait! There’s one last lesson, you (probably don’t) scream! Okay:
Lesson 10: Don’t let fear of failure stand in the way of your dreams. I’ve wanted this since I was young, but it was always too hard, not good enough, wouldn’t be liked and not a priority. It will not stop me anymore.
Thanks to those of you who have joined me on this journey. I’ve had some great feedback on these posts from other authors – established and aspiring – and from some readers who enjoyed being a fly on the wall to see how a book reaches market.
I hope those of you who enjoyed the series might consider purchasing The Foundation, so I get to keep doing this and calling it work. If you do, then double thanks, and I hope you enjoy the book. Let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I’m mashing out the sequel.
Stay tuned.getting published, Path to Publication, publishing, The Path to Publication, writing
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Posted May 15, 2014 by Craig Hildebrand-Burke
In the last few years I’ve lost a bit of the enthusiasm I once had for literary festivals – be they for writers, books, towns or cities – not because they aren’t enjoyable experiences, but because I feel as if they’re often not really suited for me. Some programs appear to be designed for those who like to dabble in books, or feel as if attending a literary event is an important magnet for their cultural fridge, and occasionally the idea of a festival – a celebration of the written word – seems to bypass those who it matters to most.
Not so for the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the one that I regularly try to fit into my autumnal schedule, as it always seems to have a multitude of events perfectly designed for those who want to write, those who do write, and those who suddenly realise how important writing is in their lives.
It’s on at the perfect Melbourne time, for two weeks from late May into early June, and this year is once again full of events that actually compel me – and hopefully others – to do, rather than to just sit and listen. So much of the festival caters to practical and useful ideas, from those who actually use these ideas. By directing itself at emerging writers, the festival is more a deconstruction of what it is to be a writer and moves away from the myth of The Writer, locating writing as significant and valued pursuit in society.
So while this is a Melbourne festival, I highly recommend making the trip in to the city for anything on offer during the two weeks, if you can at all make it. Here is just a small selection of the events I’m particularly keen on seeing:
Wonderful to see the evolving nature of digital writing and digital mediums given prominence in a writers’ festival, and this full-day event has a range of guests covering topics from game writing, gender representation in digital writing, the expectations of writing in digital environments, and a couple of Momentum folk discussing genre writing as it appears and appeals to digital forms and digital audiences. It’s a huge day, and lots of fascinating topics covered, definitely one to attend.
This sounds fantastic. Absolutely no idea who is presenting in this panel, as the conceit is to turn all the lights off and allow the speakers to discuss the ins and outs of the writing world through the veil of anonymity. From the description of the panel, audience members won’t be allowed to tweet or communicate outside the room as well, so this is clearly something unrepeatable, once-only, be there or miss out opportunity.
Extremely happy to have a ticket to this, also another event with Momentum presence on the panel, but essentially this is an opportunity for writers to get practical and insightful perspectives on publishing, and what happens to writing when it leaves the house. A selection of panellists from different publishers, this is going to be an excellent discussion and analysis on the journey of writing from conception to publication.
One of those panels that just appears to have popped up this year at the perfect time for my own needs and interests, this event is addressing the changing nature of self-publishing and the creation of written work outside of traditional formats and pathways. Everyone on this panel is an expert on the topic of creating and producing by yourself and for others.
Something that I wish I had more knowledge and training in, this is another full-day event, with presenters from all publishing areas discussing the background work on delivering publishable writing. From dealing with submissions, to editing across cultures and languages, and building a career out of editing, the event also includes a series of workshops on editing different styles and forms of writing.
Additionally, I’m fortunate enough to be involved this year on the panel The Future of Teaching Writing, and I’m especially excited to be discussing with others on the panel how and why creative writing could and should be taught, from classrooms to universities and beyond.
The festival kicks off in just under two weeks, and hopefully there’ll be all kinds of excellent information, advice, ideas and writing that I’ll be able to share afterwards. Will keep everyone posted.
Tagged: digital, editing, Emerging Writers Festival, EWF14, publishing, writers festivals, writing
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Posted March 7, 2014 by Mark
The latest episode of Podmentum is our Oscars special! We discuss our predictions, the major winners, what we thought deserved to win and lots more. We’re also joined by special guest Sam Sainsbury, senior editor from Pan Macmillan.
Tagged: awards, Books, films, movies, oscars, podcast, podmentum, publishing
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Posted February 17, 2014 by Craig Hildebrand-Burke
Recently, there has been a flurry of scandalous debate about a report and analysis into the changing world of publishing by Wool author Hugh Howey. Howey’s exceedingly detailed report suggests that – based on an analysis of Amazon sales – genre authors are much better served by going the independent and self-published route, as this will offer greater yield financially for their efforts.
Howey admits aspects of his analysis are speculative and inferential, as data on raw book sales is often undisclosed or incomplete. This, admittedly, offers the first point of interest. While box office on films, and sales and downloads on music and television are all widely available (allowing for elements of bias), figures on book sales remain obscure and coded behind veils of good intentions. There is the suggestion that book sales are undisclosed for our benefit, the implication being that perhaps we wouldn’t read what we read if we knew what everybody else was reading.
The report concludes with Howey wishing for greater transparency, greater understanding of how traditional publishing models lead to a benefit in sales. Others have criticised Howey’s lack of understanding in data analysis, and that he is offering a post hoc inference about data that wilfully ignores its limitations.
Regardless, the report comes at a time when many are looking and questioning the cost benefit of writing for a living. This recent surge of attention in demanding payment, and demanding transparency in the finances of writing suggests that writing as a profession has until now existed (and subsisted) on a level where we feel it lives beyond daily wages. How do we measure writing? Per word? Per hour? Per book sold? What constitutes a financially successful career as a writer?
And is that different from being a good writer?
Do we regard certain writing as ‘good’, even if it doesn’t make money? And does writing that makes money necessarily qualify for public recognition as ‘good writing’?
Howey directed his report at genre writers – mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, romance – as categorised by Amazon. The suggestion is that the rise of self-publishing, and the rise of digital publishing, is seen as an opportunity for genre writers to earn more from non-traditional publishing pathways.
What I find odd is that this categorisation places genre as a money-defining result. That the genre – the label prescribed upon the writing upon publication (on Amazon) – is all important, and is placed as a premium ahead of any other qualities the story might contain.
And here we have the tricky problem of genre – as it currently is the dominant way we categorise the stories we read and the stories we write. Bookshops, real and digital, organise their shelves according to genre. But this is an imperfect system. Stories often defy genre, or alternate and transcend; stories combine and manipulate genre and set it upon the reader via subterfuge. How would Kazuo Ishiguro feel if Never Let Me Go was shelved in science fiction, given the very late and shocking reveal of that element within the story? The genre here is one part of the book, not the whole, and certainly not the label.
To follow further examples in my favourite field, this genre categorisation becomes even trickier when looking at an author like Stephen King. Once upon a time, in the world where Borders still existed, Stephen King books could easily be found in the horror section. He practically was the horror section. And while many of his books, particularly the early ones, are horror, this is again an imperfect system for categorisation.
Of his recent books, 11/22/63 is listed under fantasy, where it places #3 in a subgenre of fantasy. However, it is also listed under horror, placing at #92. And yet the book is clearly not a horror book. In fact, it relies really on only one element of fantasy to even qualify as that type of story. His earlier collection of short stories, Different Seasons, is also listed under horror, and yet is the collection that spawned the films The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me. Again, clearly not horror. So do we make excuses for writers who cross genres, but still define them (and their books) by the genre they started in, or dominate?
If we follow the idea of using genre to define stories, then we will end up with a never-ending spiral of subgenres upon sub-subgenres, to serve every whim of the reader, and every style of the writer. I would hazard that writers rarely view genre as a defining boundary on their imagination – so should genre be the label that prescribes expectation to the reader on what type of book it is? Should it explain exactly what it is?
Will we end up with a Science-Fiction>Alternate-Reality>Victorian-Gothic-Robotics>Anthropomorphised-Rabbit>Western>Young-Adult subgenre?
Obviously we do need some method of organising, and at the moment genre works – to a degree. But as a financial imperative? What about all the books that don’t fit genre? Why does Howey not include literary fiction as a genre itself?
There are many questions that come from the report, and many that suggest our way of viewing books, writing, and sales is imperfect at best, and fundamentally flawed at worst. The most positive take away for me is that everything’s changing very rapidly – how we write, how we publish, and how we read – and this can hopefully lead to a future where we can write and publish and read with greater ease, and freedom, and enjoyment.
For more on genre, Momentum authors Nathan M. Farrugia and Luke Preston, and Anne Treasure and myself are discussing Genre In The Digital Age for the Digital Writers’ Festival tonight at 6:00pm.
As it’s a digital festival, you can attend via the magic on the internet, and watch us all talk at digitalwritersfestival.com.
Tagged: Amazon, digital, digital publishing, genre, publishing, technology, writing
Posted January 24, 2014 by Mark
Here are the five most-viewed posts from the blog this week:Books, comics, ebooks, list, movies, Posts With Momentum, publishing, reading
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Posted January 23, 2014 by Mark
Dear person who decided to eat an apple next to me on the train this morning,
I have recently been inundated with relatively annoying seat mates, and have decided to pass on your companionship this morning. Please find my passive aggressive sighs and refusal to move my legs enclosed. I am sure that with the talent and enthusiasm you clearly have for apple eating in other people’s ears, that you will find an appropriate seat mate soon.
Dear electricity company,
We receive a large number of high quality bills every month, and we cannot pay them all. We have decided to pass on paying your bill on this occasion. We were impressed with the length of the bill, but do not usually pay bills that are so large. Please feel free to submit another, smaller bill at a point in the future. In the meantime, we wish you the best of luck in finding payment for the bill you have sent. May we suggest submitting it to the bin?
Dear person I haven’t seen since high school,
Thank you for your friend request on Facebook. Unfortunately I have decided not to accept, as our lack of contact for a decade kind of means that we aren’t really friends. Best of luck with increasing your number of Facebook friends.
Tagged: humour, publishing, reading, writing
Posted October 31, 2013 by Mark
In this episode we talk about the death of Momentum author Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read and what it means for publishers when authors pass away. Then, we all went and saw the new movie Gravity, and we chat about what we thought of the film and whinge about minor details. Finally, Mark sat down with regular contributor to the Momentum blog, Craig Hildebrand-Burke, to discuss Stephen King and Doctor Sleep.
What We’re Reading
Tagged: chopper, doctor sleep, ebooks, gravity, horror, mark brandon chopper read, movies, podcast, podmentum, publishing, reading, Sci-Fi, science fiction, stephen king
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Posted October 30, 2013 by Joel
I want to tell you a story. It was early in 2012, and Momentum had just launched. We were still setting up our office (no internet for three days, people; it was carnage) when we opened submissions for the first time – our very first Momentum Monday. We chatted about this on social media, casting our net far and wide to see what might come our way.
We expected a slow start but were amazed at the quantity and quality of the submissions that flooded in. And there among them, calling out to us, was a submission unlike any we had received. It demanded to be read.
“Zombie erotica?” It brought to mind the image of corpse-like hands grasping at each other in the dark. Not pleasant. Possibly funny, though. “Not what it sounds like,” said Anne, who had brought it to the initial meeting. “It’s an erotic love triangle set after a zombie apocalypse.”
I had to read it. It was, as promised, unconventional. An erotic romance set in dystopian Brisbane between a young woman and the two men who had stepped up to protect her in a world that had lost most of its conventional standards. It was pretty far off the reservation in terms of what I was used to in the world of traditional publishing. But it was compelling – Kylie’s voice was light, engaging, funny and authentic. And somehow, in the way it overlapped genres, all of which were having a bit of a moment in the sun, it was exactly what I’d been looking for.
We all spent the next few days talking about this amazing submission. We couldn’t get it out of our heads, and we very quickly offered Kylie a contract.
Just a few months later we were ready to release Flesh on an unsuspecting world. And the world had the same reaction to Kylie’s amazing novel that we did – fascination with such an intriguing concept, followed by the joy that comes with discovering something new, exciting and well done.
Flesh quickly became a bestseller and was followed by the sequel, Skin, another erotic romance set within the same world.
While a third novel in this series (tentatively titled Bone) is planned, Kylie told us she wanted to take a break from zombies and try a new adult novel about a rock star. We’re always happy to see writers work on other projects, especially when they end up being as good as Lick turned out to be.
The rest is history. Lick went on to become one of the best selling titles on Amazon on release and quickly made it into the USA Today bestseller list, propelling Kylie to her current position – poised to take on the world of traditional print publishing in a four-book global deal with Momentum’s parent companies – St Martins Press in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK and Australia.
Kylie Scott went from being an unpublished author submitting to the “slush pile” to an international bestselling author in under a year. Her unconventional novel has become an unconventional success in a new publishing landscape that privileges no format over another. Her story proves that digital publishing and the communities that have embraced it are part of the future for any serious publisher. And that is no bad thing.Tagged: book deal, digital, digital-first, erotic romance, flesh, global, kylie scott, lick, publishing, rock stars, skin, zombies
Posted October 29, 2013 by Mark
Media Release: Global win for Macmillan Trade Group
London, New York, Sydney: The Macmillan Trade Group announced today, 28 October, that it has secured World English Language print and eBook rights to the bestselling Stage Dive New Adult series by Australian novelist, Kylie Scott.
It will be the first joint global publication from the new Macmillan Trade Group, who plan to publish simultaneously in print and eBook format worldwide all using the same updated cover.
Discovered by Momentum, a digital-only imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia, Lick, the first book in the series, was published on 1 July 2013 by Momentum. Within days it had found a readership around the world, racing onto eBook and the USA Today bestseller lists in the US and garnering thousands of passionate reader reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.
Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York then brokered the deal for World English rights to editor Rose Hilliard at St Martin’s Press, in a joint offer with Pan Macmillan and Pan Macmillan Australia. Jane Rotrosen Agency retains translation rights.
A four-book series, each novel is centered on a rock star hero in the fictional band Stage Dive.
The Macmillan Group will update the eBook cover of Lick, which they plan to publish in print in May 2014. The second book, Play, will be published in eBook in April 2014 and in print in August 2014, with the third and fourth in the series to follow in the months after.
Kylie Scott lives in Queensland, Australia and is married with two children. She is also the author of a dystopian romance series, also published by Momentum.
Scott said, ‘I’m thrilled that the Stage Dive series will be published worldwide by Macmillan. I’ve always dreamed of seeing my books on bookstore shelves, so it’s exciting for that dream to be coming true.’
Joel Naoum at Momentum said, ‘Seeing Kylie Scott emerge on the world stage, and to have her embraced in a truly global way by Macmillan, has been a major highlight for Momentum. It’s hugely exciting to be involved – whether as an author or publisher – in a group like Macmillan that is at the forefront of creating successful new publishing models.’kylie scott, lick, macmillan, media release, Momentum, publishing
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Posted September 6, 2013 by Mark
Momentum, the digital-first imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia, is announcing the launch of Momentum Moonlight, a romance community and publishing imprint, aimed at publishing new romance, erotica and new adult titles in addition to building a community of romance readers.
Momentum publisher, Joel Naoum, said, “Genre is a major part of digital publishing, and Moonlight reflects Momentum’s dedication to the romance genre in particular. The romance reading community are voracious, passionate and increasingly form their communities online. We want to make sure we are in the same space as our readers.”
Momentum will publish two romance titles per month in 2014 under the Moonlight imprint, from a range of new and established authors. A new website and blog have been launched to complement Momentum’s already strong online presence and can be found at www.momentummoonlight.com. Website visitors will also have the opportunity to contribute their opinions and posts to the blog.
Among the romance authors that Momentum has already published are Kylie Scott, Caitlyn Nicholas, Jane Tara, Erica Hayes, Rhian Cahill, Lexxi Couper, Tracey O’Hara and SE Gilchrist, with several authors forthcoming in 2013, including Amy Andrews and Mae Archer.
“Many romance readers and writers have a fantastic sense of community about them. We’re all passionate about emotionally satisfying, well written stories. It’s not just about recommending the next great read, but also about encouraging and helping each other succeed in getting that story down on the page and published,” said Kylie Scott, author of USA Today and Amazon Top 20 bestseller, Lick, published by Momentum in July 2013.
“The success of authors like Kylie Scott reflects the way that romance readers and writers come together to support each other and celebrate each other’s successes. We hope the Moonlight community will help enhance these relationships for our readers and authors,” said Naoum.
For any further information about Moonlight, Momentum, or any of our authors, please contact Mark Harding, Digital Marketing Executive – Momentum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tagged: media release, Momentum, moonlight, publishing, romance
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Posted July 19, 2013 by Mark
Here are the five most popular blog posts this week on MomentumBooks, list, movies, Posts With Momentum, publishing, reading, science fiction
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Posted June 12, 2013 by Anne
When people talk about serial novels, they often refer back to Dickens as the first and last guy who ever tried this format. Publishing in regular episodic instalments may have peaked in popularity back in Dickensian times, but the form didn’t disappear with the 19th century. Print serialisation declined in the early and mid 20th century thanks to a rise in the popularity of radio and television, but it’s back thanks to the relative easy and speed of digital publishing, and set to be more popular than ever.
Here’s a quick history of the serialised novel in nine books.
1836 — Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens
First released as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, this was to be Dickens’ first book, originally published under the pseudonym ‘Boz’.
1851 — Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
This novel first appeared as 40 weekly instalments in abolitionist periodical National Era. It was contracted to be turned into a novel after the huge popularity of the weekly serial, and Stowe was reportedly skeptical that anyone would want to read it in book form. Uncle Tom’s Cabin went on to be the best-selling novel of the 19th century.
1873 — Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Published in periodical The Russian Messenger, the series of instalments ran from 1873 to 1877. However the final instalments were not published in the periodical after Tolstoy clashed with the editor, and the first time Anna Karenina appeared complete was in book form.
1900 – The Ambassadors – Henry James
Initially published as a serial with several passages and three chapters missing in the North American Review periodical, the complete novel was finally published in full in 1903.
1984 — Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
1996 — The Green Mile – Stephen King
Published in six monthly paperback instalments from March to August in 1996, The Green Mile was then published as a single volume in May 1997. It has since been re-released in serial format.
2009 – Machine Man – Max Barry
Originally serialised a page a day for five days a week as Barry wrote, it is still available “as it was meant to be” from his website. The page a day serial began in March 2009 on Barry’s website, and ran until December of that year. Machine Man was published in its entirety in book form in 2011.
2012 – Positron – Margaret Atwood
The first instalment in this series I’m Starved For You (2012) was meant to be a stand-alone short, but was so popular that Atwood decided to extend it into a series for Byliner. The first three instalments have been combined into one ebook, but it is also available as single shorts, and is ongoing.
Adina’s novel was the first book that Momentum released in episodic form, in five monthly instalments from February to June 2013. The Dark Child Omnibus is now available, or if you’d prefer the serial format experience you can start with a complimentary copy of Dark Child Episode 1 right now.
So what did I miss? Any notable books that were first published in episodic form, particularly in the early to mid 20th century, would be helpful to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Suggestions in the comments would be most excellent.
Tagged: digital publishing, digital-first, format, novel, publishing, reading, serialised novel, serials, writing
Posted May 31, 2013 by Anne
“Bailey manages to distil a daunting amount of research into an intriguing tale. It’s a warts-and-all accounting of historical figures and a worthy demolition of the fake idols created today for patriotic or religious adoration.”
To read the full review, click over to the Byron Shire Echo.
The book is available for purchase in both digital and (for the first time in Momentum’s short history) hardback. Let’s be honest, we’re pretty excited about digital books but a Momentum hardback? Wow.
Tagged: digital publishing, digital-first, history, non-fiction, print, print-on-demand, publishing
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Posted March 18, 2013 by Anne
On this week’s Podmentum Joel and Mark talk about world building with authors Nathan M Farrugia and Nina d’Aleo, and then Joel, Mark and I talk about how we got started in publishing, with some tips for those looking for a job in the book industry.
In the first segment Nathan and Nina discuss how they approach creating fictional worlds in their writing, and Mark and Joel join in to discuss their favourite world-building writers. A really interesting conversation for sci-fi and fantasy fans, with lots of culture recommendations (including the ubiquitous China Miéville, of course).
Then we talk about how we all came to book publishing, and Mark reveals something terrible that will make everyone hate him.
In the interests of diversity we all recommended something futuristic and science-fiction-y. You’re welcome. (Next time I’ll demand we all have something romance-based to recommend.)
Mark – Redshirts by John Scalzi
Joel – Strata by Terry Pratchett
Anne – Omens by Russ Andersen (article in Aeon magazine)
This week’s Podmentum was brought to you by Nathan M Farrugia‘s The Seraphim Sequence and Allison Rushby‘s Keep Calm and Carry Vegemite. You can buy them now from all good online retailers, just click on the covers to choose your favourite.book industry, bookshops, internships, job opportunities, Pan Macmillan, podcast, podmentum, publishing, reading, world building, writing
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Posted February 15, 2013 by Anne
On this week’s Podmentum we talk about the idea of reselling used ebooks, bingeing on books and television, and then the Macquarie Dictionary publisher joins us to talk about the Word of the Year.
Topic 1 Amazon second hand ebook patent
Amazon has received a patent for a system for selling “pre-owned” digital files, opening the way for a secondary market in ebooks
“Amazon’s business model has long been dependent on resellers of used books and other merchandise. But a U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.
Boston-based ReDigi opened the first marketplace for pre-owned digital music, which it launched in late 2011, redigi.com. Once a lawsuit that Capitol Records filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan over the way it handles music downloads is behind it, ReDigi plans to expand into e-books and other digital items. In a press release issued yesterday, ReDigi commented that “the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back.”
Motherboard article that so angered Joel (tell us why)
Topic 2 Serialisation
With the Netflix series House of Cards being the talk of the entertainment world for the past couple of weeks, we thought we’d take the chance to talk about how the consumption of content is changing. While TV used to be serialized and consumed in episodic chunks, the trend is now to binge-watch whole series. On the other hand, where we used to read a whole novel in a sitting, publishers are now experimenting with serialized novels in the time-honoured tradition of Charles Dickens.
John Scalzi – The Human Division (episodic narrative) 13 episodes
Alison Rushby – The Heiresses (new adult serial with St Martin’s Press)
“‘An e-serial is a series of digital-only discrete dramatic novella-length “episodes” that advance an overall “season” narrative arc through 4-6 installments, published at regular intervals at a low price. We are conceptualizing e-serials as a loose bridge between a full length novel and a TV show. An e-serial episode is analogous to a one hour drama, one installment of a season of dramas.’
In other words, think Downton Abbey, but in serialized digital book form! Yay!”
Mark Z. Danielewski – serial novel The Familiar (beginning in 2014) 27 volumes, first 10 to be published by Pantheon in 3-4 month increments
“’Volume’ speaks to it being a little different from a standard trade paperback book,” Danielewski said by phone Monday. “I can’t write something that takes months and months to read if we’re releasing one every three or four months. It’s possible that [our publishing] schedule could be accelerated. We’re constantly open to new ideas — where will we be in 2014? Maybe digital releases every week, every few months a trade paperback or hardcover. The novel is designed to accommodate, anticipate various platforms.”
The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year for 2012 was announced last week, and the winner was “Phantom Vibration Syndrome”. We have the Macquarie editor Sue Butler in to have a chat with us about the dictionary and how they go about naming their word of the year.
Mark – The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Joel – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This episode of Podmentum is brought to you by Kylie Scott’s Skin
Tagged: Amazon, consumption, ebook, episodes, ereading, house of cards, John Scalzi, netflix, podcast, podmentum, publishing, second hand, serialisation, volumes
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Posted December 20, 2012 by Anne
On the last Podmentum of 2012 we discuss blockbuster movie franchises and their relationship to gourmet burgers, and then do a round up of the year in book publishing: the year of mummy porn.
Topic 1: Gourmet burgers
Topic 2: Yearly round up
PW’s annual accolade, for “shaping and, sometimes, transforming, the publishing industry”, has never gone to an author before: winners in the past include Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, and, last year, Penguin US’s chief executive David Shanks. But citing the huge sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy – they have sold more than 35m copies in the US alone and brought in over $200m (£125m) in revenue to publisher Random House – Publishers Weekly said that James had exerted a comparable influence. “Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways – among other things, the money it’s brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category – we have selected James as the most notable player on the publishing stage this year.”
Mark: Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole
Joel: Wild Cards series by George R R Martin
Hannah: Daniel Handler’s Adverbsblockbuster movie franchises, book publishing, bookrageous, burgers, Charlie Brooker, daniel handler, george r r martin, goodreads, intern, movies, mummy porn, podcast, podmentum, publishing, reading, stephen king, superman