Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Victoria Strauss -- Some Good Reading

A midweek post to draw attention to some interesting blog posts I've read recently.

Impressed with the courtesy and promptness of that brand-new agent with no publishing industry experience? Don't be. Stacia Kane/December Quinn on how it's not about being nice.

Trying to convince yourself that fee-charging publisher isn't really a vanity press because it pays royalties, and only reputable publishers pay royalties? Thinking it's selective because it doesn't accept absolutely everything that's submitted to it? Think again. Marian Perera at Flights of Fantasy reveals five misconceptions about vanity presses.

Did the publisher that just asked you for several thousand dollars to publish your book assure you that paying to publish is a sign of your faith your own work? Or that paying to publish is the way many first-time authors get started? Be skeptical. Marian Perera again, on the many ways fee-charging publishers justify their upfront fees.

Frustrated with the agent search? Considering going it alone? Before you decide, read Editorial Ass on why you should never submit unagented to publishing companies. (Just one caveat: She's talking about the Big Guys here, as well as the larger independents. For smaller independents, it may be perfectly feasible to approach directly.)

Curious about how bookstores decide which books to order? From Jane Smith's How Publishing Really Works blog, a short explanation of the book-stocking policies of UK chain bookseller Waterstone's, from former Waterstone's staffer Sally Zigmond.

Thinking about parlaying your blog to writing fame and fortune? Via Galleycat: only two percent of bloggers earn a living from their blogs. More from Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, and how Writer Beware Blogs! compares:

- Median annual revenue among bloggers surveyed was $200 (revenue for the Writer Beware blog: $0).
- As tiny as bloggers' median annual revenue is, men STILL make more than women (grrr).
- The majority of bloggers have advertising of some sort on their blogs (to avoid any possible conflict of interest issues, the WB blog does not host ads or accept ad revenue).
- More than 133 million blogs have been established since 2002 (yikes).
- Only 5% of these (or 7.4 million) were updated in the past 120 days (the WB blog updates at least weekly, and often twice a week).
- 59% of bloggers have been blogging for more than two years (the WB blog started in September 2005, so it's just over three years for us).
- Half of all active blogs attract more than 1,000 monthly visitors (average monthly visits for the WB blog: 15,800--which sounds more impressive than it is, because only about a quarter of those visitors stick around to read).
- 57% of US bloggers are male; in Europe and Asia they're 73% (being a natural contrarian, I love it when I don't fit the stats).
- More women than men have personal blogs; more men than women have professional blogs (yay, bucking the stats again: neither Ann nor I have personal blogs; our only blogging is professional).
- One in four bloggers spends ten or more hours blogging per week (I probably average five or six hours, including research).

9 comments:

Jane Smith said...

Why, that's some very interesting reading, Victoria!

(Thank you for linking to little old me. I am blushing, and feeling smug that I am included in such a grown-up lineup!)

Matt D said...

I think my gross blog earnings are about negative 200 dollars.

pierre l said...

Hello. I have been reading you for a few months now (probably originally came for one of Jane Smith's blogs).
I just wanted to point out that one of the statistics above is misleading: I use Google Reader and often read the entire post before I click to your blog (which I do for two reasons -- being counted as a visitor, and looking at the comments). Because I've read the post already, I don't seem to stay very long.

pierre l said...

However, I will be buying some of your books.

Victoria Strauss said...

Pierre, thanks for that comment--this may well explain some of the very short visits we receive.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Victoria! :-)

Oh, and thanks Pierre, I've noticed the same thing so that's really helpful.

Marian said...

Thanks for linking to my blog too, Victoria. I'm glad you found the posts useful!

I like the new color scheme for your blog, by the way. It's a bit easier on the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Have some interesting e-mails Vic. Have to do with your Arch nemesis. E-mail me. Go to Writers net to find me. Look for Michael. May take a few days. Near blind. Need spouse to search. But will find post. Michael.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous (Michael), you can contact me at beware@sfwa.org.