Friday, May 27, 2011

Tokyopop Closes its Doors May 31st

What Does that Mean for Mainstream Publishers?

Tokyopop, one of America’s largest comic publishers and the company credited with popularizing manga outside Japan, will officially close its doors in North America on Tuesday May 31st. The announcement, made April 15th, didn’t surprise many followers of the comic book industry; rounds of layoffs had reduced the company to a six-person staff months earlier, and a collapse seemed inevitable even as early as March, 2011.

But how did the company reach the point of collapse when, just eight years before, Steve Kleckner reported it had been growing by at least 200% for three years and wasn’t even slowing? And more importantly for publishers of more mainstream products, what is there to be learned from it?

[read more]

From time to time, I'll be posting links to my posts on Publishing Trendsetter in lieu of posting here. I look forward to reading your insights, comments and questions in both places!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Young to Publishing, or Still Making Your Way In? Publishing Trends Just Launched a Blog for You!

I'm really excited to announce that Publishing Trends has invited me to join them on a new venture, the launch of their Publishing Trendsetter blog. The whole Trendsetter team is dedicated to fostering dialogue and innovation among the new generation of book industry professionals—those within their first ten years in the business (and those aspiring to be!). With over ten regular bloggers at various points in their careers and with backgrounds in consulting, design, acquisitions, e-publishing, publicity, marketing, reviews, editorial, and more. We'll share our own insights; present research and analysis; offer Q&As, podcasts and surveys; and open topics up for roundtable discussions with young publishers and industry veterans alike.

There are a lot of great blogs out there for those at the executive level in publishing, and they all offer valuable insights on the industry and ideas for the future. But we are the future. With that in mind, Publishing Trendsetter is, in the words of our fearless leader Elisabeth Watson, "where the brilliant publishing minds of tomorrow are today."

I'm so excited to hear from you on Publishing Trendsetter. Click the banner above to go check it out!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Epic 100 Followers Giveaway of Awesomesauce and Ponies! (Unicorns Are Included)

It's about time I gave away something awesome on this blog; you guys have been listening to me prattle on about publishing without the incentive of free books and unicorns for long enough! It's also just about time for me to reach 100 followers, and I'm not patient enough to let the scales tip on their own. So! Here's how this is going to work. Please read all the rules very carefully; if you skip one, I can't consider you for the prize. To enter, you must do each of the following things:

1. Become a follower of my blog. (If you're already a follower, congrats; you're a third of the way there!)
  • If you don't have blogger, you can still follow me by clicking the RSS feed button in the bar on the right of your screen.
  • If you are a Facebook friend and read these posts that way, you still must become a follower through Blogger or my feed in order to be eligible. Sorry.
2. Share this contest on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, your own blog, or wherever else.

3. Leave a link to your post in the comments here, along with your email address so I can contact you if you win.

That's it! No weird point systems, no extra credit for posting about it multiple times (though I will love you a little bit extra if you do). Just join this site, share the contest, and let me know about it. You have until 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 24th to enter.

What's at stake, you might ask? Well, now would be a good time to decide whether you're a stalwart defender of print books or a pioneer of new reading technologies because, in keeping with the title and theme of this blog, the prizes will encourage you to think about both. The winner will have a choice between these two fabulous prize packages:

The TraditionalistThe Techie
A copy of Zombies vs. Unicorns signed by Kathleen Duey, Justine Larbalestier, Diana Peterfreund, Carrie Ryan, and Scott WesterfeldA subscription to The First Line literary magazine for your e-reader
A gorgeous handmade bookmark of your choice from bumblebooHandmades' Etsy shopA Kindle, Nook, or iPod nano armor from ittybittyscraps' Etsy shop
These super-cute dinosaur pins (har, har, get it, because print media is going extinct?) from EtsyThis pretty pretty unicorn pin (also har, har, because e-books are supposedly the unicorn that will save us) from Etsy

I'll choose a winner using on Wednesday, May 25th, and you'll have your choice between the two packages. If I get a super-overwhelming number of entries, maybe there will be a second winner who will get the package leftover. So what are you waiting for? Start following, sharing, and commenting!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tonight on A Prairie Home Companion

"You blew four giant holes in my manuscript!"

"That's called editing."

"Multicultural literature?! I don't know anything about that. We only had one culture back in the day."

Thanks, that'll be all ;-P

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Which I Share Some Exciting News!

Dearest Writer Friends! I have been making changes in my life of late—changes to which I have made many an oblique reference and then cruelly offered no explanation. But today, I tell all!

During my second or third month as an Editorial Assistant, my company began to assemble a team to devise a new marketing strategy, and I was asked to come on board as the editorial department’s voice and liaison. I dove right in, but I have to admit that I had a lot of trepidation. Though I’d often been told that the best way to get a foothold in the industry was through marketing and sales, and I had sort of shuddered at the advice. “I'm an editor,” I would insist, “I do not like selling things.”

But in working with a team of salespeople and marketers, I re-discovered all the things I am besides an editor. I’m a designer. I’m a writer. I’m a socialite and a networker. I'm a person who loves to celebrate others and to collaborate with them. And that’s exactly what all the other team members were, too. I learned that marketing and sales aren’t about pushing a product at the market; they’re about meeting people, understanding their needs and motivations, and finding a way to connect them to solutions that make them happy. In publishing, they're about sharing your excitement over books you really believe in with other bookish people. And that is so me, Writer Friends.

So once I had a year of experience as an Editorial Assistant under my belt and I was starting to think about Next Steps, I investigated marketing positions as thoroughly as I was investigating editorial ones. And I’m really, really excited to announce that I’ve been hired as the Marketing & Publicity Associate for a local press! In the coming weeks I’ll begin training authors in social media best practices and promoting great children’s books through public events and print and online media. I can hardly wait to get started!

Does this mean I’m done with editing? Of course not! In fact, I am actively seeking editorial opportunities on a freelance basis, and I’m happy to provide a quote to readers of this blog for line editing or manuscript critiques (just email a short description and a word count to rachel.stark[at] But during the day, I’m now a designer, writer, socialite, networker, celebrator, and collaborator just as much as I am an editor.

Thanks for sharing my excitement!