There are a couple of stimulating writing/publishing debates going on over at Nature Network’s public forum. One was started by Brian Clegg, who in a post entitled "Macmillan’s experiment" , asks:
"I’d be interested to see what other science writers think of Macmillan’s experiment of paying no advance at all for their Macmillan Science books, but a larger royalty. I know Sara’s [Abdulla’s — Editor and Publisher of Macmillan Science] arguments for doing this, but I personally think it tends to favour people with day jobs, who don’t mind not having the advance, over professional writers who often can’t afford to take the time commitment required for a book without an advance."
There follows a fascinatingly robust and informative (with money figures) three-way between Dr Clegg, Sara Abdulla and the inimitable Dr Henry Gee. Even if you aren’t a science person, the same principles are followed by the Macmillan New Writing imprint, so the points made in this debate apply to that publishing scheme also.
The other thread that I like was started by Sara, entitled "Using the web to promote your popular science book" . She asks: "What cool online things have you tried to broaden the reach of your title? What impact did they have?" Henry and Brian are among the responders, but so are others, including Dave Reay, climate scientist and author, James Long of New Tammany College and Jenny Rohn of Lablit, the science-in-fiction website. Again, informative, educative and entertaining.