Bestselling and award-winning writers Danielle Trussoni and Walter Kirn host the Writerly podcast, a weekly discussion of all things pertaining to the real lives of working writers. From getting and firing an agent, to book publicity, to contracts, to working with an editor, to writing your first draft—Writerly will cover it all....more
Posts Tagged: book publishing
The problem, however, lies in the fact that, whenever these labels are internalized by those in positions of power, they flatten a writer’s experiences. They shrink someone to just a sliver of his or her identity.
Brandon Tensley writes for Pacific Standard on the limited roles available for writers of color....more
Slate’s Rebecca Onion and Andrew Kahn analyze the overwhelming maleness of both the subjects and authors of history books, discussing their findings with book publishers:
Our data set revealed some answers about the publishing of popular history that we expected: Authors are largely male, biographical subjects too; “uncle books” make up a third of the total titles published.
Each holiday season, Icelandic readers enjoy the jólabókaflóð. This seemingly unpronounceable word is best translated as the Christmas Book Flood, a tradition of a rush of new books released in time for Christmas. Icelanders have been giving each other books at Christmas since the Second World War when imports were expensive and scarce....more
Good news! Early reports show that book sales are up 4.9 percent in 2014. Who can we thank for this Christmas miracle? Adults who read e-book versions of YA novels, that’s who. Sales are up by a dramatic 53 percent in YA/Children’s e-books, while sales in Adult Fiction/Nonfiction are down 3.3 percent—maybe because all the adults are reading The Hunger Games on their Kindles instead....more
At Guernica, Rebecca Saleton, the editorial director of Riverhead Books who has worked with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Peter Matthiessen, talks about her experience in publishing over the last 30 years and how she still believes that readers are, in fact, interested in ideas:
We can get so carried away with the idea that story is everything that we can forget that people actually want ideas too.
The publishing world has been rocked by numerous high-profile scandals in recent years. James Frey’s memoir turned out to be more of a novel, for instance. Yet despite these mistakes, book publishers are still allowing facts to go unchecked leaving open a major source of potential misinformation, reports The Atlantic:
And reliance on books creates a weak link in the chain of media accuracy, says Scott Rosenberg, founder of the now defunct MediaBugs.org.
Writers have been getting poorer, and it turns out publishers are partly to blame. The Guardian reports that while authors are expected to do more when it comes to marketing and promotion, and though electronic books have lowered costs for publishers, the beneficiaries of these savings tend to be the publishers rather than the authors:
Nicola Solomon, who heads the 9,000-member strong Society of Authors, said that publishers, retailers and agents are all now taking a larger slice of the profit when a book is sold, and that while “authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing”
Publicity is a fundamental component of the book-selling process—it’s unlikely a reader will buy something she doesn’t know exists. So why do we find public relations so despicable? In an essay for Jacobin, Jennifer Pan reminds us that capitalism is a system within which both PR and the creative industries operate, and asks us to consider the gendered implications of our higher respect for the latter:
When writers attack bad PR, the unspoken heart of their criticism is the failure on the part of the publicist to adequately conceal that she is performing emotional work for money.
Founded in 1986, independent publisher Soho Press has built its reputation on engaging literary novels, a catalog of international authors, and a crime fiction imprint. The press has thrived even through an era of upheaval in the publishing and book retailing industries....more
The rise of self-publishing and smaller independent presses has left many writers questioning the value of literary agents and their fifteen percent commissions. The collaborative nature of publishing depends on these middlemen though, warns Bethanne Patrick at Beyond the Margins:
…agents today do more than simply harvest a commission (if indeed they ever did only that).
It’s quirkily written with lots of jokes, but don’t let that fool you: Delilah S. Dawson’s Terrible Minds guest post, “25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author: Lazy Bastard Edition,” is thorough, professional, and extremely helpful.
From advice to read a lot to drafting hints to help deciphering the correspondence of agents and editors, it’s all there....more