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: publishing industry
I wouldn’t have volunteered at The Rumpus for the past three years, if I didn’t believe in the power of words. But words ring hollow if they are not met with action. Outrage tweets and Facebook posts mean noting if you don’t march, call, email, filibuster, stand, sit-in, demand, riot, challenge, and vote....more
As a poet I get it: talking about “literary infrastructure” is boring. Who wouldn’t rather talk about poets, poems, or aesthetic movements? When we start hearing a lot about the organizations dedicated to supporting authors, presses, and readings rather than the people making literature it probably means those organizations are threatened....more
For Catapult, Anuradha Roy talks about the process of receiving editorial feedback and how we’re inclined to react poorly to that feedback. Roy takes us from the phone call from her brand-new publisher, suggesting she re-think her first chapter, to her old-wisdom, pottery influenced conclusion:
I now see fiction—my own and that of others—as work paused but never finished.
In an essay on author authenticity for The Millions, Alcy Levy examines Percival Everett’s satirical novel Erasure—about a black author whose own satirical novel is taken seriously—in light of recent literary identity shake-ups such as James Frey and Michael Derrick Hudson, who changed his name to Yi-Fen Chou to get a poem published:
This exposes a major flaw in artistic perception in publishing.
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
The publishing industry is at a cultural turning point, with recognition and celebration of writers of color on the rise. But despite the surge in the publishing industry’s interest in works by writers of color, the people working behind the scenes still lack much-needed diversity....more
Book titles are an essential component of the texts they gesture at. They’re also advertising. At Catapult, Hannah Gersen recounts the naming process for her novel Home Field:
A short story title can be fanciful or obscure or may even contribute something important to the meaning of the story, but a book title needs to have a life of its own.
At the Atlantic, Nathan Scott McNamara provides an optimistic view of the symbiotic relationship between massive corporate publishers and small indie houses. Profiling energetic presses like Graywolf, Coffee House, Two Dollar Radio, and Dorothy, McNamara argues:
…by inventing new models rather than trying to repeat past success, by valuing ingenuity over magnitude, by thinking of sales as a way to make great books possible rather than the point—indie presses aren’t just becoming the places where the best books are published; they’re already there.
Women writing about women is popular right now in the publishing world—like Emma Cline, who recently released The Girls. USA Today runs through the many books about women, by women. But despite the rising popularity of these authors and the prominence of women within the publishing industry, top jobs are still held by men....more
Who hasn’t felt that awkward moment between laughing and crying when the question, “do writers make money?” pops up? Unlike movie-makers and musicians, exact figures for authors’ earnings have always been notoriously difficult to retrieve. However, with the advent of Amazon’s publishing arm, interesting figures determining just how much authors can make from self-publishing versus traditional publishing arise....more
An ad campaign by Penguin Random House in the UK meant to intrigue readers into purchasing classic books has instead sparked controversy for being anti-Russian. The ad features an unattributed line from the novel Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev: “Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles… Useless words!...more
Be unpredictable, including to yourself. So there’s the question of how do you go about finding things—or better their finding you? You have to be open to surprise and at the same time assiduous in pursuing the things you are really interested in.