Posts Tagged: Publishing

Take a Closer Look

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A survey by book publisher Lee & Low showed that 78 percent of the publishing workforce is composed of straight white women, causing headlines about how women run publishing. But that’s not the whole story:

Yet these attention grabbers glazed over one of the more subtle aspects of the data, which shows that while the industry employs far more women overall, the difference is smaller at the executive level, with “approximately 40% of executives and board members identifying as men or cis-men.” As the compilers of the DBS report note: “This reflects the reality that males still ascend to positions of power more oven, even in female-dominated industries.”

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White Women Dominate Publishing?

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Man Booker prize-winner Marlon James was right: the people who work in publishing are overwhelmingly white and female. New data shows that publishing executives, editors, and the staff behind books are predominantly white women:

At the executive level, publishing is 86 percent white, 59 percent female, 89 percent “straight/heterosexual,” and 96 percent normatively-abled.

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The End of the Tour

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As if reading weren’t a solitary enough activity, one of the last remaining sources of human contact between writers and readers is on the wane. For Electric Literature, Keith Lee Morris laments the decline of the IRL interface:

I’d never heard of a book signing and didn’t really know what it might entail, but, since I planned on becoming a writer myself, I thought it might be a good idea to meet one.

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A Step Towards a Good Thing

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We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.

Penguin Random House has dropped the requirement for job applicants to have a college degree in hopes that it will broaden the range of experiences in publishing.

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The Amazing Disappearing Woman Writer

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To refuse to disappear at mid-life—I am forty-two as of the writing of this essay—is perhaps the best rebellion a woman poet can make to the literary world and to the world at large. ...more

Publishing on Coffee Sleeves

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Artmaking is a particularly human occupation. It deserves celebrating in small and big ways.

Following the trend of microfiction on Chipotle bags and short story vending machines, a new endeavor from Coffee House Press called Coffee Sleeve Conversations is setting out to print works specifically from writers of color on coffee sleeves in the hopes of giving exposure to underrepresented voices and creating more diverse conversations.

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Indie Presses Become Gatekeepers

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Big publishers traditionally rely on income from known authors to support taking risks on new writers. But those publishers have grown more risk-averse, avoiding unknown writers and focusing on mainstream books expected to perform well in the marketplace. Meanwhile, independent publishers are filling the shortlists of major prizes in part because they are willing to take risks with new authors.

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Dean Koontz for Penguin Random House

The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Jennifer Baker

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The more variation we see in life, the more it becomes less about seeing one type of book by marginalized people. ...more

Publishers Risk Losing Writers

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Rude rejection letters could cost publishers the next big author, warns Hannah MacDonald, founder of September Publishing. MacDonald told colleagues at the FutureBook conference that publishers need to be kinder, reports The Independent:

Hannah MacDonald said the industry should be more constructive with its criticism and rebuffs, as there is a danger that potential stars might abandon their dreams.

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Constance Fenimore Woolson

A Brief History of Pandering

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Erasing women writers like Woolson carries immense implications. It creates an environment ripe for the continued marginalization and silencing of women’s voices today. ...more

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Guildtalk #3: Lori Ostlund

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For our ongoing Authors Guild series, Lori Ostlund speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo about what it means to live a literary life in the 21st century. ...more

Eliazbeth Egan by Beowulf Sheehan

The Rumpus Interview with Elisabeth Egan

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Elisabeth Egan discusses her debut novel, A Window Opens, life as a book lover, workplace jargon, and the question we should ask ourselves in place of can we “have it all”. ...more

The Unromantic Realities of Book Publishing

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Books make being an editorial assistant seem pretty glamorous. Meghan Daum discusses the unromantic realities of being an editorial assistant in book publishing, in an excerpt from the new reprint of her essay collection My Misspent Youth:

To the dewy eye of the editorial assistant, there is something about this mythos — the stiff patent leathers tromping around Madison Square, the particular literary drunkenness that seemed obtainable only from the taps of the White Horse Tavern, where Dylan Thomas met the shot glass that killed him — that feels lost, abandoned in nostalgia’s inevitable recycling bin…Nonetheless we persevere, dreaming of the day when we’ll become an assistant editor, and wondering how we’ll survive the ensuing years until that fabled associate editor position is dangled before our eyes.

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The Rumpus Interview with Kate Bolick

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Kate Bolick talks about her new book, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, writing and the nuclear family, and whether women are finally people yet. ...more