Posts Tagged: Publishing
For most of Alfred A. Knopf’s 100-plus-year history, Mrs. Knopf’s role in the success of her husband’s company has gone unrecognized. Now, though, she is getting her due:
Blanche Knopf probably had better taste than her husband. … It was Blanche who brought Gide, Camus, Sartre, and de Beauvoir into the fold, as well as Mann, whose relocation to America she helped arrange.
Traditional publishers provide many services for authors, including fact-checking and obtaining permission for intellectual property. Self-publishing platforms don’t provide these services, and because of a recent court ruling, aren’t responsible for mistakes made by authors. The National Law Review looks at the landmark case, and how it removes liability for the publishing platforms:
The ruling might also serve as a reminder for providers to reexamine user agreements and terms of service to ensure that certain author representations about the non-infringing nature of uploaded content are clearly worded and that electronic contracting best practices are followed to ensure enforceability.
Publishers are offering big paydays to debut authors—that’s the good news. The bad news is that the books earning big money aren’t particularly literary. Tom Leclair at The Daily Beast takes to task Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s novel The Nest as too middlebrow to be considered great literature:
I understand the economic strategy: a novelist with no history (of mediocre sales) can be publicized as the Big New Find because the author has been given a Big Old Advance.
Just as there is subjective rejection, there’s subjective acceptance—the editor who sparks to your characters, your plot, your manuscript because of their personal experiences—and you want someone who understands your story to be the champion it needs.
Let’s be real. Rejection sucks, especially if you’re a writer trying to get your work published....more
Publishers want access to Cuba. The longstanding trade embargo with Cuba includes books and educational materials, but publishers have been lobbying the White House to lift the embargo. The island nation has a literacy rate near 100%....more
As part of a series on diversity in publishing at Brooklyn Magazine, Molly McArdle talks with professionals across the publishing world about the state of diversity in the publishing industry today....more
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.”
Academic journals are essential to scholarly research. Scientists making new discoveries publish their findings in these journals, for example, but also read the journals to stay abreast of the latest research. The journals are also hugely profitable—just not for the researchers who provide their content....more
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.
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.
For The Awl, Andrew Thompson writes on the changing face of local media in Philadelphia, after the close of several local print papers and the rise of Philadelphia magazine....more
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....more
As the value of an individual book is devalued, so is the self. We are made to feel that it’s only through constant communication with a community that we have any collective power.
How has the immediacy of the Internet changed how we absorb information?...more
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....more
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....more
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.
Starting in the 1820s, when Christmas was still largely a day of feasting and religious observance, publishers helped pioneer the concept of giving mass-produced goods as presents, inventing an entire genre of books, called Gift Books, designed to be presented to loved ones at Christmas.
The rise of e-books are threatening jobs in publishing once again—this time, it’s the warehouse workers that once distributed physical books. Penguin Random House is laying off warehouse workers, since electronic books are delivered wirelessly and never need to be stored....more