Posts Tagged: Publishing

george and betty

The Rumpus Interview with George Hodgman

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Editor and author George Hodgman talks about his new memoir, Bettyville, what makes for a good memoir, and returning to his hometown of Paris, Missouri from New York to take care of his aging mother. ...more

Amazon: The Root of Book Littering?

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The strange case of the “Literature Litterbug”—a mystery perp who’s been dumping used books along a Colorado highway for a year or more—has come to a close, bringing with it a pun-filled police report and plenty of finger-pointing. Glenn Plasden admits that the littering citation was “by the book,” and explains that he simply couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the huge stock he acquired when a Boulder bookstore went out of business eight years ago; he’d been dumping them a few at a time from his moving car, figuring nobody would notice.

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UK Publishing is Racist, Too

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The Writing the Future report . . . found that the “best chance of publication” for a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer was to write literary fiction conforming to a stereotypical view of their communities, addressing topics such as “racism, colonialism or post-colonialism as if these were the primary concerns of all BAME people.”

On the heels of the depressing statistics of the first-ever Women of Color VIDA Count, the UK’s Writing the Future report reveals that things aren’t any better for writers of color across the pond.

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Writing While Black

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The publishing industry is 89% white. That isn’t the only problem when it comes to race and literature. BuzzFeed’s new Literary Editor Saeed Jones reflects on the issue in the publishing industry:

When literary gatekeepers and publishers continue to overlook the vast diversity of writers, the special few who make it into elite spaces are constantly compared to one another in both flattering and troubling ways.

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How to Harlequin

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Over at Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth shares a fantastic long form piece on the rise of the Harlequin romance novel, and how the brand became synonymous with a wildly lucrative if critically dismissed genre. From the original formula for woman-centered, alpha-male page turners to Harlequin’s relentless advertising tactics to the question of exactly how much sex sells best, Faircloth presents a sociological study.

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Secrets of a Literary Agent

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Guernica speaks with literary agent Chris Parris-Lamb, who built a career around selling Chad Harbach‘s debut novel The Art of Fielding for a reported $665,000. Since then, he has sold novels like Wolf In White Van and coming later this year, City of Fire, a 900-page tome for a rumored seven-figure sale.

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The Real Deal

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Many of us choose to pursue MFAs; many of us are also plagued with doubts about the value of a degree in creative writing. Former teacher Ryan Boudinot shares his thoughts about programs, publishing, and the unlikely chance that you’re the Real Deal:

I think the instant validation of our apps is an enemy to producing the kind of writing that takes years to complete… If you’re able to continue writing while embracing the assumption that no one will ever read your work, it will reward you in ways you never imagined.

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Little is the Next Big Idea

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Two years ago, it seemed the publishing industry couldn’t get enough of the XXL novel. But now, the trend may be shifting towards something smaller: the novella. Over at io9, Charlie Jane Andrews speaks with science fiction publisher Tor.com about their list of upcoming novellas:

For our readers, time is the precious commodity they invest in every book they decide to purchase and read.

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Susanne Antonetta headshot

The Rumpus Interview with Susanne Paola Antonetta

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Poet and memoirist Susanne Paola Antonetta discusses literary bias, feminism, and the origin of her nom de plume. ...more

Fifty More Shades of Grey (And Counting)

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Prospects for your serialized proto-fictional new generation adaptation of The Hunger Games are bright. As fan fiction solidifies its status as a literary genre in its own right, publishers are catching on:

…what was once viewed as either uncreative, a legal morass of copyright issues, or both, is now seen as a potential savior for a publishing industry still finding its moorings in the age of digital media.

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Peter Mendelsund (color) (c) George Baier IV

The Rumpus Interview with Peter Mendelsund

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Writer, designer, and thinker Peter Mendelsund talks about book design, the tangled process of reading and perception, and his two new books, Cover and What We See When We Read. ...more

In Defense of “Elitism”

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Rejection is an essential part of editing and publishing, but also a source of criticism of the industry. Over at Slate, Daniel Menaker comes to the defense of the publishing industry’s gatekeepers, explaining the importance of professionals in guiding the production of literature:

The modern, often online and anonymous, neo-Levellers who object to the “elitism” of publishing arrive at their position from the other side, the populist.

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Diversity Matters

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Daniel Handler’s (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) recent racist joke at the National Book Awards exposed an uncomfortable truth about the American publishing industry: its overwhelming whiteness. For the industry to survive, it must embrace diversity. Over at the Guardian, Carole DeSanti points out that regardless of changes in the business of publishing, what matters is the content:

…any gains in the format and pricing wars are going to be wiped out if content is less and less relevant to the way people live, who we are, and what we aspire to be.

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The Making of Michael Pietsch

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Amazon and Hachette have, for now, resolved their dispute. But their protracted battle over pricing has made Hachette’s Chief Executive Michael Pietsch something of a hero to many in the literary community—in Distinction, Pietsch discusses his journey from a small Boston publishing firm to leading the charge against Amazon:

My first job in publishing was as a dogsbody at a small firm in Boston.

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Throwing Hachette to the Wolves

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Amazon and Hachette appear to have entered into a war of attrition, a battle that Hachette, with a more limited budget, is surely going to lose. Alone, Hachette will fall. News that Simon & Schuster easily signed a deal with Amazon was a major blow—and that might just be exactly what Amazon is counting on, proposes Josh Cook over at Melville House.

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For Whom Amazon Tolls

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As the Amazon versus Hachette dispute drags on into its fifth month, Alex Shepard, over at Melville House, examines the conflict, and what it means for publishers and authors:

Traditional publishers can’t do what Amazon does; Amazon can’t do what traditional publishers do (and no, the fact that bookstores don’t carry books published by Amazon is not the only reason why this is true, though that’s a subject for another post).

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Indie Bookstore Road Trip

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Independent bookstores will save the world, or at least the publishing industry, maybe. Josh Weil and Mike Harvkey took a road trip across the country, exploring independent bookstores. They found a collection of dedicated shops and local literary communities, but that didn’t answer the fundamental question: how important are independent bookstores are to writers?

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