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Posts Tagged: Publishing

Is There Too Much Translation?

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Writing over at Brooklyn Quarterly, Will Evans discusses why he founded a publishing house dedicated to translation:

In addition to being a philosophical problem, literary translation is also a contentious business matter. There are thousands of good to all-time-great books published in the world every year in every language imaginable, but only a couple hundred of those ever get published in English, and that’s in a good year.

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How to Make a Life in Literature

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Have you been wondering what the point of the AWP conference might be to the 11,800 who attended this year? The Atlantic gives the ins, outs, and mishaps of the conference, along with tenuous or even doubtful optimism for the future of publishing:

I asked the editors of two-dozen journals to briefly describe their publications and what they look for vis-à-vis content (genre, aesthetics, etc.) and the response was universally this sentence: “We publish poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction.

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A Helpful Guide to Writing Children’s Books

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If it’s always been your secret ambition to write a children’s picture book, Buzzfeed Books can help you get started with this handy-dandy thirteen-step guide, illustrated by the Rumpus’s own Jason Novak (with a little help from his daughter Gertie).

There’s some golden advice in there: probably avoid rhyming, send to agents instead of publishers, and don’t try to micromanage the illustrator.

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Want to Publish a Book? Here’s How

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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.

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Re-Live Litquake’s digi.lit Conference

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If you couldn’t make it to Litquake’s digi.lit conference, never fear—you can listen to Laura Miller’s keynote address here.

Though the conference focused on digital publishing, the Salon writer talks just as much about traditional publishing and how it has given readers what they want in a way digital publishing hasn’t quite figured out yet, despite the exciting new possibilities its technology opens up.

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Is Penguin’s E-Galley Policy Hurting Authors?

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When a book is ready to be marketed, Penguin will print loads of galleys. Great, important, standard. But what they won’t do is give out electronic versions of the book. Not DRM and watermarked copies. Not password protected copies.

An anonymous “publishing insider” has a post up today at Boing Boing about “Penguin’s insane policy on electronic galleys for authors.”

It raises a number of questions about the changing face of the publishing industry and how authors’ rights will fare as publishers experiment with new strategies.

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Don’t Worry Too Much About Goodreads, Says Steve Almond

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Amazon’s buyout of Goodreads has a lot of people curling their lips in disgust, and Rumpus columnist Steve Almond is among them: “As a reader and writer I find all this pretty despicable.”

But it’s worth zooming out and looking at the buyout’s context: industry-wide changes to publishing’s traditional (and deeply dysfunctional) business practices.

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Tell Stories Better with Technology

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Speaking of publishing innovationsSF Weekly‘s current cover story, “Storytelling 10110001101,” by Alee Karim, chronicles some recent forays into spinning narratives in the electronic age.

Karim focuses on two enterprises. The first is Madefire, a company creating interactive comics for the iPhone/iPad that differ markedly from earlier, laughable attempts at “motion comics.” The other is Ying Horowitz & Quinn, which is a supremely lawyery-sounding name for a group of former McSweeney’s employees producing striking digital literature.

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Writers from Vermont to Oregon and Everywhere In Between

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“There is a tendency to place the center of the writing universe in New York City. This is understandable—countless writers live there. Have you heard about this magical place called Brooklyn? The media certainly has.”

If you needed another reminder that New York isn’t the only place with an exciting literary scene, Roxane Gay’s Tin House essay “A Literary Flyover” will do nicely.

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Is Optimism About the Future of “Serious” Publishing Possible?

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In the kind of defeated sigh about the future of books that is increasingly commonplace, Sarah Weinman, the news editor at Publisher’s Marketplace, argues that in the digital age there’s no room for “serious nonfiction.” The gist of her argument is familiar, the kind of thing we’ve been hearing for years: without “traditional” publishers there will be no large book advances for what she calls “prestige” work, like Robert Caro’s multi-volume LBJ biography.

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First Agent

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At The Quivering Pen, Emily St. John Mandel remembers her first agent who, even in death, remains part of Mandel’s audience.

“She comes back to me at odd moments.  When there are small triumphs, I sometimes find myself thinking that I wish she could have seen this; when there are small disappointments I sometimes think of her too, of how dry and reassuring she was when things weren’t going quite as one had hoped.”

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“The Devil’s Checks Never Bounce”

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Salon takes a closer look at Amazon’s (quiet) practice of giving grants to small publishers and literary nonprofits, questioning whether Amazon is “backing book culture or buying off critics.”

“At a time when independent publishing is struggling to survive, in part due to the influence of Amazon, recipients say that these grants offer crucial — if ironic — life support.”

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The Rumpus Interview with Susie Deford

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Susie Deford & Melissa FebosSusie DeFord and I both finished drafts of our books in 2007. My former dog-trainer and I had labored together at café tables side by side, but after the writing process, our paths diverged. I quickly found an agent, and starting working on a book proposal, while Susie submitted her manuscript, Dogs of Brooklyn, to first-book competitions (the most common way to get a debut book of poems published), and worked on building a readership for her blog, Dog Poet Laureate.

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