Posts Tagged: Publishing
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
Can Haruki Murakami write a financially unsuccessful novel at this point in his career? What would it take for him, or a writer with a similar sales history, to fail to sell? And what does this tell us about the novels we continue to publish?...more
From award-winning indies like Graywolf and Copper Canyon, to the fresh crop of young presses like Yes Yes Books and Topside Press, every press begins with just one book. It can start at a kitchen table or at a pinball machine.
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.
One of the things I run into surprisingly often is people saying to me, ‘I’ve never heard of you before’… Yet I’ve been publishing in ‘mainstream’ journals and my book won [the Pulitzer] prize, so what is it that is making me invisible?