Posts Tagged: Publishing
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
The publishing industry is at a cultural turning point, with recognition and celebration of writers of color on the rise. But despite the surge in the publishing industry’s interest in works by writers of color, the people working behind the scenes still lack much-needed diversity....more
Not even James Patterson or Stephen King have reached a top-twenty spot with a new book on the New York Times‘s Bestseller list this year. Publishers are blaming mediocre sales of adult fiction on lessened media coverage due to recent acts of violence and terrorism and increased political coverage for the 2016 presidential race....more
Book titles are an essential component of the texts they gesture at. They’re also advertising. At Catapult, Hannah Gersen recounts the naming process for her novel Home Field:
A short story title can be fanciful or obscure or may even contribute something important to the meaning of the story, but a book title needs to have a life of its own.
Beyond the obvious fact of when it was written or published, what does it mean for literature to be contemporary? Is a work’s relevance determined by market trends and cultural currents? In her monthly advice column for Electric Literature, Elisa Gabbert allays a writer’s temporally induced anxieties:
Magical realism “has been done,” yes, but so has everything else.
Women writing about women is popular right now in the publishing world—like Emma Cline, who recently released The Girls. USA Today runs through the many books about women, by women. But despite the rising popularity of these authors and the prominence of women within the publishing industry, top jobs are still held by men....more
Over at Publishing Perspectives, Andy Hunter, Publisher & COO of Catapult, Publisher of Literary Hub, and Co-Founding Chairman of Electric Literature, explains the different approaches but shared mission of his three ventures:
There’s a common mission between them: to bring attention to, and advocate for, literary writing.
James Patterson has announced a new imprint of $5 books designed to hook readers who can’t afford more expensive titles. He’s already written personally written twenty titles for the project:
Asked if he hoped this was going to be the gateway to people reading deeper, longer books down the road, he said, “No.
The Annual Library Budget Survey, published last week, found that libraries around the world have varying growth expectations for the coming year, with North American libraries tending toward negative. On the plus side, libraries in developing countries (with developing markets) are growing....more
If there are indeed an infinite number of universes, it’s nice to think there might be one where all of the books we have come to know bear their original, author-intended titles. For the Paris Review, Tony Tulathimutte pulls back the curtain on the process of book naming to reveal that the title we see is often not given by the author, but generated by a marketing team with a very particular set of conventions and concerns:
The history of writers fighting for their book titles is extensive and bloody; so powerful is the publisher’s veto that not even Toni Morrison, fresh off her Nobel win, got to keep her preferred title for Paradise, which was War.
Ricochet Editions is looking for your comics!
The small press, run by PhD students in the Literature & Creative Writing Program at USC, is accepting submission for graphic novellas and short story collections until June 1st. All manuscripts should be 50-100 pages, and should be submitted in the form of a black and white paginated PDF....more
My only real want along the way was to illuminate something about the human condition in a voice and from a point of view that could belong only to me. And if a bid for posterity beats in the heart of every writer, mine is alive with the possibility that long after I’m gone, someone will discover an old paperback of my work and say, “What’s this?” But whether or not that happens is independent of the volume of work a writer publishes, so what’s done is done.
The technology news site CNET has begun publishing a crowdsourced science fiction novel. The project started with National Novel Writing Month, when CNET’s Erick Mack introduced the idea, calling it “MMOSFN: Massively Multiwriter Online Science Fiction Novel.” The novel, Crowd Control, will be published in installments....more
This year’s children’s literature has some exceptional bonafides. Over the next few months, a number of acclaimed novelists, including Jane Smiley and Elena Ferrante, will be publishing children’s books. Whether a five-year-old can distinguish between literary and genre fiction, only time will tell....more
We’re used to Amazon producing recommendations alongside books we buy, but are we prepared for a world where computerized data also picks what gets published? Inkitt, an electronic publishing platform, has announced that they will be utilizing algorithms to pick novels to publish in the interest of “fairness and objectivity” that can’t be found in this world of “literary gatekeepers.”...more
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.