I wouldn’t have volunteered at The Rumpus for the past three years, if I didn’t believe in the power of words. But words ring hollow if they are not met with action. Outrage tweets and Facebook posts mean noting if you don’t march, call, email, filibuster, stand, sit-in, demand, riot, challenge, and vote....more
Posts Tagged: Publishing
As a poet I get it: talking about “literary infrastructure” is boring. Who wouldn’t rather talk about poets, poems, or aesthetic movements? When we start hearing a lot about the organizations dedicated to supporting authors, presses, and readings rather than the people making literature it probably means those organizations are threatened....more
In the wake of the presidential election, bookstores are becoming more than just shops and are serving their communities as impromptu community centers.
More independent bookstores are becoming publishers.
Bushwick Brooklyn’s Molasses Books has started fundraising for good causes following Trump’s election....more
Os&1s Reads’s The Art of Commerce talks with Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back, about the relationship between writers and money:
Publishing is a machine that does what it does. You’re grateful, of course, to have the connection to it, because part of what it does is present your book to thousands and thousands of readers.
Comedian Sara Benincasa is no stranger to being a working writer—in fact, she just wrote a book about it. Now, at Medium, she shares her secrets on getting published. Accessible and funny, Benincasa offers tips like “NO MONEY UPFRONT BECAUSE ANY AGENT WHO DOES THAT IS A CROOK,” details about advances and royalties, and the always-important advice to “mostly just keep writing a lot.”...more
Don’t miss this interview at The Believer between former Rumpus Managing Editor Zoë Ruiz and contributor Micah Perks on Perks’s new novel, What Becomes Us—a story told from the point of view of twin fetuses inside the main character. Topics discussed include the book’s themes of “nice girls,” hunger, and the desire to feed oneself, as well as the publishing process....more
Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight....more
More and more, book publishers are turning to data studies and algorithms to predict which kinds of books will sell. Susanne Althof, in a piece for WIRED, interrogates the wisdom of such an approach, speaking with people in the industry who worry it will compromise the diversity of books being put out and the tech leaders who insist that this is simply the future:
What Archer and Jockers have done is just one part of a larger movement in the publishing industry to replace gut instinct and wishful thinking with data.
Loyalty seems to have no payoff for fans of every and any book that has ever had a sequel, because these next installments almost always disappoint—but why does it have to be this way? For Cultured Vultures, Nat Wassell gives a few examples of flaccid sequels and continuations; discusses responsibility from the author, publisher, and even reader; and argues for the reader’s right to demand better material from publishers, who seem to be side-sweeping both loyal fans and unsuspecting authors aside for the next marketing scheme....more
My name is on the phone bill. The student loan bills, medical bills, internet service provider bills, car insurance bills, the lease. My name is on three bank accounts, the present combined balances of which are insufficient to pay any one of the aforementioned bills.
At Lit Hub, Ilana Masad outlines the importance of publicists in generating buzz for new books in a social media saturated-environment, and the struggle many authors face to generate their own publicity at small presses without the resources to do more:
The difference between being published with a “Big 5” publisher versus a small or independent press is not necessarily how much work the writers have to do, but how much that work gets noticed.
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