This year’s VIDA stats gave us a (depressing) wide-lens view of women’s status in the writing industry, but for a (depressing) close-up perspective, read Deborah Copaken Kogan’s recent essay in The Nation about the sexism she’s encountered during her career as a photographer and writer....more
Posts Tagged: Publishing
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....more
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....more
“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....more
In the current age of Twitter and Facebook, some authors seem just one click away–a kind of celebrity that is still accessible to the common fan.
Frank Cassese tells a story in Guernica about when he received a postcard from David Foster Wallace in response to the manuscript he had sent....more
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....more
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.”...more
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.”...more
Susie 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....more
“You have to be prepared to hustle. You have to be willing to promote your book, and do readings, and plan your own events because there’s no support staff at the micropress to do it for you.”...more
Book Country, an online community created by Penguin this past spring, has announced the addition of a self-publishing component. Here’s an explanation of how it works.
“BC offers three publishing “packages” at three prices: $549 for the professionally formatted print/e-book package; $299 for the user-formatted print/e-book package; and $99 for the e-book only package....more
At the Atlantic, Marshall Poe discusses his attempt to write a “big-idea book” about Wikipedia, and how he ended up with a “book of ideas” instead.
“Years of academic research taught me two things. First, reality is as complicated as it is, not as complicated as we want it to be....more
Amazon is introducing a new service that presents a noncommittal book-buying option for customers. The company is considering a Netflix-like rental service for ebooks, which unfortunately, only provides more opportunity to devalue books. And this devaluing has only caused publishers to be skeptical of this rental-based selling point for ebooks....more
This Guardian piece challenges the notion that books are doomed, breaking down the “actual state of book publishing in Britain.” Separating anecdote from data, the piece is all about E-books and Amazon, and the impact of new formats on readers/authors/publishers. While acknowledging the uncertainty ahead in a transformed literary world, the author argues that there are reasons to be optimistic....more
Matt Runkle interviews Richard Nash for the Boston Review, who ran Soft Skull Press for eight years. Now he’s heading two other publishing ventures, Cursor (an online literary community where writers can post/discuss manuscripts) and their first imprint, Red Lemonade....more
Book reviews sections in newspapers and magazines began shrinking a couple years ago, or being folded into other sections, even disappearing altogether.
In 2007, a band of culturally dedicated authors started the National Book Critics Circle’s Campaign to Save Book Reviewing and now “we remain a nation of passionate readers—even during a time when movies can be streamed on demand and countless distractions are built into every smartphone and tablet.” Nowadays, the number of books published per year is growing....more
Editors, publishers and critics have their own industry-specific lexicon.
People in the industry are used to hearing words like “acclaimed” or saying that a book “brilliantly defies categorization,” but apparently this is only the surface level of description. Beyond the commonly used adjectives and phrases, there lies the truth—what they actually mean, decoded....more
Longshot Magazine, the annual made-in-48 hrs publishing, internet-based whirlwind, just wrapped up their second issue and the theme is Debt, which proved limitless, submission-wise.
It’s got personal essays, both fiction and nonfiction, some photo-journalism—all compiled by around 100 people equipped with internet tools, within the Gawkwer offices....more
In the spirit of trying and giving up, publishing house frustrations and then reflecting on the whole emotional whirlwind of the publishing experience, there is this new Thought Catalog essay....more