Sunday, December 9, 2012

Publishing News Time

Okay kids, it's time for your Sunday publishing news report!
  • Like a challenge?  Here's some writing competitions with December deadlines
  • On Mondays, be sure to check in at The Art of Infiltration for contest information.  Writing contests, pitch wars, you name it.  Subscribe to the blog now so you can get updates every week!
  • YAtopia tackles the question of diversity in literature.  This one is a can of worms.  I think, sometimes, the problem is that authors are afraid of writing characters outside of their own culture/heritage for fear of screwing it up and making things worse (or being derided for even trying).  But there also just don't seem to be enough minority writers to keep up with the demand for books.  I wonder if it's because, as children, they didn't have books to connect with that made them fall in love with reading?  If so, man, what a chicken-and-egg problem!  Of course, it's just as likely that there are a ton of writers from all types of backgrounds that we're just not hearing about for whatever reason.  It really is a question we need to deal with.  
  • Super-agent  Lori Perkins is teaming up with Donald Weise to launch a new e-publisher.  This is Lori's second foray into publishing.  It's funny, because her first earned her a black mark on Preditors & Editors, which saw agenting and publishing as conflicting interests.  It's becoming more and more common for agents to play on both sides of the fence, though.  I think this move just goes to show that the small presses are coming into their own in new and powerful ways. 
  • An accurate (and kind of depressing) look at how book publishing mirrors the U.S. economy in many ways (and also how business practices from other industries don't necessarily translate well to books).  The article's a long one, but I think very insightful.  The short version:  Publishing isn't dead, but it's changing, and its strengths are also its greatest weaknesses.  But the article is witty and smart and well worth reading.  
  • I've always thought it was pretty cool that England has a "Bad Sex in Fiction" award, but this unhappy response to it made me think.  There's always the challenge -- especially today, when erotica is both popular and mainstream -- of writing sex explicitly without it being "sexy."  Because it seems to me that it's OK in our sex-obsessed-yet-puritannical culture to have sexy scenes...but not necessarily to have a frank, open, honest portrayal of real sex.  And that's odd, innit?  
Oh, and one other cool bit of news I feel like passing on.  Suzanne van Rooyen's novel Obscura Burning came out on Friday.  This is exciting because I've been eagerly anticipating this novel since before it even had a publishing contract.  I ran across Suzanne's first page in a query contest I'd entered (The Writer's Voice, to be precise) and was immediately drawn in.  She didn't make it into the final round, but I'd been following her blog ever since and was super excited to see that the book was coming out.  So needless to say, I picked up a copy as soon as it came out.  

I haven't finished it yet, but let me just say: So far, this book is awesome and one of the examples I can definitely point to for why small presses sometimes really do things right.  

Until next time! 

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