Thursday, January 01, 2009

Links to Occupy You

My apologies for keeping SOTB so quiet in the last nearly two weeks. I headed down south to warmer climates and then came back and lazily sat around and read about Walt Whitman and got ready to read my new book (gift from partner) and played trivia with Christopher et al (2nd place!).

For now, please accept these links while I think about what I have - or have not, as it were - done.

~ Bookseller John Schulman at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders if the book is dead. Kudos with the graphic that went with the article! Can I keep it?

~ Now where has Pat Holt been all my life?! California, I suppose. She has posted three terrific recommendations for publishing on her blog:

1) Online royalty accounts for authors - "If royalty statements stay the way they are, bogged down in nineteenth-century thinking, the industry appears to send out a negative statement: Authors, who used to be respected and honored as the driving force in publishing (i.e., the people behind all our paychecks), have been tossed to the bottom of the heap. They are expendable and replaceable, and they’ll be sorry if they make a fuss about their royalty statement."

2) Publishers leaving New York - this one is in two parts. The first part includes a fantastic take-down of the NBA dinner, while part two has a good comment from Tim Brown plugging the Independent and Small Press Book Fair.

3) Returning Editorial Power to Editors - First she reels me in, and then she rips me out of the water! Fantastic post giving a bit of historical perspective to this reality:

"Nobody wanted editors to live in a bubble without knowing about P&L statements, but waking up to commercial reality happened too quickly, and terms emerged that made veteran editors cringe: Don’t take a chance on an unproven concept, they were told. Wait until other editors lose their shirts risking The Next New Thing. Then acquire something safe – i.e., the exact duplicate, but cheaper. With our marketing muscle, we’ll elbow the competition out of the running."

Holt's vision of editors getting out of NYC and away from the marketing folks does give me hope and puts ideas into my head, as someone who recently left my job as an editor but is still looking to freelance. I love finding new, original, and powerful voices, and maybe I can find an opportunity to continue this pursuit without the confines of a publishing house led largely by marketing demands (which is not to say that of my former employer, for the record).

I will definitely keep watch of Holt Uncensored! There's few things I enjoy more than a smart, tough, punchy broad (with all due respect).

~ As I may have mentioned here, author Carleen Brice had a brilliant idea for December that got a fair bit of attention: buy books by black authors to give to white readers. Brice was honestly one of the best authors with whom I worked as an ed asst - she was kind, thoughtful, quick to respond and even quicker to show gratitude, so I'm thrilled things are going well for her (Orange Mint and Honey, her novel, moved off the shelf this year! see her blog for great reviews). She even created a blog to help white folks find the best in African American literature. I love the tagline: "Your official invitation into the African American section of the bookstore!" In many ways, that says it all...

So those should keep you busy, folks - and my apologies for the nightmare formatting. (I had to actually do some html myself - yikes. Still a mess.) More to come soon - I promise!

1 comment:

Carleen Brice said...

Brian, Thanks so much for the kind shout-out! It made my day, and it helped me find your cool blog. I hope 2009 brings you all good things.