This week in writing… politics edition

The ultimate literature/politics mashup: Animal Farm

I happen to love it when politics and literature meet, but sometimes, it’s a bit too much, and the mash-up is painful, like this week when racist Hunger Games movie-goers let their nastiness all hang out on Twitter. It’s a sad, sad world we live in where that can still happen in 2012.

There are a few overviews of the Bologna Book fair, including this one from Publishing Perspectives which seems to say that YA is becoming a hard sell. Big surprise, the field is flooded! And then there’s this one from Publisher’s Weekly where they’re looking for the next big thing. (Right here, folks. I’m right here.)

Harry Potter was released as an ebook this week, and demand for it crashed the Kindle website. Nook users (Hi! Me!) were fine. Which tells you something about Kindle vs. Nook. But there’s something else there of note: the Kindle and Nook sites weren’t actually selling the books, they were referring them to J.K. Rowling’s site, Pottermore, which is a huge game-changer in the ebook sales landscape because it’s pulling sales from Amazon and B&N (because, let’s face it, she can!) and cutting them down a peg. In this Shatzkin Files post, the implications for other publishing houses is discussed.

A lot of library politicking news this week too… an Ohio county gives OverDrive a $10M loan when the libraries there have been facing cutbacks. They plan on building a global headquarters with two basketball courts…. while the library gets… that’s right. Nothing.

How libraries are still relevant in a digital age (you don’t need to convince me, I’m there at least twice a week).

And author John Green takes on the library/publishing houses issue with this post on how libraries and ebook piracy are NOT THE SAME.

School Library Journal has a list of the best reads of 2012 for kids.

If you’re a children’s illustrator, editor Harold Underdown is running a competition of sorts on his Facebook page. You create a banner for his timeline, and if he chooses it, he’ll put it up for a week along with an article about you on his page. A great way to get some exposure.

Finally, this week we lost a great poet, Adrienne Rich. Diving into The Wreck still haunts me. I don’t even have appropriate words to send off such a literary great, so instead, here’s the poet in her own words.

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2 thoughts on “This week in writing… politics edition

  1. sarahbutland says:

    I find it phenomenal what JK Rowling is doing with her books, especially when rumours are that YA’s aren’t reading much anymore. Although I admit to have never read her books I idolize her for doing so much to get so many to read.

    And with Kindle vs Nook, I think a lot may have to do with Nook and like applications are not available in Canada (blasphemy!) so may not have had the volume as Kindle (not fact driven, opinion only). Amazon is doing some strange stuff recently and is losing a lot of customers but the competition in Canada is slime to none so we’re stuck with often returning to them.

  2. Tracey says:

    I did not know that Nook apps weren’t available in Canada. That is blasphemy!

    What Rowling is doing is a game-changer for publishing. If every big name author were to create their own distribution arm, as she is, the publishers are going to have a hard time holding on to their profit margins. Many, like Stephen King, have already dabbled in ebooks. It’s not a far jump to do it permanently when you have that kind of a following. Perhaps then the midlist authors will get some attention.

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