Mid-Week Book Publishing Update


With BookExpo America now in full swing, there's plenty of news afoot in the publishing world. I though it would be useful to give everyone a quick look at what's been happening so far, and throw in a few other publishing and writing related bits.

BookExpo The BEA kicked off with its traditional CEO panel discussion. The topic this year quickly, and not surprisingly, gravitated towards e-books, and the ways in which they are altering the publishing landscape. The publishing powerhouses mulled over everything from piracy concerns to the pressure e-books put on paperback prices.

Also, If you're like me, and not able to attend the BEA, they are coming out with a great podcast series that is worth checking out!

Garisson Keillor wrote an interesting article about a glamorous Tribeca rooftop party he attended where he mingled with big name authors like Judy Blume and Scott Turow. He also came out with a rather grim notion—that gatherings like this may soon be at an end, and that "publishing is about to slide into the sea." Personally, I think his prediction is overly cynical, and I hope that I'm right.

CEO panel The Guardian put together a neat (and kinda stuffy) slide show about the changes in publishing during the 20th century. I was especially interested in the final few slides, which talked about a "golden period" in publishing during the mid-90's. I wonder what sort of period e-books will end up bringing to publishing in the coming years.

Finally, One Story had their first annual literary-debutante ball over the weekend. I couldn't make it, but I did buy two raffle tickets for an i-Pad (I haven't gotten an email about winning yet, and fear the worst). For those unfamiliar with One Story, it's a fantastic literary magazine that sends subscribers a single short story every three weeks or so. They also conduct author interviews on their site, which are universally interesting to read (for me, anyway).

The ball sounded like a lot of fun, and I kind of wish I'd sprung for a ticket. Here's one great quote from the Daily Transom's coverage of the event, coming from Michael Cunningham:

"I was once at a writer's conference with Norman Mailer. Somebody asked us about the death of the novel. Mailer told him, 'The novel will be at your funeral.' The short story will be, too."

That's the type of grim optimism I like to see.

Keep Writing!


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