publishing

Word of Mouth
5:25 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

From Gertrude Stein To Andy Warhol: Dramatic Readings Of Famous Rejection Letters

Gertrude Stein's now famous rejection letter
Credit via lettersofnote.com

Nevermind the sentiment “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”… rejection bites.  For writers, it’s also an unavoidable part doing business.  In a recent blog post for Graywolf Press, executive editor Jeff Shotts described the “terrible math” behind the publishing industry's notorious tendency of shutting down writers.

We accept under one-third of one percent of submissions that come in. Given those numbers, rejection letters are necessary, and they are, unfortunately, unexceptional. In fifteen years in publishing, I have probably written more than two thousand rejection letters.

Hopeful writers may find some comfort however in learning that even The Diary of Anne Frank was rejected by 16 separate publishing houses.  One editor at Knopf went so far as to call it “dull.” Also dismissed were George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” and manuscripts by Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, and in an infamously mocking rejection letter, Gertrude Stein.

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Word of Mouth
11:26 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Design Icons Charlotte & Peter Fiell Talk Shop

Charlotte & Peter Fiell
Credit fiell.com / Fiell Publishing

With over twenty years of experience on the editorial side of design publishing, Charlotte and Peter Fiell are pioneers in bringing great design to the masses with big, beautiful glossy books. Their first book together, “Modern Design Classics Since 1945”, was published twenty-two years ago and introduced mid-century modern furniture to a new generation of design lovers and novices.

They are also the former editors-in-chief for the best-selling design imprint Taschen. Three years ago the design power couple established their own line of art and design books—Goodman Fiell—which publishes titles written by the couple in addition to books written by experts across a wide range of disciplines; from art and architecture to natural history and popular culture.

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Word of Mouth
12:29 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Hey Authors: Quit Writing Books!

Credit ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flickr Creative Commons

When was the last time you read a book? Not for work, not a kid’s bedtime story, but a real honest to goodness book, just for the pleasure of reading?

If you sheepishly answered, "more than a year ago," you’re not alone. A recent survey puts the number of Americans who have failed to crack a spine in more than a year at one in four. While new technological distractions have certainly cut into our reading time, our next guest would also like to blame the Sisyphean task of merely trying to choose a book that’s worthy of reading. His solution? Authors should take a break from writing to give readers a chance to catch up.

Colin Robinson is a co-founder of the New York based independent publisher OR.

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Word of Mouth
10:56 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Book Reviewers: The Gender Imbalance

Credit Emily Carlin vis flickr Creative Commons

Last week, we came across an info-graphic that went viral among bookish types on Facebook and Twitter. VIDA, an organization for women in the literary arts, released a series of charts illustrating the results of “VIDA Count 2012”…that’s a tally of male and female book reviewers at major publications --  including The Atlantic, Harpers, and The New York Times Book Review -- and the  gender of authors they reviewed over the past three years. Jason Boog is editor of the publishing website "Galleycat", where he blogged about the findings.

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Word of Mouth
12:53 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Coming and Going: Literary and Gastronomy Trends in 2013

We’re beginning the new year with some "culture-vores" about which trends and habits they expect to fade out or faze in during 2013… Joining us for more on the literary scene is Jason Boog, editor of the publishing news website Galley Cat...and, for more on what’s coming up for food in 2013, we asked Maine chef and cookbook author, Kathy Gunst – who cautions that watching for culinary trends is not an entirely objective undertaking.

Word of Mouth
11:19 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: An International Appeal

Credit Credit ellebnere via Flickr Creative Commons

The runaway success of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey has exposed some of America’s other sexual impulses. The trilogy has sold tens of millions of copies by appealing to readers of so-called “mommy porn”.

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Word of Mouth
9:03 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Terminate the ARC?

Photo Credit Mr.T in DC, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Have you ever picked a paperback from a used bookstore or library shelf, and seen the words “uncorrected proof: not for sale” on the cover?  If so, chances are you were looking at an advanced readers copy, or “arc” – an early draft of a book that publishers sent out to reviewers, bloggers, and yes, radio stations in hopes of attracting media coverage.  The thing is, arcs don’t disappear after review, and not every author appreciates unedited version of works floating about in literary circles…we wanted to pull back the curtain on this one small part of the publishing industry – so we called

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Media
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

With Sale, Phila. Reporters Fear Loss Of Integrity

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been accused of interfering with coverage of the newspapers' pending sale.
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:50 am

Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.

But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:09 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

2012 Publishing Predictions

Photo by Mr.T in DC, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

Winter is a bountiful time for booklovers…the choices are abundant, and publishers and retailers are tripping over themselves to get people buying books - in any format.  The e-book has breathed some life into the publishing industry, but traditional books are still selling at independent bookstores. As part of Word of Mouth’s 2012 Nostradamus Edition, Jason boog, blogger and editor of the publishing website Galley Cat, makes his predictions for what the publishing industry will face in the coming year.  

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