Thursday, February 6, 2020

History Lessons

February is Black History month in the United States. With diversity or the lack of it in publishing on everyone’s minds there are numerous ways publishers and booksellers seek to show they are listening to the people at least in one month. Unfortunately, sometimes they can get it so wrong. Barnes and Noble and Penguin Random House believed the world was ready for classic white literature to have new diversity style covers…. PR Disaster.
As POC writers pointed out, they could have just highlighted or even published our books!

Elsewhere in the world, the Taipei bookfair has been postponed. This week more than half a million people would have been attending one of the largest literary events in the world. The New Publishing Standard points out that this will probably not be the only casualty to the Corona Virus.

London Book Fair is still on… and they are ‘amping up the profile of audio books and all things audio related at this year’s fair. Publishing Perspectives looks at what is on offer. They also have a report on how many Wattpad stories have been picked up for film, television and book deals.

Anne R Allen has a timely reminder that some readers will persist in believing that you wrote about their lives in your books. This is upsetting for everyone. How can you solve the problems when life imitates fiction?

Kris Rusch has been writing about optimism and the writer. This is a great read for the writer who maybe staring at the bank balance and wondering why we do this thing called writing.
Jami Gold looks at editing and life challenges and puts the two on the same level. An interesting shift in mindset here.

Iva Cheung beautifully demonstrated a problem, in comic form, that she is seeing in publishing houses. Many new editors have no idea what a style sheet is. Her comic does highlight a basic knowledge gap. For a dive into what style sheets are check out this post from Ruth Harris.

Two interesting posts caught my eye today on craft. James Scott Bell on the curse of expository dialogue and Copy Blogger and their tools for editing – take 3 highlighters. As I was reading this, I was reminded of P G Wodehouse’s style of editing. He would pin each page of the novel onto his study wall in rows. Good pages went to the top row. All the others would move up and down the rows depending on how much editing he thought they needed. He wouldn’t send a book off unless every single typewritten page was on the top row.

In The Craft Section, (Bookmark All of them!)

The ultimate guide to creating characters- 1000 day MFA-Shaunta Grimes BOOKMARK

In The Marketing Section,

To Finish,

Today is New Zealand’s commemoration day. We remember the treaty that was signed between two very different peoples in 1840 and the subsequent ups and downs of this relationship. We are really only now coming to terms with the legacy of injustice. Now, after 180 years, it will be compulsory to teach our own history in schools. Having studied a little bit of New Zealand history in university this is going to be a wake-up call to the general population. If you want a quick primer on what the treaty was about check out this fabulous graphic novelization that was made for children by Toby Morris.

Ina kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe I hea kei te mohio koe, 
kei te anga atu ki hea.
If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.


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